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Thread: The European Union is dead but long live Europe

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    Default The European Union is dead but long live Europe

    No, no... not my words but those of Hubert Védrine and no he's not a Eurosceptic.

    "The European Union is dead but long live Europe. There will never be another EU treaty. The 'reform' agreement signed in Lisbon three years ago was the high water mark of the old federal dream."
    Says he... and:

    If we can bury the federal myth, we can create a leaner, meaner European project, driven largely by nation states and not by Brussels. We can create a much stronger, more practical European power – a 'puissance Europe' to preserve the European Way of Life from the assaults of a cheerless 21st century.

    The article continues:

    Védrine is not just expressing his own opinions but pointing to what he sees as a new political reality in Europe. And a new realism. The EU, he says, is at a crossroads. There is now an opportunity for what might loosely be called the "British" view of Europe – an aversion to treaties and legally binding rules; a preference for general aims and government-to-government deals; a core devotion to the nation state – to triumph. Or at least to take over.

    In truth, this is not entirely new. Europe is not so much at a crossroads as at a giant roundabout from which it cannot decide which exit to take. The debate goes around and around.

    Continental governments have been sliding away from federal aims for a decade or more without reaching any coherent conclusions about what the "Europe" of the future should be.

    The European debate (if any) in the UK carries on regardless. There remains a default British conviction, encouraged by a broadly eurosceptic press, that the EU is a stealthy conspiracy (backed by Paris and Berlin) to impose federal power from Brussels and abolish the British way of life, from red double-decker buses to soggy chips and warm beer.
    The debate between Védrine and Cohn-Bendit is an interesting one... to be honest I'm unsure which I agree with! Have a read and say what you think.

    John Lichfield: Europe needs sceptics - Europe, World - The Independent
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    Politics.ie Member Squire Allworthy's Avatar
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    I think people underestimate the value of the EU, but there does need to be a debate on what powers should be exercised at what level, European, National and regional.


    For me the problem is the nation states, and over centralisation of power in many of these states. I would be quite happy to be in the London or Munster region of a European Union. I would not weep for one minute if the role of Westminster was greatly reduced, but I would imagine that that is not a commonly held view. Provided there are proper democratic structures why should I trust a European Parliament less than I would one located in Dublin or Westminster?

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    Politics.ie Member Magror14's Avatar
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    There will be no shortage of Eurosceptics in the near future. This is not a sign that Europe is weakening but the opposite. Society is changing rapidly. A return to the nation state concept of Europe (one which has only existed in any meaningful way for a very short period of about 170 years) is highly unlikely. The linear progression of developed societies is towards convergence not isolation. My prediction is that European society will continue to converge with political institutions playing catch up.

    A British view? Britain itself is a highly dynamic society. Within the past 20 years devolved government has come to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. The constitutional landscape has altered dramatically. The demographics of Britain have changed utterly since the end of the Second World War. On Europe British politicians tend to talk out of both sides of their mouths.

    The only way I see a move back to nation state power is with economic collapse and extreme politics. In this scenario a country like Ireland has all to lose and only speculative gains.

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    CM. when you talk of a federalist Europe, is that the same as the USA where each state has it's own laws, politicians etc., but the Federal Government takes precedence, say like the FBI can move into a case that crosses borders? Would a European wide election have to be held to elect a President and House of Reps, or would such be chosen by Heads of States? (I'm awful ignorant I know. help)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post
    CM. when you talk of a federalist Europe, is that the same as the USA where each state has it's own laws, politicians etc., but the Federal Government takes precedence, say like the FBI can move into a case that crosses borders? Would a European wide election have to be held to elect a President and House of Reps, or would such be chosen by Heads of States? (I'm awful ignorant I know. help)
    How could you be ignorant when asking me my view?

    But, I won't answer. What I will do is how do you see each of the proposals you've discussed above working.
    Happiness is a dry martini and a good woman … or a bad woman.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CookieMonster View Post
    How could you be ignorant when asking me my view?

    But, I won't answer. What I will do is how do you see each of the proposals you've discussed above working.
    Have I told you lately that I hate you? Okay. The USA was formed when the continent was still being settled by strangers to that land, millions of them. There was only strong historical ties amongst certain groupings, like down South, Washington, Maine, old families, old money, very early settlers.

    Europe, on the other hand, has had thousands of years, well hundreds of years of living as independent countries. Battles and wars fought over borders for centuries, enemies in the next state (country) never to be trusted. We all know the history, we are all part of it.

    So, a federalist Europe would mean an acceptance that we are all one country, like the USA? Would it? An election for a Leader of the European Union and it's representatives? Jesus. That would be hard. And even the reps voted in by individual countries would not be fully trusted by their own citizens due to political differences. Imagine if we had a German President? That would be scary. A French one? Napoleon! English? Bloody hell. Italian? Mafia. Polish? Give all the best jobs to the Poles. Spanish? Couldn't take seriously. Irish? We're far too small to ever get a chance, and with our luck it would be another Haughey.

