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Thread: A United States of Europe- is that possible? Would you like to see it happen?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sybilla View Post
    Yes, I think that divided we are simply not competitive, we are like a preistoric creature with not future. I know that Europe is very complicated politically speaking, but finally we must learn to stay united.
    The new state would be something innovative and never seen before, where every region has its own language but with an overnational language like English (which is also the easiest Indo-European language) to unite us.
    English may be the easiest one for a Swedish speaker, but not for a Spanish speaker. Anyways I guess it could be worse if German had to be chosen , in the end it is the most spoken language natively in Europe.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Oh it's so romantic, but where are to Gauls now with their language? If not few historians, we wouldn't' even know about them, right?
    Even in 2 thousand years if there is a country name Serbia, Serbian language will evolve to something else that you won't be able to understand. The culture will be different, most likely religion too, even look of people will change. What will you do now? Defend and die for things that will pass and be forgotten?!
    Linear pottery anyone? Anyone?
    I wouldn't poke at Serbs, they know how to stir serious sh!t. Your comment is pretty presomptuous, as you deny that some parts of Europe would prefer to keep away from standardisation and dilution into a heartless (and brainless) institution. This thread should be called "A USSR of Europe? It is possible, actually, that's what is happening...
    The right to chose another path than wild capitalism and integration into a structure that leaves no place for national sensibilities should be an inalienable right. Seems like Mosc..., sorry, Brussels tends to forget that. I am just very relieved Berlin and paris do not take advantage of the crisis to push for more integration.
    Goulag and Internationale, anyone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antigone View Post
    Have to agree with Lebrok there. The old adage of united we stand, divided we fall has been historically proven time and again.
    Should the whole Union fall because a kern of governments can not run their own country? In this particular case, it's more like united we fall, divided, some will stand...

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Does anyone know were any of it will lead Cimmerianbloke? But we have already tried being a Europe at odds with centuries of war plus the two major wars in the last century that didn't achieve anything either. A little co-operation is a nice change from the past method of sword and gun.

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    Thanks Antigone, that's my answer too. Let's try something else instead of jumping to our throats as we used to.

    If we think that EU future is bleak, let's remind ourselves what our parents and grandparents thought about Europe and it's future in midst of WWI or II or shortly after during heights of Cold War.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    I am just depicting the situation, I am no warmonger. Cooperation means the rich paying for the poor. Look at Spain, Italy and Belgium. If within the same nation, we see people not ready to pay for their poorer country fellowmen, what chance do we have to see rich countries paying for the poorest. You just have to read the press to have an answer. Rise of populism, nationalism and anti-European (as an institution) feeling, bitterness at the countries and governments that lead us there. Again, as I wrote in another thread, most of the continent has been living over its means, and capitalism is not a game where everybody wins. You don't play at the casino if you are broke. I wish the situation were different, as I have two teenage kids who will have to pay for the mess our parents created (with good intentions though). You sometimes need to call a spade a spade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Thanks Antigone, that's my answer too. Let's try something else instead of jumping to our throats as we used to.

    If we think that EU future is bleak, let's remind ourselves what our parents and grandparents thought about Europe and it's future in midst of WWI or II or shortly after during heights of Cold War.
    I think lessons of the past are forgotten too easily and school history education alone does not seem to impress on the young, just how horrific Europe was. The destruction of nations, families, homes and incomes plus malutrition and disease. All of which resulted in mass migrations to Australia, US and Canada, or for those lucky enough.

    Even the uncertainty and problems in the EU today are far more preferable to the alternative.
    Last edited by Antigone; 27-11-11 at 13:48.

