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loreng59
As an outsider I have been following the constitutional debates with guarded interest.

First off writing a constitution is very hard. Getting enough people on board to support it is even harder. As moif has pointed out it is not a race. This is a very important step and we may not live to an EU constitution passed.

If I lived in Europe I would most certainly disapprove of the constitution for personal reasons. I think the many countries have given up too many rights as it is, and this constitution would complete the task of taking nearly all the rights of the citizens and give the decision making process for almost everything to a group of un-elected bureaucrat in Brussels.

The best government is the least government. A monolithic government entity is not the answer. At least for me.
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bucket
I really thought it would be a struggle in France..but a non?! How wonderful smile.gif And the Netherlands..I was not the least bit surprised. My parent's friend is Dutch and a pilot he goes back like 3-4 times a year and since the adoption of the Euro the cost of things has DOUBLED...can you imagine just wake up one morning and everything costs twice what it did and all the talking heads on your telly are telling you this is progress..this is what we need. No wonder the Dutch voted no at over 60%

QUOTE
I am for an integrated Europe, for it symbolizes a different dream than a neo-liberal American Dream. That new dream is built on solidarity, multiculturalism and peaceful deliberations, not self-centered success, assimilation of culture and forceful imposed ideas. [I know I am drawing it black and white]

There is a lot of talk..and has been for sometime that the EU itself was embattled in a conflict between the anglo-saxon model of capitalism and what I have heard some call the Rhine version of capitalism.

So I would say that in my opinion it is wrong to characterize this as something occurring between the US and the EU. I think it is occurring within the EU itself.

QUOTE
I don't need and don't want a superstate that controls or regulates every aspect of my life. Yet I recognize that a common currency, a common representation and executive can overcome the division of nations and nationalities in Europe. A European identity, based on that ideal of common understanding could not be misused to nationalism or totalitarism as have been so many ideals before.


Yet it could easily be argued that it is in fact being horribly misused. Did everything you must buy double in price after the intro of the Euro? Are you one of the under 25s in France who are astoundingly unemployed by a record 23% ? And yet this is not what the EU wishes to talk about instead this coming meeting in Brussels will focus on the future budget for 2007. ..I seriously question whether either of the men orchestrating this meeting ..Schröder and Chirac.. will even be around 2007.

This breaking or division is not just something we see in terms of nationalism like you wish to portray it as. It is no longer something being drawn of distinguished by and between states. It is being seen within the very states themselves and France..the one to first vote no... is where it is happening the loudest and what I believe will be the profoundest. Look to Mr. Sarkozy and his supporters in the French gov and you will see that this no came deep from within France's own psyche ..not how she wishes or wants to be or sees herself in the EU. This can no longer be blamed or relegated as just Europeans fervently bickering over national identity and superiority. This is a much bigger and far more relevant debate...Europe as a whole is suffering and will the EU address it..it is very unlikely.
moif
Well said Bucket! I agree with you on your analysis. Especially in the light of what I read today at the BBC.

I don't think the Euro-elite want to listen to the truth. They are now busy trying to spin the problems the EU faces into the same old national divisions they themselves so often claim are a thing of the past.

Chirac and Shroeder are busy pointing the finger at the UK and totally ignoring the real problem we face.

The EU economy doesn't work.

Its finances are a mess and have failed every audit and internal standard set. France is skimming the fattest cream off the cake and yet calls on the UK to make 'a gesture'. The living costs in Northern Europe have risen sharply and even in once affluent city's like mine people are now suddenly finding themselves with lesser means with which to live and some families are finding themselves on the poverty line (something not seen in this country for decades).
All across Europe unemployment is rising.

EU democracy doesn't work.

There is no representation in the EU for dissent. No debate as to the impact the EU is having on the millions who don't want it. There is no democracy at the top where the commission holds sway and where EU directives are imposed upon nations where the politicians are out of touch with their electorate and over whelmingly in favour of the EU.

EU foreign policy doesn't work.

There is no consensus or direct representation. The EU spends 8 billion Euro's a year on foreign policy and yet we have no common cause. The foreign policy's of the biggest nations within the EU ride rough shod over those of the smaller nations. The USA continues to dictate its foreign policy over Europe as a matter of course and we must accept their hegemony because our own leadership is inept and divorced from the issues which have the greatest support in the European mind. We are living in a political limbo whilst our self serving, nepotistic politicians continue to ride the gravy train and do sweet FA for their lucrative pay.

The EU desperately needs reform and it needs a debate as to its purpose and calling.

We need to ask, once and for all, what is the EU for?
bucket
Moif I read that article this morning too. And the whole tone of it makes me ill. Neither of those two men..Chirac and Schröder wanted anything to do with the Lisbon agenda..so perhaps Mr. Schröder who claims in the BBC article.."Germany has a habit to stick to agreements concluded and contracts signed" Should be reminded of his own habits. Also the Lisbon agenda is but just one example..altho most glaring..the habit of not sticking to the Stability and Growth pact is another.



Sevac
QUOTE
since the adoption of the Euro the cost of things has DOUBLED...can you imagine just wake up one morning and everything costs twice what it did and all the talking heads on your telly are telling you this is progress..this is what we need

Do you have any empirical proof to underline your assumption? I have heard this debate over and over, it's called Teuro (expensive Euro) in Germany, yet the statistical correlation between the implementation of the Euro and a noticeable inflation is non-existent. So unless you have empirical proof to back up you argument, I can't follow your assumptions.


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Chirac and Shroeder are busy pointing the finger at the UK and totally ignoring the real problem we face.

The UK has done enough to discredit the ratification process by stalling it, although the treaty clearly specifies what is to be done if member states do not approve of the treaty. As I can understand their position about the agrarian budget and the benefits for France and Germany, I also see at what time this debate comes. The UK have not been very keen of the integration process, and now they see their chance to discredit it even further.

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There is no representation in the EU for dissent.

And what do you call the European Parliament? It has a tremendous influence on EU legislation, and it would have had even more with the Constitution treaty in effect. Almost all areas of policy making would have needed codecision by the parliament. The Parliament is directly elected by the citizens of the EU, therefore it has genuine and direct legitimacy.


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All across Europe unemployment is rising.

Nice blanket statement, can you back it up, MOIF? All across Europe? I doubt that.


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The EU desperately needs reform

Look at the constitution. It was designed to reform the EU!!! You may call it half-hearted or neo-liberal, yet it dealt with the most immediate problems. To design a whole new treaty will take years.


QUOTE
EU foreign policy doesn't work.
The foreign policy's of the biggest nations within the EU ride rough shod over those of the smaller nations. The USA continues to dictate its foreign policy over Europe as a matter of course and we must accept their hegemony because our own leadership is inept and divorced from the issues which have the greatest support in the European mind.

