Technically post 20 below, since the OP post got deleted.
So much for that prediction!
Go to your local RC Church and pick up a copy of Alive newspaper. You’ll see plenty of anti-EU pieces in it. I thought it was a parody paper when I read it first.
It was Anthony Bourdain in Russia from a few years ago.
The general message of the show was to highlight the totalitarian nature of Putin’s Russia across a number of different spheres. In doing so he interviewed a number of dissidents who were facing State repression for their anti-Government/anti-social actions. When he asked one such elderly guy how he can continue to oppose Putin in the face of such overwhelming State power, his answer was as I outlined above.
My point is that it could be as (or more) relevant to the rise of discontent across the EU as/than it is to Putin’s Russia.
Most people seemed happy enough with the EEC ie perhaps have your own money, set your own interest rates, make your own decisions about internal matters such as immigration etc, set your own tax rates etc…ie a trading bloc of independent nation states that work together in a spirit of mutual co-operation for the betterment of their citizens…it could work…
As someone who works and travels in Europe, I’m delighted with the euro too. Interest rates when I was a lad with own currencies were north of 12%. You could afford to buy a house, you just couldn’t afford to pay the mortgage.
And as someone who has travelled through Europe for work, hmmm, yes, internal migration has been good. Is it always and everywhere a good thing? No, but change what’s not working, not everything including all that does.
The Euro makes travel easier alright but I dont think the Brits would regret hanging onto the pound…post-Brexit things may be different of course, but thats not fully clear as of yet…
Current policy around migration may be great for those of us who benefit from mobility across well paying economic or even protected sectors (myself included I might add). However its not viewed that way by everyone…and the fact that (as I recall reading) many first generation West Indian, Pakistani and Indian UK nationals voted for Brexit on the basis that they perceived it as a means to oppose or end immigration from POland and eastern Europe tells us all we need to know about the economic pressures (as opposed to simplistic racist labelling) that underpinned some of the rationale behind the vote.
THis story for example (if you can excuse the fact that its The Sun) highlights the difference in perception and impact on different societal sectors of European legislation designed to make freedom of movement easier across the Union…
Basically, the legal provision seeks to enforce the rights of EU nationals to family life across the member states of the EU. In other words, if you are a Dutchman working for a multi-national, you can move to Italy and your right to family life may not be infringed upon ie you may bring your wife and children with you regardless of the fact that they may not be EU nationals themselves. Obviously, this facilitates the best aspects of what the EU is supposed to stand for…an ease of movement across the Union that makes business easier to conduct and enhances prosperity and quality of life for all.
However, if you happen to live in a housing estate in West Dublin where under the same legal provision/right, your neighbouring house is being used to facilitate the inward movement of people from countries you’ve never heard of by way of matrimonials with junkies or prostitutes from far flung parts of the EU, all facilitated by organised mafia-type characters, while your kids play football on the street outside, you will have a different perception of the same legal provision.
And thats even before anyone considers the treatment of Ireland (and Greece) by the EU at the time of the banking bailout as per the video on the previous page posted by BJBE. So while I wouldn’t advocate withdrawal from the EU, I am less and less enthusiastic about the direction in which it is travelling. I think we were fine at economic community. And (Ever Closer) Political Union is not something I am supportive of. Theres just seems to be no need for it.
And Ian Paisley had me convinced it was all a Papish Roman plot. You learn something new every day
But as The Curious One articulates above, the complexity is innate.
The EU is a bit like a container ship. It might be a bit slow and boring, but if you throw all the containers overboard you haven’t made the shipping problem any easier.
Therefore surely the way you avoid descent into Brexit-level antipathy across the EU is to retain degrees of real separation…prevention rather than cure so to speak…unless people are of the view that national identity and the will to self governance can be stamped out by the perceived benefits of less aviation regulation etc.
What does this even mean? There is hard separation of legal authority between individual states and what the EU is allowed to do. Just because virtually no one bothers to learn how the EU is put together doesn’t mean there isn’t hard separation.
Aviation is one particular issue that I’ve found quite interesting over the last couple of years. Let’s look at another couple.
