Question about the European Integration project

This forum is the place to have more serious discussions about politics and religion, and your opinions thereof. Be courteous!

Moderator: Forum Administrators

Forum rules
When a registered user insults another person (user or not), nation, political group or religious group, s/he will be deprived of her/his permission to post in the forum. That user has the right to re-register one week after s/he has lost the permission. Further violations will result in longer prohibitions.

By default, you are automatically registered to post in this forum. However, users cannot post in the politics forum during the first week after registration. Users can also not make their very first post in the politics forum.
isenkrammer
Posts: 27
Joined: 2010-10-21, 12:04
Real Name: too long to fit in
Gender: male
Location: Melbourne
Country: AU Australia (Australia)

Question about the European Integration project

Postby isenkrammer » 2012-02-11, 6:16

Lately I've been seeing lots of debates on issues related to the Greek financial crisis. A focal point of the debate seems to be on the sovereignty of individual nation-states within the EU. Those against the bailout argue that the bailout packages will take away powers (such as budget and currency control) away from individual nation-states, and thereby robbing them of their sovereignty. Those for the bailout argue that a fully integrated European economy with centralized power is better equipped to deal with the competition in the global market of the 21st century. Both arguments make sense to me, but there is one thing that I don't fully understand yet and I want to know what you Europeans think about them:

What's the level of work-force mobility between the member nation-states within the EU?

The way I look at the sovereignty vs. integrity issue is that if the EU itself is organized like a large unified country with a single currency, like the US for example, then disproportional growth in various geographical areas of the country is bound to happen because some areas simply have better terrain which allow better access to waterways and natural resources and markets etc. some areas have traditional strength in some industries for historical reasons, like for example the German manufacturing industry is traditionally famous for high end high tech products, and when the single currency the Euro was implemented, German mechatronic products were bound to out-compete say Greek products anywhere within the EU including in Greece itself, because they're now sold at similar prices due to the common currency, and are considered to be from within the same economy (and thereby exempt from import tariffs as well.) The result is imminent trade imbalance and I get the impression that this is root cause of the current crisis of not just Greece but also Portugal and Spain.

BUT, similar 'problems' had happened in the US too, for example back in the days when the area around the eastern coast was the industrial heartland of America, people from all parts of America from south to north used to move from their home states to the industrial heartland. Another example is that young people from all over America who want to pursue a career in the movie industry would flock to California, the heartland of the movie industry. But in these cases none of these people have complained about having to leave say Nebraska or Arkansas and having to move to California or Pennsylvania, because they're all Americans before they're anything else. So what's the big deal if say, the economy in Greece turned out to be less competitive than in Germany under the full integration policies, can't they just move to Germany and work there? I mean if there's slow-down in Greece due to the Growth in Germany, then certainly there'd be growth of employment demand in Germany when Greece loses some demand?

So what prevents the Greek workers from moving to Germany to work, instead of staying in Greece and having to endure the high unemployment rate there? (From what I see ultra-nationalist groups in Germany don't seem to target on anyone from within the EU)

isenkrammer
Posts: 27
Joined: 2010-10-21, 12:04
Real Name: too long to fit in
Gender: male
Location: Melbourne
Country: AU Australia (Australia)

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby isenkrammer » 2012-02-11, 6:22

p.s. I don't mean to offend anyone here by bringing up politics. just genuinely want to know how you Europeans think about the issue, since there's no other ways I could find out, given that I don't live within the EU and don't really have any contacts from the EU apart from a few 'buddies' that I had gotten drunk together with once.

User avatar
Saaropean
Posts: 8808
Joined: 2002-06-21, 10:24
Real Name: Rolf S.
Gender: male
Location: Montréal
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby Saaropean » 2012-02-11, 10:24

isenkrammer wrote:From what I see ultra-nationalist groups in Germany don't seem to target on anyone from within the EU.

They target on Muslims, people with dark skin, and people from Eastern Europe. I'm sure they would target on Greeks, too, if they arrived in large numbers.
isenkrammer wrote:So what prevents the Greek workers from moving to Germany to work, instead of staying in Greece and having to endure the high unemployment rate there?

Here in the old world, many people are deeply rooted in their heimat (home soil).

Besides, I don't think Greece's problems would be solved if all the Greeks left the country...
isenkrammer wrote:What's the level of work-force mobility between the member nation-states within the EU?

Some statistics I found for Germany (where the economy is indeed booming in spite of the rest of Europe):

At the end of 2010, there were 276,685 Greek citizens living in Germany, 22% less than in 2003.