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    Look at the map of Europe since the Middle-Ages. Borders have moved back and forth, Poland ceased to exist and was split between other nations, countries are born, some others do not exist anymore. It is all a normal, dynamic, almost organic process. I think the situation is normal from an historic point of view. People are afraid of change, we have to think the world has we have known it has changed and live with the new one. Mankind is a product of nature and nature favours the ones that adapt to their environment. The EU integration failed because it was not taking into account factors that could bring her down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cimmerianbloke View Post
    I am just depicting the situation, I am no warmonger. Cooperation means the rich paying for the poor. Look at Spain, Italy and Belgium. If within the same nation, we see people not ready to pay for their poorer country fellowmen, what chance do we have to see rich countries paying for the poorest. You just have to read the press to have an answer. Rise of populism, nationalism and anti-European (as an institution) feeling, bitterness at the countries and governments that lead us there. Again, as I wrote in another thread, most of the continent has been living over its means, and capitalism is not a game where everybody wins. You don't play at the casino if you are broke. I wish the situation were different, as I have two teenage kids who will have to pay for the mess our parents created (with good intentions though). You sometimes need to call a spade a spade.
    I don't remember the exact numbers but in reality North Italy gives way more funds to South Italy than West Germany to the East. Of course North Italian nationalists would like to pay just 0 Euro to the South, but maybe also excessive amounts are counter-productive as the poor Italian regions will never feel compelled to being more productive as long as they can grab others' money. In Spain Catalan separatist always argue that in Germany the rich länder can stop contributing to the poor ones' economies beyond certain level that is fixed at federal level in terms of total GDP . They complain that in Spain there is not such limit, so let's say Andalusia needs certain amount of money to finance their healthcare system because they don't have enough , then the Spanish rich regions must contribute until the required money is fullfiled as long as those rich regions have funds left for themselves, but there is not such fixed limitation a priori.

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    Depending on what you are looking for you would prefer one instance of Europe over another. If you like our civilization to be more natural (organic?) than you are born too late. My best Europe so far exists right now, in time when we unleashed more of human potential, educated masses, gave people good life and more freedoms. Thanks to this we brought peace and cooperation between states and nations. I know the old ways (you described) worked well (at lest worked) for long thousands of years. New Europe with new way of life is certainly a phenomenon (historically speaking), untested and uncertain. Like one big experiment.
    Having set that, I truly believe that today's Europe is not a coincidence, a mare fluke. I can see long chain of events that have lead us slowly to this state of affairs. It started with technology, capitalism, and renaissance about 500 years ago. Europe that we have right now is from evolutionary process, natural, therefore it is here to stay.

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    You guys have both very valid points. I am not nostalgic of the golden age of European domination over the world, I am only very critical at the poor level of management we witness in the current crisis. The EU failed to prove it could deal with problems affecting the Eurozone it created. The world economics have been working with more speed since computers have become a common management tool, but you can feel the EU is still stuck with file cabinets and typewriters. The solutions do not come flowing, they come too late and by the time they are applied, the root of the problem has evolved and the answer is no more adapted to the problem. My point is that if the EU wants to be effective, the whole structure has to be revamped and boosted to be able to deal with issues in real time. I am also very critical of the lack of transparency when it comes to the billions they seem to find over a cup of coffee after lunch. The history of the Vatican shows us that if you do not live with your time, you are condemned to be relegated to the backseat.
    Franco, the north-south fracture is something Europe overlooks. In Italy, the south is the source of the mafia, which existed well before the Italian state and was itself a form of local government which people trusted because it was local people looking after local solutions for local problems. Industrialising the south or expecting the south to get the level of development Torino or Milano has is not realistic. Culture has a lot to do, as in the south, governments are not trusted and cheating the government is considered fair.The same in Spain: Jaén or Málaga will never have the same economic potential as Catalonia, and on top of that come the linguistic and independence considerations. These matters should stay within the national government's responsabilities. Transfer of money and competences are only worth if the beneficiaries use it to develop their skills in order to be able to be autarcic and stop depending on other regions to face their bills. All the EU does at the moment is giving away checks with little control, the most blatant cases were Bulgaria and Romania, where payments were suspended because of lack of progress in the reforms. The big mistake was giving the check in the first place... The modern-day map needs to be rethought and adapted to the economic reality. It is the only way to keep the Union standing. Another revamp can be done in a few years to get weaker members back into it or allowing them more help.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cimmerianbloke View Post
    I am only very critical at the poor level of management we witness in the current crisis. The EU failed to prove it could deal with problems affecting the Eurozone it created.
    I agree with much of what you say and the EU is in need of an overhaul, it has become rather like the Greek government with too much beaurocratic dead wood which also drains resources. But as much as I hate the thought of defending any government or politician I do think you are being a little unfair with this section.

    This crisis is far from over, and it is still too early to say with any certainty whether the solutions have failed or worked. The EU is still a relatively new concept plus the idea has never been tried before so I don't think anyone could have predicted at it's conception that this crisis would even happen, little on having ready made solutions for something unseen.

    Unchartered waters and all that, although it seems more like the blind leading the blind at the moment but all we can do is work and hope for the best. We've no other choice.