I don't understand your criticism. One time you say you don't want a superstate, the next time you state that the EU foreign policy is not working to oppose the USA. It would be working best (maybe only) if the EU were a singular state to the outside:
A common foreign policy can only work when the participating countries overcome their differences and work closely together, when they speak with one voice.

The EU had a common stance towards the war in Iraq, which was opposed by most citizens in the member countries. Yet the "letter of the eight", a statement drawn up dominantly by Blair (Britains were in favor of an invasion of Iraq), Aznar and Kwasniewski, ruined that proposal.
In foreign policy governments will usually look at national interests before they consider the "common good" of the people. That will only change if those member states have no say over their own foreign policy, while the EU is doing that. I doubt you would want that, MOIF?!

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Schröder wanted anything to do with the Lisbon agenda..so perhaps Mr. Schröder who claims in the BBC article.."Germany has a habit to stick to agreements concluded and contracts signed" Should be reminded of his own habits.

He is after all a Social Democrat and has to look for support from his own fraction. He introduced the Agenda 2010, a reform proposal that was designed to reform Germany's welfare system in order to create economic growth. The early elections in Germany are in part a result of the popular uprising that his reform created. So not sticking to the Lisbon agenda might be blamed on the citizens of Germany who oppose his reforms, not him.
bucket
QUOTE(Sevac)
Do you have any empirical proof to underline your assumption? I have heard this debate over and over, it's called Teuro (expensive Euro) in Germany, yet the statistical correlation between the implementation of the Euro and a noticeable inflation is non-existent. So unless you have empirical proof to back up you argument, I can't follow your assumptions.

Ha! First off this gave me such a laugh. Why am I not surprised to hear that some in Europe argue or don't believe in the correlation between monetary policy and economic conditions...and to even go on to claim it has no role in inflation. Do you really need proof that such a correlation exists? I have more than proof to back up such an "assumption"..it is just a basic law of economics. Monetary Policy

QUOTE(Sevac)

He is after all a Social Democrat and has to look for support from his own fraction. He introduced the Agenda 2010, a reform proposal that was designed to reform Germany's welfare system in order to create economic growth. The early elections in Germany are in part a result of the popular uprising that his reform created. So not sticking to the Lisbon agenda might be blamed on the citizens of Germany who oppose his reforms, not him.

Yes right it is understood that he is not personally responsible..it is his politics..and he is a politician. So would you prefer me to say that the government of Germany takes advantage of the EU and has no interest to fulfill the EU requirements and agreements when it goes against what she believes to be her own interests?
I am a bit confused by your comments tho..are you using this sense of national interest as an excuse? Do you feel it is necessary for EU member states to have to take this into consideration? I know I do..but what confused me about you saying this was prior in the debate you were reminding us all of the great importance the EU is and how we have to set aside nationalistic concerns.
Horyok
QUOTE
Bucket
I really thought it would be a struggle in France..but a non?! How wonderful  And the Netherlands..I was not the least bit surprised. My parent's friend is Dutch and a pilot he goes back like 3-4 times a year and since the adoption of the Euro the cost of things has DOUBLED...can you imagine just wake up one morning and everything costs twice what it did and all the talking heads on your telly are telling you this is progress..this is what we need. No wonder the Dutch voted no at over 60%


The increase in the cost of life and the Constitution were not linked. Recent analysis suggest that French people expressed more of their anger at the government than a fundamental mistrust in the idea of Europe and the existence of the EU. In regard to these elements, I don't understand why this is "wonderful".

On the other hand, it's true here that prices have increased. They have increased especially on food, and sometimes to dramatic levels. But is it a consequence of the decisions of the European Central Bank? Further so, is it the EU's fault or responsibility? I don't think so. To me, it's the supermarkets that raised the prices, not Brussels.


QUOTE
Moif
EU democracy doesn't work.


What exactly doesn't work, Moif? Sevac already pointed out the European Parliament, where deputies are elected democratically. There are other ways too, like the European Ombudsman, for instance.

Now, I agreed with you in previous posts that there is a lack of direct democracy in the way the EU works. There is also in my opinion a mega problem with our national elites and representatives! I admit all of the above. But I can't let you say that the EU democracy doesn't work.

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Moif
EU foreign policy doesn't work.


It COULD have made some progress if the EUC had been adopted. whistling.gif

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Moif
Chirac and Shroeder are busy pointing the finger at the UK and totally ignoring the real problem we face.


I'm not going to excuse Chirac or Schröder here. They are responsible for their political choices and their consequences. What I want to understand is what exactly is the "real problem we face", Moif? Because maybe my "real problem" as a European is not yours.

In other words, I understand again that the EU needs reform. But to become what? To serve what interests? To represent what? The reason for EU's current backfire is not a surge of democracy from our representatives, it's the paramount of national self-interests!!! Look at the Budget meeting taking place in Brussels at the moment! What good are we getting from that as citizens, Moif?

QUOTE
Moif
We need to ask, once and for all, what is the EU for?


My answer for you : the EU is for Europeans. Boom. Loud and clear.

Here is a link to a page in French. You can translate it with BabelFish if you like : Ce que l'Europe a déjà fait pour nous - What Europe has already done for us. Hopefully, the translation will give you the important elements you need to consider before you ask your question again.
bucket
Horyok if you read my post again you will see that I linked the economic suffering to the constitution vote for the Netherlands...as I feel this was a major factor for how they voted.

In regards to France I said..."It is being seen within the very states themselves and France..the one to first vote no... is where it is happening the loudest and what I believe will be the profoundest. Look to Mr. Sarkozy and his supporters in the French gov and you will see that this no came deep from within France's own psyche ..not how she wishes or wants to be or sees herself in the EU."

Obviously I do acknowledge that it was more of internal struggles than anything else. I am not the one claiming the French voted no because of anything else other than what is going on inside France...and the French political psyche. In fact that is my argument against Sevac..he claims that nationalism and fear of integration etc. led the no vote in France and I completely disagree. And yes I must admit I do find this a bit wonderful...perhaps the people of France will start to make the much needed changes in their system so that their nation can enjoy prosperity again.

QUOTE
On the other hand, it's true here that prices have increased. They have increased especially on food, and sometimes to dramatic levels. But is it a consequence of the decisions of the European Central Bank? Further so, is it the EU's fault or responsibility? I don't think so. To me, it's the supermarkets that raised the prices, not Brussels.


