On Thursday, 1 December, I contacted Commissioner Dalli’s spokesman Frederic Vincent via email with the following request:
“Dear Mr Vincent,
according to German press reports, day nannies in Berlin have been contacted by the local youth welfare offices asking them to follow detailed reporting rules as they are to be considered food entrepreneurs under the EU regulation on the hygiene of foodstuffs as of 1 January 2012:
Is this the intention of regulation, in particular in the light of the fact that day nannies are micro-enterprises?
I would be glad receiving a clarification on this matter. […]“
I actually wanted to blog about this topic because it seemed an interesting case either of lazy EU journalism, of mis- or overinterpretation of EU law by national/regional authorities or of stupid effects of EU policies.
I had also contacted the youth authorities in my local district here in Berlin. My request to get the documents mentioned in the press report – a letter from the Germany ministry from 2009, a letter from the regional government from 2011 and the hygiene guide for nannies which refers to EU regulations 178/2002 and 852/2004, apparently defining nannies as “food business operators“ - was answered within one day by the respective press service of the Berlin regional government.
However, in the Commission one does not seem to care even to send me a short reply telling whether my request is deal with or not. It’s funny that EU institutions complain about a lack of substantive coverage or about incorrect coverage of what they do, but when you actually have a substantive request you may get to a dead end.
Or maybe it’s because the request came from a blogger?