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What "IS" The European Union?

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posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 04:51 AM
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I've wondered about this for a while now. Feel free to call me a dumb American. Is it like America? I.E. Is say, France the equivalent of say, Texas in the EU? I know you all have a common currency now, but is it more? If say, Russia decides to mass armor at the border of Germany, will the EU respond? or just Germany? Please help me understand this concept. (Extra points to anyone who can explain the "African Union") I ask this because, if for no other reason, I see all of this North American Union crap on here, (Not that I buy it), and think to myself, "They can come out with a new currency tomorrow and call it whatever they want but if it isn't the dollar? I'm gonna hunt for my food and to hell with em".

Random insert: I metal detect. My oldest dug coin is an 1897 US "V" nickel and I pointed out to my wife today that here, 112 years later, (Assuming there was still something to buy for a nickel), I could still use it as legal currency. That...... either freaks me out, or makes me proud. Or both.

[edit on 7-2-2009 by Zenagain]




posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 05:08 AM
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It's not a dumb question, Zenagain and I guess there are many Europeans who could not answer your question.

The European Union is a collection of countries (and I do not see why you can not compare then to your States), who have signed common agreements to reduce the barriers between each of the member countries.

Some of these agreements cover:

Trade, employment, movement, currency (for some) etc.

To support the EU, there is an adminstration, (and again I think you can compare this your Federal law making bodies)

And I am sure there will be members who can expand on my "very brief" explanation



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 05:34 AM
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Originally posted by Zenagain
If say, Russia decides to mass armor at the border of Germany, will the EU respond? or just Germany?


Funny, I never asked myself if the EU also means military agreements or treaties. Thanks for asking the question, I'll look into it now and deny ignorance a little.


But I can still answer this question. As most of the EU countries are also NATO members, they will respond to a Russian agression on let's say Germany, and the US will be responding with them.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 05:36 AM
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The European Union (EU) first started out as the Common Market. This was essentially a pure Trade Agreement between a few European countries. First came Metrication and Decimalisation (which for some in the UK have still not accepted).

Since that time, it has developed into a 'monster'. It now encompasses, trade, movement of labour, currency (for some countries), agriculture, transport, industry, health and safety, healthcare (to some extent) and are trying to involve defence.

It is run from Brussels (Belgium) through the European Parliment, though there are other places scattered around the EU that run different departments. Its officials are NOT elected by the population, only MEP's are elected. It would love to have its own armed forces along the lines of NATO including control of the UK and France's nuclear capability, something that the UK and France do not want to give up.

It is involved in everyones daily lives whether we want it or not and it really interferes with individual countries national laws and other things of national interest.

Though the intention is supposed to 'harmonise' everything across its member countries, MOST countries actually have 'opt-out' agreements on certain things that affect them on a national basis.

When the Euro Currency was introduced, some countries opted out and still have opted out (UK for example). Most Europeans will tell you that the price of goods etc actually went up on introduction of the Euro .... ask the Germans and the French.

The EU was great in principle, BUT, it has become a huge monster that does not listen to its people and interferes to much in daily lives, apart from the fact that its non-electable and therefore non-accountable. This is the reason why the EU Parliment hates nations having National Referendums on major pieces of legislation ...... it fears its people.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 05:50 AM
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As above,

The EU is a series of treaties that stemmed from peace and trade treaties after WW2.
It started with 6 nations and now contains 27 (500million), has over 30% of the worlds GDP and may soon expand to Turkey, the Ukraine and the Balkans which would expand the population and GDP exponentially.

It is mainly freedom of trade and movement between nation states, most countries have opened their borders to other EU members and their populations so EU members can live in almost any EU country.
Half of the countries officially use the EURO currency although many others use it alongside their official currency's.

There is a defense pact of sorts, a number of battlegroups, a rapid response force, EUFOR and the NATO members. The EU was started for trade and prosperity so a number of the members are against setting up a large scale EU defense/attack force - im sure you can see why.. look at the last 2000 years of European history.

When the Lisbon treaty comes into play, the EU will have access to approx 2.2million high tech soldiers and equipment as well as an extreme large military budget, its possible that only a tiny amount of this will be utilized in the next two decades unless it is really called upon.
As it stands, if Russia amassed along Germany's border, it would have had to destroy Poland first, by that point, there would be quite a fight involving EUFOR, Germany, the UK, France, Spain, Italy and a number of smaller forces...... and also the remaining NATO members.

