Troubles ahead for the EU

AiR

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In case you missed it, we are living i peace and harmony. Peace and harmony in Startrek is rare, the only place I can think of is Kataan. And as you know, the Federation hardly lives up to their own standards. Remember Ba'ku?

Generally the Federation is not greeted by anyone, it's just seen as the lesser of two evils.
Michael Eddington said:
"I know you. I was like you once, but then I opened my eyes. Open your eyes, Captain. Why is the Federation so obsessed with the Maquis? We've never harmed you. And yet we're constantly arrested and charged with terrorism. Starships chase us through the Badlands and our supporters are harassed and ridiculed. Why? Because we've left the Federation, and that's the one thing you can't accept. Nobody leaves paradise. Everyone should want to be in the Federation. Hell, you even want the Cardassians to join. You're only sending them replicators because one day they can take their "rightful place" on the Federation Council. You know In some ways you're even worse than the Borg. At least they tell you about their plans for assimilation. You're more insidious. You assimilate people and they don't even know it."

McGuffin, it's your federalist views and the people who share them who make arguing for the EU hard. It's those views that have put us into the current situation where the EU is unpopular everywhere. A federalist europe where Brussels do not listen to the people of the member states. A Brussels that ignore referendums and push onwards towards a federal europe without looking back. The people do not approve.

Out of curiosity, which party do you vote for in the german elections? Federalists belong in the right wing liberal section up here.
 
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MacGuffin

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I usually vote for social democrats - also voted Green once in 2002.

And I don't think it's the "federalist's" fault that the EU is unpopular. It's a mixture of a lot of things. The main problem at the moment is, that the EU needs a reform to work properly - which is blocked, however, by some member countries.

I agree that the EU shouldn't step too fast forward at the risk of leaving the people behind. But a big part of the population is clearly caught in their own fears and prejudices and falls victim to anti-EU propaganda all too easily.

That's why I don't like national referendums: They contain the danger that a good thing fails due to irrational fears and moods rather than rational considerations. And the majority of the voters in a national referendum does not even bother to check for what exactly they vote. They read the tabloids and watch TV and think that's enough information...

We may currently live in peace but this has only been lasting for 64 years so far (if you don't count the Balkan wars) and certainly wasn't a time of harmony (Cold War). It is much too early to say that we made it now, that we are beyond war and hatred and nationalism, etc.

I think we are not. And I think that without the EU some of the current EU member countries probably might already be at each others throats again, because they'd have no instrument of mediation.

People must understand, that in the long run prosperity, security and peace is only possible in a united Europe. There may be countries who are able to keep themselves out of every kind of conflict (like Switzerland in WWII), because they refuse to take position, but that doesn't mean they'll get out of the mess without suffering or getting dirty hands. So you cannot lay back and say: "Hey, I'm Swedish, we already had peace for longer than you, so build your peaceful Europe without us".

Replacing nationalism with isolationism certainly will not work...
 
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AiR

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See now you wrote another of those posts I have to agree with. Damn you! Give me something to bite on! :p
I used to vote for the social democrats but I've switched sides since they are stuck with the greens and therefore oppose nuclear power without any good reason. Politics is very complicated.

Lets talk about Star Trek instead.
 

Plissken

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Let's..... not.
 

MacGuffin

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I just want to add something I just remembered from politics class in school. We were discussing the pros and cons of national referendums and our teacher made a valid point by saying, that some questions can't be answered by YES or NO.

Like for example: "Did you stop beating your wife now?"

He had a point, you know ;)
 

kurthest

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In my opinion, EU should never have expanded to the eastern europe countries.
All those countries where poor, so which way is the moneyflow going after they joined?

I was pro-EU until Eu decided to take all those poor countries into the union. I'm against Norway joining now, and so is the majority of norwegians also.
I wish the government would pull out of the Schengen border-agreement and make people from eastern europe need visas to get into Norway. The way it is now, they are pouring into this country in vast numbers, and there's nothing to stop them.
The simple truth is that the quality of real estate has gone down a crapload since all these polish workers came here.

Anyways, I'm sure the EU would be better off in the current economical crisis if they werent sending so much money to the east.
 

MacGuffin

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I think leaving the former Eastern Block countries outside, would have been short-sighted. Most people only ever seen the short-term effects, the immediate disadvantages, but fail to see the long-term effects, the big chances which are involved.

And on the long run a split Europe where one half is rich and the other one is struggling to keep their heads above the water, contains massive potential for conflicts - especially when you have a country like Russia on the other side (geographically spoken), which currently is on an alarming ego-trip, seeking more influence again and would like to have those former Eastern Block countries under its wings again all too gladly...

If we are really talking about a united Europe for the future, we have to gather as many countries as possible for that - and accept temporary problems. Things will balance themselves out sooner or later and it might be a rough ride until then, but the world is changing again (and not for the better) and the time frame is closing.
 
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kurthest

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I think leaving the former Eastern Block countries outside, would have been short-sighted. Most people only ever seen the short-term effects, the immediate disadvantages, but fail to see the long-term effects, the big chances which are involved.

