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The EU - Where Are We Going Now?  
User currently offlineWunalaYann From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2839 posts, RR: 25
Posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2661 times:

Hello all,

The past ten years have brought their share of failures on the road to political, fiscal and economic integration, for good and not so good reasons.

So where do we go? Some member states have repeatedly stated they would not accept further political integration (aka supranational government), while others have strongly pushed for it.

Considering it is unthinkable to kick countries out of the EU on the basis of their preference for a status quo (if not a return to more sovereignty), could we envision the creation of a "Super EU", a group of core members willing to share more political decisions?

Issues such as foreign policy (especially at the UN and WTO), agriculture, energy, justice and security have been hot potatoes for a long time. Are they still today? Current tensions on commodities, environmental concerns, migratory flows, etc. are becoming hotter issues by the day and national policies may not have reaped too many benefits in a few EU countries.

Disclaimer - these are not blanket statements, and I am fully aware of each nation's preferences and aspirations. I by no means intend to reduce the debate to the issues mentioned above and all concerns and suggestions are welcome, provided respectful and constructive tones are maintained.

 Smile

Let's go - fire away, let's get the ball rolling.

92 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSWISSER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2652 times:

Tough but interesting topic!

The primary function of the EU is to avoid war, ask any european, even today from Russia to Ireland and he/she will tell you a very personal story what happened to there parents/ grandparents 60 years ago.

My generation and my parents generation are the first ones who haven't seen there hometown completely smashed to pieces at one stage of there lifes, but I do have some pictures of it.

There hasn't been a war in europe for 60 years... that never happened before...
Think about it.


Unite, YES, superpower, NO.


User currently offlineWunalaYann From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2839 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2639 times:



Quoting SWISSER (Reply 1):
ask any european

Don't need to, mate. I am one, and 6 members of my family died in the two WW.

 Smile

Quoting SWISSER (Reply 1):
Unite, YES, superpower, NO.

Understood. But I was not really looking at it from a "let's build a superpower" point of view. I am more thinking in terms of governance efficiency and relevance, and how to deal with global and regional issues. I personally think that to look at global issues, one needs global assets. I just don't think that France is in a position now to have any weight or credit in discussing some of the more acute issues facing the world.

 Smile


User currently offlineSWISSER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2624 times:



Quoting WunalaYann (Reply 2):
I personally think that to look at global issues, one needs global assets. I just don't think that France is in a position now to have any weight or credit in discussing some of the more acute issues facing the world.

Well, the issue with the larger member states is that in today's world they are actually a small player. You can point out France as an example, but so is the UK or Germany.
For them it seems still hard to accept that there imperial times are long gone...

Personally I think the biggest recent political failure was in 2003 for the war in Iraq , when France said no, UK yes, Germany no, Netherlands this, Belgium that etc.
At last we had the chance to come together and make a single decision in the interest of the EU, not as a member state anymore.
And then you know what was going to happen to the EU law, which I actually like.

Then at the same time we still have a lot of political influence from over the pond, like Turkey or Poland and Iraq, all promises made, not by a single EU state, but by some republican war cowboys!
Worrying!

Politically I guess it is very complex, and still a lot of work to do but economically there have been leaps of progress I think, the Euro, free movement of goods and persons, they are very good for all of us.


User currently offlineWunalaYann From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2839 posts, RR: 25
Reply 4, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2613 times:



Quoting SWISSER (Reply 3):
Personally I think the biggest recent political failure was in 2003 for the war in Iraq , when France said no, UK yes, Germany no, Netherlands this, Belgium that etc.
At last we had the chance to come together and make a single decision in the interest of the EU, not as a member state anymore.

That's the thing. I don't think there is any point in trying to shove a round keg in a square box. All member states have potentially differing views on foreign policy. And that's perfectly legitimate.

What I think is at the core of any chance of further integration (provided this is the preferred coursed of action) is the willingness of all stakeholders to accept that in majority-driven decision-making environment, there will be times when they are not individually happy with the outcome.

I think at the moment the main problem is the virtual veto right granted to all member states. Political integration cannot succeed that way. At least it hasn't thus far.


User currently offlineSWISSER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2610 times:



Quoting WunalaYann (Reply 4):
What I think is at the core of any chance of further integration (provided this is the preferred coursed of action) is the willingness of all stakeholders to accept that in majority-driven decision-making environment, there will be times when they are not individually happy with the outcome.