Ok this refusal to accept the idea that a monetary policy effects inflation was amusing at first but is now turning a wee bit disturbing. Yes the ECB is responsible...the point of having an ECB is so you can attempt to exert some control on the markets and try to influence how they react to different stimuli or conditions of the market. If it was just a matter of price gauging that has been effecting Europe and inflicting her with "persistent inflation" then perhaps wouldn't the ECB be able to easily correct such a trivial factor? And would such a thing as local price gauging have such widespread and "persistent" effects on the economies? You know what also went up don't you? The Euro itself. Do you think such a sharp climb in currency value..one of the most basic controls of the ECB..might have some role in inflation too? Or are we going to blame the poor shopkeeper down the street instead?
All this chatter about how Europeans are tiring of the political elitists is just simply not true it is obviously no where near as a pervasive ideal as some wish it was. It's just mindless dinner talk..fashionable..%$&*! the Euro-elite and pass the peas. In reality most of the continental Europeans still uphold their political establishments to a far higher ideal than they do their businessmen..and that is a very worrying..and persistent...problem.
Any sign that this might be changing, weakening and beginning to balance itself is yes in my view...wonderful.
Ptarmigan
QUOTE]What exactly doesn't work, Moif? Sevac already pointed out the European Parliament, where deputies are elected democratically. There are other ways too, like the European Ombudsman, for instance.
[/QUOTE]Horyok

Yes, but the European Parliament is just one powerful of the 5 main bodies that makes up the EU. It is also the only truly democratic body. The parliament can advise Link and has some powers - but they are shared with unelected bodies, including the Commission, which is manned by appointees. Also, as it is composed of meps from a large number of different countries, it has not evolved a party system that would allow MEPs to vote in concordance. As a result, it rarely makes decisions....

In truth, the Commission makes most / all of the actual decisions affecting the running of the EU and the Council works out the actual details of the various international agreements within the EU. The Council is democratic in that it is where the various presidents, prime ministers etc convene, however the Commission certainly isn't.

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In other words, I understand again that the EU needs reform. But to become what? To serve what interests? To represent what? The reason for EU's current backfire is not a surge of democracy from our representatives, it's the paramount of national self-interests!!! Look at the Budget meeting taking place in Brussels at the moment!


Yes, but if the EU is to be an effective organisation that lasts, then all the members must feel that it is in their benefit - that their self interest is being served. Selfish - sure - but human nature, nonetheless.



Sevac
QUOTE(bucket @ Jun 16 2005, 03:42 PM)
Ha! First off this gave me such a laugh.   Why am I not surprised to hear that some in Europe argue or don't believe in the correlation between  monetary policy and economic conditions...and to even go on to claim it has no role in inflation. Do you really need proof that such a correlation exists?  I have more than proof to back up such an "assumption"..it is just a basic law of economics.  Monetary Policy
*


I have asked you for empirical proof that the implementation of the EURO has lead to an increased inflation. I did not argue that the ECB has no influence with its monetary policy on the EURO or the inflation.
The statistics I know show that there is no increased inflation since the 1st of January 2002 that could be linked to the implementation of the EURO. The prices for some products have increased, others fell. The overall prices surely did not double.


QUOTE(bucket @ Jun 16 2005, 03:42 PM)
Yes right it is understood that he is not personally responsible..it is his politics..and he is a politician.  So would you prefer me to say that the government of Germany takes advantage of the EU and has no interest to fulfill the EU requirements  and agreements when it goes against what she believes to be her own interests?  
I am a bit confused by your comments tho..are you using this sense of national interest as an excuse?  Do you feel it is necessary for EU member states to have to take this into consideration?  I know I do..but what confused me about you saying this was prior in the debate you were reminding us all of the great importance the EU is and how we have to set aside nationalistic concerns.
*


I cant follow your statement. Schröder's policy is coherent with the Lisbon agenda, and the majority of Germans see the reforms that followed that agenda as one reason to vote him out of office. What part confuses you?


QUOTE(Ptarmigan @ Jun 17 2005, 06:07 PM)
Yes, but the European Parliament is just one powerful of the 5 main bodies that makes up the EU. It is also the only truly democratic body. The parliament can advise Link and has some powers - but they are shared with unelected bodies, including the Commission, which is manned by appointees. Also, as it is composed of meps from a large number of different countries, it has not evolved a party system that would allow MEPs to vote in concordance. As a result, it rarely makes decisions....

In truth, the Commission makes most / all of the actual decisions affecting the running of the EU and the Council works out the actual details of the various international agreements within the EU. The Council is democratic in that it is where the various presidents, prime ministers etc convene, however the Commission certainly isn't.
*


Yes, but to elect a Commission by the Parliament could also be another step of building a European "superstate", for most people would recognize an elected government by an elected Parliament the structure of a common parliamentary system. I agree with you that there needs to be more participation, but I also see the problem that critics could point at the "doombringing" and feared superstate that is created in the process.

---

Well, yesterday the EU stood in front of the abyss, today it is gone one step further.

QUOTE
"We are in one of the worst political crises Europe has ever seen".
:link.
If they can't decide over the budget, how are they supposed to agree over another drafted treaty?
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Horyok
Bucket :

Okay, I've read your post again and I should have been more careful. I didn't understand that this part in your post was destined at the Netherlands specifically...

In response to your recent comments, I have several observations to make :

1. Yes, it's wonderful that the people in France are rejecting their political system, for it obviously doesn't work anymore. We have made a 10% unemployment the norm here... we are way too assisted, and that needs to change. We both agree that this is "wonderful". As to see how the changes will be implemented, that's another story... ermm.gif

Thus being said, and in this specific perspective, I don't think that the rejection of the EUC that is the consequence of the vote is wonderful in itself. I've read the whole constitution (several hundred pages) and I know that it contained obvious democratic progress for all European citizens. That's why I don't think that the vote that was casted was wonderful at all. unsure.gif

2. I do not refuse the impact of the ECB on the rise of the Euro. All I was saying is that the places where we shop have an impact on the retail prices too. (Thank God for that) Therfore, they can decide to lower some prices and raise others. My personal observation as a consumer is that prices have increased since the arrival of the euro, but not only because of the ECB policies or a weak American dollar. Ask French people in the streets and you'll be convinced! laugh.gif

Also, if I'm not mistaken, I recall that the EUC was introducing some control by the eurostates over the ECB, for it's seriously lacking it at the moment. Maybe if we could harness the ECB a bit, that could help us a lot in setting easier economic growth. But I'm no economist, so the result could be exactly the opposite (especially when politicians mess with it). wacko.gif

Ptarmigan :

The Commission is made of members that are elected democratically by the citizens of their countries of origin or appointed by someone who was democratically elected. At least, that's the way it is for France. There is democracy here, although I admit it's not through direct, universal vote. For the record, the EUC was introducing reforms on that matter.

QUOTE
Yes, but if the EU is to be an effective organisation that lasts, then all the members must feel that it is in their benefit - that their self interest is being served. Selfish - sure - but human nature, nonetheless.


Your view is correct in the sense that all countries want to benefit from the Union. However, this attitude is counter-productive because the union cannot rely and survive ONLY on self-interest of its members. Like in any union (like marriage for instance), you have to make sacrifices and sometimes go out of your way to make it work. The greatest reward is to achieve success TOGETHER, not to pull the cover and profit from one another. Until we understand that, the EU will fail, just like any other union where people think of themselves first.

