the current EU discussion thread

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by takao, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #1
    so with Romania and Bulgaria "getting in the boat" in 2007 ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4440755.stm ) the discussion and talks about perhaps the most important/tense extension (for me) of the EU are entering the room, the EU expansion into the powderbarrel of europe: the balcan

    so after talks with Serbia-Montenegro are going to start/started what do you think: can the region brought to peace for once and for all through the EU over the time ?

    (sadly the membership of croatia got postponed so the date together with serbia is likely ... )


    other question: the on going discussion about the EU Defense Policiy should be getting more interesting as well...especially with the current rift between europe and the USA ... i guess i'm not the only one feeling that the membership of a few EU members in the relict of the cold war, the NATO might evolve into a conflict of interests over the time ...

    what do you think ? should the saying about Europe being a economical giant with being a militaric dwarf at the same time should stay that way for some time or should that change ? personally i'm against extreme arms races or something but i feel that more is needed than is done now.....
     
  2. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #2
    Clearly, to you in Osterreich, the proximity of Romania and Bulgaria may indeed be a cause of tension: you'll have a lot of them knocking on your door. Over here it's not so apparent. But I do think that people everywhere in Europe should realise that this will be one hell of an expensive move: none of the new or prospective members will be a net contributor to the EU budget, which means that everyone else will be paying more. Much more. At present, of the fifteen EU members, only the UK, France and Germany are net contributors. This will have to change as the average European income falls, and I wonder how Eire, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy will feel about losing their massive EU subsidies.
     
  3. takao thread starter macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #3
    not exactly correct ;) you forgot austria ,sweden and the netherlands (who pay the most per capita) i think denmark and finland are net contributors as well

    well they got their money long enough no it's time for those who really need the money should get it now

    on the other side slowenia and i think chez republic might become net contributors within the next 3 years as well
     
  4. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #4
    You're right: I'm out of date.
     

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  5. takao thread starter macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #5
    looking at that graph i'm pretty sure ireland gets a nice bill presented anytime soon ;)
     
  6. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #6
    Calling Europe a military dwarf is really a bunch of nonsense. Certainly, their militaries (and that's part of the problem) don't compare to the US military, but there are some powerful militaries in Europe. Only a few countries in the world have any force projection capacity, and France and England are among them. The problem is that there is little effective coordination in terms of policy coordination, capacity coordination, and planning coordination (outside NATO). But, the EU does seem to be lurching however slowly towards a European Army and common defense policy. Give 'em a couple decades.

    Another way of looking at the question is that the US military budget in 2002 (my most recent numbers and I don't want to look up more) was $337 billion, 3.4% of GDP. NATO Europe's budget was $186 billion, or about 2% of GDP. The EU and NATO obviously have different European members, but their totals are about the same, Turkey's large defense budget roughly equaling the budgets of Austria, Sweden, Cyprus, Ireland, and Finland combined. That is certainly smaller, but who are we going to war with? No other single country comes even remotely close to America's or Europe's military spending.

    The issue, in my opinion, isn't so much spending as spending wisely. Europe spends plenty for defense needs (who the hell is going to invade Europe?), but needs to better plan its spending for peacekeeping/S+R/nationbuilding/etc., as does the US.

    As for the other questions. I do think that the Balkans will eventually join the EU, but it will take a good bit of time. Croatia will need new leadership that accepts the idea of Croatian war criminals. B+H, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro (give it up Serbia), and Macedonia all have a long way to go, but they also have nowhere else _to_ go. Turkey will join too. But, this may be a very long process. I mean, it's taken more than 50 years for the EU to grow from a coal and steel agreement between 6 countries to what it is today.
     