True, and this is where you make the question between superpower or not, it's a pickle.

They have to come at a point where al agreements made are decided in a EU body, with the member states in mind. You might lose or win something this time in your individual interest, but for the whole EU it needs to be a benefit.
Kind of like the constitution worked out in the first place.

Let's see how agreements come along with a unified military, personally I like the Idea, at the same time I can understand as well that the UK and France will have to provide a lot to it... (and from what I heard they already hate the idea) but at the same time have no trouble spending the money with there own wallet for now.

Reforming military's around the EU are already happening for 10 years with interesting results.

The problem as well is where can you see the EU as a citizen except on that blue flag?

One example of this missing unified feeling is in symbols as well, what do we have besides the Euro that makes us visually unified? (even an Airbus is called french)

Maybe a european flag patch on every miltary suit in use in the EU will help a bit already...
Defenitly on decisions to go to a war somewhere...
At least we are all in the same sh*t then and all over the EU they will have to say one yes or one no.


User currently offlineWunalaYann From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2839 posts, RR: 25
Reply 6, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 2581 times:



Quoting SWISSER (Reply 5):
They have to come at a point where al agreements made are decided in a EU body

 checkmark  This is obviously a key issue. And more important is to decide how such a EU body will emerge - weighted voting mechanisms, extent of the delegated powers, opt-out clauses (?)...

Obviously, there are large countries, and smaller ones. I firmly believe in the rule of majority, but I also understand the need to protect minorities on key issues. Which ones are they? How to protect them?

Discuss away!!

 Smile


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 7, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2545 times:



Quoting WunalaYann (Thread starter):
Considering it is unthinkable to kick countries out of the EU on the basis of their preference for a status quo (if not a return to more sovereignty), could we envision the creation of a "Super EU", a group of core members willing to share more political decisions?

Between the power and the money that would inevitably follow the power one way or another, membership of a core would prove immensely attractive and if not attractive enough, just adjust the money a bit!


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2538 times:



Quoting WunalaYann (Thread starter):
could we envision the creation of a "Super EU", a group of core members willing to share more political decisions?

I think you already have that, don't you? Remember Orwell's maxim: All animals are equal, only some are more equal than others.

Isn't federalism fun?


User currently offlineTWFirst From Vatican City, joined Apr 2000, 6346 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2534 times:

Quoting WunalaYann (Reply 6):
Obviously, there are large countries, and smaller ones. I firmly believe in the rule of majority, but I also understand the need to protect minorities on key issues. Which ones are they? How to protect them?

I understand the hesitance to mimic or emulate the U.S. on most things... but I've long wondered why the E.U. doesn't consider having a similar legislative and representative structure as the U.S.'.... a bicameral EU parliament, where one body is proportional by population, and in the other body, each member has equal representation? It's worked for us for 225 years... we had the very same issue when our country began as a union of independent colonies, some large, some small, with cultural variations in between.

What the EU has accomplished to date in such a short time is simply amazing... I think all Europeans, cynical or not, should take a step back and truly consider the unprecedented achievements. I understand the vestiges of national pride and wanting to hold on to local customs, language, etc. but from my perspective, that will never go away. I believe it IS possible to be European first and French, Romanian, Maltese, etc. second. It IS possible to keep your language and culture within a Pan-European identity. A more closely integrated Europe is a more influential and powerful Europe... and personally would make me feel a lot better know there's a single, powerful voice on the world stage, embodying the great European point-of-view on life, to counter the other large powerful voices such as China, Russia, the U.S., etc.

Long live the E.U.

(edited for typo)

[Edited 2008-07-11 07:47:22]


An unexamined life isn't worth living.
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21525 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2527 times:

When talking about "sovereignty" there is one important issue to remember:

Even the larger european nations are too small to defend their sovereign interests on the global stage; The EU is designed to pool national sovereignties into a european one so that our shared interests can have an impact on the global stage again.

Bleating about a "loss of sovereignty" is utterly nonsensical when the big players would simply push one's country aside without the EU (as we've seen many times in earlier years) and only a joint EU can actually defend our interests.

We'd simply be a bunch of bit players in the background without the EU. And of course there are many interest groups who'd love to keep us down there, never missing a chance to sabotage and denigrate the EU at every opportunity.

I just think we should keep our shared interests in sight — nobody else will do that for us if we neglect it ourselves.