And on the long run a split Europe where one half is rich and the other one is struggling to keep their heads above the water, contains massive potential for conflicts - especially when you have a country like Russia on the other side (geographically spoken), which currently is on an alarming ego-trip, seeking more influence again and would like to have those former Eastern Block countries under its wings again all too gladly...

If we are really talking about a united Europe for the future, we have to gather as many countries as possible for that - and accept temporary problems. Things will balance themselves out sooner or later and it might be a rough ride until then, but the world is changing again (and not for the better) and the time frame is closing.

You have some good points, however I still think it's wrong that the richer european countries should use such huge amounts of money to better the economical situation for the lesser countries.
I do not like this 21st century Robin Hood business.

Anyways, I'm confident that Norway will never be a member of the EU, and I would like it if we would pull out of the treaty we have with EU, cause we send a crapload of money to them for having the treaty.
EU wanted more money when they expanded with these lesser countries to the east.
Makes me angry.
 

alihaig

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I think leaving the former Eastern Block countries outside, would have been short-sighted. Most people only ever seen the short-term effects, the immediate disadvantages, but fail to see the long-term effects, the big chances which are involved.

And on the long run a split Europe where one half is rich and the other one is struggling to keep their heads above the water, contains massive potential for conflicts - especially when you have a country like Russia on the other side (geographically spoken), which currently is on an alarming ego-trip, seeking more influence again and would like to have those former Eastern Block countries under its wings again all too gladly...

If we are really talking about a united Europe for the future, we have to gather as many countries as possible for that - and accept temporary problems. Things will balance themselves out sooner or later and it might be a rough ride until then, but the world is changing again (and not for the better) and the time frame is closing.

So instead of having a rich and poor spilt in Europe you want to see everybody poor?
 

MacGuffin

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So instead of having a rich and poor spilt in Europe you want to see everybody poor?

Are you unable to contribute anything but polemics and populism to this discussion?
 

alihaig

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Well all you seem to be contributing is ridiculous pro-EU propaganda, so it becomes difficult to have a reasoned argument. It's clear that nobody here is going to change their views in either direction so why keep going?
 

MacGuffin

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If you look at it this way, any kind of discussion is useless and wasted time. Discussions are neither about winning an argument, nor are they about convincing everyone else involved. Discussions are an exchange of views and opinions, where hopefully some people learn to see things from a different point of view (me included of course - nobody ever stops learning).

Because we are all more or less isolated when forming our views and opinions (and often are victims of unwanted influences) and need to check with other people to either get them confirmed or to learn if they are rubbish.

And if you think what I'm doing here, is spreading propaganda, then you haven't understood the meaning of the term "propaganda" and just use it because you heard it before and because it somehow sounds good.

I reckon your problem is, that you simply don't know how to response properly, because you don't have a clear opinion but just some foggy views about the whole topic, which are the result from listening to populists and therefore lack any substance. So you react like most of your age: Instead of doing the wise thing and say nothing at all, you are trying to fight back by talking rubbish.

I know I will never convince anyone who doesn't share my view and I respect opposite opinions -- if they are put into the discussion in a reasonably way that can be taken serious. The least I can hope for, is that my posts provoke some thinking. Because thinking of our own and forming opinions of our own is something our modern society lacks a great deal...
 
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MacGuffin

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Is the European Union Constitutional?

There are those in Germany who think the Lisbon Treaty transfers too much responsibility to Brussels. The Constitutional Court is hearing the case this week. Should it agree, then the treaty is dead.

As trivia questions go, it's not an easy one: What four European Union countries have yet to ratify the Lisbon Treaty?

A couple of them are obvious. Ireland, of course, rejected the treaty in a referendum last June, but will likely give the document a second chance in a new poll. And the Czech Republic is no surprise either, given the country's reputation as a Euro-skeptic. Even Poland might be clear given Warsaw's tendency in the past to try and leverage as many last-second concessions as possible out of any EU agreement.

The fourth, though, is not so obvious. After all, the German parliament has already rubber-stamped the treaty and German Chancellor Angela Merkel has signed it.

But not all in Germany are in favor of the Treaty of Lisbon. There are some who worry that it violates the German constitution by exporting core governmental competencies from Berlin to Brussels. President Horst K?hler has withheld his approval of the treaty until the legal questions are clarified. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the German Constitutional Court will hear arguments in the case. And given the fundamental nature of the complaints involved, it is not at all clear that the justices will side with the EU. If they don't, then the Treaty of Lisbon is dead.

It's not a new battle. For years, the German court has been asked to decide on issues relating to EU integration and the question of competency. When the Maastricht Treaty was signed 15 years ago -- an agreement that essentially laid the foundations for the EU as it looks and operates today -- Germany's highest court warned that "even as integration among member states progresses, a lively democracy must remain."

In other words, even as Berlin hands over competencies to the European Union, it can't hand over too many. Otherwise, the German Constitutional Court will step in. But how much is too much?

German parliamentarian Peter Gauweiler, a member of Bavaria's CSU -- the sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU -- is among those challenging the Treaty of Lisbon. He argues that the so-called "flexibility clause," which allows the EU to act in areas not explicitly outlined in the treaty, means that Brussels can intervene as it likes, even in those areas reserved for national legislatures.

