The European Union

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The European Union

Postby zombie@computer on Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:34 pm

Although i live, in what basically is, the birthplace of the European Union, i do not feel any connection with it. We, the Dutch, and with us, many other 'western' countries in the EU, haven't seen any substantial profit of this organization, this extra layer of these 'civil servants', a term for a group of employees which in more than a few countries has been declined towards a term used for lazy, money grubbing people who have lost all interest in the national population of the countries they control. We were promised economic stability, improved money and goods-transportation between the European nations, and much, much more. I don't think I'm alone when I say: I haven't seen a single thing of that. Sure, more than the occasional company has flourished thanks to this, and I'm sure the economic crisis we are currently involved in could have been much, much worse, but then again, it could also have been a lot better. Greece is basically bankrupt, even after the injection of several tens of billions of euro's, Ireland is on the brink of. Portugal is striking like hell because its next in line, Spain wont follow long after. Truth is: Large sections of the European nation is a money pit. Though us Dutch have to work till we are at least 65 to get a pension, people are striking like hell all over the European mainland because their governments have decided to up the pension age to 62 (France) or less. Pussy's. I seriously doubt that, overall, Europe has gained the Dutch anything. They are one of the largest net payers. And we are not alone. Scandinavia, Germany, UK. All for the greater good?

Though a lot of western European countries have been spending money in a more or less civilized way, many countries have decided to spend money they don't have. And now, the game is up. Like domino's nations fall to the increasing pressure of depts. Will we ever get out?

Europe decided it has to protect its own currency, which most countries agreed upon. Mind, that MOST Europeans were against the Euro currency right from the start. I guess the UK has been one of the few countries that actually did what the population wanted in that matter. In the beginning, no real problems existed however. But now, in this economic crisis, WE need to pay for THEIR childlike spending. Hell, even the UK has to pay to maintain a currency they don't even have. All because if the Euro falls, so will Europe.

It has been done before, uniting several nations under one flag. I talk of course about the USA. Whether or not that was a good thing i will not discuss, but i do feel Americans feel more united under their flag than we Europeans do. Europe is not one, Europe will likely never be one. Heck, even individual countries are on the virge of splitting up because the differences are too great (Belgium). How did it ever come to this? United under a government we never wanted, never asked for, never voted for? What kind of democracy is this?

The above is a slight exaggeration of how i currently feel towards the European Union. It probably isn't ALL bad, and probably isn't as fascist as some people say it is. However, it was these exact people that sparked this point of discussion. To be more exact, a certain mister Nigel Farage. To those unfamiliar, here's some footage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsVZ4VepQdg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG2yzaiqezI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fyq7WRr_GPg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToK4w8FbCtc

Still, what are your opinions? Pro- or Contra? Discuss please
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Re: The European Union

Postby Dr. Delta on Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:24 pm

I find it rather interesting that you decided to make a thread about this today, I had a discussion with someone about this, some hours ago.

I share a great amount of your opinion regarding this subject. The European Union hasn't brought us (dutch) barely anything, the only positive thing I experience is the euro; not because its value ('we' lost about half? of our income due to it) but because it's handy to use 1 currency in (most parts of) Europe.

The problem with Europe and a thing like an union is the large history we have. America barely has a history compared to Europe. America never has had to protect its own border or never been attack by another country on its own soil (unless you count Hawaii as a significant part of America, which it isn't). And even if it was, it never had the same impact to it as for example the 2 world wars had on Europe. Obviously America has been having its 'fun' with being at war with various countries, yet it has never been attacked in a similar way.

Due to the long history and different kinds of historical importance, 'we' are dutch. I don't feel myself an European, I think of myself as Dutch. I don't share a lot of views that are considered normal in say Germany or France or other countries. 'We' were attacked and taken over by the Germans in the Second World War. 'We' were amazing during the Golden Age, with our Dutch East India Company. 'We' always have had a business perspective on things. 'We' always have been very careful with our money. That's why 'Dutch' is another word for avarice, isn't it ;).

