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Need Opinions On The European Union  
User currently offlinePendrilsaint From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 685 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2076 times:

Hey everyone, I'm doing a informative speech on the European Union for a college speech class. One of the requirements is that I have to get some public opinion on the topic. Now, I know there are wide and varied opinions on this forum , so I would really appreciate if some people could give their thoughts on the E.U. (Especially those who live or have lived there) Thanks in advance everyone!

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2031 times:

I like EU and support the Euro project. EU has it´s problems but I think it´s the best solution for Europe, even though the farms subsidizeing and surplus
food production is a problem.


User currently offlineJcs17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 38
Reply 2, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2024 times:

I am against the EU for a few reasons

I'll give you my views against it just because you wont find too many dissenting views from mainland-European users.

The Euro: If there was ever a depression in Europe, many EU countries would be devastated because of the reliance on the Euro. No longer can one country enter a recession, if one country enters a recession, chances are all EU nations will feel the effects. For example, if for whatever reason, the French economy goes into a recession, chances are that Germany, Belguim, Italy, and Spain will all feel the effects. However, if individual nations retained their individual currencies this effect would be minimized.

Lack of self-determination: All of a sudden, many parts of national governments are being taken over by a beuracracy in Brussels. A beuracracy which doesnt care about the well-being of the locality as it does the whole EU.

Influence on individual nations foreign policy: Nations are no longer allowed to look out for their best-interests in terms of foreign policy, if they go against the EU they are threatened with expulsion, or will not recieve the votes to even gain entry into the EU. The best example of this was when Jacques Chirac threatened to block a couple nation's entry into the EU when they supported the war in Iraq.

I would e-mail you my ten page paper I did last year in European History, that outlined my reasons against the EU, but its on my other computer...sorry.



America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6451 posts, RR: 54
Reply 3, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2025 times:

Huh, the EU is younger than the US of A, and (still) far less rigid - meaning the individual states are more independent. It is still expanding while the "of A" seems to have got stuck at 50 states.

What else is there to say? Well, Finland and Greece tries the best they can to co-operate the best way to the benefit of both. Etc. Exactly the same as Maine and Nevada. Sometimes they agree, and we hear nothing, sometimes they don't, and all hell breaks lose.

If on the other hand I had to make a speech about the United States of America, then I would run into one hell of a problem after the first 60 seconds. Anyway, Good luck!

Regards, Preben Norholm



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineRyanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3221 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2015 times:

I'm British, living in the Eu and whilst I agree it is theoretically a good idea - especially opening up markets in Eastern Europe, I am against many of the policies for pretty much the same reasons stated by JCS17. Also, the adage 'if it ain't broke, why fix it?' comes to mind.....

Also, like Communism the idea of everyone being equal is great, but like Communism that ain't gonna happen (see France and Germany trying to assert power - at least the Germans mean well which is more than can be said for the French who blatantly disregard rules whilst wanting to be at the forefront of the EU).

Anyway, the Brits have left it late to be a really major EU force as we haven't committed 100% to the ideology, so understandably get left out of a lot of the decision making process.




I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8707 posts, RR: 42
Reply 5, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2011 times:

I like the EU, as you will see clearly when looking at my profile. Big grin

It surely has various disadvantages, such as its huge bureaucracy or the massive bribing that has occured. But without the EU and its ancestors, Europeans would probably be shooting each other again.

I'd love to see the "United States of Europe" come into existence, but I think this will take more than a man's age if it is to happen. At the moment, there are far more regional issues than European issues that people are interested in. Best proof is the extremely low participation in the elections for the EU parliament.

At the moment, the EU still is an economical union, hardly a political one. Again, in case this is to change, it will take a long time; just have a look at the British, for example. They are living happily, on their islands, with their rebate, with their feeling of superiority. In my personal opinion, they're acting rather foolishly; not trying to profite from the opportunities the EU offers, but trying to be isolated.

just my € 0.02



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6451 posts, RR: 54
Reply 6, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2004 times:

Hey Jcs17, couldn't you let also we Europeans read your ten pages about the EU. It would be very interesting to read a Texas view on Europe. VERY interesting!!!

But dear Jcs17, I think that your economic interaction model is maybe a little simplified. Do you also mean that a recession in for instance Arkansas will automatically pull the other 49 states down the drain because all 50 states share the dollar?

And BTW, shouldn't it also work the other way around? But here in Denmark, where economy is booming, it seems to do little good to the suffering German economy these days even if we are as close neighbors as we can be.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineCPH-R From Denmark, joined May 2001, 6000 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2001 times:

Are we booming? I thought the stock market was doing bad thees days (Ok, at least until the AP Moeller group came forward with their expectations for 2002  Wink/being sarcastic)

User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1993 times:

The EU isn't in a recession. There's a percieved downturn, but whether one actually exists is questionable. Yes, shares are down, but that's not the only indication of economic performance. The problem arises when each individual EU country has different levels of inflation yet a common interest rate. However much the European Central Banks wants it, euroland countries don't have the same economy. The dominance of countries like Germany could mean that interest rates are cut to fuel German economic growth (and get rid of the unemployment), whereas countries with high inflation will suffer. Time will tell if it works or not.