Sevac :

Your point raises the dreaded question as to know how much Union we want. I have already expressed my opinion that only a EU state could muster and organize the life of 450 million people, "united in diversity". I don't expect to see it born in my lifetime, but my gut feeling tells me it's the only way to succeed.
moif
QUOTE(Horyok)
What exactly doesn't work, Moif? Sevac already pointed out the European Parliament, where deputies are elected democratically. There are other ways too, like the European Ombudsman, for instance.
Its not the parliament that I lament Horyok. Its the distance between those that make the decisions and the new laws and the people they are supposed to be representing. There is no representation in the EU for any one who is a sceptic, no understanding or empathy for the reluctance of those millions of Europeans who do not wish to be citizens of the EU. The EU is a federal super state being built on the backs of millions of unwilling future citizens and that fact was as clear as day in the recent referenda. The people of Europe, however much they might like the idea of a united Europe, are now witnessing the reality, the arrogance and the naked corruption and are voting accordingly.

The EU is not a democratic union. It has survived because the political elite in Europe has conspired to create a dream of a federal super state to regain the power that Europe once held (it can hardly surprise any one for example that the two most ardent EU nations are France and Germany) and in order to create this, the political elite of Europe does not debate the reason for the EU.

Instead we are offered the usual empty rhetoric regarding 'unity' and 'peace' and the 'free flow of trade', as if these things are only possible under a frame work that will blaze the trail for the EU super state. As if these things are the automatic precursor to super power status.

Perhaps its just me and my small nation perspective, but frankly, I don't see anything here but old mutton dressed like lamb. Its the same set of national interests that are pushing each other around now, just as they have been doing for the last several centuries.

Unity? Don't make me laugh!


QUOTE(Horyok)
Now, I agreed with you in previous posts that there is a lack of direct democracy in the way the EU works. There is also in my opinion a mega problem with our national elites and representatives! I admit all of the above. But I can't let you say that the EU democracy doesn't work.
It doesn't work because no one votes. Have you seen how few people actually vote for the MEP's?

Its no good saying that people have the option to vote and therefore thats a democratic process. There has to be something actually worth voting for lest this 'democracy' is nothing but a similar fiction to the circus performance that is the US presidential elections.

Where is the choice? 90% of Europe's political parties support the EU and those that don't are either nationalist extremists or marginalised protest parties with no experience, no money and no chance to make a difference against the overwhelming tyranny of the Eurocratic elite.


QUOTE(Horyok)
It COULD have made some progress if the EUC had been adopted.  whistling.gif 
No.

All that would have done is remove the decision making process one step further from the people of Europe. The EU would have had a foreign policy, yes, and that person* would have represented the wishes and desires of the European Federal super state in all but name. The people of Europe, just as they are being now they have dared to vote against the wishes of the ruling elite, would be ignored.

The Eurocrats are trying to reduce us to the level of the Americans, to being powerless spectators, unable to bring any influence what so ever to bear upon the politicians that 'represent' us whilst they act in 'our best interests'

What Europe needs is a foreign policy that represents the wishes and desires of the people of Europe, not the vested interests and nepotistic agenda's of the Eurocrats and the new nobility of finance that stands behind them.


QUOTE(Horyok)
I'm not going to excuse Chirac or Schröder here. They are responsible for their political choices and their consequences. What I want to understand is what exactly is the "real problem we face", Moif? Because maybe my "real problem" as a European is not yours.
The real problem we face, whether you think it or not, is the division between those who are blindly in favour of the EU, come what may, and the rest of the population of Europe.

The Europhiles have allowed themselves to be blinded by the holy grail of unification and are prepared to sell and destroy everything that makes and made Europe what it is in order to further that goal.

They are the grass roots support of the EU movement, without whom the union could never have happened. They have supported it faithfully and blindly for decades. They have ignored the corruption, ignored the nepotism and ignored the ever byzantine spending. In all the years of its existence the EU has been a global example of just how fat a fat cat can get whilst riding the great EU gravy train.

Today, the whole union rests on a foundation that is utterly rotten to the core. Our military's lag painfully behind the USA, our industry's are a joke and we have no cutting edge technology or science that is not in some way connected to the US military industrial complex any more. Our farmers are a global disgrace who are only able to survive because the CAP channels billions and billions of Euro's back to the farmers, rewarding them for being unable to survive on a level playing field and leaving us weaker and weaker with each passing year.

It is Darwin in reverse.


QUOTE(Horyok)
In other words, I understand again that the EU needs reform. But to become what? To serve what interests? To represent what? The reason for EU's current backfire is not a surge of democracy from our representatives, it's the paramount of national self-interests!!! Look at the Budget meeting taking place in Brussels at the moment! What good are we getting from that as citizens, Moif?
With all due respect Horyok, the current argument regarding the UK rebate has nothing what so ever, to do with the EU constitution and its rejection by France and Holland... except in as much as this is Chirac's feeble attempt to pass the buck.

The reason for the 'backfire' is plain and simple. The majority of the people of Europe do not want to live in a federal EU super state.


QUOTE(Horyok)
My answer for you : the EU is for Europeans. Boom. Loud and clear.
Yeah? And what does that mean?


QUOTE(Horyok)
Here is a link to a page in French. You can translate it with BabelFish if you like : Ce que l'Europe a déjà fait pour nous - What Europe has already done for us. Hopefully, the translation will give you the important elements you need to consider before you ask your question again.
Sorry dude, I don't read French and I can't be bothered reading a bad translation.

If its anything like the stuff we get here in Denmark though, then I've probably already seen it all before and it means nothing to me. You can give me everything I could ever possibly desire and all the benefits and tech toys and protection of modern science and what will it benefit me? I don't need to be richer, to get fatter or to live in comfort all my life. I can manage quite well, just as my parents and grand parents did before the EU came along to save us from the horror of not having as much money as the Americans.

All I want from the EU is a real consensus. Plain and simple. I'd be all in favour of the EU if it had the consensus of a broad democratic support.

However, looking at the calibre of self serving, arrogant bastards who are currently running the union, then I'm not going to vote for any of them or anything they propose.

When I see honest representation of the wishes of the people of Europe, regardless of whether or not it fits my personal bias, then and only then will I vote in favour of the EU.


* And like as not they'd have made that miserable excuse for a human being, Joschka Fischer foreign minister! mad.gif
bucket
QUOTE(Sevac)
I have asked you for empirical proof that the implementation of the EURO has lead to an increased inflation. I did not argue that the ECB has no influence with its monetary policy on the EURO or the inflation. 
The statistics I know show that there is no increased inflation since the 1st of January 2002 that could be linked to the implementation of the EURO. The prices for some products have increased, others fell. The overall prices surely did not double.


