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Thread: The Ongoing Political Transformation of Europe:UPDATE - Juncker Callls for EU Army

  1. #16
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    I'm going to move these posts into the ECB thread, as this thread is in the political forum and I'm aiming to get some discussion in it of the political aspects of the situation in Europe.
    I'm afraid I'd disagree, since the economy and the ECB are at the core of what needs to change (or collapse) in the EU. If there was no crisis, there would be no pressure for change.

    Unless you were going to copy rather than cut...??

  2. #17
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Quote Originally Posted by morticia View Post
    I'm afraid I'd disagree, since the economy and the ECB are at the core of what needs to change (or collapse) in the EU. If there was no crisis, there would be no pressure for change.

    Unless you were going to copy rather than cut...??
    I've done a bit of both. But the transformation of the ECB into a "Fed" is essentially an economic solution to an economic problem.

    Now, if you would like to discuss the political ramifications of that - the impacts on national sovereignty, EU governance, the need for Treaty change, the democratic deficit, then this is the right place to do it.

  3. #18
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Quote Originally Posted by morticia View Post
    They are measures to deal with economic problems, but they have MASSIVE legal and logistical ramifications and may even require treaty change and changes of institutional mandate in order to implement.

    For example, if the ECB is suddenly in charge of Eurozone bank failures, then a raft of laws need changing, which means parliaments etc. The ECB's own charters/mandates/whatever you call them may also require change and new institutional support if their responsibilities change.

    Finally, presumably to avoid moral hazard on the part of indebted nations, presumably the EU stability pacts and fiscal oversight need to be beefed up in concert..... which WILL mean treaty change.

    Either that, or the Euro collapses.....

    as to democratic control, haahaa. Mind you, even in countries with their own central bank, there has been little democratic control over anything to do with the almighty Markets.

    The Church of Mammon rules, and it rules absolutely...
    The Treaties have already been 'transcended' by unilateral French/German decision-making, surely ?
    No doubt they'll try to give it a veneer of consensual agreement down the road, but the mask has slipped so we need be in no doubt

    As Cactus pointed out in the opening, and as did Vincent Brown after the Franco-German statement of intent last night.

    We have a de facto promise to expel Greece if agreement isn't forthcoming, but of more concern to me is the likelihood that beneath this is a far more dangerous covert assertion that Greece is being held hostage, whether this is merely for the duration of the threat their default poses to Herr Bankenstein or whether it is a more permanent claim of economic/territorial ownership remains to be seen.

  4. #19
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Quote Originally Posted by cdgalwegian View Post
    This is the core of the problem. Here's a letter I had printed in the Sunday Business Post, on Sunday just gone, under "The EU Project"- http://sbpost.ie/post/pages/wholesto...=20-qqqx=1.asp

    The "democratic deficit" may be a corny catchphrase, but it encapsulates something very unsettling.
    Do you have any thoughts about how to deal with a Europe within which Germany is dominant, and with a serious democratic deficit ?

    The express wish to suppress democracy seem clear enough from the way that various EU/IMF deals have been deliberately cemented in to countries just before General Elections, with the implication that populations are locked into them for 5 + years without any electoral opportunity to object ?

  5. #20
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Do you have any thoughts about how to deal with a Europe within which Germany is dominant, and with a serious democratic deficit ?

    The express wish to suppress democracy seem clear enough from the way that various EU/IMF deals have been deliberately cemented in to countries just before General Elections, with the implication that populations are locked into them for 5 + years without any electoral opportunity to object ?
    It may be down the line, and require virtually a revolutionary sea-change here, but I think a power to repeal legislation should be appended to the Constitution; a system where there is a permanent polling mechanism that can be activated by the electorate whent therre is widespread opposition to laws that a government enacts. And a similar mechanism to remove governments before term when necessary.
    It would work wonders. I think the resulting enfranchisement would shake people out of their fatalist lethargy and foster a real spirit of solidarity and democratic responsibility.

    And it is a movement in the opposite direction to that of the European Project.
    Last edited by Matt2; 03-11-2011 at 08:33 PM.

  6. #21
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Well, the Parliament has always been regarded as a talking shop. The Commission and the Council of Ministers is out of public view, pretty well. And now Noonan says they are sidelined, anyway, by Germany and France.

    I'd have to say that it beats World War 2, as at least they were able to take over without any bloodshed.

  7. #22
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    [QUOTE=C. Flower;198039]Do you have any thoughts about how to deal with a Europe within which Germany is dominant, and with a serious democratic deficit ?

    QUOTE]
    The EU seems to work on horsetrading, rather strict democratic mandates through respresentation, which means, unfortunately, we have to trust our MEPs with our national interests, which isn't very promising. Expanding the role of the parliament would appear the best route, but I think others might proffer more enlightened suggestions. I don't think there is any quick fix, because the whole project is an organic enterprise. I thank my lucky stars the Constitution was a failure: from a historical perspective, I am pro-federal EU, but with the politicians we have now, it is an absolute no-no, for the forseeable future. A stable Europe politically is just as important as economically; we need to slow right down, and try to get transparency as the mode of working as much as possible, before going forward. The economic mess is doing the opposite though.