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    I agree Cimmerianbloke, politicians and bureaucrats are generally incompetent and lack responsibility. I'm pretty sure European union will evolve with time into something that will work much better. Today's crisis works as evolutionary forcing, adjustment. There is no way to predict now how the union will look in 100 years. Some form of federal government is needed, overseeing regulations for trade, disputes, finances and maybe military. I believe that instead of nations we'll see only smaller regional local governments, catering to differences or special character of regions, in industry, agriculture, language, schooling, tax collection.

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    Crises happen all the time, Antigone, with or without virulence. The pressure of the markets has always been there, but the Eurozone was originally thought as a market space, not a political entity. There was no safety net, no european project for a pan-European bank that woud manage the assets, and scan the member candidates. When the crisis hit in 2008, all that could do was to raise money to bail out banks in trouble, with no hard guarantee in returns. In Ireland, people were losing their houses but the bankers responsible for the chaos got to keep their bonuses, and the developpers that owe the banks billions transferred their assets to their spouse, perfectly legally, in order to avoid having their private patrimony seized. It is all common knowledge and the EU has still not tried to tackle the problem. As for being in unchartered waters, I doubt it seriously. Reading the specialised press gives you a good idea of what is coming next. Anyway, with no one in the mood for revolution, we'll have to wait and see, praying to still have something left at the end of the ordeal.

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Why not? The nationalisms of the narrow minded in the 19th and 20th century had brought us nothing but misery... namely war, genocides and an excuse to be unreasonable chauvinistic about something stupid - like the country you live in. Quite frankly being half-German /half-Dutch I don't understand why some people get scared to loose their national systems. As if this defines what you are. Being European is not something fictional in my opinion, for me personal it is a reality.
    Last edited by Christiaan; 01-12-11 at 15:14.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    we are too many ethnicity and with an ancient hystory back to form a federal state.. with different mentalities..

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by julia90 View Post
    we are too many ethnicity and with an ancient hystory back to form a federal state.. with different mentalities..
    No, the real problem is we justify our bad habits by calling them mentality.

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    European countries must collaborate between others... but making a single country is a big mistake. Look what happen in Italy or Spain... the north regions are discontent with the south because they feel they are the only ones who work for the country. Some regions even want to be independent. I think the same would happen in Europe but in a big scale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christiaan View Post
    No, the real problem is we justify our bad habits by calling them mentality.
    Ignoring the traits of character that define us as separate nations is a big mistake. Nationalism is there to stay, thinking your own experience could become mainstream is an utopia. And calling nationalism a bad habit is a lack of respect for people who genuinely love their homeland and value their national traditions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jurrian View Post
    European countries must collaborate between others... but making a single country is a big mistake. Look what happen in Italy or Spain... the north regions are discontent with the south because they feel they are the only ones who work for the country. Some regions even want to be independent. I think the same would happen in Europe but in a big scale.
    Collaboration is what has been tried since 1947. Having 27 memberstrying to take balanced decisions has been a disaster. There is always someone who feels ripped off. Now that Germany is in charge by default, everyone is complaining. I have read horrible things in the press about Merkel and "the Fourth Reich". If it were not for Germany and its economy, we would never have experienced such a high lifestyle as Germany has been Europe's wallet since the 1970es. You are right when you mention Italy and Spain (why not Belgium?). Oil and water do not mix and never will. Time for the big shots in Brussels to understand that...

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    Quote Originally Posted by julia90 View Post
    we are too many ethnicity and with an ancient hystory back to form a federal state.. with different mentalities..
    This would actually question the existence of the USA, as it is comprised of even more ethnicities and mentalities. But I know what you mean!