Also, I understand your concern regarding Greece, Ireland, England, Portugal, Spain, (Italy too isn't it?). England (or Great Brittain, idk) is phasing out all it's jet fighters and half of its battle tanks. Greece and Ireland got (or get, regarding Ireland) rather larger economical injections.

We will see what becomes of it.

Highlight to read:
And hell, if we all go to economical hell; we first kick out half of the Moroccan youth, jezus fuck; how can 50% of a group people be suspects in crimes D: . Also, I'm left winged but that shit is just fucked up.



My utopia is Europe being one big Netherlands, without the bullshit.

I wrote all this based on my personal experience/views, I can't talk or judge as if I were German, Scottish or Malaysian etc.
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Re: The European Union

Postby 904 on Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:53 pm

it's a bottomless money pit. The EU will break down in civil war before 2020, if expansion and further meddling in to national governance continues. War will be the price for trying too hard to build a new world order here... with some idiot president no-one elected..
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Re: The European Union

Postby Plague on Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:54 pm

Dr. Delta wrote:The problem with Europe and a thing like an union is the large history we have. America barely has a history compared to Europe. America never has had to protect its own border or never been attack by another country on its own soil (unless you count Hawaii as a significant part of America, which it isn't).


That happens when your on a much more unified landmass with many more countries.

Obviously America has been having its 'fun' with being at war with various countries, yet it has never been attacked in a similar way


We both have had our fair share of 'fun' with wars.
Just in different times.



Its nice to read opinions from people who live in the European area though.
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Re: The European Union

Postby Dr. Delta on Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:34 pm

Plague wrote:
Dr. Delta wrote:The problem with Europe and a thing like an union is the large history we have. America barely has a history compared to Europe. America never has had to protect its own border or never been attack by another country on its own soil (unless you count Hawaii as a significant part of America, which it isn't).


That happens when your on a much more unified landmass with many more countries.


Well the whole 'history' of America as we know it is much different compared to the way Europe 'began'. I am not an expert in American history, but I believe that the settlers (luck seekers and prisoners and the like) settling in America (~1500), compared to what developed from the greek/roman(/ottoman; more or less too/etc) empires from (~0-500) (and the tribes before that); give a whole different history; and therefor different countries and ways of controlling it. We are way more developed as a country since we've been around for so much longer; even-though maybe not in our specific current shape. Well maybe not more developed per-sé, but we have been developing longer.

Plague wrote:
Obviously America has been having its 'fun' with being at war with various countries, yet it has never been attacked in a similar way


We both have had our fair share of 'fun' with wars.
Just in different times.


Different times indeed. But the main difference is, I think, that America never was attacked like allied/soviet countries were in the world wars.



Plague wrote:Its nice to read opinions from people who live in the European area though.

Likewise c:
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Re: The European Union

Postby keldorn on Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:05 am

United States is a money pit too, but becuase their currency is the 'reserve currency' of the world, there getting a free ride to finance their fiscal debt. EU can't do this, they have to borrow from the IMF. If it wasn't the case the individual states that make up U.S would have already be falling apart decades ago like the EU is. But in way there kinda already are. California is in deep shit right now. Really the greater issue at hand is how money is created. Money is debt when its created and it has interest. You cannot pay back debt with the same money you borrowed with interest, where would get the interest? So no EU and no country will get out of debt. This 'debt crisis' is problem created by are how stupid monatary system is set up.
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Re: The European Union

Postby Saxon on Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:29 pm

I live in England, to be honest I don't mind the rules and regulations laid out by the EU. Nothing especially bad has come from it in terms of legislature - in fact some good things have come, the only problem I have with it is the fact that it isn't a democratic institution.

I couldn't name one person in the EU Government apart from President Hermann, I'm sure many other people in England are the same - which is probably why they aren't trusted at all, they come across like a secret Masonic sect controlling us all. Really they need to be more open, and they should listen to people more instead of forcing things through all the time.

The fact that the EU doesn't work against this, or even bother present anything to the contrary really plays into the hands of nationalist groups who can easily say things like "look how the EU destroys our liberty which your ancestors died for". This is significant in England since we've been at war with almost every European state, much is made of the French and Germans using the EU to conquer us once and for all.