Oh come on you and I and all of the others here participating in this debate know full well that the implementation of the EURO, the ECB and the EMU did not just happen on 1-1-02.


When I made my first posting I clearly stated that the massive rise in inflation was in the Netherlands..and this is very much true. The Netherlands suffered the highest rates of inflation during the whole Euro implementation. Price inflation was and continues to be a hot political topic in NL and I believe it played a major role in the EUC vote. Many products or goods in the Netherlands did make massive leaps and bounds in price. This is the nature of price convergence...it happens in a big way in only certain places.

Here is a yearly assessment for 2002:

QUOTE
"The inflation rate in the Netherlands was 3.2% in December 2002, the same as in November. This brought the average inflation rate for the year 2002 to 3.5%. The only times devaluation was higher since 1982 were in 1991 (4.0%) and 2001 (4.5%). In 2001 about 1% of the inflation was caused by government measures. In January 2002 this price-increasing effect disappeared, reducing inflation by almost 1%. However, other price developments, such as those in fresh fruits and vegetables, produced a 0.5% increase. In January of 2002, the inflation rate was 4.0%. Then it fell rather fast to 3.3% in May. Between May and October, it stayed between 3.3% and 3.5%. Despite the fact that the inflation rate in 2002 was lower than in 2001, many people felt that prices increased more in 2002. This may well be due to the strong price increases in everyday shopping articles. The price development of a number of recurring expenses, including rent, was lower than the average price development. The introduction of the euro may have had some influence on perceived inflation. According to the harmonised consumer price index (HICP) the inflation rate averaged 3.9% for the Netherlands. The Netherlands has one of the highest inflation rates within the Eurozone. The average inflation rate for the Eurozone as a whole was 2.2% in 2002. There are rather great differences between Eurozone countries. The lowest average inflation rate was observed in Germany (1.3%).
source

And I don't think inflation should be or was the biggest concern in the EU..I just think it was in regards to the NL and how and why they voted the way they did.

Regardless I just don't get the distinction you make in your argument. I don't know how the intro of the Euro is not a part of the monetary policy of the EU. Wasn't the ECB introduced when the EU cash was? Didn't these two kind of come packaged together? They even have terms for it..monetary union or currency zone. What is the EUC exactly? I just can't view these seperately..and to be honest I see no reason to..even when asked. The fact the EU is united under one currency is it's biggest and most influential factor in it's economy...and sadly one of it's only. So other than the Euro and the ECB's control of it...what other economic conditions are as cohesive and uniformily controled within the EU? What other policy could we look to or lay blame with?

So please share with us your alternative view.

Ahh..but you want my proof. Well without going into a huge presentation about currency exchanges, price level convergences, competiveness, devaluation tactics and the rest of it and without lamenting on how anyone can excuse a massive unification of currency such as seen with the Euro as having any effect on participating economies...let me just look to current events to give us some glimpse into what will probably break the EU into pieces...
QUOTE
Although the ECB vice-president did not mention countries, Italy's plunge into recession this year is widely blamed on its loss of competitiveness and inability, as in the past, to use devaluation as an escape route. Luigi Buttiglione at Rubicon Fund Management said Mr Papademos's remarks would fuel "some doubts about the sustainability of monetary union".

*crack*

Or maybe this ...

QUOTE
Mr Papademos said that at the time of the single currency's launch observers saw it as a "reform whip" to encourage competition, productivity and market flexibility. But a paper to be presented on Friday at the ECB conference suggests the opposite. 
 
Romain Duval and Jorgen Elmeskov, economists at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, say "the absence of monetary policy autonomy seems to be associated with lower structural reform activity in large, more closed economies".
source
Ohhh really...hm. interesting don't you think? The proposed objective of the Euro was to bring about unity..one economy....how could it be having the exact opposite effect?

And now that you have all gone off and gotten the British angry.. things ought to get very interesting.
"I'm not prepared to have someone tell me there is only one view of what Europe is, and that is the view expressed by certain people at certain points in time," Mr Blair stormed. "Europe isn't owned by anybody; Europe is owned by all of us.
Thank you Mr. Blair.

QUOTE(Sevac)
I cant follow your statement.  Schröder's policy is coherent with the Lisbon agenda, and the majority of Germans see the reforms that followed that agenda as one reason to vote him out of office. What part confuses you? 

Schröder's policy is most certainly not coherent with the Lisbon agenda.
He flaunts the growth requirements and even went to so far to be rid of any sort of consequence for doing so. He has one of the highest unemployment rates in the Eurozone..and that is another no-no according to the Lisbon agenda. Each of which happen to be the core requirements or goals of the Lisbon agenda..growth and employment.
Horyok
Its not the parliament that I lament Horyok. Its the distance between those that make the decisions and the new laws and the people they are supposed to be representing. There is no representation in the EU for any one who is a sceptic, no understanding or empathy for the reluctance of those millions of Europeans who do not wish to be citizens of the EU. The EU is a federal super state being built on the backs of millions of unwilling future citizens and that fact was as clear as day in the recent referenda. The people of Europe, however much they might like the idea of a united Europe, are now witnessing the reality, the arrogance and the naked corruption and are voting accordingly.

I completely agree with you on the distance issue. I think I made that clear in my previous posts.

About the representation of sceptics in some way or another, I think the EU Parliament has its share of Eurosceptic parties or MP members. I believe they work actively to see their views and ideas defended properly.

Now, if you're talking of the creation of a completely independent body like the "Anti-Commission" for instance, I don't see how it could be done. Furthermore, I don't know how it could affect or bring more democracy to the system, since all the European representatives (at the Commission, Parliament) already represent their electorate.

The EU is not a democratic union. It has survived because the political elite in Europe has conspired to create a dream of a federal super state to regain the power that Europe once held (it can hardly surprise any one for example that the two most ardent EU nations are France and Germany) and in order to create this, the political elite of Europe does not debate the reason for the EU.

I think the word "conspire" is too strong and that your presentation is going too far.

The very beginning of the EU comes from the idea that countries of Western Europe (Germany, France, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy) would gain a lot for their respective economies to ease the barriers at customs between them. National parliaments debated about this decision before it was validated. It's true that the people of these countries didn't vote, but their representatives did.

More comments :

1. There is no superstate. There is an Union which can be described at best as a Confederation.

2. Europe was the most powerful continent in the 19th century, that's true. However, France, Great Britain and Germany (in the 20th century) were at open war for the dominion of the world. For the record, the official treaty of peace between France and GB was signed in 1904 only! In this perspective, the EU is a completely different and opposed project.

3. The political elite (I prefer the term "our democratically elected representatives") didn't feel the need to explain the EU to its citizens and that's a grave mistake.

