Originally posted by djohnsto77
It seems to me that the backers of a strong EU are mostly on the defensive now to the EU-skeptics
- I'd say not.
From my vantage point here it seems everyone
has gone very quiet on the matter.
(although there is some debate about the UK rebate and the budget, but even that issue hasn't caught any life to date)
Certainly from a British 'anti-EU' point of view the UKIP (UK Independence Party) performance in our last general election (which was only back in
may remember) was deeply forgettable (they failed to win a single seat), ditto for Veritas (another anti-EU party led by an ex-MP and well known TV
host some people got excited about before the event).
As for the main political opposition here and the lead so-called 'euro-sceptics', well, the last thing the UK tory party want to start making is any
kind of fuss about Europe and the EU right now.
Even some of them are now recognising that they have caused enough of the British electorate to be bored to death and come to believe they are a
mainly irrelevant 'one trick pony' over that issue.
An issue the British public in poll after poll year in year out rank very low on their priority listings.
From a 'pro-EU' point of view I suppose 'we' found the constitution debacle a disappointment.
The debate at the moment is one of picking the useful bits out of that and having (necessary) ructions over the budget (again).
All of which are issues the entire EU community is dealing with and not one 'we' can 'do' alone.
We shall see.
Part of the 'pro-EU side's problem is that much of the running is done by the antis.
This is because much of what happens is pretty ordinary and mundane and low key, really not much to shout about, so, when they come along claiming the
sky is set to fall in at any moment 'thanks to the latest.....*whatever*'.
This causes the agenda to tend to get crowded with a lot of fuss over sensational myths or else something completely distorted from the reality.
But IMO they are short-sighted and their own worst enemies, the boy crying wolf comes to mind.
Which is a pity, because regardless of where they are coming from maybe one day they may indeed spot something in the detail we should all be looking
at and thinking again about......?
after the apparent failure of the current draft EU Constitution.
- As I said, the bits they want and need to hold on to they probably will (although without the coherence of the embracing whole treaty, which may
make it more difficult or less effective than would otherwise have been the case).
I'm wondering what members who strongly support the EU (sminkeypinkey comes to mind ) really see for the long-term future of
You're too kind.
I see a great long-term future, I really do.
I think the prospect of an advanced, technical, mature, free, artistic and cerebral cooperating Europe with a habit of genuinely being settled and at
peace with itself - a peace lasting centuries - an amazing one and one I can only regret I won't be around long enough to see develop and prosper
longer than I shall.
In short, what would the Europe of your dreams look like? Do you want a "United States of Europe" (a phrase it seems to me sounds
unpalatable for most Europeans)?
- I think 'we' need some realism over what 'we' are trying to do.
'We' are not building a 'United States of Europe' (bearing in mind that that could mean almost an unlimited number of things).
This is why you will be able to select quotes from people using the term - it's a bit like when they used the term 'constitution'; it's a handy
short-hand for some......
......although without trying to confuse the matter one must also accept that within that range of possibilities there will indeed be some who
want to see a 'US of E' or 'constitution' in the US model too.
generally speaking I think it is true to say that if
what is meant by that is some sort of idea that 'we' are trying to create a
new 'nation' then no, definitely not.
That is not what the EU is about today.
Maybe in 100 or 200 years + time it may be closer to becoming that but given the historic identities and relationships of each member state I really
can't see it happening.
That's a red-herring for the limited thinking political zealot who imagines the whole world (or in this case all of EU Europe) against his/her
That's the kind of paranoia that imagines Germans don't want to be German and French no longer French, Poles no longer Poles (etc etc for all the
other 24 member states) just to rob *whoever* of their national identity.
'We' are doing something untried and very demanding.
There are various analogies but none of them quite fit.
True 'federalism' in the actual sense of the word (as opposed to the UK tory party definition, which is basically the opposite of what it really is)
is close but even that doesn't properly define a situation with sovereign nation states freely cooperating and pooling their sovereignty to mutual
That IMO is basically it.
That is what we are doing and what we will do more of in future.
As for the sweeping 'grand visions'?
Well I hope we're done with that kind of overblown adolescent nonsense, personally speaking.
I think we Europeans have had enough of the damage those 'grand visions' can do when they run into people who have the audacity to see things
differently or who are just in their way.
IMO it is far better we concentrate on improving the living and working standards of our people, concentrating on the real lives, opportunity and
well-being of all of our people instead of absurd grandiose day-dreams of someones childish ideas of 'greatness' (usually reserved for some narrow
No ta, been there, done that, it turns out it hurts far too many people including ourselves.
If not, what will the key differences you see between the unified Europe of the future and the current American federal system?
- I suppose a fundamental issue here is what you imagine that 'unity' to be and be becoming.
We all still have our national Parliaments, IMO that is not going to change.
In fact the rejection of the so-called 'constitution' makes it far far more likely that 'we' will not see the fabled moves to super-cede those
Parliaments by the EU happen at all.
(Personally I have always thought this part of the anti-EU side's arguments and supposed fears about this almighty 'superstate'
ridiculous........if anything IMO it's probably more accurate to say this is a mere projection of the kind of Europe they'd impose and it's just
what they'd do or like to do if they were running the show)
I'd also have to be honest and say that I am not an expert on the US model (and I'm very much an interested 'lay man' on the EU too) so I'm not
really able to give a full comparison of the 2 'systems'.
But I do know that we are very definitely not the same and it is highly superficial and very much liable to mislead to try to compare the individual
states of the USA to the nation states of Europe and the US federal government with the EU itself.
I certainly do not see the nation states of Europe moving to anything like that sort of relationship either.
The nation states will continue to formulate the proceedures and 'operate' and 'direct' the EU, not the other way around.
In any event international law gives nation states rights they do not just give up by agreement to operate together.
For instance it is apparently a current myth amongst the anti-EU crowd that once a nation agrees to enter into the Euro it can never leave.
This is at best nonsense and at worst a deliberate lie.
International law guarantees nations are free to enter into and exit from agreements.
Interesting topic djohnsto77, hope you found my views and reply of interest.