Quoting SWISSER (Reply 5):
One example of this missing unified feeling is in symbols as well, what do we have besides the Euro that makes us visually unified? (even an Airbus is called french)

The europhobes in France and the Netherlands have seen to that. The Constitution would have officially recognized european symbols, but exactly those elements have now been stripped for the Lisbon treaty to appease the screeching fearmongers (who have been proven wrong with every single of their horrible predictions before).

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 9):
I think you already have that, don't you? Remember Orwell's maxim: All animals are equal, only some are more equal than others.

It's just completely wrong and inappropriate in this context.

Orwell's story described a group (the pigs/communist functionaries) ascending to authoritarian power after first pushing out the former authoritarian ruler (the farmer/king) with a revolution of all the animals/people.

The EU was, is and is clearly designed to remain a union of equals with every member having a vote. Even with specially enhanced votes for the smaller countries, right now even to the point of a universal veto (with the inevitable destructive consequences).

What people tend to forget is that democracy doesn't mean that only they would have their way, but that they'd have to compromise with all the other voters on decisions. And apparently many still can't fathom the obvious implications.


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2522 times:



Quoting Klaus (Reply 11):
It's just completely wrong and inappropriate in this context.

Orwell's story described a group (the pigs/communist functionaries) ascending to authoritarian power after first pushing out the former authoritarian ruler (the farmer/king) with a revolution of all the animals/people.

The EU was, is and is clearly designed to remain a union of equals with every member having a vote. Even with specially enhanced votes for the smaller countries, right now even to the point of a universal veto (with the inevitable destructive consequences).

What people tend to forget is that democracy doesn't mean that only they would have their way, but that they'd have to compromise with all the other voters on decisions. And apparently many still can't fathom the obvious implications.

We'll just have to agree to disagree about the larger implications of Orwell's maxim, Klaus. The EU is very much a work in progress. We've been going at it for quite a while ourselves.

In our country the mice in places like Iowa and North Dakota have to do some fancy footwork to avoid the dancing elephants of New York and California. Politics is, and ever has been, about numbers and it is about locality.

It's also worth noting that the US is not a democracy, strictly speaking and never has been. It is a constitutional federated republic with a large component of representative government and significant home rule aspects.

Nonetheless, when we start talking about democracy and why it's good for people, it's really the ideas of personal autonomy, liberty, representative and responsible government, and accountability at every level.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21525 posts, RR: 53
Reply 12, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2519 times:



Quoting TWFirst (Reply 10):
I understand the hesitance to mimic or emulate the U.S. on most things... but I've long wondered why the E.U. doesn't consider having a similar legislative and representative structure as the U.S.'.... a bicameral EU parliament, where one body is proportional by population, and in the other body, each member has equal representation? It's worked for us for 225 years... we had the very same issue when our country began as a union of independent colonies, some large, some small, with cultural variations in between.

I think we should indeed look at all the good (and bad) examples available to plot our course.

The big difference is just that the historical and cultural diversity in Europe is far greater than in the USA and the roots of the various cultures reach back over millenia — the USA have mainly been a young nation of immigrants with a strong emphasis on building a new and relatively homogenous society.

I think the proposed subsidiarity principle in the Lisbon treaty is the right approach at this time: Pool structures, mechanisms and decisions on the european level where it makes sense but keep everything else on the lower levels.

I don't think a strong european government would be feasible or desirable at this point; Right now we need to make the EU more accessible, more democratic (the Lisbon treaty was designed to do exactly that) and then re-evaluate the issue in the coming decades (or generations).

Quoting TWFirst (Reply 10):
What the EU has accomplished to date in such a short time is simply amazing... I think all Europeans, cynical or not, should take a step back and truly consider the unprecedented achievements. I understand the vestiges of national pride and wanting to hold on to local customs, language, etc. but from my perspective, that will never go away. I believe it IS possible to be European first and French, Romanian, Maltese, etc. second.

Or the other way around. some people identify primarily with their home region or even just their home community first and foremost. It's a matter of personal preference and perspective.

Quoting TWFirst (Reply 10):
Long live the E.U.

I'm right there with you!  bigthumbsup 

(Flame suit strapped tight, visor closed?  cool  )


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2512 times:



Quoting Klaus (Reply 13):
Quoting TWFirst (Reply 10):
Long live the E.U.

I'm right there with you!

(Flame suit strapped tight, visor closed? )

You forgot your flak vest, tin hat, and asbestos BVDs there fella. Get in uniform.