User currently offlineGc From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2003, 356 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1987 times:

In Britain the feeling is that we've got a strong economy, so we don't need the Euro (or know enough about it to make a decision) and as we've always had an independent streak (four separate nations on two main islands) we don't react very well to Brussels.Especially when our fishing industry is massacred to make way for Spanish fishermen to fish in Scottish waters. Here in Scotland we've only just got our own parliament (kinda, it's pretty useless) for 400 years, and everyone seems to be getting all tribal again (the welsh as well). I think we need to go a lot further down the road as we've got 1500 years of fighting each other (across Europe) to get over.

User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6451 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1987 times:

Dear CPH-R, the stock market is international, not Danish, not European, but world wide.

I have lost more last year on US stocks than on Danish stocks. And same way Americans who invested in Denmark have lost less than Americans investing in US stocks.

Anyway my Harley Davidson shares are among the better ones, even if they are American.

These day there just ain't no good buyers on the stock market willing to pay the "balloon prices" of year 2000. It doesn't always show the true economic performance of companies. For instance my company posted a 9.2bn$ profit for 2002, which is slightly better than 2000 and equal to 2001. Still our stock value has been cut to little more than half of the 2000 balloon prices.

I was lucky to sell some at balloon prices in 2000. Hallelujah!!! And even better, I didn't buy any 2000-balloon-stocks.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 19
Reply 11, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1984 times:
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The whole idea of the EU is eventually a European superstate, or a federal Europe. The "closer integration" and "common foreign policy" is heading in one direction, a federal europe, and in the process national soverignty is at stake, which is slowly but significantly eroding away from member states. We already have unelected foreign bureacrats demanding the UK hand over bilateral open skies agreement between the US and UK over to the EU, this is only one example, more will follow unless nations realise they are literally giving away their sovereign rights as a nation.

The 'common foreign policy idea is a wild dream, just look at the split in the EU over the Iraq crisis, we have France and Germany going in their own paths, while the UK, Spain and Italy in another direction. Countries have always looked after their own interests first, are still doing and will do so in the future.

Regarding the Euro, a single currency is still unproven, what has it done to the French and German economies? Germany is in a economic mess while the French economy is hardly booming. The UK is still doing fine outside the euro zone and the economy is still strong.

To put it simply, a "one size fit's all" policy will never work.



In Arsene we trust!!
User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6451 posts, RR: 54
Reply 12, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1981 times:

Gc, I go with you. The UK, Sweden and Denmark are the non-Euro countries in the EU, and all three of us have a strong economy, while Euro-land with the large countries up front - Germany, France, Italy - are trying the best they can to bend the Euro rules.

We had a referendum about the Euro five years back. I votes "yes", while 53% said "no". Today I think that I would vote "no". The discipline among the major Euro countries is simply not present, and I think that we are quite lucky to be able to stay out of the mess.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineRacko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4857 posts, RR: 20
Reply 13, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1980 times:

I like the EU. Sure, it has some problems and never will all people be happy with all decisions (Did you agree with everything your parents decided? I remember those democratic 2 parents vs. 1 child votes very well  Laugh out loud), but the benefits are just great. I love to be able to drive to France, the Netherlands or Italy just like I would into the town next door. I can go in a shop there and pay with the same money I use at home. This freedom is ,especially for people like me who love to travel and to see the world, simply great. And, economic-wise, all countries benefit because they can regard not only their country, but the whole of europe as their home market with completly free trade.

And about all those who talk about Germany's economy as a mess, we're the largest contributor to the EU budget, and I think we're the only country which has to integrate and rebuild a country which was destroyed by 40 years of communism.

[Edited 2003-02-26 00:59:08]

User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6451 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1965 times:

Dear Racko, you are very right. I agree with everything you write. And German economy is certainly not a mess. But it is a mess how Germany, France, Italy - plus Portugal accepts to bend the Euro rules.

Germany has two problems, Not alarming, but still problems:
- a too high unemployment rate
- a unbalanced national budget, too great deficit according to Euro rules.

The major problem is that wild promisses given at last elections for the Bundestag make it very difficult to do what is needed - cut public expenses or raise taxes - in order to re-qualify for the Euro rules. Some high ranking politicians including the Bundescancellor have to lose fase to do what is needed.

And about re-building the east: I drove twice last summer all way through the former DDR. I did the same in 1991 and several times in between. It is just amazing what progress has been gained, and what is being done these days. It's a miracle which has happened nowhere else at any time before on this planet. No, "miracle" is probably a wrong word since I know very well that it is rather hard work and determination.