In 2010, 798,300 people immigrated to Germany (14% of them German citizens), 670,600 people emigrated out of Germany (21% of them German citizens).

I'm afraid my quick search hasn't revealed more figures.

User avatar
Johanna
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 6552
Joined: 2006-09-17, 18:05
Real Name: Johanna
Gender: female
Location: Lidköping, Westrogothia
Country: SE Sweden (Sverige)

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby Johanna » 2012-02-11, 16:34

Saaropean wrote:
isenkrammer wrote:So what prevents the Greek workers from moving to Germany to work, instead of staying in Greece and having to endure the high unemployment rate there?

Here in the old world, many people are deeply rooted in their heimat (home soil).

There's also the language barrier, the main language in California is the native language of people from Nebraska, whereas most Greeks don't know German at all.
Swedish (sv) native; English (en) good; Norwegian (no) read fluently, understand well, speak badly; Danish (dk) read fluently, understand badly, can't speak; Faroese (fo) read some, understand a bit, speak a few sentences; German (de) French (fr) Spanish (es) forgetting; heritage language, want to understand and speak but can't.

User avatar
Bao
Posts: 376
Joined: 2011-10-17, 23:29
Real Name: 나미 ... well, not.

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby Bao » 2012-02-11, 16:55

Currently, many Greeks move to other European countries because they can't sustain themselves in Greece. Even in the years before the crisis, there seems to have been a lot of pressure on especially young Greeks to learn other European languages and especially English, more than there is on French people or Germans for example. So now many of them move to countries where they can work with their skills and knowing English. As far as I know, Greece is experiencing a major brain drain right now.

Anecdote: At my former workplace, there is one Greek woman who will retire this summer. She is a labourer, like many Southern and Eastern European first generation immigrants in Germany are and were, and she said she and her husband used to want to return to Greece after retirement, but with the way this are there now, they'll rather stay in Germany. Even though after 40 years she still has trouble with the language and she can't read Latin script.

And I think you realize what the biggest difference between the EU and the US is: Our different languages. People are most likely to leave their own country when they're highly educated and have better chances somewhere else, or when the situation in their own country is so dire that working as an unskilled labourer somewhere else is still preferrable.
Generally, the most likely candidates for migration are young, able people who don't have children themselves yet, and we do see a lot of 'education migration' as well. People who have a family at home to care for can't travel or establish a new life somewhere else as easily, after all.

Still, even though Poland entered the Schengen Agreement in 2007, Germany didn't allow for Polish citizens to work in Germany without a separate work visa until last year, because they were afraid of cheap Polish labour destroying the wages here (Germany doesn't have a statutory minimum wage, there are only minimum wages decided on by trade unions and employers' associations for different sectors). So moving from one EU member state to another isn't as easy as moving from one US state to another.

If you like statistics, have a go at Migration and migrant population statistics from the European Commission.


As for hate crimes, of course people are afraid of them. But just yesterday one of my classmates, who has German citizenship and is a second generation Turkish immigrant, said he doesn't travel to the US because he's afraid of being treated with hostility there. I think this is a good example for the general sentiment. There's institutionalized discrimination, for example when it comes to housing, employment, education etc. and there's hate crimes commited by extremist individuals.
Even though we do have institutionalized discrimination in Germany who: Look like us but don't speak our language well (or speak English natively) or who don't look like us, most immigrants I know seem to perceive that as discrimination by some parts of the society, and feel they are accepted and helped by others. I just found out I'm subject to this as well. Need to think about it and ask other people how they perceive the issue.
I often confuse 辛 and 幸. || It's not procrastination until the last day.

User avatar
JackFrost
Forum Administrator
Posts: 16240
Joined: 2004-11-08, 21:00
Real Name: Jack Frost
Gender: male
Location: Montréal, Québec
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby JackFrost » 2012-02-11, 23:27

Language barriers are not the only issue that slow down the inter-European migrations, but also how the migrants are viewed in the member states. It can be analyzed by looking at the peoples' mentalities and immigration and citizenship laws. Americans do not have those issues regarding migrations between the states and territories as you may know. The US mostly built itself into a large nation by expanding on very sparsely populated lands from the original colonies on the eastern seaboard to the Pacific coast. Europe does not have that luxury. If the EU desires to follow the US federation model, it'll be extremely challenging because it'll have to face issues what the US never really had to worry about: national sovereignty of the member states, deeply-rooted cultures, languages, peoples, etc. Nations in general loathe to surrender their sovereignty and be converted into a mere state with a loss of voice in the international community such as the United Nations, NATO, and so on. Of course, there are many indigenous peoples with deep roots in the lands that are now the US, but they're heavily marginalized and vastly outnumbered because of past Old-World disease epidemics, military conflicts, and waves after waves of immigrations from the Old World. The same can be said in the rest of the Americas and your country, Australia.

