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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by pimentoLoaf, Oct 18, 2004.
Good, bad, pro, con or ... what?
Personally I think its a great idea.
Though I feel that the institutions should be made more democratic(as in transferring more of the EU's authority to institutions that are voted for directly by the population of the union rather than to body's appointed by the national govts.)
Also the whole system is currently horrendously wasteful, which clearly needs to be improved.
Overall though i think the EU has done more good than harm. Its development programms have generally been a success and have helped to bring up the poorest areas in the union. Of course the CAP is an unmittigated disaster.
BTW. Why do you want to exclude americans from this discussion. We stick our noses into US based debates all the time. Surely they deserve the same opportunity.
The EU's beginnings were very auspicious and by and large have exceeded everyone's expectations.
From an economic standpoint the Euro has saved millions and millions through reduced transaction costs around the world. Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Greece owe a large part of their current economic success to EU subsidies. The ten newest members received billions of Euros prior to their joining the EU and these subsidies have eased some of the accession pain. Companies now find it much easier to do business in neighboring countries and labor is more likely to migrate where the jobs are. It's not a perfect business world and there's lots of room for improvement but the rate of success has far exceeded the rate of failure.
In regards to the political aspects of the EU, I think things could have been better. In the 90s MEPs were like pigs at a trough and the waste and corruption was phenomenal. The EU parliament building in Strassbourg comes to mind. But, considering that many of these countries were at each other's throats for the last few centuries the progress can only be considered miraculous.
In the Americas, NAFTA and Mercosur have had a similar if less encompassing impact. I doubt that Canadians, Mexicans or Americans would be willing to follow a similar path much less the rest of the Americas where independence if it has arrived at all was fought for so strongly.
The downside of the EU, as with any political organization is the loss of individuality. For the most part this loss is tragic but not directly attributable to the EU rather the globalization of culture.
I think he was trying to abbreviate North Americans and therefore asking non-EU residents what their take on the EU is. I could be wrong though.
I agree that the EU is a work in progress, but aren't all political unions?
Agreed. I'm very much in favour of the EU, and the idea of ever closer intergration.
I'd not considered that NoAms was North Americans, I thought he meant No Americans. My bad!
*Should we leave quietly *
Best of luck to you folks over there. If all those countries with their various nationalities and histories can get along and form a real union someday maybe there is hope for a united world after all.
NoAms is the Guardian Unlimited talkboards term for North Americans.
Good & pro. I'm all for a union of European nations that sets human rights standards, requirements for democratic political structures, prohibitions against persecution of minorities, and through the development of economic integration lessens the chance of war between the member states. All on a voluntary basis. It also represents the only real possibility of a democratic counterweight to US influence in the world. Unipolar world = bad. We get people like George W. Bush deciding the fate of nations all by his lonesome. Very bad.
In theory the EU is a counterpoint, in practice, well, Italy, Spain, Denmark and the UK were big supporters of regime change in Iraq, whereas France and Germany were vociferous in their lack opposition. Much of the rest were in the middle. The lack of a central foreign office in the EU is a sign that they are not yet ready to act as one when it comes to foreign policy. I'm sure that in time this will change but until then there is little hope that a multitude of voices will have the impact that a single voice would. Until that happens or until China flexes its muscles in a serious manner, there is faint hope that the excesses of the US will be contained.
Continuing to build on good ideas.
Just like our own Constitution was made up of other famous documents that had worked well in holding nations together, the EU is extending that idea and putting it's own into it.
The EU has put togther something that does not mention God at all and are basing it in part on our own Constitution I think. Though using ours as a test rat allows them to tighten up some areas that were missed by our own.
I hope that they include a specific right to privacy in theirs as well as a more elaborate Bill of Rights, or something equivalent.
Depending on how well they do though, the EU is going to be a formidable union of nations. Especially if they begin to lose personal identity in favor of nationalism, I guess that would be called Federalism early on.
I think it is a great idea, I hope that the mistakes made here are learned from there. Maybe one day in the distant future NoAms will be examining the decisions that the EU made during its formation.
Even the Constitution is going to need more than just an amendment or two one day.
Pro and con.
There is a lot of waste and corruption that needs to be sliced out of the system. I also think the rotating presidency helps insure that nothing gets done.
As a resident of a large country, it makes sense to me that countries as small as some of those in Europe would want to pool their resources.
I generally have a favorable view of the idea. It reminds me of the United States in it's infancy. A collection of colonies that need to band together to make any difference. This is where I see Europe today.
i don't see it that way at all. in the US, the states are really more of a formality under a central gov't. individuallyl, the european nations have a very strong national identity, and the EU rules are there to ensure an even playing field wrt things like trade and human rights; it's these issues over which there is now central control, not entire governance.
it's also possible for member nations to withdraw. look what happened the last time a US state tried that.
no, i see the EU as an evolutionary step and something to which the US should aspire, not somewhere it's already been. but w/ all the anti-UN sentiments in this country, good luck to us for ever evolving. so long as we continue to kid ourselves that 1) this is the greatest country on earth, and 2) we can go it alone, we'll be regressing.