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Author Topic: Comeback kid Sarkozy ?  (Read 2663 times)
Franzl
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« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2012, 06:13:34 am »
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Franzl, I'd be interested in knowing why you consider European integration theoretically undesirable.

Integration was perhaps not the right word to use. I mean: I'm fully in support of allowing free trade within the European community....I'm in favor of allowing citizens of member states to live and work throughout the Union....I'm in favor of allowing citizens of member states to go to universities throughout the Union, and so on.

I draw the line at giving up my country's sovereign power. I don't see anything desirable about centralizing power at a federal European level. Quite the contrary, allowing individual countries to compete with each other has always been something I've considered beneficial.

And of course the Euro was always a bad idea without said political union. Countries were drawn into it quickly without fully considering the consequences. And unfortunately, it's possibly too late now.
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« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2012, 06:40:27 am »
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Within the context of Ireland, I would have to say that the best thing about the EU is that takes away and reduces a country's sovereign power.
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« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2012, 07:17:13 am »
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Within the context of Ireland, I would have to say that the best thing about the EU is that takes away and reduces a country's sovereign power.

Isn't everyone free to leave Ireland if they're totally and completely unsatisfied? (Not that I expect normal people to actually do it...but the possibility is there.)
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« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2012, 08:15:40 am »
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(Not that I expect normal people to actually do it

Wouldn't you? A lot of people are doing it again, actually.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2012, 09:08:38 am »
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Why people like Antonio, or Belgiansocialist are so much in love with the EU when the union has done more than any other single institution or organisation to prevent and roll back Socialist policies in Europe.

I'm not some kind of utopist living in dreamland, SC. I'm well aware on EU's flaws, which are enormous and disgusting. I hate the way the Commission works without any actual mandate from the European People, I hate the fact they enact failed neoliberal policies, the fact selfish countries always refuse any progress in common solidarity, the fact Germans have imposed their retarded austerity dogma and are ready to ruin every country to maintain it. However, I also realize that without the EU, European countries are even more screwed. As weak as European integration is, the little bit we have is still indispensable and we'll need more in the following years. In the word's globalized economy, countries which represent 1% of the world population and face a massive demographic ageing won't be remain competitive for long, and especially won't be able to sustain comprehensive welfare states as multinational corporations grow stronger. European federalism is the only way for Europe to survive as one of the world's power, to escape the natural decline we are starting to experience. Not the European Federalism as we know it, but real European federalism : with a democratic federal government, elected by the European people and which has an effective power over national government. Why is it so hard to understand ? Why do you Euroskeptics systematically take commitment to the europeist ideal as a support to EU as it currently exists ? Why the possibility to reform EU and correct its flaws rather than outright disbanding it is always discarded ? This is what I don't understand.

How does centralizing power to an inefficient and undemocratic bureaucracy make us more competitive?

The thing I never understood with europhiles is the logical leaps they always make in their argumentation. There is a general emotional linkage going on where buzzwords are thrown around and rhetorically connected (history, peace, globalization, solidarity, strong, etc) but the logical chain is typically very obscure.

Why do you want Europe to be a world power? I don't. I think reducing the influence of Sarkozy, Berlusconi and the other jokers in power around Europe is probably a good thing. Going to world summits to rattle sabres and have photo-ops with world leaders is fun for them, of course but I don't see much benefit in it for me. Most of the world's best countries to live in are small ones and I don't see my life being improved by the construction of Europe.

------------------

My take on the left being pro-EU actually goes sort of both ways. I don't see why anyone commited to either left or right ideology would like the EU particularly. It pretty much combines the worse of both camps - the right's distaste for democracy and ordinary people with the left's distaste for individual liberties and free markets.
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« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2012, 09:12:46 am »
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Not the European Federalism as we know it, but real European federalism : with a democratic federal government, elected by the European people and which has an effective power over national government. Why is it so hard to understand ? Why do you Euroskeptics systematically take commitment to the europeist ideal as a support to EU as it currently exists ? Why the possibility to reform EU and correct its flaws rather than outright disbanding it is always discarded ? This is what I don't understand.