It is a question that has been raised before. Years ago, Udo di Fabio, one of the eight justices who will be hearing the case this week, warned that the flexibility clause "could be the beginning of the end" when it comes to the constitutionality of European Union law.

Another point of concern for many is the future of the Constitutional Court itself. In the European Constitution, which was firmly rejected in 2005 by referenda in both France and the Netherlands, the primacy of European law over member-state law was first explicitly mentioned. The Treaty of Lisbon varies from the constitution in many respects, but the superiority of EU law in some areas has been maintained. The Court of Justice of the European Union would then have jurisdiction over challenges to such legislation.

Another way of putting it: The case currently before the German court is essentially asking it to hand over some of its own competencies to the European Union. There are plenty of observers who think the justices will decline to do so.

A verdict isn't expected until later this spring. But it has already become clear that some in Berlin are getting nervous. Late last month German Interior Minister Wolfgang Sch?uble urged the court to exhibit more "self restraint." He continued by saying, "I have no doubt that the Lisbon Treaty corresponds completely with the constitution."

Brussels will be hoping that the German Constitutional Court agrees.

cgh -- with wire reports

Source: SPIEGEL online
 

jetsetter

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The Czech Republic is now one of my favorite countries. While being a EU skeptic they also just told off the Russians, I love it!!!

Russia attacks Czech FM for 'shocking' Belarus remarks

27 February 2009, 23:24 CET

(MOSCOW) - Russia Friday attacked as "politically shocking" a Czech EU presidency warning to Belarus not to recognise the independence of Georgian breakaway regions, the Interfax news agency reported.

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said earlier this week in Brussels that if Belarus followed Russia by recognising pro-Moscow Abkhazia and South Ossetia it would face a "very, very difficult situation."

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has moved to improve relations with the European Union after years of isolation and the bloc's foreign policy chief Javier Solana last week made his first ever visit to the country.

"The comment by Schwarzenberg cannot be described as anything other than politically shocking," a high-ranking Russian foreign ministry source told Interfax.

"It cannot be seen as anything other than crude pressure by the EU presidency on the sovereignty of the state of Belarus," the source added.

Lukashenko has said that parliament would consider recognising the two regions' independence this year, in a move that would make Belarus only the third state to make such a move after Russia and Nicaragua.

But up to now no further steps on a recognition appear to have been taken.
Lukashenko has ruled the ex-Soviet republic of 10 million people in an authoritarian fashion since 1994.

But last October, EU foreign ministers suspended a travel ban on Lukashenko and several associates in a move designed to encourage democracy in the wake of disputed elections.
"It is natural that if Belarus or the parliament, if they would recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia, it would create a very, very difficult situation for Belarus," Schwarzenberg, whose country holds the rotating presidency, told reporters on Monday.

"Belarus would be out of a European consensus. That must be clear to them."
If Belarus makes progress along the democratic road it could also become part of the EU's new 'Eastern Partnership' scheme which it plans to set up with other former Soviet states Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

The partnership is due to be launched in Prague in May, though no decision has yet been taken on the involvement on Belarus.
 

tigger

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I definitely think that the EU needs to act more cohesively, especially when it comes to foreign policy. It might help if the US and others would quit playing favorites and engage the EU as a whole. But in any case, I think it needs to be done to offset our role in international politics. The whole of Europe acting together would be a real force to reckoned with, politically, economically and militarily.

But I've heard how some of you guys feel about a stronger EU. :lol:

"It cannot be seen as anything other than crude pressure by the EU presidency on the sovereignty of the state of Belarus," the source added.
Wait, the Russians are lamenting someone exerting "crude pressure" on a sovereign state? :lmao:
 

Cobol74

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I definitely think that the EU needs to act more cohesively, especially when it comes to foreign policy.
They can not - Ireland is exclusively non aligned and will not engage militarily with the EU, the UK are extremely unhappy about say a German or worse French commander of a British military unit - just will not happen. If you can not control the military then you are immediately prevented from do 60% of what the fools who are federalists want. UK should do a Switzerland or Norway all the benefits, none of the crap.
 

tigger

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They can not - Ireland is exclusively non aligned and will not engage militarily with the EU, the UK are extremely unhappy about say a German or worse French commander of a British military unit - just will not happen. If you can not control the military then you are immediately prevented from do 60% of what the fools who are federalists want. UK should do a Switzerland or Norway all the benefits, none of the crap.
I know I mentioned military in my post, but that's not exactly what I meant for 'foreign policy'. Yes, there's a security/military aspect to that. But I just mean a cohesive policy, as far as how the EU, as a whole, deals with other nations diplomatically and economically. You don't necessarily need a standing army to influence other nations.

As for actually working together militarily: You guys need to get over yourselves. And here I thought that Europe was this great open-minded, free thinking place. ;)
 

alihaig

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It would be nice if we could agree on foreign policy but basically we are all programmed to disagree entirely with whatever the rest of the continent says no matter what the cost.

As soon as you mention that the French like an idea it instantly becomes a non starter.
 
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