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There's a bureaucrat in your bathroom! | EurActiv

It used to be a favourite trick of the British media - ask a wild question at the Commission midday, get a hot denial, then take home your prize: "EU denies ban on bendy bananas" or some such "denial" headline. This produced more heat than light; it helped sell newspapers and entrench an angry view of Brussels.

In today's climate, Eurosceptic voices are alive and well. The Commission's Euromyths blog is a contemporary roll call of willfully far-fetched EU coverage, like a kind of demented Buzzfeed for EU affairs. Stories like "Bavarian farmer puts diapers on his animals to get around EU ban on fertilisers" would make amusing coffee break stories, if they weren't so damaging to public opinion. This spring is set to be a hot period for all the wrong reasons.

Step up Europe's hard-working Ecodesign Directive, already no stranger to the Euromyths hall-of-fame. It has a lot going for it. These are rules that industry, consumers, member states and we green NGOs all agree are needed. They steer consumers away from over-powered, noisy, often poor quality imports, towards alternatives that do the same thing, at no extra cost, but for less energy. But because they come from Brussels and have a whiff of micro-management, they can get a bad name. Long-agreed measures to phase out inefficient vacuum cleaners was spun into "vacuumgate" in the UK.

The German zeitgeist still wrestles with the lightbulb ban, even as efficient bulbs make its decarbonisation mission easier; and more recently Italians could be heard choking on their toast as they read about EU plans to ban all double toasters, a classic Euromyth. This spring, the Commission may tighten up on wasteful taps and showers. While luxury hotels already use efficient, bubbly tap and shower technology, the rest of us will no doubt have to live with sensationalist "Who wants a bureaucrat in their bathroom" headlines that will slow the uptake of good technology.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 12th, 2014 at 03:37:22 PM EST
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