To say I don’t understand doesn’t mean I don’t understand de political mechanics. To remove this 108 million euros cost [ref] from the annual budget, the EU treaty has to be changed, which requires unanimity among all member states governments and ratification by each of their national parliaments. [ref]
This required unanimity is a safeguard against big states or coalitions of states overruling the sovereignty of individual member states—something Brexit (and potential Nexit) voters seem to be unaware of. It’s a rule that is cumbersome but probably unavoidable. However, this expense is simply impossible to justify. I know France can veto a change, but really, French voters, would you understand our traveling parliament if it was forced not to visit Strassbourg but Rotterdam or Köln? Surely something can be arranged to get rid of this unsellable absurdity.¹
To rephrase and conclude: I understand how it is politically difficult to change this absurd situation. What I don’t understand is this: how the people responsible for allowing to continue this farce year after year, allowing it to compromise the legitimacy of the EG, can live with themselves. (That is, assuming that not all of them are morally corrupt.)
A percentage of people suffer or die prematurely as a result of air pollution, even in developed countries with lots of regulation. Progress in regulating even the worst polluters (vehicles with diesel engines) is slow. Electric cars are still very expensive. However, easy gain could be made with replacing most short range scooter like vehicles, for which electric alternatives exit that are quite affordable. Depending on how one uses the vehicle, total cost may be comparable or somewhat more expensive (replacing the battery seems to be what drives up the cost in the long run). However, the relatively small difference in cost prevents more than 99% of consumers (at least here in the Netherlands) form going electric.²
Some form of incentives (tax, subsidies, information) could change this, but not much like that is happening.
Additionally, I don’t understand the mind-sit of consumers, even in the current situation. Most gas engine scooters make a lot of noise. Even if one ignores the noise pollution toward other people, try talking to a passenger or listening to an audio device. Compare with electric. Also, the exhaust stinks. Loading gas is smelly, dirty, cumbersome. Compare with electric. Just think a few seconds about the air pollution (and noise pollution) and wonder why you would not spend a bit more money and make the morally better choice.
[ to be continued ]
1. By the way, there also seems to be a rule that the “Parliament’s Secretariat (its staff) [is] officially based in Luxembourg”—really? What does that involve then? [ref]
2. Easy availability of fancy electric scooters and bikes might play a role as well, but as soon as more people would buy electric that would change.