Now, the majority of our representatives agree that in an ever-changing world, where other world powers use their might and influence, it is better to work as a team rather than stand alone, to make our voices heard and defend the interests of the European people. As such, there is no reason to debate the reason of the EU, because it's right there.

Instead we are offered the usual empty rhetoric regarding 'unity' and 'peace' and the 'free flow of trade', as if these things are only possible under a frame work that will blaze the trail for the EU super state. As if these things are the automatic precursor to super power status.

Well, you can't say that these things are not helping at least , can you?

It doesn't work because no one votes. Have you seen how few people actually vote for the MEP's?

I don't agree. It works BUT no one votes. That's so typical of people complaining that their representatives don't do the politics they want when they didn't go to vote in the first place!

Its no good saying that people have the option to vote and therefore thats a democratic process. There has to be something actually worth voting for lest this 'democracy' is nothing but a similar fiction to the circus performance that is the US presidential elections.

That's the whole idea Moif! If you want something worthwhile to happen, use your influence on your representatives and VOTE first, then expect results in your favor. It doesn't happen otherwise. And if it did, it wouldn't be representative democracy. Now, if you really want to have more grip on the system, you should get elected as a representative yourself.

Where is the choice? 90% of Europe's political parties support the EU and those that don't are either nationalist extremists or marginalised protest parties with no experience, no money and no chance to make a difference against the overwhelming tyranny of the Eurocratic elite.

Once again, there is no Eurocratic elite. There are only voters who would do a good job at kicking themselves in the rear and participate in the democratic process instead of complaining about the EU.

All that [the EUC] would have done is remove the decision making process one step further from the people of Europe. The EU would have had a foreign policy, yes, and that person* would have represented the wishes and desires of the European Federal super state in all but name. The people of Europe, just as they are being now they have dared to vote against the wishes of the ruling elite, would be ignored.

Are the Danes consulted when the Danish minister of Foreign affairs speaks in the name of his country? I don't think so. Therefore, I don't see how it's shocking if the people of Europe were not to be consulted if the European minister of Foreign Affairs was to speak in the name of the EU.

The Eurocrats are trying to reduce us to the level of the Americans, to being powerless spectators, unable to bring any influence what so ever to bear upon the politicians that 'represent' us whilst they act in 'our best interests'

There are no Eurocrats, Moif. There are 25 European countries represented in each body of the Union. They are the ones responsible and accountable for what's going on.

What Europe needs is a foreign policy that represents the wishes and desires of the people of Europe, not the vested interests and nepotistic agenda's of the Eurocrats and the new nobility of finance that stands behind them.

You speak as if you had been reaped of your right to choose what's best for you. That is no so. You have the power to vote, even if your vote is only one in 450 million. If you loose your trust in the fact that democracy can defend you, then I think it's time you call for a different system. But I know I won't be part of it.

The real problem we face, whether you think it or not, is the division between those who are blindly in favour of the EU, come what may, and the rest of the population of Europe.

I don't see the world in black and white. When it comes to the EU specifically, I believe there is a mosaic of various feelings within the population. I am not blind and I know that mistakes have been made. But I know also that mistakes can be repaired and that improvements can be made if that's what the majority wants.

The Europhiles have allowed themselves to be blinded by the holy grail of unification and are prepared to sell and destroy everything that makes and made Europe what it is in order to further that goal.

Can you give me sensible examples about selling and destroying everything?

They are the grass roots support of the EU movement, without whom the union could never have happened. They have supported it faithfully and blindly for decades. They have ignored the corruption, ignored the nepotism and ignored the ever byzantine spending. In all the years of its existence the EU has been a global example of just how fat a fat cat can get whilst riding the great EU gravy train.

Like I said, repairs and improvements can be made if the majority wants it. Changes will be implemented in a democratic way, even if it means going through long and painful negociations to reach changes. If you use undemocratic processes, everything will collapse.

Today, the whole union rests on a foundation that is utterly rotten to the core. Our military's lag painfully behind the USA, our industry's are a joke and we have no cutting edge technology or science that is not in some way connected to the US military industrial complex any more. Our farmers are a global disgrace who are only able to survive because the CAP channels billions and billions of Euro's back to the farmers, rewarding them for being unable to survive on a level playing field and leaving us weaker and weaker with each passing year.

It is Darwin in reverse.


The commission proposed the following segmentation for the 2006 budget:

47% for the CAP
31% for employment growth
9% for EU for world actions
7% for competitivity for the growth of employment
4% for miscellaneous
2% for justice

The CAP is our big problem here. I think it should be revised completely and I agree with your analysis. Maybe we could channel back the money in developing new jobs for the farmers, instead of feeding them to be uncompetitive. The problem is that it won't be revised until 2013, because of a prior agreemet between EU members back in 2002.

With all due respect Horyok, the current argument regarding the UK rebate has nothing what so ever, to do with the EU constitution and its rejection by France and Holland... except in as much as this is Chirac's feeble attempt to pass the buck.

I didn't say it did.

The reason for the 'backfire' is plain and simple. The majority of the people of Europe do not want to live in a federal EU super state.

I think you meant "the majority of Moif doesn't want to live in a EU super state"! More seriously, neither you or I has a crystal ball that reveals the mindset of 450 people. That's too radical to assume that everyone has your position or mine just because we are against or in favor a potential EU super state.

QUOTE(Horyok)
My answer for you : the EU is for Europeans. Boom. Loud and clear.
Yeah? And what does that mean?


Bucket actually answered your question, so I'll use her post if she doesn't mind :

"I'm not prepared to have someone tell me there is only one view of what Europe is, and that is the view expressed by certain people at certain points in time," Mr Blair stormed. "Europe isn't owned by anybody; Europe is owned by all of us.

Thank you Mr. Blair.


It is because Europe belongs to all of us that it must be made to serve all of us.

Sorry dude, I don't read French and I can't be bothered reading a bad translation.

Well, I'll try better next time.

If its anything like the stuff we get here in Denmark though, then I've probably already seen it all before and it means nothing to me. You can give me everything I could ever possibly desire and all the benefits and tech toys and protection of modern science and what will it benefit me? I don't need to be richer, to get fatter or to live in comfort all my life. I can manage quite well, just as my parents and grand parents did before the EU came along to save us from the horror of not having as much money as the Americans.

Seen from your angle, you seem to be a happy person living on planet Denmark. But maybe not everyone is as happy as you are. There are people without jobs, without money, without protection. There are people without justice and help. The EU doesn't plan on getting rid of these plagues, but its members work together to make the situation better for everyone.

All I want from the EU is a real consensus. Plain and simple. I'd be all in favour of the EU if it had the consensus of a broad democratic support.

There won't be a consensus Moif. But there will be a winning majority because that's how our representative democracies work. Cast your vote, express your opinion!

However, looking at the calibre of self serving, arrogant bastards who are currently running the union, then I'm not going to vote for any of them or anything they propose.

