EU foreign policy

Do you prefer EU or American approach to international relations?

  • The Americans are absolutely right.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • American approach is better.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Both have strong and weak points

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I rather agree with EU policy

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Only EU foriegn policy can be called as moral.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
#1
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6460925.stm

EU foreign policy is not the sum of the policies of the member states that make up the union. It is different.

Freed from the restraints and demands of national self interest, it starts from a different base - at its best, the desire to spread democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law.
...
"For a state," says one EU diplomat, "the starting point is the national interest. For an organisation like the EU, it is principles - the rule of law, UN resolutions, human rights.

"These are very important for the EU, especially in the Middle East."
...
That EU diplomat is often Mr Solana...
...
His style is the antithesis of that of US secretaries of state, with their dramatic rhetorical flourishes.

Theirs is "hard" power, his is "soft".

The same official admits that Europe is Venus to the US's Mars; Europeans, he says, are not interested in fighting wars anymore.
 
#2
WO CLM covers this type of thing and its bloody deep. Too deep for posts on here.

All i can say is i think that the UK gets it absolutly bob on with the way it works within the EU/NATO and especially the relationship with the USA.
 
#3
I know this is sitting on the fence a bit (or a lot), but somewhere between the two seems to be the right way. The problem is its aways the UK (and a few close allies), that are stuck between a rock and a hard place? :frown:
 
#4
By what right does the European Soviet Union (ESU) have a foreign policy?
Every nation which is not your own is, by definition, foreign. The ESU is not a nation, it is a collection of disparate, disorganized, disaffected sovereign states, many of whom cannot stand each other.

What ever GB decides France will decide the opposite. (Wish GB would decide NOT to invade France)

Germany is winding up for another go at Poland. (I like Poland and Poles).
Spain bullies Portugal.
Denmark and the Netherlands absolutely hate and despise Germany.
Everyone loathes France.
Finland and Greece ? Oh! yes, masses in common those two.
Cyprus is cut in half, as is Ireland!
Italy - lovely Italy, pity about their politicians.
Austria - Germans by another name.
Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia all too small to be a problem - yet.
Romania and Bulgaria - we aint seen nothing yet until these masters of crime get going.

This lot have a foreign policy? About as daft an idea as a European Soviet Union Defence Force!!!

Apologies to those countries not mentioned.
 
#5
lsquared said:
By what right does the European Soviet Union (ESU) have a foreign policy?
Every nation which is not your own is, by definition, foreign. The ESU is not a nation, it is a collection of disparate, disorganized, disaffected sovereign states, many of whom cannot stand each other.

What ever GB decides France will decide the opposite. (Wish GB would decide NOT to invade France)

Germany is winding up for another go at Poland. (I like Poland and Poles).
Spain bullies Portugal.
Denmark and the Netherlands absolutely hate and despise Germany.
Everyone loathes France.
Finland and Greece ? Oh! yes, masses in common those two.
Cyprus is cut in half, as is Ireland!
Italy - lovely Italy, pity about their politicians.
Austria - Germans by another name.
Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia all too small to be a problem - yet.
Romania and Bulgaria - we aint seen nothing yet until these masters of crime get going.

This lot have a foreign policy? About as daft an idea as a European Soviet Union Defence Force!!!

Apologies to those countries not mentioned.
Let's looks at USA. The Americans are very different. Anglo-Saxon descendants are a minoroty. And there are Americans of Irish, Italian, Greek, German, French origin. There are many Jews, Arabs, Indians and (of course!) Latino-americans. Los-Angeles is rather Mexican city from ethnical point of view. Let's recall also native Americans that preserve their tribal identity. And at last Afro-Americans should be mentioned. This Babylinian mix of nations, cultures have own state (the most powerfull in the World, btw). Is it possible for Europe to create USE (United States of Europe)? Why not? European parliament, Euro and common European foreign policy are steps on this (though long) way.

Europe will be more and more united. Like you it or not, it will happen and I'm very pleased that United Europe undoubtely will be a World moral leader. Europe will determine standards in human rights, in international relations, in education and so on.
 
#6
IMHO when you start talking about a Federal Europe you alienate the vast majority including those (like me) who see much merit in furthering European alliance. I generally find when talking of this, people usually fly off at extremist tangents with thoughts that it means accepting the Euro, abolition of the monarchy and central government from Brussels. Nothing of the sort, personally I disagree with these and re the Euro, only if it can be clearly seen the benefits for Britain are considerable and irresistible – currently they are not and have not been during the life of the Euro.

On paper, before the last expansion of the EU, (which I have reservations about), the combined military call-up potential and GDP of a combined Europe exceeded the USA. But Europe does not have an ambition to become the world military force. If talking of political organisation, Britain is the head of the Commonwealth which encompasses over 30% of the world’s population – yes the biggest of them all – but the Commonwealth is not a military organisation.