It's a huge improvement from what y'all used to do with your spare time in europe, that's for sure.


 bigthumbsup 


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21525 posts, RR: 53
Reply 14, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2511 times:



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 12):
We'll just have to agree to disagree about the larger implications of Orwell's maxim, Klaus. The EU is very much a work in progress. We've been going at it for quite a while ourselves.

Orwell specifically directed his parable at people (or groups) who — in the guise of leading people's self-liberation — only have their own egoistic advantage in mind, erecting another authoritarian rule just like the one that had been overthrown before.


The tentative idea of a "core EU" is completely different — it is conceived as an emergency measure if the universal veto for 27 members should succeed in paralyzing the entire union (as expected — hence its abolition in the Lisbon treaty for all but the most critical decisions).

It has nothing to do with erecting authoritarian rule over the minority blocking the brakes; The idea is simply decoupling the blocked wagons and getting the train in motion again if that is the only possible way forward.

Everybody is welcome to participate, nobody is excluded except on their own volition. The central issue is to work constructively, trying to reach positive compromise among all instead of pulling the nuclear option and crashing the entire rig.

The Orwell quote is completely misplaced here.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21525 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2511 times:

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 14):
It's a huge improvement from what y'all used to do with your spare time in europe, that's for sure.

And yet some people would apparently want nothing more than a return to such "interesting" times again...!   

(Oh my — seven years of wasting my time around here today... how time flies...!)

[Edited 2008-07-11 08:33:40]

User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 16, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2500 times:



Quoting Klaus (Reply 15):
The Orwell quote is completely misplaced here.

Happy birthday Klaus - you are probably at least seven years older too!

The Orwell analogy cannot be appropriate absent the EU being formed as a result of revolution. It origins were as close to the opposite of that as could be.

There are no doubt traps in the process of EUizing (I don't really know what it is so EUizing cannot be totally wrong), but they do not include large pigs even if they were to be called Napoleon. Those Germans know too well what to do with pigs!


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21525 posts, RR: 53
Reply 17, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2479 times:



Quoting Baroque (Reply 17):
Happy birthday Klaus - you are probably at least seven years older too!

Thank you... it sure feels more like an entire decade...!  old 


User currently offlineF.pier From Italy, joined Aug 2000, 1527 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2469 times:

Unfortunately we're going nowhere.

User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2465 times:



Quoting Klaus (Reply 16):
(Oh my — seven years of wasting my time around here today... how time flies...!)

How about that. Many happy returns of the day, Klaus.

I have a theory. When someone reaches their fortieth birthday all the people in the neighborhood should gather round him and scream at the top of their lungs "You're too old! Too fucking old! You're decrepit!"

Then, that person could go on about their life as if nothing really happened.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21525 posts, RR: 53
Reply 20, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2462 times:



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 20):
How about that. Many happy returns of the day, Klaus.

Thank you!  Smile

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 20):
I have a theory. When someone reaches their fortieth birthday all the people in the neighborhood should gather round him and scream at the top of their lungs "You're too old! Too fucking old! You're decrepit!"

I don't think that would really help...


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20377 posts, RR: 59
Reply 21, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2399 times:



Quoting SWISSER (Reply 1):

Unite, YES, superpower, NO.

I wonder if a European superpower wouldn't be a good thing. Right now, the U.S. gets to do whatever it wants because we've got all the guns.

Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn't be good if the E.U. couldn't just say: "In fact, we would very much like you to sign that Kyoto protocol" or "You will please keep your busybody fingers out of Iran" or "You will return our illegally captured civilians, please."

It's amazing how a polite request gains some oomph when you have a large naval battle group backing it up.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21525 posts, RR: 53
Reply 22, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2391 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 22):
I wonder if a European superpower wouldn't be a good thing. Right now, the U.S. gets to do whatever it wants because we've got all the guns.

Well, there's an exponentially rising cost to this kind of misuse of military power, as even its most ardent proponents have come to learn in frustration.

I don't see any viable perspective in Europe out-gunning the USA, or even attempting a military threat.

Yes, Europe will need to get its act together militarily as well; No doubt about it.

But the outright destructive acting of the Bush administration has already destroyed most of the american influence in international policy matters. We cannot actually force the USA (or anybody else) to adopt policies the respective sitting government vehemently opposes. But the Bush administration has lost (or rather given up) the political leadership role, and the EU has taken the lead in many such matters, gathering a growing number of partners around it.