The whole idea that the ideals behind the EU are sound and good, and it just need to be reformed to reach it's full potential just remind me of those girls who cling to abusive jerk boyfriends who thinks that they still have good hearts and that they're going to change... someday.

If you think you can actually change the union, good for you, but it won't happen. Brussels is an unmoving elephant, it makes D.C. look like a place of innovation and fast reform. It's not even able to abolish the rule that parliament should move between Brussels and Strasbourg twice every year even though everyone agrees it's stupid and just costs an unnecessary amount of money. You think the institution that can't even manage such minor reform will suddenly start to radicly change principles that are engraved in every single piece of EU legislation and precedent I have read? No, even if you believe that a European Federation is a necessity, surly you must see that the current federation is just standing in the way for such an institution to ever come about.

Of course I don't agree with you that a European Super State is necessary at all. We do have a problem with an aging population, yes, a major problem that could very well destroy our economy. But just adding all of our old folks together in one big happy federation won't make them any younger or solve the problem at all.   

And as far as power go I couldn't care less if Europe remains a major world player. I know France and Germany has still not accepted their lost empires and the fact they can no longer go around telling everyone in the world how to run their own business. But the world will be fine even if the two are just small nations among other nations. 
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republicanism
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« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2012, 10:58:43 am »
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The main reason for my Euroskepicism is that I do not want the people of Europe (and the labour movement particularly) to risk what they have achieved (workable democracies and still pretty solid welfare states) for something that maybe, in 100 years, perhaps, God willing, will be even better.

Some leftist Europhiles remind my of old-school pro-Soviet western Commies: "Yeah, I know the EU is not democratic, and yeah, of course it is the shame that the neoliberals rule it and force the member states to enforce neoliberal law, and yeah, it's wrong how they treat national parliaments - but we have to go strait forward in this direction and finally, we will have solved all those problems and live all together in a land of milk and honey!"
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« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2012, 12:42:06 pm »
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'Brussels' isn't the unmoving elephant, Swedish Cheese, it are the member states who at every step of the road fail the European ideal. Why are Merkel and Sarko the faces of the eurocrisis, rather than Juncker and Van Rompuy? Because the great players aren't willing to allow the European level to grow more autonomous, and because the small players are largely too selfish to psuh for it. The fact that the Union still is standing after having been used as some sort of bogeyman for personal gains by politicians without too much scruples and off all possible political convictions, is a testament to the strength of its inspiring ideas and ideals.

Am I happy the Union is sometimes used to push neo-liberalism down the throat of unwilling victims? Surely not. Am I glad the EU is undemocratic? No. But as Antonio has pointed out, the EU is something that has to be reformed, not abolished. The European Construction has always been a difficult one, and its completion has seemed distant ever since the EDC (CED)  failed in the Assemblée Nationale back in 1952. Yet it is a project that has continued towards it completion for most of its existance, overcoming many set-backs along the way.

The utter intellectual dishonesty (and sometimes stupidity) of eurocritics also helps to strengthen one's love for the project, it should be said. I'm sorry but every time Nigel Farrage or Geert Wilders open their mouths, or that I read a Daily Mail-article on Europe, I remember that I should be glad that I'm not supposed to side with those people.

@Gustaf: It's not as much about the EU being a world power, as about the EU guaranteeing its members a certain level of autonomy and independence which is not evident for minor players on the international stage. You sound even more unrealistic than even the most dreamy europhile when you start to represent the world without the EU as one where European nations would all just happily coexist and thrive in splendid isolation from the rest of the world.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2012, 01:46:36 pm »
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'Brussels' isn't the unmoving elephant, Swedish Cheese, it are the member states who at every step of the road fail the European ideal. Why are Merkel and Sarko the faces of the eurocrisis, rather than Juncker and Van Rompuy? Because the great players aren't willing to allow the European level to grow more autonomous, and because the small players are largely too selfish to psuh for it. The fact that the Union still is standing after having been used as some sort of bogeyman for personal gains by politicians without too much scruples and off all possible political convictions, is a testament to the strength of its inspiring ideas and ideals.

