Brussels tackles food double standards

The EU Commission has shown understanding with Eastern Europeans who refuse to be fobbed off with supermarket products of inferior quality. The Commission now plans to develop guidelines banning double standards on food products. With this measure Brussels is reacting to a complaint brought by the Visegrád states. The media of these countries are full of praise for the initiative.

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Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

The way to the heart is through the stomach

It's good that the EU Commission finally feels it has a duty to take action, Hospodářské noviny writes in praise:

“Perhaps it sounds exaggerated, but from the perspective of the Czech Republic the future of the EU project has a lot to do with the contents of a tin of spam. We didn't join the EU out of idealism but because we thought that by joining we'd enjoy the same lifestyle as the Germans. Many are under the impression that the West still owes us something. The varying quality of food products embodies this feeling. ... If this becomes a lasting impression, Europe may wait in vain until the calls for joint responsibility and solidarity bear fruit with the Viségrad states. Because also when it comes to love for Europe, the way to the heart is through the stomach.”

Dennik N (SK) /

Companies faster than the Commission

Even before the EU Commission takes action the initiative of the Eastern European leaders in Brussels will bear fruits, Dennik N predicts:

“Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico's mission in Brussels in the name of the Visegrád states has not ended in a fiasco. The people's dissatisfaction will have consequences. The companies that are still supplying these states with inferior products will quickly adjust their production. They can't afford to alienate their customers or the politicians who represent these customers in the long term. They will no doubt change their practices even before the EU Commission begins to work out a Europe-wide regulation.”

Ziare (RO) /

Just excuses from Romania's government

Romania's Ministry of Agriculture has now also reported double standards on food products in a study presented on Wednesday. The government is being far too timid on the issue, Ziare complains:

“The Minister of Agriculture Petre Daea wasn't far from saying straight out that it's normal for us to pay more for many products from the West that contain more fat than the products destined for the markets of more important EU states. And where is he supposed to find the courage to actually name the manufacturers in question? … The eternal excuse of those who govern us was always that our lack of money and our poverty don't allow us to have the same standards as the rest of Europe.”