"Buy British!"; "Acheter Francais!"; "Buy America!" - These are all campaigns encouraging people to buy products made in a certain area.
Local, national and international institutions make great efforts in promoting these initiatives as they are hugely beneficial to the economy, to the environment, and to consumers.
The EU is the only major regional organizations which does not have an equivalent initiative. Despite the deep crisis, the huge unemployment, and the constant promises for growth policies, this type of campaign, which has successfully created growth and jobs in other regions, has so far has been ignored in Europe.
The USA understands the importance of creating jobs, and knows how to do it.
With 25% unemployment and 55% youth unemployment in some European countries, the EU needs to use every avenue available to decrease those figures. There are alternatives to austerity and ways to create growth, if only there is political will…
CALLS FOR A "BUY EUROPEAN" CAMPAIGN
Ironically, non-Europeans are baffled by the lack of a "Buy European" campaign, despite the recent promises to focus on growth:
“In the US they have a ‘Buy American’ programme and I think Europe should do something similar... [otherwise] it will be very difficult to bring back economic growth and provide jobs”.
These words come from Lakshmi Mittal, an Indian steel magnate. He told the Financial Times that a Buy European campaign would "encourage more purchases of European goods both to boost demand and to ensure any benefits are felt by European industry rather than leading to more imports”
He also added: “If we are seeing no growth [in Europe], then it’s a sign the austerity measures are not working.”
In addition to stimulating the economy, boosting demand, supporting the struggling industry, and creating jobs, there are a number of other benefits to buying products and services from our continent:
There are countless campaigns by environmental organizations encouraging people to buy as many foods, products and services produced as nearby to you as possible.
Naturally, if you buy oranges from a nearby village they only have to travel a short distance to get to you, thus the truck driving them creates very little CO2. If you happen to live in Central, or Northern Europe and the villages nearby don't have oranges (you can't have it all), buy them from Southern Europe and they only have to travel a few hundred kilometers, rather than thousands and thousands of kilometers from South America, Africa, Australia, or New Zealand. Thus reducing the carbon footprint many times over.
Buying stuff from as nearby as possible reduces carbon emissions, which (whether you believe in global warming, or not) are scientifically proven to be very harmful to the environment.
QUALITY AND SAFETY GUARANTEE
"Made in EU" has become an international brand embodying and guaranteeing very high standards and extreme safety.
When you buy products with this logo, you can be sure they will have gone through vigorous checks by countless eurocrats, whose job is specifically to hackle industrialists all day long, over thousands of directives and guidelines on product safety and quality standards coming out of Brussels. And all for the benefit of us consumers.
I must say, in this way the EU has indirectly stimulated the "Buy European" campaign. In addition it has done so not only within Europe, but across the world, as customers across the globe prefer the quality guarantee of "Made in EU".
THE BUY EUROPEAN CAMPAIGN
As European citizens all of us can do our bit, by simply look at the packaging of products for the place of origin.
Every time we do this it directly benefits us, as we can be sure the products are of the highest quality and are as safe as possible, it directly benefits the environment as it saves carbon emissions produced during transportation, storage, packaging, inspections and etc., and it indirectly creates jobs during this difficult time of unprecedented unemployment rates.
The EU has the power to make this into a much larger initiative, with proper publicity and funding, whereupon the benefits of it would multiply a thousandfold and we can at last see a real effort to create growth and jobs.
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