The dissolution of the Soviet Union was an incredible milestone for the world and Europe in particular. I don’t see the threat as having been Russia, but the aggressive Communism which was based there. It had to be seen that the amazingly rapid reforms of Gorbachev would endure, (arguably inevitable as the CCCP lost the ‘money race’ with the US), followed by the incredibly difficult period of restructuring. In turn this throws the whole raison d'etre for NATO into question. I see a very strong case for a European Defence Alliance taking its place, which should/must include Russia. However, not a Euro Superpower with a central military force looking for a pretence to project itself, but an organisation that has the ability to speak with one voice and, if needs be, effectively resist any other.

No.9
 
#7
Btw, do you think that the man from No.10 shares your opinion?
 
#9
I don't think it matters a jot what 'the man from No. 10 thinks'. The man in question is a busted flush, a very lame-duck, a has-been, washed-up, unbelieveable, irrelevant, immaterial and a downright disgrace to Great Britain. The saddest thing is he will be replaced, Kremlin style, by someone even worse.

Bliar lost interest in the Eurpoean Soviet Union (ESU) when it became apparent that it would not become a single 'sovereign' state with him as its first President.

It so happens that I have close family and personal reasons to like and admire a number of the countries comprising the ESU. However, I loathe and despise the unaccountable, unelected, inauditable, faceless apparatchiks infesting Brussels and loading us all with their never-ending stream of diktats.

I will do everything in my power to clip the ESU's wings and to ensure that it never, ever, attains a sovereign status.
 
#10
KGB_resident said:
Let's looks at USA. The Americans are very different. Anglo-Saxon descendants are a minoroty. And there are Americans of Irish, Italian, Greek, German, French origin. There are many Jews, Arabs, Indians and (of course!) Latino-americans. Los-Angeles is rather Mexican city from ethnical point of view. Let's recall also native Americans that preserve their tribal identity. And at last Afro-Americans should be mentioned. This Babylinian mix of nations, cultures have own state (the most powerfull in the World, btw). Is it possible for Europe to create USE (United States of Europe)? Why not? European parliament, Euro and common European foreign policy are steps on this (though long) way.
I don't think it's possible for a USE to ever exist harmoniously. The one thing all these American-Irish, American-Greek type people have in common is that they made a break from Europe and now share a common language. Europe is a collection of vastly different countries in very close proximity to each other, many of whom would are loathe to give up their own individual ways, laws and customs.

Having said all that, if Hitler had his way we wouldn't be having this conversation now. Not in English anyway.
 
#11
KGB_resident said:
lsquared said:
By what right does the European Soviet Union (ESU) have a foreign policy?
Every nation which is not your own is, by definition, foreign. The ESU is not a nation, it is a collection of disparate, disorganized, disaffected sovereign states, many of whom cannot stand each other.

What ever GB decides France will decide the opposite. (Wish GB would decide NOT to invade France)

Germany is winding up for another go at Poland. (I like Poland and Poles).
Spain bullies Portugal.
Denmark and the Netherlands absolutely hate and despise Germany.
Everyone loathes France.
Finland and Greece ? Oh! yes, masses in common those two.
Cyprus is cut in half, as is Ireland!
Italy - lovely Italy, pity about their politicians.
Austria - Germans by another name.
Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia all too small to be a problem - yet.
Romania and Bulgaria - we aint seen nothing yet until these masters of crime get going.

This lot have a foreign policy? About as daft an idea as a European Soviet Union Defence Force!!!

Apologies to those countries not mentioned.
Let's looks at USA. The Americans are very different. Anglo-Saxon descendants are a minoroty. And there are Americans of Irish, Italian, Greek, German, French origin. There are many Jews, Arabs, Indians and (of course!) Latino-americans. Los-Angeles is rather Mexican city from ethnical point of view. Let's recall also native Americans that preserve their tribal identity. And at last Afro-Americans should be mentioned. This Babylinian mix of nations, cultures have own state (the most powerfull in the World, btw). Is it possible for Europe to create USE (United States of Europe)? Why not? European parliament, Euro and common European foreign policy are steps on this (though long) way.

Europe will be more and more united. Like you it or not, it will happen and I'm very pleased that United Europe undoubtely will be a World moral leader. Europe will determine standards in human rights, in international relations, in education and so on.
Considering that EFTA member states have better economic growth rates, and higher per capita GDP's, than Euro zone member states, EFTA is demonstrably a better way for European nations to co-operate.

The mad bureacrats who run the EU will probably never come to this conclusion, there to hellbent on the ideal of a USE, regardless to any form of common sense or reality.
They cannot even decide on having a permanent parliament, toing & froing between Strasbourg AND Brussels, at EU taxpayers expense, what other public institution would get away with such madness.
 
#12
No.9 said:
IMHO when you start talking about a Federal Europe you alienate the vast majority including those (like me) who see much merit in furthering European alliance. I generally find when talking of this, people usually fly off at extremist tangents with thoughts that it means accepting the Euro, abolition of the monarchy and central government from Brussels. Nothing of the sort, personally I disagree with these and re the Euro, only if it can be clearly seen the benefits for Britain are considerable and irresistible – currently they are not and have not been during the life of the Euro.

On paper, before the last expansion of the EU, (which I have reservations about), the combined military call-up potential and GDP of a combined Europe exceeded the USA. But Europe does not have an ambition to become the world military force. If talking of political organisation, Britain is the head of the Commonwealth which encompasses over 30% of the world’s population – yes the biggest of them all – but the Commonwealth is not a military organisation.