With or without the Euro, it is frustrating that we who live in the richer states have to bail out people in the poorer states. It doesn't matter if you have the Euro or not as your currency because Governments insist that interstate trade deals between rich and poorer regions must continue.
So Economically I don't think the EU has benefited the average citizen, the way they throw our money at the failed states is no better than King Canute trying to stop the sea.

Dr. Delta wrote:England (or Great Brittain, idk) is phasing out all it's jet fighters and half of its battle tanks. Greece and Ireland got (or get, regarding Ireland) rather larger economical injections.

We're having to make big cuts in the military because we've been spending loads of money on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The fact that other European countries didn't really bother with Iraq probably saved their militaries from similar cuts.
Regardless, things do seem pretty bad here right now. If Ireland, Spain, Greece or Italy go down then I would expect the UK economy to go next because we have no manufacturing industry to speak of. All of our money is derived from Finance (which is broken).
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Re: The European Union

Postby Dionysos on Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:16 pm

Well, the EU is a nice dream, and eventually a "unified earth" isn't a bad thing. But right now the EU is an instrument to further deconstruct democracy and remove civil liberties, as well as just generally fuck up the economy (although not more than the individual countries do themselves). The only up-sides of the EU are free trade across borders and to a certain degree standardization, but those can be had with just agreements as well. The EU is an apparatus that's able to pass multinational laws in a mainly non-democratic fashion, often against/in contradiction to the constitutions of the individual nations.

In a way, one could view it as a sophisticated coup. I'm not nationalistic at all, but the EU is bad, mkay.
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Re: The European Union

Postby polycruncher on Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:31 pm

The EU is a integral component in the formulation of the first planetary government. Globalization is the mechanism through which the power-elite seek to consolidate the control of nations, by deregulation of industry, weakening of national sovereignty and creation of inter-dependence. The EU is nothing more than a tyrannical and autocratic machination of the criminal power-elite and the corrupt central banking cartels. The people who run this planet cannot be trusted and proved themselves thousands of times over, to be the worst expression of a corrupted humanity and have wrought such a scale of destruction, misery, death and enslavement - that it defies all categorization.
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Re: The European Union

Postby kkirspel on Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:19 pm

I think the only way the world *can* move foward is through inter-dependence between increasingly more countries, rather than watch certain countries stall out or realistically remain governmentless. Though they'd also need to bail each other out from time to time. Hopefully that wouldn't be a one-sided thing. Maybe slap some financial constraints on the bum country that spends its weekly paycheck at the nearest bar.
Globalization is the rest of the world catching up to the superpower countries in terms of technology/infrastructure/ect.
Not sure how thats a bad thing, unless you consider many of these countries sometimes have extreme views and/or groups.
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Re: The European Union

Postby Dionysos on Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:03 pm

Globalisation is it being cheaper to produce and ship something from the other side of the world than to produce it in your own country. That requires that the other (producing) country has lower wages than yours and in effect a lower standard of living, development etc. Prime example is China, although they are catching up and in the end of that hypothetical development won't stoop to producing our crap anymore. It's not a sustainable system.
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Re: The European Union

Postby Saxon on Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:10 pm

kkirspel wrote:Globalization is the rest of the world catching up to the superpower countries in terms of technology/infrastructure/ect.
Not sure how thats a bad thing, unless you consider many of these countries sometimes have extreme views and/or groups.

To me it seems more like Globalization exploits the cheaper workforces available in those countries. The only people who benefit from this are the fat cats raking in money at the top of businesses, the average person is worse off as a result of Globalization because they're getting played off against people from another country.

Quite honestly I think economics is best contained at a local level - it's less damaging that way when things go tits up. You only need to look at the current global depression to see how when one thing goes wrong, many unrelated economic units the world over go broke.

Dionysos wrote:Globalisation is it being cheaper to produce and ship something from the other side of the world than to produce it in your own country. That requires that the other (producing) country has lower wages than yours and in effect a lower standard of living, development etc. Prime example is China, although they are catching up and in the end of that hypothetical development won't stoop to producing our crap anymore. It's not a sustainable system.