    Nope. I think the money markets, trade agreements, legal affairs and social affairs are about the only thing we can be strong on. We are too different. Too separate. Our cultures too defined to ever become one.

    That's a load of sh...., isn''t it CM?

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    Politics.ie Member Squire Allworthy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post

    Europe, on the other hand, has had thousands of years, well hundreds of years of living as independent countries. Battles and wars fought over borders for centuries, enemies in the next state (country) never to be trusted. We all know the history, we are all part of it.
    My father's family in one bygone time slaughtered most of my mothers family. Many centuries later and well me! So I am not so sure about the never to be trusted part. Why would a British person not trust a Merkel rather than a Blair?

    As more people move and settle outside their country of origin then the multiplicity of identities increase and this is on top of Nation States that are themselves often strange amalgams.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post
    Imagine if we had a German President? That would be scary. A French one? Napoleon! English? Bloody hell. Italian? Mafia. Polish? Give all the best jobs to the Poles. Spanish? Couldn't take seriously. Irish? We're far too small to ever get a chance, and with our luck it would be another Haughey.
    But you ended up with Haughey without the help of Europeans and why would a German be any worse than the current offering?

    Surely if there was a strong regional identity in say Munster or Ulster (assuming some resolution up there) then that would more than counter balance?



    Europe needs leadership and a sense of direction. The problem is a lack of a coherent vision or a vision that would motivate enthusiasm or even some response. Will Kosovo join, yawn.

    We should allow Turkey in and move the parliament to a new permanent location in Istanbul. Let us send out a clear message that we intend to be about for a millennia or two and let us not forget Mare Nostrum and also our fellow Europeans in Russia!

    Well CookieMonster that should liven up interest in the thread!

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    So, a federalist Europe would mean an acceptance that we are all one country, like the USA? Would it? An election for a Leader of the European Union and it's representatives? Jesus. That would be hard. And even the reps voted in by individual countries would not be fully trusted by their own citizens due to political differences. Imagine if we had a German President? That would be scary. A French one? Napoleon! English? Bloody hell. Italian? Mafia. Polish? Give all the best jobs to the Poles. Spanish? Couldn't take seriously. Irish? We're far too small to ever get a chance, and with our luck it would be another Haughey.
    ..and since we're NOT all one country it would mean accepting a lie. Monstrous. It is NATO that keeps the whole thing together. The EU is the political expression of the US-led military alliance. It would not be possible to unite a Continent if it wasn't all occupied by the one army (the US army). The EU is a kind of enlarged US puppet state, which is why it follows the US model - arrogation of federal power to a centralised government.

    Euro-federalists financed by US spy chiefs

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    Politics.ie Member Twin Towers's Avatar
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    It was quite obvious it was a top down exercise from the start holding little interest for Monsieur Citizenry. Politicians will always hanker for an extranational stage if only to extend their political lives.

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    Politics.ie Member Al.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean O'Brian View Post
    ..and since we're NOT all one country it would mean accepting a lie. Monstrous. It is NATO that keeps the whole thing together. The EU is the political expression of the US-led military alliance. It would not be possible to unite a Continent if it wasn't all occupied by the one army (the US army). The EU is a kind of enlarged US puppet state, which is why it follows the US model - arrogation of federal power to a centralised government.

    Euro-federalists financed by US spy chiefs
    Wow, Evans-Pritchard got that completely upside-down ten years back, which ruins his track record. The project to unite Europe was wholly sourced in Germany. Germany runs the show; they also run NATO ever since the 1990s (which is why the Balkans were broken up at German instigation, resulting in them being subsumed into the EU—sound like a familiar pattern from the past?—Kaiser Wilhelm II would be proud). The USA is a puppet of Germany, not the other way around. How else would Germany get the USA to stop de-Nazifying them (and hand over de-Nazification to Adenauer) two years after WWII ended, and to say nothing when Germany stopped de-Nazifying itself in 1950?

    The links to the BND need to be exposed. The only surface therein scratched are the mentions of the Ford Foundation (Henry Ford was an open supporter of Adolf Hitler) and the Rockefeller Foundation (another foundation with ties to the Nazis).

    BTW, mischaracterising the USA's system is dishonest. The US federal government is highly decentralised, and the states administer a lot by themselves. The EU is patterned on the Soviet system, with its high centralisation and its pseudodemocracy (Commission as Politburo, unicameral European Parliament as Supreme Soviet; Vladimir Bukovsky, a well-reputed Soviet dissident, pointed that fact out).

    Don't worry yourself; you're not a part of the USA at all. You are, however, living in a vassal state of the new Holy Roman Empire (ask Barroso and Otto von Habsburg; they'll tell you).
    "Laws were most numerous when the state was most corrupt." —Tacitus

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