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

  1. #31
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    I think that this shift towards 'horsetrading' is the embodiment of the power of Germany. It has to engage with fixing things by throwing money at but at the same time it can leave it late enough to engage that things can be necessarily vague(like the stability amendment) allowing it greater via 'horsetrading'. In that way it lacks procedure so even the bureacracy in the EU is weakened. Its almost like they are playing chicken and papandreou decided to try and outchicken them this week.
    Its hard to see how you could rebalance that power inequality, maybe by forming a coalition of the PIIGS?

  2. #32
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Interesting that Bruton should mention the elected president idea - mainly because it didn't transmit to the anglo-phone press somehow.

    But the compromise of the Lisbon Treaty to the EP was that the Commission president would from 2014, under gentleman's agreement, go to the head of the party with the biggest mandate in the elections.

    I'm very cyncial as to whether this will actually come to pass. If Merkozy suggested an elected President of the Council that would be very disappointing. That role has been used by the large nations to impose their will but provide a fig leaf of "community method" action.

    Van Rompuy has been nothing but a disappointing sockpuppet. His role has the primary means the EP and the Commission have been bypassed
    "Fascinating, watching the world act as though it still had a financial system. Using the toilet, when the pipes are gone." - some guy on twitter

  3. #33
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    The EU project has always been about the Fourth Reich.
    (For those of you who do not understand,do not confuse it with the Nazis.)

  4. #34
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Quote Originally Posted by AJSD86 View Post
    maybe by forming a coalition of the PIIGS?
    +1. Organised action by the powerless is the only thing that has ever provided progress.
    "Fascinating, watching the world act as though it still had a financial system. Using the toilet, when the pipes are gone." - some guy on twitter

  5. #35
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Quote Originally Posted by sinsin View Post
    The EU project has always been about the Fourth Reich.
    (For those of you who do not understand,do not confuse it with the Nazis.)
    The Third Reich was the period of Nazi rule in Germany up until the end of WW2. What do you mean by 'Fourth Reich'?

  6. #36
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    It seems to me that problems inherent in the EU structure which are apparent today were there from its inception as a loose alliance of states with the same economic and (broad) political interests. France and Germany have always been the key pillars, the ones who drove the project forward. When it stalled in the 1960s, it was largely because France withdrew and took an 'empty-chair' approach to integration. Ditto for the late 1970s, when the states each made their own way through the oil crisis and stagflation period, leaving the ECJ to play the key role in integration (through judgments like Dufrenne and the Cassis de Dijon cases).

    The theory underlying European integration is neo-functionalism. If you wiki it, there's a brief and quite succinct analysis of it, but broadly it means that if there is co-operation in one field there will be a spillover effect driving further integration. The adoption of the single currency has obliged the EU to co-operate more fully on other issues of economic integration, like running fixed deficits and a common fiscal policy. Now that it is in trouble, there is increased integration and emergency measures being forced on the countries in trouble to further subordinate them to the EU and constrained co-operation to keep them in the Eurozone and EU. To Sarkozy and Merkel, the measures taken so far are co-operative measures- they are constrained to take these measures as a result of the initial decision to form a common currency, so now they are forced to do what is necessary to save the Euro or abandon the EU project altogether, something that they can't do without leaving the Euro and thus bringing down their own financial systems. So in a way, they are forced to co-operate to drive integration to protect their own hidden financial time-bombs.

    As a sidenote, the nature of the EU as a driver of neo-liberal policy, which emphasises individual enterprise and economic 'freedom' over democracy, the contempt being displayed for democracy by EU elites at present is not that surprising. To them it is a luxury that can be dispensed with if there is a need to protect their project against the wishes of the citizens, ergo the strong-arming of smaller countries into extortionate and criminal bailouts and the continued weakness of the EU parliament.

    On another point the horse trading that cdgalwegian referred to is a result of the power of the European Council as one of the core institutions. This Council is made up of the heads of government of each country, and is equal with the Commission, while the Commission may issue regulations etc, they generally cannot do so without at least tacit approval from the Council, so there is generally alot of horse-trading to thrash out something generally agreeable given the veto power and weighted voting procedures that apply to all Council decisions. For anyone who really wants to get to grips with the way the EU works, I'd recommend Craig & De Burcas 'EU Law- text, cases and materials', which is an exhaustive source of info on the institutions and ideology behind the EU.