Am I happy the Union is sometimes used to push neo-liberalism down the throat of unwilling victims? Surely not. Am I glad the EU is undemocratic? No. But as Antonio has pointed out, the EU is something that has to be reformed, not abolished. The European Construction has always been a difficult one, and its completion has seemed distant ever since the EDC (CED)  failed in the Assemblée Nationale back in 1952. Yet it is a project that has continued towards it completion for most of its existance, overcoming many set-backs along the way.

The utter intellectual dishonesty (and sometimes stupidity) of eurocritics also helps to strengthen one's love for the project, it should be said. I'm sorry but every time Nigel Farrage or Geert Wilders open their mouths, or that I read a Daily Mail-article on Europe, I remember that I should be glad that I'm not supposed to side with those people.

@Gustaf: It's not as much about the EU being a world power, as about the EU guaranteeing its members a certain level of autonomy and independence which is not evident for minor players on the international stage. You sound even more unrealistic than even the most dreamy europhile when you start to represent the world without the EU as one where European nations would all just happily coexist and thrive in splendid isolation from the rest of the world.

Isolation? Who said anything about isolation? Or do you mean we will become one of those poor backwater countries like Switzerland or Norway? Or like the horrible non-EU country I was born in?

I guess it's true that all countries who aren't parts of an emerging federation are suffering horribly...

No one is really challenging the autonomy or independence of my country (apart from the EU of course). What you're talking about is forcing things on other people. I realize that this becomes easier if we have more guns to wave on the international stage. Problem is that I a) don't have much of that I want to do and b) what I would like to force on other countries won't be done by the European Federation. I see no reason to trust their actions on the international stage, especially given the track record of both the European institutions and the major European nations.

But if I understand your arguments for the EU being good, they are that it a) has been around almost as long as the Soviet Union before its collapse and b) that there are stupid people opposing it (which funnily could also have been applied to the old USSR). Can't say I find that very convincing when stacked against all the concrete economic and democratic problems caused by the EU.
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« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2012, 04:22:42 pm »
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Isolation? Who said anything about isolation? Or do you mean we will become one of those poor backwater countries like Switzerland or Norway? Or like the horrible non-EU country I was born in?

Well I have no memory of pre-union Sweden so I guess it was so increadibly horrible I must have repressed all my memories up til the age of four. Tongue

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Am I happy the Union is sometimes used to push neo-liberalism down the throat of unwilling victims? Surely not. Am I glad the EU is undemocratic? No. But as Antonio has pointed out, the EU is something that has to be reformed, not abolished.

Again it's the girl with the abusive boyfriend argument. "Sure he treats me like sh**t, but he has a good heart, I know I'll be able to change him." Look if someone's actions are rotten it doesn't matter if they have best intentions. Over the years the EU-has only become more undemocratic as time goes by. We're now at the point where this wonderful peace keeping institution doesn't seem to care if one of it's member states turn into a semi-facist dictatorship as long as they don't infringe on the free market. I do not see how you think that institution will suddenly turn into something great. If a house is rotten to its core you cannot simply renovate it, you need to tear it down and start over.

I'm not even going to adress the other argument because I know you're really above the "Hitler was a vegetarian" arguments and the simplistic thinking that something is inheretly good just because people you don't like oppose it.
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« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2012, 04:36:46 pm »
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I'm not even going to adress the other argument because I know you're really above the "Hitler was a vegetarian" arguments and the simplistic thinking that something is inheretly good just because people you don't like oppose it.

That bit was actually meant to explain why I feel the way I do, not to justify it. So it isn't really fallacious, as it isn't argumentative in the first place.
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« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2012, 05:00:27 pm »
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Except that institutions are not people and can be reformed, as long as there are enough people who want to reform them. Unless you can prove us how and why EU is inherently bad an unavoidably has to become an authoritarian neoliberal technocracy, you've got no point at all.
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« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2012, 05:34:33 pm »
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Except that institutions are not people and can be reformed, as long as there are enough people who want to reform them. Unless you can prove us how and why EU is inherently bad an unavoidably has to become an authoritarian neoliberal technocracy, you've got no point at all.

