'Buy European' would mean even greater inefficiency, cronyism and rent-seeking in the EU
Emmanuel Macron's proposed 'Buy European Act' would in theory restrict the ability of companies operating mainly outside the EU to access public procurement deals. It is also stunningly misguided.
It would starve competition for public procurement contracts, inevitably shunting up the prices paid while potentially undermining quality, to the detriment of taxpayers across the EU. Even European Commission vice president Jyrki Katainen has admitted this would be the case.
It would also encourage rent-seeking and cronyism, as European companies would slash the number of competitors for potentially lucrative contracts, greatly increasing the value of pouring millions into lobbying. Wealthy corporations, EU bureaucrats and lobbyists would be the only winners in such a perverse protectionist system.
Better serving the peoples of the EU nations will requires more efficiency, not less, which in turn requires encouraging competition, not choking it off. Macron talks a good game about supporting free trade and globalisation, but he promotes regional protectionism reminiscent of the 1930s' Imperial Preference. In this, Macron shows himself to be no friend of free trade and free enterprise.
For the the sake of France and the wider EU, ACRE hopes contact with reality improves his big ideas for the EU.