Then you have already lost your fight against the "self-serving arrogant bastards", my friend.

When I see honest representation of the wishes of the people of Europe, regardless of whether or not it fits my personal bias, then and only then will I vote in favour of the EU.

In my opinion, it's never honest enough until you work at it. If I want to change a system, first I'm going to learn how it's made and how it works; then, instead of smashing it, I'm going to improve it from the inside.
Just Leave me Alone!
QUOTE
When I see honest representation of the wishes of the people of Europe, regardless of whether or not it fits my personal bias, then and only then will I vote in favour of the EU.

In my opinion, it's never honest enough until you work at it. If I want to change a system, first I'm going to learn how it's made and how it works; then, instead of smashing it, I'm going to improve it from the inside.

Quick question Horyok: Isn't voting 'NO' a good way to change the system from the inside? Have these votes completely annihilated any chance of a United Europe in the future?
Horyok
QUOTE(Just Leave me Alone! @ Jun 20 2005, 03:02 PM)
Quick question Horyok: Isn't voting 'NO' a good way to change the system from the inside?


It sure is. And that's exactly the point: it's only when people participate in the system that they have the power to change it.

QUOTE
Have these votes completely annihilated any chance of a United Europe in the future?


I would lack modesty if I knew the answer to that one! Mainly because there are so many different reasons why people voted no... and like I said in my previous post, I don't have a crystal ball. Since not all countries have expressed their opinions yet (through their parliaments or through referendums), it's even harder to give a clear indication of the mainstream "majoritary" feeling of Europeans at the moment.

If you look at our representatives, it's clear that the current situation reflects their perplexity and the clash of their different policies. I don't expect the EU to pull itself together in a week, or a month, but I know from experience that successful negociations and lasting alliances take a long time and the patient work of talented people.

Ultimately, I believe that a United Europe could rise BUT only if a majority of European citizens call for it through elections. Because, if anything, the "NO" revealed that the people want the EU to be theirs, one way or the other.

moif
QUOTE(Horyok)
I completely agree with you on the distance issue. I think I made that clear in my previous posts.

About the representation of sceptics in some way or another, I think the EU Parliament has its share of Eurosceptic parties or MP members. I believe they work actively to see their views and ideas defended properly.

Now, if you're talking of the creation of a completely independent body like the "Anti-Commission" for instance, I don't see how it could be done. Furthermore, I don't know how it could affect or bring more democracy to the system, since all the European representatives (at the Commission, Parliament) already represent their electorate.
I think you are missing my point. I'm not talking about the creation of any "Anti-Commission", what ever that is... I'm talking about the distance in perception between those men (and women?) who are at the top of the EU power structure. Those whom I refer to as the Eurocratic elite. People like Chirac, Berlusconi, Kinnock and Valery Giscard d'Estaing. Those people whom no amount of votes in the MEP is ever going to remove.

These people run the EU and there are a great number of them, far more than I can ever name here or any where else. Myriad faceless beaurocrats and civil servants. A vast machine working tirelessly for the promotion of the European Union and the consolidation of its power and authority over the population of Europe and the nations they once used to live in.


QUOTE(Horyok)
I think the word "conspire" is too strong and that your presentation is going too far.

The very beginning of the EU comes from the idea that countries of Western Europe (Germany, France, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy) would gain a lot for their respective economies to ease the barriers at customs between them. National parliaments debated about this decision before it was validated. It's true that the people of these countries didn't vote, but their representatives did.

More comments :

1. There is no superstate. There is an Union which can be described at best as a Confederation.
Bah, it is a super state in the making and any one can see the growing similarities between the EU and the USA. A single border, a single currency, a single parliament and law making body... a single constitution...

450 million citizens all tied into one political entity, and yet, its not a super state... hmmm.gif


QUOTE(Horyok)
That's the whole idea Moif! If you want something worthwhile to happen, use your influence on your representatives and VOTE first, then expect results in your favor. It doesn't happen otherwise. And if it did, it wouldn't be representative democracy. Now, if you really want to have more grip on the system, you should get elected as a representative yourself.
Do you remember the Maastricht treaty?

Denmark held a referendum at the time and the population turned the treaty down. Instead of accepting the verdict of the people, the politicians simply changed the treaty slightly and renamed it, the Edinburgh treaty and this time it passed by a majority of 2% and was ratified.

The lesson was plain for all to see. Denmark's Eurocratic political elite, those people who make up the main stream political parties in Denmark, all being strongly in favour of the EU, saw no problem at all with disregarding the first referendum. They simply carried right on and modified the treaty to make sure it passed.

Once it passed, there was no third referendum because they got what they wanted and all it cost them were a few minor details along the way.

When Denmark voted no to the Euro currency a few years later, lo and behold, they tried to do the same thing again only with a currency there is no way to change a few details, your either in or your out.
Now, the Danish politicians are openly biding their time to put forth a second referendum to adopt the Euro. They are not even ashamed of this. They openly acknowledge that if the time comes when the Euro is doing well and the Kroner is doing badly, then they will offer another referendum in the hope the Danes will adopt the Euro.

And I guarantee you that should the Danes accept the Euro in that second refernudum, there will never be a third referendum afterwards to see if the Danes continue to wish to have the Euro, because there is no mechanism, no safe guards or safety valves to protect the people of this country once we have given away all those symbols of our nationality that make us who we are as a nation.


QUOTE(Horyok)
Are the Danes consulted when the Danish minister of Foreign affairs speaks in the name of his country? I don't think so. Therefore, I don't see how it's shocking if the people of Europe were not to be consulted if the European minister of Foreign Affairs was to speak in the name of the EU.
Of course the Danes are consulted. Every four years in fact. Denmarks national elections guarantee that Denmark is represented by Danes who are directly chosen by the people of Denmark.

Should, horror of horrors, Joschka Fischer be given the job of foreign minister, the people of Denmark would suddenly be represented by a corrupt German with criminal tendency's who is not in the least concerned with Denmarks national interest or any thing the Danish people might be concerned about.

With 450 million people to take care, he will act in the exact same manner as his US counter part, he will turn to the multi national corporations and give them what they want, because its in our 'best interests' whether we think so or not.

The bottom line is, democracy, when diluted from 5 million Danes to 450 million Europeans doesn't work any where near as well. It is not a perfect system. In order for democracy to work at its best, it needs to be as representative as possible and there is no way one person can ever hope to truly represent 450 million people.

What we will end with is the European equivalent of GW Bush. A smooth talking ideologue who, though elected by a minority, has the full authority and power of the majority at his disposal and who will use it according to what ever ideology s/he believes in.


... the more I debate this, the more hostile to the whole notion of the EU I am becoming.


