Clash of the regulatory titans

In the Financial Times, George Parker and Tobias Buck make an argument about EU regulation that sounds very, very familiar: Seen from some European capitals, the accession of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007 or 2008 is a worrying sign of overstretch, fuelling fears that the EU is becoming too cumbersome and too diverse to have ...

By , a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast.

In the Financial Times, George Parker and Tobias Buck make an argument about EU regulation that sounds very, very familiar: Seen from some European capitals, the accession of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007 or 2008 is a worrying sign of overstretch, fuelling fears that the EU is becoming too cumbersome and too diverse to have real clout in the globalised world. In Washington there is another view. Senior officials see the latest step in the creation of a behemoth that will use its economic weight to impose European values on the rest of the world, often through excessive regulation. According to Rockwell Schnabel, the former US ambassador to Brussels, Europe is "increasingly seeking to act as the world's economic regulator". Little surprise then that Mr Schnabel's successor, Boyden Gray, is not a career diplomat but a top regulatory lawyer, whose mission is to minimise transatlantic friction between the world's two biggest trading partners. On Thursday Mr Gray set out plans to improve regulatory co-operation between Europe and the US but added: "We're not interested in convergence if it would mean raising the regulatory burden in the domestic US market. "From a US perspective, the main problem is less that our regulations differ than a general sense that Europe is overregulated and that this overregulation is stifling growth," he told the European Policy Centre think-tank... "It is a huge advantage if you are the one setting the standards, because it is always better to make the policies rather than to follow them. That is also hugely important for our industry," says the spokesman for G?nter Verheugen, the EU industry commissioner.Hat tip to Sungjoon Cho at the criminally underrated International Economic Law and Policy blog.

In the Financial Times, George Parker and Tobias Buck make an argument about EU regulation that sounds very, very familiar:

Seen from some European capitals, the accession of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007 or 2008 is a worrying sign of overstretch, fuelling fears that the EU is becoming too cumbersome and too diverse to have real clout in the globalised world. In Washington there is another view. Senior officials see the latest step in the creation of a behemoth that will use its economic weight to impose European values on the rest of the world, often through excessive regulation. According to Rockwell Schnabel, the former US ambassador to Brussels, Europe is “increasingly seeking to act as the world’s economic regulator”. Little surprise then that Mr Schnabel’s successor, Boyden Gray, is not a career diplomat but a top regulatory lawyer, whose mission is to minimise transatlantic friction between the world’s two biggest trading partners. On Thursday Mr Gray set out plans to improve regulatory co-operation between Europe and the US but added: “We’re not interested in convergence if it would mean raising the regulatory burden in the domestic US market. “From a US perspective, the main problem is less that our regulations differ than a general sense that Europe is overregulated and that this overregulation is stifling growth,” he told the European Policy Centre think-tank… “It is a huge advantage if you are the one setting the standards, because it is always better to make the policies rather than to follow them. That is also hugely important for our industry,” says the spokesman for G?nter Verheugen, the EU industry commissioner.

Hat tip to Sungjoon Cho at the criminally underrated International Economic Law and Policy blog.

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner

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