It is often rightly pointed out that the EU has (so far) no power to tax. True. But it has the power to regulate and uses it! If both, taxation and regulation have a profound impact on companies’ and, if only indirectly, on consumers’ decisions, taxation attracts more public attention largely because data on taxation are more readily available. As a consequence, the impact of EU and member states regulations on our economies tends to be underestimated. How can we correct for this? A look at the work done in the US by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, will provide some inspiration.
In his “10,000 Commandments”, Wayne Crews presents and classifies scattered government and private data on scores of regulations and on the agencies that issue them, as well as on regulatory costs and benefits. Compiling some of that information can make the regulatory state somewhat more comprehensible. Let’s hope some similar work will be done soon for the EU.