QUOTE(Horyok)
You speak as if you had been reaped of your right to choose what's best for you. That is no so. You have the power to vote, even if your vote is only one in 450 million. If you loose your trust in the fact that democracy can defend you, then I think it's time you call for a different system. But I know I won't be part of it.
I have no faith in trans European democracy. I cannot see how my vote grants me any sort of protection from the meddling corruption and slack attitudes to those values I hold dear, from political and economic interests that will, and are using the EU as a method of neutering Denmarks national laws.


QUOTE(Horyok)
Can you give me sensible examples about selling and destroying everything?
The EU has a very lax attitude towards the environment because nations like Italy, France and Spain do not have the high standards of ecological laws and protections that exist in Scandinavia. As a result of EU membership many of the laws which Denmark has put in place to protect the environment and the Danish people from pollution, have been over turned by the EU.

This includes the dumping of toxic waste, harmful chemical additives in food products as well as untested GM modified food ingredients. All barred from Denmark until the EU over ruled the Danish state.


QUOTE(Horyok)
Like I said, repairs and improvements can be made if the majority wants it. Changes will be implemented in a democratic way, even if it means going through long and painful negociations to reach changes. If you use undemocratic processes, everything will collapse.
Except I'm not advocating any 'undemocratic process'.

What I am saying is that the EU itself is wholly undemocratic by its very nature... and not only is it undemocratic in nature, but it its governed and run by undemocratic forces that are not beholden to the electorate in any way that means a damn.

The EU has not been founded by any popular demand, it has been gradually built up from one identity to another. It started out as an innocent trade agreement between a hand full of western European nations and now, today it is a twenty five state strong political entity unifying under a single currency, talking about a constitution and quietly, bit by bit, building its own military force on the quiet.

So, yes, repairs and improvements will be made along the way, that is clearly evident by the process as we have seen. But under no circumstances will the EU ever represent the people it calls its citizens or enjoy their support until it is a done deal.

If indeed that is not already the case.


QUOTE(Horyok)
I think you meant "the majority of Moif doesn't want to live in a EU super state"! More seriously, neither you or I has a crystal ball that reveals the mindset of 450 people. That's too radical to assume that everyone has your position or mine just because we are against or in favor a potential EU super state.
Methinks you doth think to much Horyok. I did not vote in France, nor Holland. I have not participated in any British, German, Swedish, or even Danish polls.

My own opinion is neither here nor there in this particular context since I am interpreting the nature of recent events. France and Holland voted no. Other peoples look set to do the same if asked, indeed the polls show that a majority of Europeans are not in favour of the constitution and harbour deep feelings of distrust towards what the EU has become.

That you or I do not have a crystal ball makes no difference what so ever either since we are free to interpret what we see as we see fit. I have offered you my interpretation, that is all. I believe my interpretation fits the results of the referenda a lot better than the ridiculous interpretations that have been offered from Europes politicians.

Ask yourself this, what do you think would have happened if France had voted Yes, but Holland No...

Do you believe the opinion of the people of Holland would have been heeded?


QUOTE(Horyok)
My answer for you : the EU is for Europeans. Boom. Loud and clear.
Yeah? And what does that mean?

Bucket actually answered your question, so I'll use her post if she doesn't mind :

"I'm not prepared to have someone tell me there is only one view of what Europe is, and that is the view expressed by certain people at certain points in time," Mr Blair stormed. "Europe isn't owned by anybody; Europe is owned by all of us.

Thank you Mr. Blair.
Well, looking beyond the fact that you've taken Tony Blair out of context in order to use his words to answer a question I directed at you (in other words I want your explanation on what you said, not Tony Blairs opinion with regards to Jacqes Chirac) let me just say that Tony Blair is talking from his fundamental orifice.

Europe does not belong to 'all of us'. We don't own anything as a collective.

We are not citizens of any state called Europe (yet) and being a European is as meaningless as being an African or an Asian. To be Danish is to be a citizen with the rights and duties of citizenship and all the protections that offers.

To be European is nothing. Europe is merely the name of the continent upon which Denmark is located.

To have the rights and duties of a citizen of the EU is impossible for as long as I am a citizen of Denmark. I cannot serve two nations, nor even a nation and a confederation of nations for these are two separate political entities and when they conflict with each other, as they surely do now, the one must cancel out the other... as is happening now as it has happened so many other times in Europe's history.

Once again, the glory of a united Europe, the return of the great days of Rome, of Charlamagne, of the Holy Roman Empire, of Napoleon, of Adolf Hitler, of all those dreams of power and POWER and wealth threatens this small and vulnerable country that I call home under the lie of 'European unity'.

The EU is already taking away our borders, our jobs, our laws, our independence, ...our currency?

How can we have two foreign ministers? How can a Danish foreign minister truly represent Denmark if s/he must be subservient to the wishes of the European Foreign minister?

And when that future Joschka Fischer makes a decision that will benefit the masses of France and Germany to the detriment of the small remote province of Denmark, who will stand up for our rights?

Our powerless, elected, national parliament members? What weight will they carry against the weight of Germany?

We will become, gradually, citizens of Europe and, gradually, the state of Denmark will cease to become a political entity.

Yes, we will remain Danes, for a while, but with open borders, and the passage of time, being Danish will mean less and less until one day it will be as meaningless as being a Texan or a Californian.


QUOTE(Horyok)
Seen from your angle, you seem to be a happy person living on planet Denmark. But maybe not everyone is as happy as you are. There are people without jobs, without money, without protection. There are people without justice and help. The EU doesn't plan on getting rid of these plagues, but its members work together to make the situation better for everyone.
All of these things are possible without the EU.


QUOTE(Horyok)
There won't be a consensus Moif. But there will be a winning majority because that's how our representative democracies work. Cast your vote, express your opinion!
I always vote.

It hasn't made any difference to anything. The Eurocrats have done what ever they pleased and will continue to do as they please. Tony Blair is a liar. Europe belongs to its power elite, just as in any other political entity, the difference is Denmarks best interests don't mean anything to the power elite of Europe.


QUOTE(Horyok)
Then you have already lost your fight against the "self-serving arrogant bastards", my friend.
er... there are other people to vote for...


QUOTE(Horyok)
In my opinion, it's never honest enough until you work at it. If I want to change a system, first I'm going to learn how it's made and how it works; then, instead of smashing it, I'm going to improve it from the inside.
I thought you were moving to the USA?

Voting in the EU system makes no difference. When ever the Eurocrats get a vote they don't like, they simply wait until next time and try again, and again and again, until they get what they want and the process towards the United States of Europe continues to its natural conclusion.

The EU is as fundamentally undemocratic as the American Union it is being created to oppose.
Horyok
Well, I think we have exposed our views in large. If it is okay with all ADebaters, I propose that we continue this very interesting discussion on the topic recently opened by Ptarmigan in International Debate: The Future of the EU, Finding the way forward

Thank you for all your posts!

Horyok.
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