Hopefully you can see the difference why it is relatively easier to migrate between the states in the US than between the member states in the EU.

Saaropean wrote:Here in the old world, many people are deeply rooted in their heimat (home soil).

Oh how I love it when people forget that there are many people who are also deeply rooted in the Americas and the questioner's country, Australia.
Neferuj paħujkij!

User avatar
Bao
Posts: 376
Joined: 2011-10-17, 23:29
Real Name: 나미 ... well, not.

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby Bao » 2012-02-12, 0:14

JackFrost wrote:
Saaropean wrote:Here in the old world, many people are deeply rooted in their heimat (home soil).

Oh how I love it when people forget that there are many people who are also deeply rooted in the Americas and the questioner's country, Australia.

Also, most people do not migrate at all if they can help it. (Thinking of migration as moving to a completely unknown place and life, not following nomadic tradition of one's people which includes having someone in the tribe who already knows the area.)
I often confuse 辛 and 幸. || It's not procrastination until the last day.

User avatar
Saaropean
Posts: 8808
Joined: 2002-06-21, 10:24
Real Name: Rolf S.
Gender: male
Location: Montréal
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby Saaropean » 2012-02-12, 8:20

JackFrost wrote:
Saaropean wrote:Here in the old world, many people are deeply rooted in their heimat (home soil).

Oh how I love it when people forget that there are many people who are also deeply rooted in the Americas and the questioner's country, Australia.

Deeply rooted in the colonies? :shock: But you can't be, you have no traditions, no culture. After all, your lands haven't been civilised for 2000 years. :lol: :lol:

Seriously: I apologize for the bullshit I wrote.

User avatar
JackFrost
Forum Administrator
Posts: 16240
Joined: 2004-11-08, 21:00
Real Name: Jack Frost
Gender: male
Location: Montréal, Québec
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby JackFrost » 2012-02-12, 9:15

Bao wrote:
JackFrost wrote:
Saaropean wrote:Here in the old world, many people are deeply rooted in their heimat (home soil).

Oh how I love it when people forget that there are many people who are also deeply rooted in the Americas and the questioner's country, Australia.

Also, most people do not migrate at all if they can help it. (Thinking of migration as moving to a completely unknown place and life, not following nomadic tradition of one's people which includes having someone in the tribe who already knows the area.)

Fair enough, but I just felt I had to point out this hindsight that my continent has been settled for thousands of years as well, not just five centuries.

That's not really the topic, so let's not go there anyways.

Saaropean wrote:Seriously: I apologize for the bullshit I wrote.

No need to apologize. I'm not annoyed or anything. Just felt like I had to remind you. :?

EDIT: I can see that my comment came out as sarcastic. My bad. Sorry.
Neferuj paħujkij!

isenkrammer
Posts: 27
Joined: 2010-10-21, 12:04
Real Name: too long to fit in
Gender: male
Location: Melbourne
Country: AU Australia (Australia)

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby isenkrammer » 2012-02-13, 15:17

Saaropean wrote:
Here in the old world, many people are deeply rooted in their heimat (home soil).


I've read about this 'Heimat' thing before, but the notion of Blut und Boden sounds like it belongs to the old days, like Knut Hamsun's time? (I know he's norwegian but he seems to capture the spirit quite well) Do the young people in Germany today still hold onto this concept?

I grew up in China and spent my entire childhood there in the 90s, and I used to resent everything traditional. Now as an adult I know I had been misled by the mass media, but my experience shows the strength of (American) mass media even in such a relatively isolated country. I expected this to happen to kids in other countries as well but it looks like I have miscalculated.

Bao wrote:
Also, most people do not migrate at all if they can help it. (Thinking of migration as moving to a completely unknown place and life, not following nomadic tradition of one's people which includes having someone in the tribe who already knows the area.)


So bascially you're saying, even though the EU is supposed to make everyone in Europe feel like they're living in one same country, in reality the people of the member states still treat each other as foreigners. Would you say then, that the Euro was probably introduced a bit too early? It seems people are underprepared. I would think that work force mobility within an economy is very important to its efficiency. The Euro was introduced to merge the individual economies into one, but you all seem to be saying that the national borders still pose as significant obstacles for those who wish to move to where jobs are.