But you should do whatever possible to get at least half of the 4+ million idle people to work as soon as possible. The easy way would be to make it much easier to lay off an employee. German industry is so scared of hiring one extra man because it is so difficult and expensive to fire him again in case it is needed. They rather buy the service abroad than hire an extra man. You will have to work on that problem. But I doubt that it is on the agenda of your government.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineSchoenorama From Spain, joined Apr 2001, 2440 posts, RR: 25
Reply 15, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1951 times:

As a Dutchman living in Spain, I have been able to experience the EU in both countries. I believe the EU as such is not bad at all. I do not believe the EU forms a thread of losing 'national identities', although some EU decisions do affect directly local traditions and festivities (in Spain, the bullfighting is now much more controlled to avoid cruelty to animals and I believe in the UK the ban on fox-hunts also had to do something with the UK, but I am no sure. Maybe some of the Brits here can fill me in on that one).

Spain is a country which has received huge amounts of EU money over the past years and is now slowly becoming a competitive country not only within the EU.

The bad thing about the EU is that, as someone above already stated, it is a very big bureaucracy which spends huge amounts of money to attend endless meetings in which the most ridicule things are treated. I believe that, before any of the former Eastern Europe countries can be allowed to become a member, some reforms should take place to make the EU and its decision-taking much faster and effective and, thus, get the Europeans more involved.



Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!
User currently offlineBmi330 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1450 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1949 times:

If I was to be honest about the EU it gets on my nerves and heavily disadvantages my county Scotland. For a start I feel like its a way for certal European companies to fleece Scotland of job's with there government's help and our government saying its not aloud by EU law to support the "loan" an example being British war ships paid for by the British tax pair being constucted by a French company luckly they didn't win to me that is not acceptable if its for the British navy then it should most defenetlay be build holly in Britain by the British. As you cant see the French letting us build there frigate's. Also EU represtentitives have it very easy and there being there is a waste of time and don't impact our lives much except for absolute idiocy rules that pop up now and again such as banning the bagpipes because there to loud and also haggis because its no suitable for human consumption even though people have eat it for hundreds of years with no problem. Also I remember some Belgin MEP interfering in some Scottish issue that dose not involve him or affect him but had an influence on it as he was an MEP cant remember the issue read it in the paper but. Also I feel MEP's have it very easy and don't try and benefit the community the best example of this was an MEP that came to my school saying she finds it anying going via BHX from GLA but hasn't done anything about it as this was a vital service so I feel she should have been fighting hard to have got the service running again. So I think all Europe is good for is the Champions league and going on holiday to the sun apart from that a complete waste of time in my opinion anyways.

User currently offlineRacko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4857 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1928 times:

Prebennorholm,

your description of the problems sums it up very well. The problem is that our labour unions are too mighty, and they have to much influence on the left-wing of Schröder's social democrats. While our economy minister and the chancellor want to make lay-offs easier, but they face a strong opposition, not from the political opposition, but from the left-wing of their own party. The unions oppose anything that could somehow reduce the rights of employees. As long as the government don't fight new laws through this opposition, I fear that the problems are there to stay.

The other problem is that the unions and interest groups oppose a strong reform of the social welfare system. They all state that they are in favour of a reform, but as soon as it touches some of their rights or interests, they yell: "No way!". In German that's called the St.Florians-principle: "Holy St.Florian, spare my house, burn others down." The social systems have their problems, because millions of east-germans and immigrants can get money from the national unemployment-insurance, health-insurance etc. but have never payed a cent for it. And because some of them make extensive use of it, the fees for the working employees rise, work gets more expensive, and the companies can hire less workers. That's a down-turning spiral we have to stop.


User currently offlineVc10 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1411 posts, RR: 15
Reply 18, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1908 times:

bmi330,
If your standard of written English is common in Scotland no wonder the jobs are going to France


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7957 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1893 times:

I'm all in favor for the EU. It's true, the EU needs more teeth and less bureaucracy; but it's nevertheless the most ambitious and fascinating project today.
Minister Fischer said it well: "We need 'more Europe', not 'less America'."

NoUFO



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineGc From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2003, 356 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1883 times:

"bmi330,
If your standard of written English is common in Scotland no wonder the jobs are going to France"

Hey sassenack, thers nuttin' wrang wi' oor unglish, an' if ye dinnae agree I'll be doon tae yoor hoose an' chib yer heid ye scunner!!

 Smile


User currently offlineVc10 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1411 posts, RR: 15
Reply 21, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1876 times:

Gc,
Now that is what I call good English???? At least I can understand what you are trying to tell me  Big grin


User currently offlineDutchwings From Netherlands, joined Jan 2001, 83 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1852 times:

I think the EU is good, but the European countries have to keep their own identity and culture. There will never be a United States of Europe, the cultures are too different. I think each country has to make it's own rules and laws, they don't have to be made in Brussels like they do now..

User currently offlineBmi330 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1450 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1845 times:

Thanx for the we insult didn't no you cared so much you sad little ass clown have you got nothing better to do than be critical of someones spelling how sad are you. Get a life!

User currently offlineGC From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2003, 356 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1838 times:

Bmi330

Get a grip and cheer up, he was joking! Jeez!


25 Bmi330 : sooooo a dont want to grow up no as if am 25 so am not gonna act like a am or spell like I am ok lol
26 Post contains images Vc10 : Bmi330, Another great post, I did not understand a word of it. When you write a reply you are supposed to be trying to communicate your ideas to other
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