Whither now EU?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by skunk, May 29, 2005.

  1. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #1
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4592243.stm

    Well, they've really set the cat among the pigeons now.
     
  2. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

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    #2
    At least the French have done our dirty work for us :p - unless they do the same as Ireland and Denmark - make them vote again. My g/f is still furious about that.
    Hopefully it will make the EU realise that not everybody wants tighter political integration. Look at the arguments over Iraq - how can there possibly be a common foreign policy? And even worse was what was allowed to develop in the Balkans - how that wasn't, and isn't, our problem I'll never know :(
    Besides anything written by D'Estaing is likely to be garbage. How many more are going to reject it? The Dutch on Wednesday? Probably.
    Like Sir Humphrey says; it's a complete dog's breakfast - the Foreign Office is very happy :D
     
  3. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #3
    Huge mistake, in my opinion. Now France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries build a second track and the EU becomes almost meaningless. So the dream of a united Europe that is strong enough to stand up to US dictates dies because of provincial politics. The neocons in the US are chortling up their sleeves. As to the UK, how would you folks like to become our 51st state, because that's direction you're headed anyway. We might as well make it official and at least give you a vote that won't be counted.
     
  4. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #4
    I don't believe I heard the fat lady singing. Nothing was due to come into force yet anyway. The "huge mistake" was in letting the whole 470 page document see the light of day. It should have been merely a set of principles to be used as a framework for future detail.
    Thanks for the offer, but I think I'll stay where irony is appreciated. It is important to remember the vastness of one's ignorance.
     
  5. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #5
    This Constitution is all but dead. Each of the 25 nations must ratify by 0ct. 29th 2006, if I remember the terms correctly. The odds that France will revote and approve the treaty are quite small. To say nothing of the impact of today's vote on other nations approval.

    I don't know, skunk, if you favor a more unified Europe or not, but I think the Left of Europe who rallied around this treaty's defeat are extremely short-sighted. They don't take into account the real political world we live in - one dominated by one nation - the US. To effectively stand against the reordering of the world by the US, or in the future by an emerging China, it will take resistance through the economic and political power of blocs of nations. In such a world, the EU, with its commitment to democracy and human rights, offered a real alternative. I hope today's vote doesn't scuttle any hope of the EU to continue to offer that vision. I think it may well have.

    I glad you appreciate irony and hope you can appreciate the sarcasm involved in my offer of statehood. As to your last sentence, I think I've been insulted. I'll let you know when this thick-headed Yank figures it out.
    ;)
     
  6. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #6
    1775- insurrection breaks out

    1776- declaration of independence

    1777- Articles of Confederation written

    1781- adopted by all states

    1782- peace

    1787- Constitution finished

    1789- goes into effect

    Quite a number of years there.
     
  7. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #7
    I think Europe is already far too integrated to have a US-style vague constitution (if that's sort of what you're referring to). The US one was like that not because the founders brilliantly recognized the value of a loose, poorly sketched framework but because that was all they could agree to at the time. They figured it would do for a couple years until someone could come up with something better. The EU is too far along for that.
     
  8. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #8
    Perhaps the real question is whither the EU after the departures of Blair, Chirac, Berlusconi and Schröder?

    Blair's been waiting all along to see which way the wind was blowing, not sure what Brown's stance will be but he probably won't rock the boat, Chirac's departure means perhaps a more right wing faction in the govt. which would be bad news for the EU. If there's anything worse than French Nationalism it could only be British reticence to commit to anything that doesn't have the queen stamped all over it.

    Berlusconi is in dire straits and although he's in some ways firmed up the office he holds, he's more of a Mussolini than a man of the people. His successor will either consolidate the right wing hold on politics or it will be a leftwinger even more paranoid of EU supremacy. Merkel, Schröder's most likely successor is about as racist as you can get these days in Germany. She hates the Turks and will do everything within her power to keep them out of the EU. Every country's anti-immigration efforts will only inflame the Muslims in the EU even more than they already are.

    I think the founding members need a few more years to sort out their own issues. While it would have been nice to have a constitution next year, the reality was that it was a mess. What would be even nicer if all the residents took a sudden interest in the EU and started pressuring their MEPs to simplify the damned thing. Yeah, right.....
     
  9. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #9
    "The US one was like that not because the founders brilliantly recognized the value of a loose, poorly sketched framework but because that was all they could agree to at the time. They figured it would do for a couple years until someone could come up with something better."

    I do believe I disagree. This "loose, poorly sketched framework" was the first ever to place restrictions upon centralized power. The equality of power among the Administrative, the Legislative and the Judicial branches was deliberately and well thought out.

    Note that the proposed EU deal has no Bill of Rights. For every right shown for the people, bureaucratic judgement can supercede. Our BOR establishes that rights exist independent of government. For the EU, the only rights are those granted by government--which then are not rights, they're privileges.

    The EU seems to be doing fairly well as an economic entity. Mr. Everyman does better when money flows. But politically? I think there are too many different views of how an area should be managed, varying greatly from Sweden down to Portugal or to Greece.

    'Rat
     
  10. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #10
    I think the point is the majority are against it because of the economic parts,most europeans don't want a US style dog eat dog economy.The larger member states are all mature democracies with social policies and workers rights,the proposed constitution would have killed that and tied everything to "free market" policies.Where in this is the freedom of labour,e.g. why can't workers travel to where work is as capital can?
     
  11. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #11
    Yeah, I agree, the "free" market like any country with "democratic" in its name is usually anything but.