Taxation: Strictly an internal matter in the competence of each individual state. Endless talk of the EU wanting harmonization of corporation tax rates? Total BS at best, more accurately described as bold faced lies! The EU has no legal authority to talk about this let alone enforce it. Irish tax rates can only be modified by the Minister of Finance and signed off on by the Dail. It has nothing to do with the EU.
Immigration: All non-eu travel into or out of Ireland is strictly under the control Irish Foreign office. It has nothing what so ever to do with the EU. There is also considerable legal authority the that Foreign office has to limit EU travel as well, but the Foreign office chooses not to enforce those powers.
Yes, the EU is complicated. Yes, every single aspect of the EU is more than a little messy and has a considerable number of warts. What’s the alternative?
The EEC or EC would be fine for many people, including many in Britain. Cameron spearheaded the 2016 campaign on the basis that Britain stay in the EU and use it’s considerable influence to change it from within. This was fairly soundly rejected. The Irish who voted against Nice and Lisbon, as I did myself twice!!! should take heed, and will need to try and move on quickly now to understand what all this means for them. Unfortunately many will just spend the next few years slagging off the English and posting pro EU memes on facebook without a care in the World for the direction that the likes of Macron want to go in. And the tooling up that is going on across Europe and the Middle East.
If the British tried to reform the EU from within, and a majority voted to stop trying any more then this most certainly should have some lessons for the Irish.
People say this until one goes into specifics. Ok, let’s go through a handful of the biggest EU agencies.
- EASA: Aviation Safety standards. Without a membership of this, planes stop flying.
- ECDC: Help coordinate European wide responses to diseases and epidemics. Who could possibly not want to be involved with this?
- EFSA: The foods standards and safety agency. This is the oversight body that allows food stuff to pass between one country and another without border checks. No member ship of this and there are border checks.
- EUIPO: Intellectual Property office. Registering European wide trade marks etc. Be a member or deal with it as a non member. Not dealing with the EUIPO is not an option.
- EMA: Oversight of medical testing standards. There are two options, be a member or follow everything they say without being a member, take your pick.
- Europol: Share information about criminal activity.
- Eurojust: Extradition of criminals.
Everyone says the EU is awful until present with hard details of what the EU does. Then it is a case of, well maybe just this one extra agency on top of the EC. And that one, well maybe we will take this as well, and that seems like a good idea.
@The Curious One
Did organizations for organizing specific areas of life exist autonomously prior to the EU?
@The Curious One
I know the Universal Postal Union has been on the go since 1874.
Ahh vague generalities that don’t address anything specific.
EASA: Western Europe is the most congested air space in the world. If you look back at the history of the EU’s growing involvement in aviation it all grew out of necessity starting in the fifties with agencies such as Euro-Control. Prior to these agencies there were no planes so there was no need for any of these agencies. If you don’t like the EU’s involvement, fine, but what is the alternative?
Eurojust & Interpol: Prior to a few decades ago there were no extraditions of criminals between one country and another. People forget this, but it is true. Prior to the infrastructure of the EU there were no extraditions, now they are routine. Was this all due to the EU? Of course not, but these agencies facilitate it. If you think extraditions are a necessity, then agencies like Eurojust and Interpol are needed.
In my way of thinking, one starts from the general and goes to the specific. Do you do it the other way round?
IMO, you seem to be presenting the EU as a complexity trap.
(The modern world is complex. The EU manages complexity. Therefore, we need the EU to deal with the complexity.)
We need something. If it is not the EU then it is going to be something that resembles the EU in all but name.
How do we get planes to fly between country A and B? There needs to be some type of treaty, an agency to review different standards and there needs to be some type of court system between country A & B to resolve disputes.
How do we get food stuff to be imported/exported between country A and country B? Country A has food standards, country B has food standards. If the standards are different trade is difficult or impossible. If we want free movement of food stuff then we need similar or identical standards in A and B. How do we achieve this? A treaty between countries A and B, some agency to oversee standards with some type of court system between them to resolve disputes.
Repeat again and again and again for all the different aspects of day to day life.
If it is not the EU, then what?
Ireland was treated the way it deserved to be treated. FF didn’t put a cent away for a rainy day.
Then when a recession arrived Ireland played the victim card.
Germany bailed Ireland out and are absorbing a loss every time the ECB expands its balance sheet.
The thought of Ireland governing itself c/w its own currency again is scary.