    After having read other comments in this thread, I could find my personal views here and there again.
    My conclusion is that single European nation states are not competitive on the long run against the rest of the world. Especially against China, India and other Asian nations, European nation states will have nothing much to offer against. Same applies to other rising nations of LatAm, and on a political, strategic scale, the Muslim world. The USA aswell, will soon be busy enough dealing with it's own problems than standing behind Europe all the time. So the question is not, how to prevent giving up some nation's sovereignity, but giving it to whom? Of course I would rather prefer being ruled by a pan-European commitee than by a Chinese commitee.
    On the other hand, especially in times of crisis like this, I can see that many people are not willing to accept this. People of richer regions fear to be betrayed of their properties, while people of poorer regions feel to be financially, politically and culturally enslaved, and both views are understandable. The EU has in so far missed it's aim to overcome these disparities and build up some trustment.
    Right at the moment there is nothing much to predict as practically everything is possible! So I am curious to know how the future will evolve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cimmerianbloke View Post
    I wouldn't poke at Serbs, they know how to stir serious sh!t. Your comment is pretty presomptuous, as you deny that some parts of Europe would prefer to keep away from standardisation and dilution into a heartless (and brainless) institution. This thread should be called "A USSR of Europe? It is possible, actually, that's what is happening...
    The right to chose another path than wild capitalism and integration into a structure that leaves no place for national sensibilities should be an inalienable right. Seems like Mosc..., sorry, Brussels tends to forget that. I am just very relieved Berlin and paris do not take advantage of the crisis to push for more integration.
    Goulag and Internationale, anyone?
    I wholeheardly agree.
    Yet I'd like to mention the Warsaw pact model which was very much different from the USSR itself. These countries differed alot from each other. In particular there was never a common currency. I was especially apalled by the tight frontiers. That was ironic considering the notorious announcement of friendship and cooperation. The west european countries were much more interconnected to each other already (EG, open frontiers, laws, Media, Life style, travel, McDonalds,...). The only uniting force of Warsaw pact was the authority of the USSR, which dictated exclusively the common politics towards the enemy.
    The EU now in contrast tries to "homogenize" its members using the EURO currency, banana standards, surveillance and other diseases. I'd not be surprised if the US (IMF?) soon becomes the de facto supervising authority for this headless bunch of morons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cimmerianbloke View Post
    Ignoring the traits of character that define us as separate nations is a big mistake. Nationalism is there to stay, thinking your own experience could become mainstream is an utopia. And calling nationalism a bad habit is a lack of respect for people who genuinely love their homeland and value their national traditions.
    I think you are confusing nationalism with partriotism, they are not always quite the same thing.

    pa·tri·otism(ptr--tzm) n.
    Love of and devotion to one's country.

    nationalism [ˈnæʃənəˌlɪzəm ˈnæʃnə-] n 1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a sentiment based on common cultural characteristics that binds a population and often produces a policy of national independence or separatism
    2. loyalty or devotion to one's country; patriotism
    3. exaggerated, passionate, or fanatical devotion to a national community

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    No, Antigone, actually, the left everywhere in Europe is crying wolf every time patriotism is mentioned. Does putting the interests of Greece and its people before the EU and its bankers-technocrats mean you are a nationalist? Does the fact that you want Greek political decisions to be made in Athens and not in Brussels mean you are nostalgic of the colonels era? The left has demonized patriotism beyond reason, the rise of nationalism is just a normal adjustment to the nonsense we have witnessed since 2008. What really saddens me is to read in the press all over Europe that Germany is about to take over the continent. If wanting my country's future to be decided by my fellow countrymen in my country's democratically elected parliament makes me a nationalist, then nationalist I am and I make no excuse for it. You, Antigone, among all, should be the most aware, your prime minister having been removed and replaced by a Brussels puppet to make sure he wouldn't come with more crazy ideas like a national referendum... Asking the people to take a decision concerning its future, isn't that the essence of democracy?

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    Country: Greece



    We must be living in different Europes then because the one you are describing is totally alien to me Cimmerianbloke. Personally, I'll always be a patriot, but a nationalist? Never. Nationalists are extremists and extremists will inevitabely cause more harm than good to the very nation they profess to love.

    Papandraeu cut his own throat with the announcement of a referendum at that stage, he was clutching at anything that would keep him in power because of the enormous pressure he was under to step down, both from parliament and by the people. The Greek people themselves didn't want a referendum and thought it was too late to take decisions to a public vote after the deals had already been agreed. And many were saying they that they would make their protest to a referendum known by not voting, if a referendum had been called at the begining, all well and good but it wasn't.

    Papandraeu then barely survived a vote of no confidence and only on the promise that he would form a unity government, the main opposition leader (Samaras) flatley refused to compromise nor form any alliance with the ruling party, and the arguments continued for 3 days. The result of our politicians drive to ever serve themselves and not their country, is the very man who helped orchestrate this mess, the banker Papadimos. Sorry, but you are misinformed if you think Brussels could have orchestrated all that on their own.

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