  7. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #7
    Yes, France and Britain are militarily capable, but whether Anglo-Saxon foreign policy will ever be truly acceptable to the French, or vice versa, is another matter. The last Anglo-French adventure of any significance was Suez. Not a very good example. And anyway, where and why do we really want to "project our forces"? Is it our job to be the world's policeman any more than it is yours? What other purpose is there? And would it be even necessary, let alone desirable, when spending 10% of the military budget on aid, and ceasing to arm and support repressive regimes, would go a long way to solving many of the problems the military is there to correct?
    America's "defence" spending is obscenely high as it is. I hope we don't match it.
    It only took six years for the ECSC to become the EEC.
     
  8. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #8
    touche. Good point. I admit that I'm living somewhat in a fantasy world, but I want to believe that eventually the UK will get sick of being America's toady and will shift towards Europe.

    As for America's defense spending being obscenely high, I agree. I wasn't trying to imply that Europe should step up their defense spending to match the US, but rather that Europe's defense spending is already huge. I agree the US should cut back and gear towards cooperative reality instead of fantasy world domination.

    I do think that the US and Europe (among others) have to be the world's policemen. (Not that I think either of them do a terribly good job of it.) The reality is that there are a lot of people in the world who want to kill each other: Hutus and Tutsis. Serbs and Kosovars. Georgians and Ossettians. And so on. I'd be happy with a UN army to attempt these things, but the reality is that NATO, the EU, and the US are the more likely candidates. A lot of progress needs to be made on legitimate, effective peacekeeping.

    OK. So the ECSC became the EEC in 6 years. Was the 1950s EEC a 25-member union with a common currency and anything like the political integration of the current EU?
     
  9. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #9
    Apart from bombing Serbia into submission (subtle, that), when have US or European troops ever stopped people killing each other?

    No, but most of the hard work has already been done.
     
  10. takao thread starter macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #10
    my question was more towards the direction if the current institution of the NATO might somehow stand i nthe way of further integration of a EU wide defense policy ?
    or should a EU wide policy (with all it's difficulties ) with including US &Turkeycooperation replace the NATO ?

    i'm not about spending more more about structures ... and cooperation (especially in the defense of the air space a lot of money could be saved which could be spent in different places ...)
     
  11. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #11
    A whole bunch of people got together to get Hitler to stop wiping out jews, gypsies, homosexuals, etc. I think there was a mission to East Timor a couple years back you may recall. There have been numerous peacekeeping missions in Haiti. Russian peacekeepers helped stop civil wars in Georgia and Tajikistan (and then exploited the situation to their own ends--something the US would _never_ do.)

    As for Takao's question. The US definitely wants NATO to stand in the way of further integration of EU defense. The US more or less runs NATO. The US does not run the EU. The US motivation is plain and simple. The US opposed setting up any EU coordinating body, saying that would be a useless duplication of NATO capacities. My understanding is that the UK split the difference and pushed through a compromise with France-Germany that put together a miniscule EU planning body. My take is that this means France-Germany got their way. There is now an institution that exists that can grow into the headquarters of the EU military, and I think that eventually it will. I don't think this means the demise of NATO, though. For as much as there have been rifts, for as much as Europe and the US have different understandings of terrorism and the approach it demands (war or policing), and for as much as there is no external threat like the Soviet Union any more, the bond between the US and Europe is tested and strong. It's not going to disappear. That said, I do think the nature of the relationship will evolve as Europe continues to integrate and US dominance continues to decline in relative terms to the rest of the world.
     
  12. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #12
    I rest my case: apart from WWII, which was not exactly a peace-keeping mission, and except under the guise of the UN, it hasn't happened. Haiti is a really bad example: US interference set the thing off in the first place.
     
  13. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #13
    When did US interference set the whole thing off?

    1891
    1914-1931
    1994-5
    or the current force?
     
  14. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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  15. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #15
    I tried Googling Haiti. The first site is the CIA World Factbook entry. The next is the Embassy of Haiti. Then we got Discover Haiti, Haiti Info, and Haiti Online...

    Googling isn't really the best way to conduct research. Proquest and EBSCOhost are good places to start.
     

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