If corporations can be people in America why can't institutions be people in Europe? Sad

But to be serious, I'm sure the EU could be reformed if it had the democratic structure to let the people decide. That isn't how it is now. Any radical change to the nature of this organisation would have to happen from the top down, and the top has no intrest in what so ever to dimish it's own powers and make it-self responsible to voters. Truly I have seen no top european politician from either side of the spectrum do anything to try to make the EU more democratic.

As for market liberalism, yes that is an inevidable part of the union. It's part of the founding documents, every single treaty since and 60 years of CJEU court precedent. It is as much a part of the EU as the federalism itself   
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« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2012, 06:50:15 am »
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Except that institutions are not people and can be reformed, as long as there are enough people who want to reform them. Unless you can prove us how and why EU is inherently bad an unavoidably has to become an authoritarian neoliberal technocracy, you've got no point at all.

If corporations can be people in America why can't institutions be people in Europe? Sad

But to be serious, I'm sure the EU could be reformed if it had the democratic structure to let the people decide. That isn't how it is now. Any radical change to the nature of this organisation would have to happen from the top down, and the top has no intrest in what so ever to dimish it's own powers and make it-self responsible to voters. Truly I have seen no top european politician from either side of the spectrum do anything to try to make the EU more democratic.

As for market liberalism, yes that is an inevidable part of the union. It's part of the founding documents, every single treaty since and 60 years of CJEU court precedent. It is as much a part of the EU as the federalism itself   

Aren't the EU treaties negotiated by national governments ? If only there were a strong demo-europeist political movement in Europe, they could be able to push forward a reformist agenda and eventually negotiate a new treaty transforming the nature of the EU. Some steps forward already have been made, with the EU parliament being stronger now than it was in the 80s. However, most of them have been ruined by the anti-Europeans, who don't care about democratic reforms because they think the EU IS BAD!1!!!1!

Of course some countries would never support such a federalist agenda. That's why I think UK, for example, should be kicked out, and that the 2004-2007 expansions were major mistakes.
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HashCAN     americans saw the EP elections and people cringing at Europeans being morons and electing Nazis; so they massively said "NO" and decided to prove that they're still bigger morons



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« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2012, 11:14:59 am »
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Within the context of Ireland, I would have to say that the best thing about the EU is that takes away and reduces a country's sovereign power.

That's assuming that the European politicians and officials who would be making the decisions instead would be:

a) more competent,
b) not ideologically blinkered, and
c) not looking out for their own countries' interests at others' expense (specifically our expense).

After what we've seen over the last couple of years from Berlin, Paris, Frankfurt and Brussels, I think those are big and probably unrealistic assumptions.

Bad and all as our home-grown clowns are, we can at least kick them out.
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« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2012, 12:47:20 pm »
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Bad and all as our home-grown clowns are, we can at least kick them out.

Very true!
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« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2012, 11:02:48 pm »
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Aren't the EU treaties negotiated by national governments ? If only there were a strong demo-europeist political movement in Europe, they could be able to push forward a reformist agenda and eventually negotiate a new treaty transforming the nature of the EU. Some steps forward already have been made, with the EU parliament being stronger now than it was in the 80s. However, most of them have been ruined by the anti-Europeans, who don't care about democratic reforms because they think the EU IS BAD!1!!!1!

Of course some countries would never support such a federalist agenda. That's why I think UK, for example, should be kicked out, and that the 2004-2007 expansions were major mistakes.

So in other words you do not support the EU at all, you just support a European federal state, but you think that if (and that's a big if) by a chance one day a qualified majority of EU member states would happen to have goverments with the same leftiest EU ideal as you at the same time they could potentionally pass a treaty that would overturn 90% of the things the union has stood for in decades transforming it into something it has never been as long as we kick out the United Kingdom and other possible states that might be opposed... good plan. It all makes much more sense now.