User avatar
Saaropean
Posts: 8808
Joined: 2002-06-21, 10:24
Real Name: Rolf S.
Gender: male
Location: Montréal
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby Saaropean » 2012-02-13, 17:44

isenkrammer wrote:Do the young people in Germany today still hold onto this concept?

When I was in high school, there was a person from the Federal Employment Agency who told us we needed to be willing to leave our home state if we wanted a good job. 10 years later I met my former classmates at a reunion. Those who had left the region generally had better paid jobs than those who had stayed where their families have lived for generations. Of the classmates I talked to, about 40% had left our economically not so well performing state.

The current unemployment rate is 5.4% in Saarlouis county, 6.8% in the state of Saarland, 6.2% in Western Germany, 7.3% in the whole country.
When I left high school in 1998, it was 12.2% in Saarlouis county, 11.5% in Saarland, 10.3% in Western Germany, 12.3% in the whole country.


In my primary school in downtown Stuttgart (pop. 600,000 in the city itself, 2.7 million in the Larger Urban Zone, 5.3 million in the metropolitan region), about a third of my classmates were German citizens. Of the 1/3 Germans, almost all were born outside the state of Baden-Württemberg. Of the 2/3 "non-Germans", almost all were born in Stuttgart.
In my high school in Saarlouis (pop. 37,000 in the town, 200,000 in the district), only one of my classmates was born outside the state of Saarland.

isenkrammer wrote:So bascially you're saying, even though the EU is supposed to make everyone in Europe feel like they're living in one same country, in reality the people of the member states still treat each other as foreigners.

Definitely. You may not need a passport, but the national borders still exist. Not only in people's heads.

isenkrammer wrote:Would you say then, that the Euro was probably introduced a bit too early?

I don't think so. But that's a different topic.

isenkrammer wrote:I would think that work force mobility within an economy is very important to its efficiency.

There are few bureaucratical obstacles for people who are willing to work in another EU country. And the EU encourages this kind of mobility. But what people eventually do is something entirely different...

isenkrammer wrote:The Euro was introduced to merge the individual economies into one

Was it? I grew up at the French border and not far from Luxembourg. It was practical to suddenly have the same currency in all 3 countries. But the Eurozone is not really one economy. Taxes and laws still differ a lot from country to country. Politicians (who don't want to lose their power) generally don't look across the border when it comes to decision-making.

User avatar
Leviwosc
Posts: 4743
Joined: 2002-06-28, 3:38
Real Name: Reinaldus Adreanus
Gender: male
Location: Tilburg
Country: NL The Netherlands (Nederland)
Contact:

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby Leviwosc » 2012-03-08, 19:39

The European Union is a failure. It was a big mistake to think that all those countries with these very different cultures, languages and a long shared history of war and peace. Could easily merge into one big powerful nation.

Personally I think the Europeans would love to have good connections with other European countries. Trading with each other in freedom. But becoming one country is just one bridge too far! The formation of the union went way too fast! Unfortunately poor countries with a doubtful government were allowed to enter the union as well. Countries which were not even a decade liberated from the Soviets.

Greece is now like a bottomless well, we keep throwing money in, while we know that we'll never get a single penny returned. This is partly our own fault of course. We, the richer countries, lend all this money to Greece while we could have known or should have known, that they can't pay it back. Why? Greece culture is different, it's a national sport to commit fraud with the tax returns. But it's worse that the Greek government did nothing to stop this. Perhaps they enjoyed the afternoon sun too much, with some feta and ouzo; while laughing about those dumb northern countries.

A smaller union would perhaps work and even then I'm reluctant to open all the borders, trying to become one nation. My smaller union would be: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The other countries could be trading partners, but nothing more. The countries I have listed here do have their own problems as well; like: Belgium, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. But I think these countries will able to solve the problems themselves. Earlier I thought Spain would be a dangerous threat to our economy, but I was wrong. It's Greece that's destroying the European economy right now.

But this is just a thought of mine, my idea. It's not realistic. Reality is that we're a union right now. We almost all share one currency and we have a load of underdeveloped countries in the union which might appear to be a time bomb some day in the future. I'm very worried about countries like Romania and Bulgaria for example. I'd rather say to Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, wait a couple of years!
Image Image | Image Image Image Image | Image Image Image

Sol Invictus
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 2987
Joined: 2007-01-04, 13:59
Gender: female
Location: Rīga
Country: LV Latvia (Latvija)

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby Sol Invictus » 2012-03-11, 11:54

EU is not a country, it is a suoernational entity that technicaly started out as a way to improve continent's economy.

