EU: Expansion...or not?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by dong20, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. dong20

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    With the announcement from Strasbourg expected today about Bulgaria and Romania being (or not being) allowed to join the EU next Jan I just thought I would pose the following:

    Should they be allowed to join?

    If no - why?

    If yes - Should other member states, (should they so wish) be allowed impose work permit and/or other restrictions on the citizens of those nations to protect their economies from 'economic refugees' and is this not against the very spirit of the EU.

    This is related to a post I made to the long departed Cassandra32DD who was extolling the goodliness of the EU with regard to Serbian war criminals whereby I remarked that she had a overly rosy view of the EU and that the accession of Bulgaria and Romania was already cause for concern.
     
  2. Lordpendragon

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    Can I take you back a step and ask where you think our border with Asia is - if indeed there is one? Is it physical or psychological or religious/cultural?

    I ask this because I tend to feel that "Europe" as a concept is geopolitically passe. I have more interests in the Far East and the States than I do in Europe - why should I have an overriding common interest with Europeans?
     
  3. dong20

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    ???

    I was merely posing a legitimate question not stating an opinion and it wasn't aimed at you, or indeed anyone specifically. I was talking about the EU as a geo-political entity which it is (Europe being 'passe' or not) and the problems it faces in expanding. Your interests are your own and I have many interests, personal and financial in Africa but, right now, as an EU resident this and other issues affect me.

    I was not attempting to define or re-define Europe's borders, in either physical or cultural terms which, I agree, can be interperated in many ways few if any of which are relevant here.
     
  4. Lordpendragon

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    OK

    If the purpose of the EU is to create a union of European countries, and Romania and Bulgaria are European, then of course they should join. The Eurocrats are just a little edgy that the reality does not quite fit so easily into their fairytale vision - what a surprise.
     
  5. dong20

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    Would I be correct in thinking you lean toward being a Euro-Sceptic than a federalist? :smile:
     
  6. Lordpendragon

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    In the global reality that I see, I find it ridiculous to promote a system that creates boundaries and borders that exclude and alienate. I think it a juvenile and dangerous world view. I am not sceptic as a little englander, I am contemptuous as a world citizen. Ultimately I hope that it will be seen to be a regressive step.

    But hey, so long as the French unsustainable farming system is maintained, who cares how many other farmers in the world are fucked.

    It is a system designed to exploit our current power for our benefit and other's misery.
     
  7. dong20

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    In a long term Global sense I agree. But, I'm not at all convinced that humanity has progressed beyond a point where some degree of collective cultural and/or economic security is necessary. I'm not saying it's right, or ideal because I don't. That's just that's how it is, as I see it anyway.

    There are global 'spheres of influence' and Europe is one of these. Taking into account your statement about creation of boundaries, natural or geo-political; a united (ha!) Europe (even as an aim) is surely better than a divided one? History alone should teach us that. I don't pretend it's easy or as you say, that history will not show it to have been a flawed strategy. Africa, Asia and the Americas have their own legacies, imposed both from within and without and thus problems of their own to solve.

    Surely a key requirement is not allowing these spheres of influence to entrench divisions but to provide mechanisms for overcoming them. Contempt and cynicism while understandable serve little purpose other than to accentuate or even perpetuate those divisions. I don't see the world unifying into one happy village any time soon but one has to have something to get out of bed for.:rolleyes:

    I share your views on the little England theme and some of your contempt but to me, in the absence of any immediate. credible alternative that contempt seems rather more indulgence than a means to progress. Small steps are better than none surely?
     
  8. Lordpendragon

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    Yes - my contempt is academic and indulgent.

    I will however maintain opposition to protectionist policies that inflict untold hardship on people for the sake of sustaining the ultimately unsustainable. We should be cleverer than that. A one world view may be a dream, but I don't want to loose it as a goal.

    Spheres of influence or assumed self interest grouping, will I think lead to an unholy row over diminishing resources. Orwell's 1984, though over quoted could be prophetic.

    I also prefer less government to more, as all that happens is that beaurocrats spend their time and our money looking for things that justify their fat-arse existence. Apologies if you are a well-intentioned and hard-working beuarocrat. Apologies also for two oxymorons in one sentence.

    The last comment was for the Colonel.
     
  9. dong20

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    I agree and I share that aim, sadly human nature, mostly in the form of politicians and greed all too often gets in the way.

    Maybe, but that doesn't obviate their existence. I agree with you about competition for resources as I alluded to earlier, and I concede it's an idealistic view. The next 'wolrd' war may well be about oil, the Hubbert Peak and all.

    As do I, as much Government as is needed to ensure our safety, health and education. I have little time for bureaucrats (in the common vernacular) either but though I think I'm hard working and do undertake some Government work, I wouldn't describe myself as a bureaucrat - quite the reverse!
     
  10. joyboytoy79

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    Back to the OP:

    If an EU must exist, and the Bulgarians and Romanians are willing to accept the rules and regulations of the EU, i think they should be allowed to join. I do not think any special rules and stipulations be applied to them that are NOT applied to other member states.

    That said, i dislike the EU. I think it is slowly but surely forcing the Swedes and the Netherlanders out of their socialist, tolerant, pleasant societies. I rather like the idea of a unified European economy, in theory, but i guess i'd like for it to be more tolerant.
     
  11. SpeedoGuy

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    I'm ignorant on how the farm system of France punishes the farmers of other nations. Through large subsidies, I'd assume. Weren't those kind of things supposed to be reduced or gradually eliminated as a condition of joining the EU? Just interested.
     
  12. Lordpendragon

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    Farm subsidies are extrememly contentious - on the one hand a nation does need to retain the means of self sufficiency. In France, those in agriculture account for more than 20% of the electorate (cut me some slack on the percentages, I don't know them exactly), so politically they have been able to maintain support for their system of land inheritance being divided amongst all the children. This has lead to what elsewhere would be considered uneconomic agricultural units.

    I am not an advocate of industrial farming, but France takes in the region of $45 billion from the EU budget for its farmers (total population of France iro 60 million). To give you an example of how silly it can be, a friend bought a farm in France as a holiday home. He doesn't need the land so he rents it to a locally registered farmer for about $100 per acre, the Farmer is then given $200 an acre by his government for doing nothing with it. In the meantime, immigrant minorities are rioting for want of social inclusion funding.

    Conversely excesses in production are dumped on world markets which depresses the prices and therefore affects local producers in countries that do not have subsidies and often less effective agricultural methods. You may remember a Korean farner burning himself alive in protest at this at a G7/8 conference.

    The vast majority of the EU budget is taken up in agriculture, all the more developed European countries take significant subsidies, whilst the average wage of peasnat farmers in Bulgaria/Romania is $1.50 per day. There is a massive imbalance. One effect is that he industrial farmers move into these new countries, buy land cheap which makes their cost of production less and worsens the uncompetitiveness of the founding nations. It's a crazy world and will take a long time to balance out.

    The UK does have an end game for agricultural susbsidy in that the farmers have been told that there will be no more subsidies in about 8 years I think and after that they will have to compete in the global market.

    This is just a view - I may not have all the facts right, and if I don't I am happy to apologise.
     
  13. SpeedoGuy

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    Thanks for the post, LP.
     
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