As ironic as it sounds in view of the rabid denouncements from certain quarters, the EU has actually set an example of how individual nations can pool their resources in a voluntary, democratic and (mostly) transparent way to achieve goals none of them could attain on their own.

Its success story for the first time in history sets a tangible reality against the belief of cynics who could not imagine anything but a brutal struggle among nations to win the future, with everybody fending for themselves and not giving a damn about the damage to others in the process.

History is not linear, but the EU is the first actual role model which could replace hegemony or colonialism as ideas about how the world can work.

The Bush administration has probably done the world a service by proving that even the biggest military power is rather strictly limited if that's all it knows to use. It doesn't say all that much about the USA (other nations have made even bigger messes, obviously), but it says a lot about the idea that guns alone can make policy. They sure can break it, though.


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2379 times:



Quoting Klaus (Reply 23):
History is not linear, but the EU is the first actual role model which could replace hegemony or colonialism as ideas about how the world can work.

No it isn't but it's still early in the day for the EU project.

Steady growth can mask a growing mountain of ills that emerge as they did in Germany under the pressure of economic collapse. The best social program is a job you can support a family with, and the reverse is what Germany looked like when the lives of working folks went in the shitter but good. In this country at that time we didn't go over the edge into hell but we could damn sure smell the sulfur.

We had food riots and farmers looted grocery stores. A judge in Primghar who signed too many foreclosures was taken out of town to be tarred and feathered but the farmers relented when it was agreed that he had only been doing his job. Farmers poured out milk and burned grain in their stoves because the price it sold for was not nearly what it cost to produce-which is also why we have farm subsidies today that function as a price support. If I ever write a book it will be about Milo Reno and the Farmers' Holiday Association.


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 24, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2361 times:



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 24):
Steady growth can mask a growing mountain of ills that emerge as they did in Germany under the pressure of economic collapse. The best social program is a job you can support a family with, and the reverse is what Germany looked like when the lives of working folks went in the shitter but good. In this country at that time we didn't go over the edge into hell but we could damn sure smell the sulfur.

I presume you mean the Germany of the 20s leading to the rise of Hitler. In which case, comparisons are a bit dicey to say the least as Germany was still having to pay reparations as well as try to recover from being blockaded for 4 years.

Somewhat tentatively, I would point out that the German economy recovered during the 30s, at a time when the US economy still had major problems. In fact you could argue that Germany was responsible for the US recovery when it did come.  Wow! But most of all, pre WW II has ought to do with the EU as she is NOW.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 23):
But the outright destructive acting of the Bush administration has already destroyed most of the American influence in international policy matters. We cannot actually force the USA (or anybody else) to adopt policies the respective sitting government vehemently opposes. But the Bush administration has lost (or rather given up) the political leadership role, and the EU has taken the lead in many such matters, gathering a growing number of partners around it.

Fair point nothing like trying to make good on a threat to show how it has hollow parts if not being entirely hollow.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 23):
The Bush administration has probably done the world a service by proving that even the biggest military power is rather strictly limited if that's all it knows to use. It doesn't say all that much about the USA (other nations have made even bigger messes, obviously), but it says a lot about the idea that guns alone can make policy. They sure can break it, though.

Well it certainly brings the lessons of a couple of WWs up to date and shows that even if a sole super power, the lessons of the WWs largely hold.

The odd thing is that the US (or at least Truman and Marshall, although probably not Morgenthau) seemed to know these lessons better than other countries at the end of WW II but under Bush certainly seemed to have a lapse of memory. And the poor bloody Iraqis have had to pay most immediately for the lessons although most of the US invoices are "in the post".

Quoting Klaus (Reply 23):
History is not linear, but the EU is the first actual role model which could replace hegemony or colonialism as ideas about how the world can work.

And it is going to have to be a walking (well another word actually) disaster not to be better than those two splendid examples of how (not) to do it! I am sure the EU is not an easy act by any means, but you do have the advantage of a low crossbar to "leap" although the previous models were more limbo dancing than leaping.