   
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« Reply #42 on: January 12, 2012, 05:22:53 am »
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Aren't the EU treaties negotiated by national governments ? If only there were a strong demo-europeist political movement in Europe, they could be able to push forward a reformist agenda and eventually negotiate a new treaty transforming the nature of the EU. Some steps forward already have been made, with the EU parliament being stronger now than it was in the 80s. However, most of them have been ruined by the anti-Europeans, who don't care about democratic reforms because they think the EU IS BAD!1!!!1!

Of course some countries would never support such a federalist agenda. That's why I think UK, for example, should be kicked out, and that the 2004-2007 expansions were major mistakes.

So in other words you do not support the EU at all, you just support a European federal state, but you think that if (and that's a big if) by a chance one day a qualified majority of EU member states would happen to have goverments with the same leftiest EU ideal as you at the same time they could potentionally pass a treaty that would overturn 90% of the things the union has stood for in decades transforming it into something it has never been as long as we kick out the United Kingdom and other possible states that might be opposed... good plan. It all makes much more sense now.

Outright pulling out of the EU would make even less sense, though. Apart from the obvious economic consequences of closing border and coming back to weak national moneys, it would overturn the few steps forward EU has already done. Improving what we already do have seems a bit more realistic than destroying everything and getting back to the beginning.
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HashCAN     americans saw the EP elections and people cringing at Europeans being morons and electing Nazis; so they massively said "NO" and decided to prove that they're still bigger morons



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« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2012, 11:17:17 am »
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Aren't the EU treaties negotiated by national governments ? If only there were a strong demo-europeist political movement in Europe, they could be able to push forward a reformist agenda and eventually negotiate a new treaty transforming the nature of the EU. Some steps forward already have been made, with the EU parliament being stronger now than it was in the 80s. However, most of them have been ruined by the anti-Europeans, who don't care about democratic reforms because they think the EU IS BAD!1!!!1!

Of course some countries would never support such a federalist agenda. That's why I think UK, for example, should be kicked out, and that the 2004-2007 expansions were major mistakes.

So in other words you do not support the EU at all, you just support a European federal state, but you think that if (and that's a big if) by a chance one day a qualified majority of EU member states would happen to have goverments with the same leftiest EU ideal as you at the same time they could potentionally pass a treaty that would overturn 90% of the things the union has stood for in decades transforming it into something it has never been as long as we kick out the United Kingdom and other possible states that might be opposed... good plan. It all makes much more sense now.

Outright pulling out of the EU would make even less sense, though. Apart from the obvious economic consequences of closing border and coming back to weak national moneys, it would overturn the few steps forward EU has already done. Improving what we already do have seems a bit more realistic than destroying everything and getting back to the beginning.

Who said anything about closing the borders? You do realize that one can have open borders without the EU?

And I'm perfectly fine with my "weak national moneys" thank you. If you really want to make the euro a part of your argument, be my guest. I think that part sort of argues itself for our position.

PS: this idea that the anti-EU movement has ruined EU progress is pretty ridiculous. What anti-EU movement? It has never had any influence anywhere outside of maybe the UK. Do you have any concrete examples of this?

Your argument seems to be that there could be a European Union that was good and therefore it follows that we should be strongly in favour of any European Union which happens to actually exist. That doesn't really make much logical sense.
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« Reply #44 on: January 13, 2012, 11:26:59 am »
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As long as they rule the EU with an iron fist and are in the position to force their politics on other, weaker countries, it will be very hard for the Left to defeat one of the Euro overlords in an election.

Most people are, deep in their heart, national chauvinists, and they love how the 'lazy Greek' and the 'corrupt Italian' have to obey their Chancellor/President.

Don't think that French and German are different in this regard.

The more I learn about the European Union the more disgusting it seems to get.

I remember when I was younger and had a very superficial understanding of politics I thought it sounded like an absolutely wonderful, humane concept.

You know sometimes it's a good idea to treat your sources critical, the Europeans on this board are not especially representive of how people look at EU in Europe, most people don't have strong opinion about the union one way or another. And every respect for republicanism, but it's his subjective analyse of the public German opinion not a truth carved out in stone. 
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« Reply #45 on: January 13, 2012, 01:29:59 pm »
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Who said anything about closing the borders? You do realize that one can have open borders without the EU?That doesn't really make much logical sense.