This is one of the fundamental flaws with Globalization: businesses always looking to cut costs and increase profit. You can't keep doing that forever - as you rightly point out it isn't a sustainable system.
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Re: The European Union

Postby kkirspel on Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:34 pm

Saxon wrote:
Dionysos wrote:Globalization is it being cheaper to produce and ship something from the other side of the world than to produce it in your own country. That requires that the other (producing) country has lower wages than yours and in effect a lower standard of living, development etc. Prime example is China, although they are catching up and in the end of that hypothetical development won't stoop to producing our crap anymore. It's not a sustainable system.

This is one of the fundamental flaws with Globalization: businesses always looking to cut costs and increase profit. You can't keep doing that forever - as you rightly point out it isn't a sustainable system.


Dionysos, you're actually right also, it does mean this as well. But while super power countries do have to lower their standard of living, its only b/c we've artificially been able to keep that standard by maintaining the said technology and infrastructure.
It might hurt some of us, but I believe it'll help the world in general in the long run.

Here is a good video from MIT that talks about the subject:
http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/266

Sorry its long, but I liked it a lot.
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Re: The European Union

Postby Sathor on Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:03 pm

I have both positive and negative opinions about the European Union.
For example, I think such a Union is important. The European countries are small, compared to India or China, so I think it is important to have a strong union as a counterpart. It cannot be very efficient to have small countries all about one continent, each doing its own thing.
The current situation is not as bad, but not much better than Germany a few dozen years ago. If you read up on German history, you will notice Germany was mostly many small states, each faring wars etc against each other - only to be overcome by bigger enemies sometimes.
I am not saying we are in any danger to be overrun by the asian supernations, but we have to put aside our differences. The problem is not the additional layer of EU, but the remaining layers of our own national governments. I don't feel very related too the EU government - true. But neither am I a big fan of the German government.
At least the European High Court (Gerichtshof) has done a lot of fair judgements on human rights, even better than the much honoured German Constitutional Court.

Task of the EU should be the ensurance of peace in Europe and the absolute importance of human rights, as well as the ability to stand against the big nations around us (USA, India, China).

There are a lot of problems of course - how can we ensure smaller countries like the Netherlands are not underrepresented? (etc)

First of all - it would be important to ensure the Union is strong. To have Greece in the Union was a mistake, and to simply say "hey come in" to all those small east-european states - I don't think thats right.

Ideally, I'd abolish Germany, the Benelux states, France and Great Britian and to have the European State (others might be welcome too, I think Poland is already far enough).

"National" feeling never were any good and will never be I am afraid.
I accept many (or most?) people will think otherwise. But as long as the good of "our people" (a strange term, you will not like 99% of your fellow citizens, but still have "national feelings"?) is the most important thing, and not the common good ...
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Re: The European Union

Postby Dr. Delta on Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:42 am

Sathor wrote:"National" feeling never were any good and will never be I am afraid.
I accept many (or most?) people will think otherwise. But as long as the good of "our people" (a strange term, you will not like 99% of your fellow citizens, but still have "national feelings"?) is the most important thing, and not the common good ...



It would be more logical if Europeans had a more nationalistic feeling/approach of their countries since they have such a longer history.

Besides, I wouldn't want one big United Countries of Europe, because I would be limited in my behavior. I think I'm quite lucky living in the Netherlands for that matter. You're allowed to download music and movies legally, legally buy and use certain drugs and video-games don't get censored. While in France there's this Three-Strikes-And-You're-Out absurdity, it's not really much better in Great Britain and in Germany certain video/graphical content is prohibited or censored. (and I'm ignoring all the other countries since I either know little about them and because France, Germany and Great Britain are pretty important currently in the European stuff, don't they all have VETO's? etc. )


Anyhow, I'd like the rest of Europe being somewhat close to what we have here in the Netherlands; and if we had that and then we would have something like a United Countries of Europe, than I'd be proud to be apart of it.

We will see what the future brings us, who knows. ;)
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