The Lisbon treaty is a sort of EU constitution that was proposed a number of years ago and subsequently shot down by Ireland in a public referendum. This treaty would strengthen the EU in almost every way, making it quicker to make decisions, giving it a foreign minister and policy, giving it more access to military power and giving the ability to dissolve the sovereignty of its member states to create an EU super state. It would also make the enlargement process easier and quicker.
The Lisbon treaty will more than likely be coming into effect next year after a second referendum in Ireland follows a number of changes to the treaty.

So, at the moment, its is an economic conglomerate of mostly wealthy nations, its main power is economic clout. In 5/10 years time, its likely that it could be a single state with local nation governments & huge economic and military clout.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 07:00 AM
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I did Wiki it and read the part about the Lisbon Treaty which just muddles it more for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm all FOR a United Europe that doesn't require my country to come to it's aid in times of....distress..... but I wonder into the future, if this may WELL be the country (EU) that MY country will be called upon AGAINST at some point in the future. Arguably should this Lisbon Treaty take effect. There could well be a time in the not so near future where the U.S. is coming to the aid of Russia to defend it AGAINST the EU. Has not stranger things happened in the past?



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 07:13 AM
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reply to post by Dermo
 


Just a question from europe:
Do you think its good to give so much power to centralistic , technocratic body??

I dont wish to be ruled by some masons...if You know anything about Eu...
there , in their version of constitution there is no place for Christianity as reference and source of modern Europe, and actually all Western Culture.
That says a lot...
Besides in practice already it reminds of another Union- Soviet Union.

They want to decide from Belgium about weight and form of potatoes, Bananas etc...it sounds groteskue but that we have already, still before signing that new pseudo constitution.
Now will come food control acts really totalistic: how the nerds in Strasbourg
can ever decide about small farm in Portugal or Slovakia?

They want also limit acces to Traditional Medicine such as traditional, known from millenia herbs etc, by banning info about them from media ...among the others
Its simply very very sovietic...or nazi
Actually one of the biggest dreamers about United Europe "from Atlantic to Caucasus" was man named Adolf Hitler



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 07:19 AM
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Originally posted by Zenagain
If say, Russia decides to mass armor at the border of Germany, will the EU respond? or just Germany?


Germany and Russia don't share a border...



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 08:06 AM
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I might be wrong in this so bear with me.....

but if the EU was classed as a country, like the US

then would the EU currently have the highest GDP of any country? also the largest military? best funded healthcare/welfare? etc

I'm sure I read that somewhere, but can't think where, probably nonsense anyway



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 08:29 AM
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The EU, is a Politician's wet dream, unsupported by maybe 75% of the Population of Europe, only by their Politicians, all clamouring for a seat on the Gravy Train.
Most of the People of Europe, have not given their Consent, and indeed have never even been Consulted!
The EU attitude toward Ireland is most telling, because the Irish People were actally Consulted and said NO. The EU want them to have another Referendum or more, until they say yes.
So, if the EU get their way, the Irish will have two or more votes, whilst the British will have none at all.
It does not require a genius to work out what kind of people are behind this iniquitous Empire of faceless, unelected, individuals.
The next Election in England at least, should remove some of these Parasites, provided the People wake up and excercise their right to vote while they still have one.

Regards,

Horsegiver.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 08:44 AM
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So who the hell is running the show over there. Hell, I was no fan of Bush but at least we knew what.... "confusingly" elected moron was the titular head of things. This strange blurring of Nations and this........conglomeration you have going is disturbing to me. Doesn't seem like a recipe for good, not that we here in the U.S. have exactly been harbingers of peace in the 21rst Century.



Wait.... So is the U.K. part of this mess or not? I('ve always had a soft spot for you limey bastards if but for the fact that without you, we wouldn't exist.

[edit on 7-2-2009 by Zenagain]



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 08:59 AM
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reply to post by Zenagain
 


Yes, the UK is mixed up in all this too.... And if we had been given a vote on the Lisbon treaty, I am pretty sure we would have said no...Which is exactly why we wern't.