We almost all share one currency and we have a load of underdeveloped countries in the union which might appear to be a time bomb some day in the future. I'm very worried about countries like Romania and Bulgaria for example.

In great scheme of things it wouldn't be as bad, if EU invested in poorer regions, instead of letting old countries with well developed economies get most of the funding. Probably would also help to keep migration from new countries in check. It is not that idea is bad, but when each country wants its way, it ends up being unjust and ineffective.

User avatar
Leviwosc
Posts: 4743
Joined: 2002-06-28, 3:38
Real Name: Reinaldus Adreanus
Gender: male
Location: Tilburg
Country: NL The Netherlands (Nederland)
Contact:

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby Leviwosc » 2012-03-11, 17:05

Whatever name you like to give it; supernational entity, country, etc. it all ends up being something similar. The main goal of the EU is to end up one day as one nation. The EU already has a parliament and a president; although no one seems to know this man. There's one currency, the Euro, not all member states use it yet, but eventually that will be the goal. So I think it doesn't matter what label you're using.

The EU is not necessary to help poorer regions to improve and develop. It's a popular argument by the pro-EU people but it's nonsense of course to think you have to be part of an economical union to get support from the richer countries.
Image Image | Image Image Image Image | Image Image Image

Sol Invictus
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 2987
Joined: 2007-01-04, 13:59
Gender: female
Location: Rīga
Country: LV Latvia (Latvija)

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby Sol Invictus » 2012-03-11, 17:22

Leviwosc wrote:The EU is not necessary to help poorer regions to improve and develop. It's a popular argument by the pro-EU people but it's nonsense of course to think you have to be part of an economical union to get support from the richer countries.

That was not the point - it supposedly is to make economy equal and, if you are going to encourage equal development, it doesn't make sense to give most money to the rich and a little bit to the poor

User avatar
Bao
Posts: 376
Joined: 2011-10-17, 23:29
Real Name: 나미 ... well, not.

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby Bao » 2012-03-11, 20:32

Leviwosc wrote:Whatever name you like to give it; supernational entity, country, etc. it all ends up being something similar. The main goal of the EU is to end up one day as one nation.

Whoever told you that was rather misinformed. The main goal of the EU is to provide a zone for its members covered by trade agreements, common legislation and improvement of migration and flow of investment that makes EU member countries more dependent on other EU member countries, but less dependent on superpowers in other regions of the world, politically and economically.
Not having lived there I can't vouch for other countries, but the general sentiment in Germany and Spain regarding the EU cannot be compared with the nationalist movement of late 19th century Germany. The first thing that comes to mind, the current surge of islamophobia, hasn't yet been used to forge a European identity to the same extent Slavophobia was used played a key role in forging a German identity. (It might be a process in the making, though.)
So, the main goal of the EU is to provide its member states with the advantages of a single nation, without actually being one. Whether this is indeed possible, and whether it is possible with the kind of governance in place is a different question.
I often confuse 辛 and 幸. || It's not procrastination until the last day.

User avatar
Leviwosc
Posts: 4743
Joined: 2002-06-28, 3:38
Real Name: Reinaldus Adreanus
Gender: male
Location: Tilburg
Country: NL The Netherlands (Nederland)
Contact:

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby Leviwosc » 2012-03-12, 15:55

Bao wrote:Whoever told you that was rather misinformed. The main goal of the EU is to provide a zone for its members covered by trade agreements, common legislation and improvement of migration and flow of investment that makes EU member countries more dependent on other EU member countries, but less dependent on superpowers in other regions of the world, politically and economically.

I guess one can find this in about every definition of the EU indeed. But it only states what the EU is right now. It doesn't state what the EU will become... I don't believe the goal of the EU is to stay this zone. Within 50 years, I believe and many with me, the EU will seriously try to become one huge country.

Bao wrote:So, the main goal of the EU is to provide its member states with the advantages of a single nation, without actually being one. Whether this is indeed possible, and whether it is possible with the kind of governance in place is a different question.

And that's what I won't buy. Why having the advantages of a single nation and not being one? The Europeans are not ready yet to become one nation. People care too much about their nationality, but the whole idea of the EU is to get used to the idea. Like I said, I believe that in 50 years or perhaps 10 years more all the countries we know today are just states in the United States of Europe. No thank you.
Image Image | Image Image Image Image | Image Image Image

User avatar
Arcane
Posts: 183
Joined: 2007-02-20, 18:19
Gender: female
Country: DK Denmark (Danmark)

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby Arcane » 2012-03-15, 14:17

I am sincerely surprised by some of the statements and sentiments expressed in this thread.

