Why Fraud Happens in Brussels

“It's not that the European Union attracts bad people, of course it attracts some bad people like everyone else, it's that there is such a distance between people and decision makers. There is such a tenuous link between taxation, representation, and expenditure that the system encourages at best negligent spending and at worst straightforward graft. Solution, of course, is to push powers downwards and outwards to national and local authorities, or better yet, to individual citizens.” Daniel Hannan, European Parliament, Strasbourg, November 17th, 2016. Source: DanHannan YouTube channel.
 

Transcript:

Thank you Mr. Deputy Speaker. Man is fallen. Some people in every society in every system will give in to temptation. Corruption is, if you like, not a product of politics, it's the normal state of affairs. The amazing thing that in western democratic societies we've found ways to constrain it, and to incentivize people not just systematically to loot the state. But one thing we know is that you diminish the capacity for corruption when you take decisions as closely as possible to the people that they affect. And this is the fundamental problem with our structures here and in Brussels. It's not that the European Union attracts bad people, of course it attracts some bad people like everyone else, it's that there is such a distance between people and decision makers. There is such a tenuous link between taxation, representation, and expenditure that the system encourages at best negligent spending and at worst straightforward graft. Solution, of course, is to push powers downwards and outwards to national and local authorities, or better yet, to individual citizens.

 

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