The EU has nothing to do with what it's inhabitants want, just what certain leaders want. The majority of the people in the EU would rather be without it.



At least so far in the UK we managed to keep our currency...unlike many others.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 09:08 AM
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  • Imagine countries having fought against each other for centuries to live in peace with each other now.
  • Imagine countries having competed against each other economically to create one free trade zone.
  • Imagine countries having all different cultures and languages to create one common legislation.
  • Imagine countries having spent lot's of money into border fortifications to demolish these fortifications and to remove their border installations and checkpoints alltogether.
  • Imagine two european grandpas who shot at each other seven decades ago to meet for coffee now without having to fear any troubles.
  • Imagine the young german unemployed couple to to move to France and open a business without any legal hassles.
  • Imagine french and german soldiers joining forces in one battle group.
  • Imagine the french to offer the sharing of their nuclear deterrent with their former arch enemies.
  • Imagine not to worry about getting sick or unemployed because you will get support.


Imagine to live in the European Union. ;-)

I am sorry, but I am proud that we managed to create it. It's something really special you should appreciate. If not, maybe you will after a visit to the mass graves of Verdun or the german concentration camps or...

[edit on 7-2-2009 by Xingili]



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 09:13 AM
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reply to post by Xingili
 


Imagine living in a country where there arn't enough jobs for the people that live there.

Only to have people brought in from other parts of Europe to take job that do appear.




Yes, imagine living in a European union.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 09:16 AM
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All the EU seems to do for the UK is take money from us, then give it away to the smaller eastern european nations. We get very little back other than ridiculous laws, for example fruit and veg has to be within certain sizes to be able to be sold and goods sold by weight now have to be measured in metric.

It won't be long now until Gordon Brown forces us into the euro using the weak pound as the excuse too, something else to look forward to.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 09:16 AM
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Good point. I'm an American, not a European but I can feel what you're saying. I can go to Arlington National Cemetery and get the same sense of.....loss and sacrifice, but nonetheless, war is very much still with us as a species. Hence my wondering if maybe Europe isn't going the way of Israel. (Whom to me are just doing to the Palestinians what was done to them in the Holocaust.) Who's to say that you all won't turn that anger "outward"?



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 09:21 AM
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reply to post by Zenagain
 


I think that the EU is worsening relations....we need to forget what the ogvernments think for a minute.


Many people (stupidly) hate foreign countries in Europe because their workers come to this group of countries and take jobs that our people need. Now it's clearly not the other countries fault, but it doesn't stop the hate.


All this trying to force everyone here to live and work together, is actually what is causing much of the hate between countries. You can't lump most of a continent together, giving them very little choice in the matter and still hope they will all get along.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 09:30 AM
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Wow, again a thread full of ignorance and illiteracy.

The UK is a member of the EU since 1973.

I won't explain the structure of the EU in detail here, because it would be far too much effort. If you are really interested in this subject, wou will find thousand of nice websites.

Some advantages for EU citizens:
#Travelling without visas inside the EU.
#You can work or live in any member state of the EU.
#You can buy estate in all EU countries.
#EEA - European Economic Area. Trade without custom dutys.
#Variety of subsidies for less developed countries and branches of economy within the EU.
#Safer borders and less need of armies.
#The EURO as a single currency. (Not in the UK)
#Easy prosecution of criminals

If the UK quits the EU (which will never happen) it's economy will collapse entirely.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 09:33 AM
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reply to post by TimeBandit
 


Of course the economy would collapse if we left the EU now...


Money crisis around the world would ensure that, we need all the tax free imports and exports. But it would mainly fail because we have become dependant on the Eu for our economy.

We are now a service nation, not a production or mining nation as we once were... we need the EU because we changed when we joined it.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 09:34 AM
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Hi.. All about EU was already explained pretty good.. So i just want to put my 2 cents.. I dont believe that the Lisbon Treaty will come to pass.. Precisely because of this crisis.. I think this crisis will lead to the close of economic borders, protection of country made goods and jobs..
Not because our country leaders want it.. but because people will demand it.. with strenght.. unfortenately i think we are in for some racist times..

So its not really like Texas/America to answer OP.. precisely because you are the "same" people, same culture, etc.. We arent, so we still see people from another member country as strangers, no matter what EU says with their "european citizen" crap..




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