Thursday, June 15, 2006

EU Overlords

There are many, many reasons which can be found for getting rid of the bureaucratic monstrosity that is the EU- but this one will do for now. Due to a European directive, a substantial amount of Dutch farmland, claimed from the sea over 230 years ago, is to be deliberatley flooded; to reverse the disappearance of mudflats and salt marshes. What's particularly galling is that the land is being flooded to offset damage to the mudflats which will be caused by the widening of a shipping channel. So if one bit of land is needed and it causes environmental damage, the EU will seize someone else's land to return it to a "natural" state. So, let's say someone wants to build a factory on a forest- are the homes nearby to be demolished to grow more trees to replace them? That appears to be the EU logic for this act.

The families who live on this land are understandably upset and they are appealing the decision with the Dutch parliament; their chances of success are slim- the MPs apparently agree that mudflats are more important that the established ecosystems and working farms which have existed for more that two centuries.

Here's the rub though- even if the Dutch do decide that this farmland is more important than mudlfats, they have very "little say in the matter". The reflooding has been imposed by the EU Habitats directive and the EU Birds directive.

In other words, the unelected bureaucrats of the EU have more power over what happens to farmland in Holland than the Dutch themselves. All those old jokes about the EU being a fourth Reich suddenly don't seem so funny anymore.

As Kim du Toit points out, the EU is not the only nightmare organistion with such powers-

So if a developer has built some houses on reclaimed land next door to the Everglades, and UNESCO were to decide that the land really belongs to the Everglades, the homeowners would probably get the same shaft as the De Feijter family [Dutch farmers] in Holland.

1 comment:

Bag said...

As it's the EU wonder how long it will be before we destroy a natural resource in france and submerge some housing in England to keep the environmental balance. Bet our wonderful leaders would be quite happy with that. I suggest the South east, they could do with the water.