"I think that one of the reasons why European citizens are stepping away from the European project is due to the fact that we are interfering in too many domains of their private lives."
In many of those areas, individual states were "better placed to take action and to pass through legislation."
Today, however, business returned to normal, with the EU's Health Commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, saying this:
“I am in favor of reducing the use of alcohol in the EU; not only alcohol-related harm, but also use,” he told Laure Alexandre, director of spirits and society at SpiritsEurope, during a conference on chronic diseases, speaking emphatically.
Get that? Not just reducing alcohol-related harm but reducing alcohol consumption. Proof once again that it's not about health.
Is it the EU's business how much we drink? No. Is it their business how much our alcohol taxes are? No. And sadly for this unelected apparatchik, there isn't a lot the EU can do about alcohol consumption, so instead he attempts to, er, interfere in the affairs of sovereign nations...
Further taxation would be a good instrument to fight alcohol abuse, Andriukaitis said, and he asked the European Public Health Alliance to lobby national governments to increase excise duties on alcohol.
“Please send letters to prime ministers of countries which have the lowest level of excise duties, please send letters to presidents, please encourage member states together with me to introduce taxation instruments at home,” he said.
As the European Public Health Alliance is mostly funded by the European Union, this is sock-puppetry at its most blatant.
It seems that when Juncker said that member states were "better placed to take action and to pass through legislation" he meant that they were better placed to take action if the EU was legally prevented from doing so and only after taxpayers' money had been spent on astroturf lobbyists to tell them what to do.
See Euro Puppets for more on the EU's endemic funding on cheerleaders and fake charities.