Of course you can have open borders without the EU. It happens that the Schengen agreements were one of the things EU brought. It's hard to see it existing without the EU, especially if nationalist feelings keep developing the way they have in the last years.

 
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And I'm perfectly fine with my "weak national moneys" thank you. If you really want to make the euro a part of your argument, be my guest. I think that part sort of argues itself for our position.

Of course, if you take the ridiculously simplistic and silly position scapegoating the Euro and miss the real reasons for the crisis. However, I'm so tired of having to constantly argue against the conventional wisdom that I'd apreciate if we could agree to disagree. Otherwise, have a look at some of my past posts as an indication of my feeling of the topic.


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PS: this idea that the anti-EU movement has ruined EU progress is pretty ridiculous. What anti-EU movement? It has never had any influence anywhere outside of maybe the UK. Do you have any concrete examples of this?

LOL, I can't believe you are being serious.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_referendum_on_the_European_Constitution

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_referendum_on_the_European_Constitution

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-eighth_Amendment_of_the_Constitution_Bill,_2008_(Ireland)


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Your argument seems to be that there could be a European Union that was good and therefore it follows that we should be strongly in favour of any European Union which happens to actually exist.

My argument is that the EU isn't as good as it could be, but it has at least the merit to exist. The EU won't necessarily save Europe, but Europe certainly won't survive without the EU. Also, I never said I'm strongly in favor of the EU in its current form : I'm strongly in favor of a democratic European Federation, and therefore there is no way I can like EU as it is today. So, what should we do ? Dismantle everything and start from the beginning, so that we cause new disagreements and have to take 50 more years just to rebuild what we've destroyed ? Or rather work on what we already have, reform it, improve it, expand it, and eventually reach our goal ? I find it funny how you seem to think the first option is the most realistic.
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HashCAN     americans saw the EP elections and people cringing at Europeans being morons and electing Nazis; so they massively said "NO" and decided to prove that they're still bigger morons



"A reformist is someone who realizes that, when you bang your head on a wall, it's the head that breaks rather than the wall."

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Tetro Kornbluth
Gully Foyle
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« Reply #46 on: January 15, 2012, 02:32:02 pm »
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Within the context of Ireland, I would have to say that the best thing about the EU is that takes away and reduces a country's sovereign power.

That's assuming that the European politicians and officials who would be making the decisions instead would be:

a) more competent,
b) not ideologically blinkered, and
c) not looking out for their own countries' interests at others' expense (specifically our expense).

After what we've seen over the last couple of years from Berlin, Paris, Frankfurt and Brussels, I think those are big and probably unrealistic assumptions.

Bad and all as our home-grown clowns are, we can at least kick them out.

Alas, this happens to be accurate (I don't think it fully takes away from my point though... especially when you consider the sort of people who are shouting "Sovereignty" right now).
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Keith R Laws ‏@Keith_Laws  Feb 4
As I have noted before 'paradigm shift' is an anagram of 'grasp dim faith'
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« Reply #47 on: January 15, 2012, 09:03:38 pm »
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I thought this thread was about Sarkozy. Silly me. Wink
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Antonio V
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« Reply #48 on: January 18, 2012, 10:18:50 am »
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I thought this thread was about Sarkozy. Silly me. Wink

Any discussion about Sarkozy can hardly go beyond "LOL" or "sigh". There isn't much left to say after that. Wink
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HashCAN     americans saw the EP elections and people cringing at Europeans being morons and electing Nazis; so they massively said "NO" and decided to prove that they're still bigger morons



"A reformist is someone who realizes that, when you bang your head on a wall, it's the head that breaks rather than the wall."

Peppino, from the movie Baaria
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« Reply #49 on: January 18, 2012, 02:27:09 pm »
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I read that in a new poll, after France lost the AAA rating, Sarkozy tumbled again to an 18-point deficit against Hollande.
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Bob Findley: "You're a real dyed-in-the-wool son-of-a-bitch. Anyone ever told you that?"
Steve Everett: "Just close friends and family,"

Clint Eastwood's "True Crime", 1999.
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