25 WunalaYann : Correct. Get rid of the CAP as soon as possible!! I agree with you. Although let us not forget that the emergence of the EU is a direct consequence o
26 Dougloid : Do you have something you can point to as source material for this? It seems to me that the economies of Germany and the US were different in a lot o
27 Post contains images Klaus : Those already exist in various forms. No dispute there — in the Netherlands and in Ireland that seemed to be a major factor as well: Without the pr
28 OA260 : Still would have been a NO vote. Bertie Ahern was not the issue on the ground here.
29 Post contains links Beaucaire : I think the EU will in a certain time supersede the Arab Ligue,since it's future in arround the Mediterranean sea.. also look at this thread .. http:/
30 AustrianZRH : I have to disagree there. Most Europeans (if they're not French, and even some of them) call an Airbus a European aircraft. And symbols, like the EU
31 Klaus : Actual issues were not the issue, apparently, so the general level of discontent for whatever reasons always dominates referenda about more complicat
32 OA260 : Yes to me Airbus is European . It is not French, it is also British,Spanish etc.... My national identity will always come first. 2nd I am European.
33 WunalaYann : And it is European to me as well, as I never cease to mention in the Civil Aviation forum. Funny enough, my own general impression of French media on
34 WunalaYann : That's the thing - I have never seen a "EU bureau" in the different places I have lived. I think we are touching another core subject here which is t
35 Paulc : Another thing to consider is that what the people of europe want and the leaders of europe want are not necesaarily the same thing. Yes to stability,
36 WunalaYann : And that's where the idea of a voluntary effort to create a core group of more integrated nations comes in handy. Only of course, at a certain stage
37 Baroque : The only problem there is that the trade policy is close to free between all the EU parties so that would (might/could) mean a penalty. A policy to d
38 WunalaYann : Or the fact that the core group could leave the EU to form their own independent grouping...
39 Baroque : Sir Humphrey would ensure that never happened. Bear in mind that his own main aim is to prevent anything happening! Actually doing something would be
40 AverageUser : Whenever there's the odd popular vote against the federal Europe people the elitist stance is indeed that people: -have missed the real issues, -have
41 Dougloid : Interesting. It seems as if there's a real crevasse in public opinion in the EU.
42 Klaus : If one is really interested there is all kind of information to be had. Of course not budgeted and staffed by the EU (their actually rather limited b
43 OA260 : You are 100% correct.
44 WunalaYann : And he has been doing a great job of it, hasn't he? I know, and you are perfectly correct, at least in France. BUT, as you rightly pointed out, most
45 Klaus : I think that's not really the key deficiency; The problem so far was that the european institutions with the most influence were primarily formed by
46 Paulc : Why should I question my perception of the EU ? - (do you question yours?) it is what it is - corrupt, unaccountable and increasingly unpopular. (not
47 WunalaYann : Do you have any source to corroborate your allegations? Corruption? Based on what? Unaccountable? To whom? Agreed. Although you cannot be naive enoug
48 Paulc : The Santer commission for starters - mass resignations / fraud cases etc The fact that the eu accounts have not been signed off for the last 11 years
49 WunalaYann : Maybe. Now what about national governments? Are they any less corrupt? You yourself mentioned: So why should the EU be any different from the governm
50 Baroque : ?Because they perceived an economic advantage from joining. And ?the perception was correct.
51 Dougloid : Why are the pro EU people so snotty about those who disagree with them? Inquiring minds want to know.
52 Paulc : I believe that the UK wanted to join from the start but was refused entry by CDG (on account the CAP & other protectionist schemes was not fully in pl
53 Baroque : Indeed, we do want to know. However, both sides get pretty snotty it seems to me. Must be the nearest that Europe can come to the US modus operandi f
54 AustrianZRH : Why are the contra EU people so snotty about those who disagree with them? . Always depends on the person's style of discussion, I guess. Snottiness
55 1stfl94 : I think that whether people like it nor the EU will end up expanding and taking more control. European nations cannot stand on the world stage by them
56 Klaus : Of course I do, as with the rest of my views and opinions. Which results in a differentiated position towards the European Union. The key is taking a
57 WunalaYann : So the UK wanted to get in, and now that it has been in for a while, it wants out. Ok. You must admit the logic is hard to get, there... Yep. From 16
58 Dougloid : I think you're mistaken, m'good fellow. Our politics can hardly be called snotty-unless you figger that a knee in the groin and a grubby thumb being
59 Klaus : Indeed... I don't think my "help" would really be needed in that direction... Not the exact words I'd use, but the sentiment isn't that far off... St