    *Found a google-books extract from the first chapter of the book, it provides a good background for the history of the EU institutions, the theory of integration and commentary thereon.
    http://books.google.com.au/books?id=...0burca&f=false
    Last edited by antiestablishmentarian; 04-11-2011 at 01:30 AM. Reason: added link
    Нооруз пиээ пурылыа выиттыа


    'Our goal is to conquer state power for the Irish working class'
    Pat Rabitte, 1987

    "Can I ask whether this is what the men of 1916 died for: a bailout from the German chancellor with a few shillings of sympathy from the British chancellor on the side?"
    Michael Noonan, November 2010

  7. #37
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Quote Originally Posted by sinsin View Post
    The EU project has always been about the Fourth Reich.
    (For those of you who do not understand,do not confuse it with the Nazis.)
    What do you know of the institutional history of the EU that brought you to that conclusion?
    Нооруз пиээ пурылыа выиттыа


    'Our goal is to conquer state power for the Irish working class'
    Pat Rabitte, 1987

    "Can I ask whether this is what the men of 1916 died for: a bailout from the German chancellor with a few shillings of sympathy from the British chancellor on the side?"
    Michael Noonan, November 2010

  8. #38
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    [quote]
    Quote Originally Posted by cdgalwegian View Post
    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;
    Sovereignty is not only about pride. States that aren't sovereign are being ripped off by a bigger, stronger state and very likely kept deliberately in a state of backwardness.

    both are underpinned by the psychological need for control.
    Not just about psychological need, but also real self interest, and real rights as a citizen.

    Representative democracy is a dilution of individual wants,
    It trades some off, but also guarantees some.

    and any lack of control that we cede in this process is further diluted by political actions we no longer control.
    Representative democracy exchanged some rights for others - feudal rights and duties preceded it. Less slavery, more self determination, less security in some respects.

    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.
    The emphasis was never on democracy, always on "efficiency" in terms of market economics.

    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?
    I would suggest that a start would be for the various Occupations to set up an "Occupy Europe" either real, virtual or both.

    Completely new institutions would need to be set up, from what I've seen of the old ones.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    I would suggest that a start would be for the various Occupations to set up an "Occupy Europe" either real, virtual or both.

    Completely new institutions would need to be set up, from what I've seen of the old ones.
    Just stumbled across this

    http://greekleftreview.wordpress.com...-our-movement/

    How, in other words, can we perpetuate the creative and cooperative spirit of the occupations and transform them into lasting forms of social organization — at the global as well as the local level?
    It goes on to call for coding whizkids to come up with some sort of app or website to facilitate Occupy___ over vast areas
    "Fascinating, watching the world act as though it still had a financial system. Using the toilet, when the pipes are gone." - some guy on twitter

  10. #40
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Facebook, which is in someways a nightmare, is doing this a bit.

    I wonder if a forum in which everyone was empowered to create new forums would work ?

  11. #41
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    Wink Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Facebook, which is in someways a nightmare, is doing this a bit.

    I wonder if a forum in which everyone was empowered to create new forums would work ?
    This sounds like the "wiki-democracy" idea in the "'Occupy' movement- a postmodernist protest movement?" thread I was talking about. I thought it might sound a bit far-fetched to mention it, but as I'm new to forum contributions it has been refreshing to see such open-mindedness (dare I say it - thinking outside of the box?) combined with pragmatism. The original pillars of the EEC, and now the EU, are being seriously rattled by the economic turbulence, but I think we can all see that rushing into more political union artificially rather than organically is making a bad design worse, copperfastening any existing poor democratic features and inequalities.
    The technology is there to underwrite community (EU) grassroots movement; such co-ordination could well undermine the dubious party political co-ordinations we are all suspicious of in a shift to grassroots democracy. Directly elected president my arse.

  12. #42
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    For all its much discussed weaknesses, it's a great strength that it is completely international, and that different "Occupations" support each other. They are not completely dependent on social media, but social media has played a part in their development.

    There's a propoganda war going on against the Greek people, to isolate them from support. Social media can to some extent counteract that.

    But for many things, physical "face to face" action will always be essential.

  13. #43
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Over most of Europe, regions (and regional feelings) are older than national states. This is one huge difference versus the USA. Bismarck forced a "United Germany" upon individual regions and duchy's and to this day, 140 years later, the Bavarians still think that they are Bavarians first and Germans thereafter (at least many of them). And, frankly, that has a lot of charme. Thus, a federal European government with federal states comes into direct confict with this tradition and culture of regions.

    I have no idea how such a "Europe of Regions" should be structured but until someone comes up with that idea, the idea of a European Union will remain an idea only.

  14. #44
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    From a legal point of view, we have been discussing the need for a Referendum on the EFSF since last year.

    http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?t=6025

    The German Courts decision last month means that Merkel has to take every decision back to the German Parliament.

    At the moment they are coasting along, ignoring the legal issues and hoping they will go away, taking advantage of the mood of economic "shock and awe."

  15. #45
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    Default Re: The Ongoing Political Transformation of the EU

    Whilst we are on the subject of Europe and Merkel&Sarkozy are displaying "their power" can anybody actually point me in the direction of our elected MEP's and show me how many of Angie and Nicky's proposals they voted for ?

    The new "redundant" fully paid obviously
    Thomas Jefferson : Banking Establishments are More Dangerous to our Liberties than Standing Armies.

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