    Workers can travel to where the work is within the EU and it's pretty easy to do, not as easy as capital travels but that has always been the case. I think that is one of the major aspects of EU integration that is overlooked. It's not just a matter of Polish builders coming to the EU but German doctors going to Norway and England or Brits going to Spain to start businesses or whatever. 4 years ago while flying from Hamburg to Amsterdam, the guy next to me was an engineer at Airbus. He worked in Hamburg and lived in Edinburgh, flew home on the weekends.

    The Constitution does need to be rewritten, kept shorter and with fewer handouts to big business but the only way for that to happen is for more citizens of the EU to write their MEP. The success of the Euro and many EU directives proves that most people do want it to be more integrated, who really wants to go back to what it was before? A few grocers who didn't want to upgrade their scales from pounds to kilos and all the old folks constantly moaning about the good old days.
     
  12. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #12
    A question. Just where do those who wanted a "better" Constitution think the political impetus will come from to write a new Constitution? The socialist Left of Europe? And if such a Constitution could actually be written, how would it be agree to by the nations of Europe? It sounds to me like some folks are living in a fantasy world, not one of the real world politics of Europe.

    The choice, as bad as it was, was between the status quo of an ineffectual, loosely-tied EU - totally incapable of unity, much less action, in the face of crises - and a more unified Europe. The French vote destroys the possibility of the latter for the foreseeable future.
     
  13. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #13
    Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. A simpler statement of principles, priorities and voting arrangements need not take forever to agree.

    It may simply take a few more years of cohabitation for Europeans to understand their common interests without fear of being homogenized. This is, after all, the first real opportunity the French have had to express their views on the expansion which has already happened. Referenda in general are an awful way to decide policy. There should have been either no referendum, or simultaneous referenda in every member state. This "rolling ratification" is very unsatisfactory and not very representative.
     
  14. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #14

    No, it wasn't. The Constitution was based upon several other documents that were already in existence. The Magna Carta being just one of those. The Constitution improved upon the preceding documents.
     
  15. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #15
    Much of it was lifted almost word-for-word from previous treaties.
     
  16. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

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    #16
    One of my best friends is French & her father is a French ambassador - she can't understand why there was a referendum in the first place. To quote"We voted for the government - they should be able to do what they want, in our name". She's very pro-EU as you can imagine, and is happy for it to be more integrated as long as it is the way the French want it. As yesterday shows a lot of people don't - even if it is good for France.
    I can't see what's wrong with the (original) idea of a free trade block - we're never going to be one community, especially the way it's run now :(
     
  17. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    #17
    Quick note, the Bill of Rights were only included in the deal in the US because NC would not sign on without it. Therefore the 11 signers before NC (silly states) didn't care, it was only included to appease the 12 signer NC and the 13th Rhode Island wanted it. So thanks to NC and RI!
     
  18. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #18
    Thomas Jefferson did a surprisingly half hearted job, considering the importance of what he was working on. The rest he just plagiarized.

    "plagiarized" according to Safaris spell checker, why does that not look right, or is it just me?
     
  19. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    My take on the EU vote is that it's mostly about economics - GDP growth in "old" Europe is about 1.5% now, while in East Europe, it's 6,7,8%. Old Europe sees the integration as low-wage competition hurting labor and traditional industry, so they threw on the brakes.

    Any economist can tell you that this knee-jerk reaction is exactly the wrong way to go, and that trade is always a net plus for most people (though not everyone). Old Europe has probably locked in that 1.5% GDP growth rate for the rest of the decade. (And their 10.2% unemployment.) The US and Asia will eat their lunch, at least as long as the euro's strong.

    On the other hand, the framers of the new constitution should have been a little more politically astutue - you don't put something up for a referendum unless it has widespread support.
     
  20. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #20
    Yes.
    :rolleyes:
     
  21. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #21
    Jefferson didn't write the US Constitution. Madison and, to a lesser degree, Hamilton are the two individuals given most credit for the writing of the document. Jefferson was in France and was one of those who raised concerns about the new document. He was an ardent supporter of the inclusion of a Bill of Rights. The idea that the US Constitution is plagiarized is rather funny. Inspired by others - yes; plagiarized - no. Skunk will have to say what he was referring to, but the comment more correctly applies to the proposed EU Constitution. Even the most vociferous European supporters of the EU Constitution would not claim it was original in its content.
     
  22. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #22
    The economic reason is that market integration takes a lot more than just the elimination of tariffs. There are many many other obstacles to trade.
     
  23. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #23
    There's nothing "wrong" with the idea of a free trade bloc of nations, especially if you're the owner of a European corporation that can take advantage of it. I would argue that from the beginning the founders of the EU, even when it was know as the European Coal and Steel Community, had as its goals much more than just an elimination of tariffs. It is the political goals of a more unified democratic Europe, capable of influencing events on the world stage, that took a beating in France. It did so, imho, not because the French abandon the goal, but because they - the French Left in particular - were too occupied with their immediate economic and internal political problems. The impact, however, on any movement toward a more unified Europe will be felt for years to come.
     
  24. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #24
    That's what I was referring to, not the US Constitution.
     
  25. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #25
    You're right, it was Hamilton, the most hated of the founding fathers. After he was shot they had trouble finding someone to give him his last rites.

    A lot of what is in the Constitution is very similar to the documents that they are based upon.

    In these times, I am sure that the European Constitution is written more in legalese than anything else. Besides the fact that it is huge, and probably much more precise given all the time they have had to think about it.
     

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