60 WunalaYann : They would not be mine, from up close or afar. Indeed, I think that in order to achieve: we need information. And I think information on the successe
61 AverageUser : Can you name any of those infidels? Was an apparatus of "vicious propanda" operating recently in Ireland, by the way? The problem with the top-down e
62 Post contains links Baroque : I suppose I am a bit out, but I only said nearest. Anyway happy to admit almost anything to someone wearing the tricolour. Not(e) entirely off topic,
63 WunalaYann : They may be vague to you, but that is the whole point of a "voluntary" membership into a core group of countries who, after consulting with their peo
64 Baroque : Could easily be.
65 Dougloid : That was a tip o' the old chapeau to commemorate Bastille Day, and a vote of thanks to France for the principle as I stated earlier in quoting Jeffer
66 WunalaYann : The UK had its own Enlightenment revolution a century before France decided to change to stay the same. Only the Brits had the decency not to consider
67 Blackbird : I think the EU is a terrible idea, and any other major multi-national union... it ultimately sets the road to other groups of nations forming unions,
68 Travelin man : Sometimes you just have to live with the results of a vote you don't like. Trust me, as I lived through that in 2000 and 2004. I don't think you can s
69 WunalaYann : Hold on a minute. Have you ever looked at a map of Europe in the 13th century? Or even 16th? Each and every one of the current nation states was just
70 Paulc : "Nobody here said that we should force Ireland or France or the Netherlands to vote again" Maybe not here but Sarkozy has said such a thing re Ireland
71 Baroque : It is, however, much too early to evaluate your story.
72 WunalaYann : If anything, some of the larger EU nations actually should hand over some of their decision-making to the EU, if only to comply with their own obliga
73 Post contains links AverageUser : The power of the Commission does not "emanate" or "derive" from the national governments! A commisioner, after his or her nomination, must by law IGN
74 OA260 : Yep and we all know how good Ireland has been for the EU itself!! Like the hundreds of thousands of Poles/Latvians/Lithuanians benefiting from a pros
75 Dougloid : OK, fair enough, but we use the terms July 4 and Independence Day interchangeably. In fact I think you'uns call it Fete Nationale as well but much of
76 Paulc : Give the lisbon treaty 'NO' by Ireland, the French & Dutch 'NO' to the original constitution, the Dainish 'NO' on Maastrict and the Irish 'NO' on Nice
77 Klaus : The Commission is in fact delegated by the national governments and thus does have an indirect democratic legitimation, exactly like national ministe
78 Post contains links OA260 : Yep 100% correct again mate !! Phone in programs on various radio stations here in Ireland today have secured another NO vote as the irish are disgus
79 AverageUser : Klaus, a word in your ear, you just might want to admit you made an honest mistake or did not check the facts -- I mean if you still want to appear m
80 Klaus : Democratic legitimation is not the same thing as democratic oversight. The german president is elected (indirectly, again), but is after that indepen
81 AverageUser : Why do you want to change the subject, we have not been discussing any presidents (with an essentially seremonial function), we were talking about th
82 Klaus : While you are apparently ramping up the personal attacks again, you are apparently oblivious to the fact that I have not claimed that "the Commission
83 WunalaYann : Not really, no. Remember what Ireland was like back in '73 and pretty much all the way until the early 90s... If you want to talk about welcoming imm
84 Post contains links OA260 : Ireland would have done well anyway. Alot of the economic boom came from trade with the USA and the Shannon free zone. Ireland achieved this success
85 WunalaYann : I certainly don't doubt this for a second, let us make this straight. The question is the definition of "done well", and the various factors contribu
86 OA260 : People always say this but having lived here as a foreigner myself for the last 12 years I have lived through alot of the changes. I can assure you i
87 WunalaYann : And I never disputed that. Not all down to the EU, but there must be a way to quantify the impact of both the EU's input and the result of Ireland's
88 Post contains links OA260 : Very different mentalities and cultures. I would be the first to admit Greeks have been quite lazy compared to the Irish. But on the whole these days
89 AverageUser : According to the statutes it's against the law for a commissioner to receive any direct or indirect guidance from the government that nominated him o
90 WunalaYann : My friend, if everyone abided by the law, there would be no jails... But no, I am not out to force a point down anyone's throat. Much less yours. But
91 AverageUser : Ok, the routine's here once more. The obvious sings of Klaus being in trouble will now emerge. Klaus has been "misquoted". I'm making "a personal att
92 AverageUser : Here's an interesting clip from RTL of Germany of what happens when journalists ask difficult questions from some members of the European Parliament,
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