  8. #23
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    [quote=cdgalwegian;198046]
    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Do you have any thoughts about how to deal with a Europe within which Germany is dominant, and with a serious democratic deficit ?

    QUOTE]
    The EU seems to work on horsetrading, rather strict democratic mandates through respresentation, which means, unfortunately, we have to trust our MEPs with our national interests, which isn't very promising. Expanding the role of the parliament would appear the best route, but I think others might proffer more enlightened suggestions. I don't think there is any quick fix, because the whole project is an organic enterprise. I thank my lucky stars the Constitution was a failure: from a historical perspective, I am pro-federal EU, but with the politicians we have now, it is an absolute no-no, for the forseeable future. A stable Europe politically is just as important as economically; we need to slow right down, and try to get transparency as the mode of working as much as possible, before going forward. The economic mess is doing the opposite though.
    The EP seems to be completely irrelevant to resolution of the economic crisis.
    I don't even know if they have provisions for emergency debates to be held.

  9. #24
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Well, the Parliament has always been regarded as a talking shop. The Commission and the Council of Ministers is out of public view, pretty well. And now Noonan says they are sidelined, anyway, by Germany and France.

    I'd have to say that it beats World War 2, as at least they were able to take over without any bloodshed.
    It will get progressively worse - more authoritarian and more willing to exercise the same poweres that enabled it's ascent.
    Emergency laws become the norm.

    There will be something like a mechanised feudalism coming to the fore, and things we take for granted as the normal requirements to ensure the dignity of human life and society will be dismantled.
    The rate this occurs will probably accelerate.
    Beyond doomsday scenarios, a little contemplation and observation will certainly, I think, reveal that this is an inevitable consequence once the precedent has been set - enlisting the fruits of the labour of millions without consent to enrich narrow cartels (who themselves will find their humanity gradually being subsumed to the systems they have appended to themselves), and the rendering of democratic mandate obsolete.
    Once this same ethos is applied to goods production, in a comprehensive manner, the possible depths are endless.
    Last edited by Matt2; 03-11-2011 at 08:42 PM.

  10. #25
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    [QUOTE=C. Flower;198047]
    Quote Originally Posted by cdgalwegian View Post

    The EP seems to be completely irrelevant to resolution of the economic crisis.
    I don't even know if they have provisions for emergency debates to be held.
    The EP is useless- what I mean is, is this the institution that needs to be transformed as the best vehicle for accountability? I'm largely ignorant of the cut and thrust of institutional workings- I'm just coming from the necessity for a stable Europe, without radicalism. Is the EU becoming a behemoth we cannot control directly, or is it a benign force for peace? Both I think- if we need to reverse things towards a customs union, then so be it. The world is unstable at the moment, there's no doubt. We have to tread carefully: mindful of the manouevres of elites, but not cutting our noses off to spite our faces.

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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    John Bruton on Prime Time says Merkel wants a European president

    Bruton says a President elected on a 1 person, 1 vote basis would be a step forward for democracy.

    Sounds like the eurovision to me and I bet the voting would be similar
    Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~Oscar Ameringer

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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Quote Originally Posted by DCon View Post
    John Bruton on Prime Time says Merkel wants a European president

    Bruton says a President elected on a 1 person, 1 vote basis would be a step forward for democracy.

    Sounds like the eurovision to me and I bet the voting would be similar
    Yeah- window dressing, or as Ben Elton used to say "garnish".

  13. #28
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Quote Originally Posted by DCon View Post
    John Bruton on Prime Time says Merkel wants a European president

    Bruton says a President elected on a 1 person, 1 vote basis would be a step forward for democracy.

    Sounds like the eurovision to me and I bet the voting would be similar
    He said it in that very s l o w p l o d d i n g voice that some people use when talking to children.

  14. #29
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Quote Originally Posted by DCon View Post
    John Bruton on Prime Time says Merkel wants a European president

    Bruton says a President elected on a 1 person, 1 vote basis would be a step forward for democracy.

    Sounds like the eurovision to me and I bet the voting would be similar
    The forcing the only option regarding engagement with this monster to be 'out-or-in' referendums.

  15. #30
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    I think much of the problems we are facing relates to notions of sovereignty, as a source of national pride, versus better living conditions as part of a large economic area, leading to tetchiness in relation to being considered citizens vs consumers; both are underpinned by the psychological need for control. Representative democracy is a dilution of individual wants, and any lack of control that we cede in this process is further diluted by political actions we no longer control. The transformation of the EU is supposed to be decided by what we as citizens want, but the beaucracy involved is so open to abuse cos most of it is behind closed doors (via horsetrading) it is natural to want more contol over its processes.
    But do the political parties trust the plebs with this responsibility? No. With a nominal parliament, we are in a catch-22 with representation for change. How do we break this catch-22?

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