By generously throwing generalizations here and there you perfectly illustrate how people in the EU actually think. They don't know their neighbours (and ever worse - don't care to learn about them), read only the state-written history textbooks and overconsume populist media that blames problems on someone else.

Leviwosc wrote:My smaller union would be: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom


I would be most curious to learn about the methodology behind your choice. Why pick Poland and the Czech Republic, but exclude the Baltic countries? They're doing very well economy wise. Slovakia, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Romania pose less risk to the EU than Italy or Spain. But hey, they're not Western enough, it seems. It's better to ban them from the EU altogether - they're too different and mysterious. They also have no colonial experience, so no common topics to chat about.

Leviwosc wrote:Earlier I thought Spain would be a dangerous threat to our economy, but I was wrong. It's Greece that's destroying the European economy right now.


Congratulations on finding your new enemy. You seriously believe Greece is solely responsible? Who and why lent them all this money for such a long period of time? Too many questions, better just blame the Greeks. They are lazy and know no German.

Leviwosc wrote:I'm very worried about countries like Romania and Bulgaria for example.

But you don't mind offering your goods on the fast developing emerging markets and making profit. Neither do you mind having someone else do the dirty jobs for you. Take the best and ban them from the rest, very comfortable.

To all who still think ex-communist countries were communist, because people decided so - read a bit more. In reality most of Eastern Europe was heading in a completely different direction.

And then the Red Army entered.
True story.

PS: No bad feelings, I'd just like to provoke some thought and challenge why you have formed certain opinions. And why things in the EU now are as they are.

The Laughing Man
Posts: 7
Joined: 2012-03-04, 5:36
Gender: male

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby The Laughing Man » 2012-03-17, 3:52

To all who still think ex-communist countries were communist, because people decided so - read a bit more. In reality most of Eastern Europe was heading in a completely different direction.
And who here thinks that, exactly?

User avatar
Bao
Posts: 376
Joined: 2011-10-17, 23:29
Real Name: 나미 ... well, not.

Re: Question about the European Integration project

Postby Bao » 2012-03-18, 1:35

Leviwosc wrote:I guess one can find this in about every definition of the EU indeed. But it only states what the EU is right now. It doesn't state what the EU will become... I don't believe the goal of the EU is to stay this zone. Within 50 years, I believe and many with me, the EU will seriously try to become one huge country.

I'm not a soothseer, and I doubt you are either. 'The goal' of the current EU can only be either the current goal of one single authority with absolute power, or the current goals of all members that care to make their words heard combined (many of which cancel out each other).
Broadly speaking, that would be the governments of all member nations and all lobby groups that manage to influence one or more governments to care about their cause, plus those outside nations that have any kind of leverage on the EU or any of its member nations.
As many regional interests are cancelled out by other regional interests, the ones that remain strongest are: independence from global superpowers, avoidance of internal armed conflict (those are common goals) and favourable conditions for our big cooperations (as they have the biggest lobby).

Leviwosc wrote:And that's what I won't buy. Why having the advantages of a single nation and not being one? The Europeans are not ready yet to become one nation. People care too much about their nationality, but the whole idea of the EU is to get used to the idea. Like I said, I believe that in 50 years or perhaps 10 years more all the countries we know today are just states in the United States of Europe. No thank you.

Fun fact: 15 years ago, my history/politics textbook still had a map of Europe and a text about how great it would be if Europe were the same as the US. At that time, that kind of propaganda was still acceptable and considered useful to foster a positive attitude towards the EU. But as far as I currently understand it, the EU and its predecessors have always been a mainly economic union, and that didn't change when the EU became a monetary union, or with the Schengen treaty.
Now, in the last decade the attitude many Germans have towards the US changed a lot, which means that the attempt to foster pro-EU sentiments in the electorate by comparing the EU to the US can backfire, and so we currently have a lot of people who think of the EU as 'something like the US and I don't like the US'. Only, the change of common sentiment doesn't reflect a change in the actual aims of the EU as the common sentiment never even reflected the aims of the EU; it was instilled into the population to make the creation of the EU possible.

By the way, I'm rather pro-EU, as I am very much in favour of the idea of avoiding armed conflict between the member states, and everything that is being done to make that happen.
I often confuse 辛 and 幸. || It's not procrastination until the last day.


Return to “Politics and Religion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest