EU markets in everything?

I had never heard about this before:

The controversial practice of picking corporate sponsors for the European Union‘s rotating presidency is to continue, despite an outcry from MEPs.

EU countries have been raising eyebrows by doing deals with increasingly controversial multinational corporations during their stints overseeing debates at the EU council.

Romania’s presidency in the first half of 2019 was sponsored by Coca-Cola, with the US drinks giant’s logo plastered over banners and signs at meetings. One council summit in Bucharest featured Coca-Cola branded bean bag chairs, and a fridge of free drinks plastered with statistics about the company’s contribution to the economy.

Other sponsors of the council presidency have included car manufacturers, software companies, and other firms with vested interests in influencing EU policy.

But hopes that the incoming Finnish presidency, which took the helm this summer, might end the practice, were dashed after it picked German car manufacturer BMW as a sponsor – despite the firm being hit with a fine over its cars’ diesel emissions earlier this year.

Here is the full story, via Jon Stone.


Well, each time Japan gets a new emperor, they create a name for the new era (Hirohito's era was Showa; Akihito's was Heisei, and Naruhito's is Reiwa).

It's just a short jump from that to selling sponsorships for EU presidents.

I'm also reminded of the sponsored names for the years in David Foster Wallace's _Infinite Jest_: the Year of Glad, the Year of Depend Adult Undergarment, etc.

Maybe he was inspired by the EU's practice? Probably not, this article suggests that it started around 2012.

Maybe the EU got the idea from reading _Infinite Jest_?

I also thought of DFW's 'Subsidized time'. That book correctly predicted a good bit of modern weirdness.

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'Infinite Jest' is the standard to all white males 35-50. Always next to their Nirvana Nevermind CD. At least for me that is!

A talented, young, white male author wrote a book mostly about young white male characters. Why is the fact that young white men liked this book surprising or shameful?

Yes, Nirvana was pretty big. What's your point?

Here's a fun one that Tyler the economist and Tyler the foodie would like:

"At the turn of the millennium, when Ferran and Albert Adrià at El Bulli in Spain were inventing molecular gastronomy by spherifying melon juice, France’s great chef du jour, Joël Robuchon, was perfecting mashed potatoes. "

Now that's what I call a love letter from the EU to Big Business. How could this happen in the EU?!?

'How could this happen in the EU?!?'

You could just ask Corbyn, whose apparent pro-Brexit stance is based on his belief fact that the EU is merely a capitalist front.

The EU quite likes big business. Corporatism works well in Brussels (unless it comes up against the green lobby). It's capitalism the EU actively dislikes.

How does one have big business and corporatism without capitalism? Is there a hair-splitting grammar guide I'm missing?

I thought the distinctions between corporatism and capitalism were well known?

The EU likes big business and runs a generally corporatist model. Regulation suppresses domestic competition from start-ups and customs union protectionism keeps everyone else out. Tax competition is discouraged. Immigration, especially low skilled, holds down wages. Unions are generally brought off; especially in the public sector; who cares about the effect on employment? This allows big business to run effective oligopolies and capture a lot of consumer surplus.

In exchange, big business provides lucrative sponsorships, kickbacks, and directorships for politicians, patronage opportunities for their votes, general political support, and soft loans from the banking sector to politically favoured causes.

Competition, free markets, trade, innovation, entrepreneurs, and general capitalism are not so favoured in the EU. Do a quick search of EU policy documents to see how often "Anglo-Saxon capitalism" is decried.

For a long time in Germany, "entrepreneur" meant in no small measure "thief." Basically, someone starting their own company was a sign that they could not contribute to the existing large companies, so they were oddly antisocial and couldn't be trusted. Any gains the entrepreneur makes are gains that should have gone to the large company, which is the flagship for the nation's capability in that industry.

Similarly, acquisition of a firm is done to show that you are superior to the other (foreign) firm, and the next step is to dismantle it.

Incidentally, this is also why you see very few competitors in an industry within the same Continental country. The firm becomes the new nobility and the new vanguard of national hegemony.

Of course it does. The bigger the administrative state, the bigger the incentive for business to try to curry favor with the bureaucratic machinery and big business is best positioned to do that.

You know, the EU is interesting. I think the free trade agreement with Mercosur can help the bloc's beleaguered economy. Argentina is implementing free market reforms, and Brazil is growing 6.5% a year. They can be important markets and suppliers for European countries.

Free speech or corruption?

We do the same thing in the US. We just don't put up banners. If we did the Trump White House would be plastered with billboards telling us to gamble at Adelson's Sands.

Can't tell if you're being ironic, or if you really believe that.

This isn't so unusual.

The Koch Brothers regularly sponsor a rotating governorship

Like Scott Walker's.

You think that Donald Trump's throwing out of paper towels to the Puerto Ricans was an accident.


It was a corporate sponsorship event for Koch's Brawny Paper Towels.

Unlike the post above, I know this one is making fun of people with TDS. Very nice.

The Open Championship started today (in Northern Island for the first time in 70 years). In golf, one cannot help but notice that the players are walking billboards, from head to toe, for which the players receive considerable compensation from the sponsors. Top players receive the lion's share since they are on tv more. Indeed, players seem to create images for themselves that will make their body billboards more valuable. Bland might be the best term to describe golfer public personnas. Does any of this matter? Not really. I still watch golf on tv (no, I don't also watch grass grow). We are a media, entertainment, and celebrity driven culture and have a media, entertainment, and celebrity driven economy (and politics!). It's even a big part of the drive to develop autonomous cars. What? Google is devoting a big part of its autonomous car effort to converting the windshields into billboards. Since Google is mainly an advertising company, one might ask if the autonomous car effort is driven by the desire to improve transportation or to create another platform for advertising? Fore!

"I had never heard about this before": I suspect that you haven't the first idea of what a corrupt and nasty institution the EU is.

Many Americans, of otherwise good intellectual standing, don't understand the EU. They like the "idea" of the EU, from a distance; after all who could object to the declared objectives? And even it's name - why, is it not like the United States, in embryo? Unless they were serious Atlanticists Americans never put the effort in to understand the EU and its malign nature.

Hence they were genuinely shocked by Brexit. They assumed that Brits and the EU were both happy pillars of the same western liberal alliance - what had gone wrong? Now, in the aftermath of Trump as well more Americans are getting smart about the EU (and its increasingly blatant anti-US agenda). About time.

I am not American, but I am shocked by how ineptly the British are takimg care of Brexit.

I am American, from the state of Nebraska in the midwest of the country, and I agree with you. Perhaps the British should ask for help ftom President Captain Bolsonaro of Brazil.

I am also American, and I agree as welk.


Secretary of State, brought to you by Carl's Jr.

Those wacky Europeans!

Nah, the US only has parasitic, free loading client states like KSA and Israel, way above this tacky NASCAR like sponsorship?

How about the White House praising LockheedMartin on its official twitter feed?

"Not only does the @LockheedMartin THAAD missile defense system protect our citizens and allies—it also supports 25,000 American workers!"

This is centrism in action TC, hire more POC/Women DHS agents!

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