The dissolution of the Soviet Union was an incredible milestone for the world and Europe in particular. I don’t see the threat as having been Russia, but the aggressive Communism which was based there. It had to be seen that the amazingly rapid reforms of Gorbachev would endure, (arguably inevitable as the CCCP lost the ‘money race’ with the US), followed by the incredibly difficult period of restructuring. In turn this throws the whole raison d'etre for NATO into question. I see a very strong case for a European Defence Alliance taking its place, which should/must include Russia. However, not a Euro Superpower with a central military force looking for a pretence to project itself, but an organisation that has the ability to speak with one voice and, if needs be, effectively resist any other.

No.9
NATO alongside the allied effort in WWII, are the most successfull military alliance's in history, NATO won the cold war.

To replace NATO, with a Euro Defence Alliance is krackers.
Some Euro state governments will not even allow there troops to patrol at night, or in the snow in Afghanistan, let alone actually engage the enemy in combat, at least the Americans can be bothered enough to fight the Taliban.

The EU will never spend as much as the US on defence, even if the combined EU GDP is higher, because EU states fiscal policy is more highly geared towards social policy, than is the case in the US.
Unless the US decides to raise there social welfare spending to EU levels (which is unlikely), they will always have more money to spend on defence, meaning that the US will always be the bulwark of any western military alliance.
 
#13
NATO can and does work hand in hand with the EDSP. The EDSP has conducted operations whilst still commiting support to NATO.
 
#14
KGB_resident said:
Let's looks at USA. The Americans are very different. Anglo-Saxon descendants are a minoroty. And there are Americans of Irish, Italian, Greek, German, French origin. There are many Jews, Arabs, Indians and (of course!) Latino-americans. Los-Angeles is rather Mexican city from ethnical point of view. Let's recall also native Americans that preserve their tribal identity. And at last Afro-Americans should be mentioned. This Babylinian mix of nations, cultures have own state (the most powerfull in the World, btw). Is it possible for Europe to create USE (United States of Europe)? Why not? European parliament, Euro and common European foreign policy are steps on this (though long) way.

Europe will be more and more united. Like you it or not, it will happen and I'm very pleased that United Europe undoubtely will be a World moral leader. Europe will determine standards in human rights, in international relations, in education and so on.
Sergey,

A number of assertions you make here are quite simply wrong or inaccurate.

You state that "Anglo-Saxon descendants are a minoroty" - however, based on the population figures as of October 2006, whites constitute almost 75% of the American population, of which the majority are German-Americans, Irish-Americans and English-Americans; therefore, the largest percentage of the largest ethnic group in the USA is Anglo-Saxon.

You seem to imagine that because America and Europe are ethnically diverse, ergo a 'United Sates of Europe' can readily be imagined. To think in this way however, is to fail to take into account the inescapable fact that the 'peoples of Europe' are characterised by one thing which sets them apart from their American counterparts - national identity. Americans, be they Irish-American, Afro-American or what have you, share a common, historical American national identity, and a loyalty and identification with the American nation; Europeans are different from one another on the basis of history, culture, religion, language, politics, and outlook. Even leaving aside these differences - which you and others would argue could be 'accommodated' within a 'Unites States of Europe' - there is not, nor really ever has been, a European nation-state to which Europeans can look towards or feel affinity for. To try and belatedly create a common European heritage and loyalty with a view to establishing a 'United States of Europe' by political means is to attempt to fast-forward a process that took centuries in America.

You make broad, sweeping assertions about how a "United Europe undoubtely will be a World moral leader. Europe will determine standards in human rights, in international relations, in education and so on". That sounds all well and good, but where is the evidence for all of this high-mindedness? Determining standards in human rights is laudable, but then you run into the uncomfortable reality of the utter ineffectiveness of the EU during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s and the Rwandan Genocide. There is no common EU foreign policy, as the EU is still - for the time being anyway - composed of sovereign independent states which pursue their own foreign policy aims, as most clearly evidenced by the split over the invasion of Iraq and the varying policies that individual EU states have pursued. Education - like economics - varies widely across the EU, and any attempt to bring them all into line would almost certainly ruin a number of education systems which have taken centuries to evolve. On the economic side, I take for example my own country, Ireland (Rep. of); although EU money has played a large part in the economic revival of the country and the 'Celtic Tiger', it is the presence of American and other non-European companies and investment coupled with a economic model that differs almost completely from the more common statist 'European' model that is the primary reason that the French and German economies are either stagnant or in free-fall.

Certainly, there will be more attempts to bring about a 'United States of Europe', but won’t these be somewhat hampered by the fact that these attempts will almost certainly be driven primarily by the French and Germans? As has been shown since the most recent expansion of the EU, the closer people are driven together – which is what will have to be done to bring about a 'United Europe' – the more they dislike each other, and the more unworkable and unwieldy the EU becomes. Additionally, Europeans - particularly the 'ordinary' Europeans the EU bureaucrats like to imagine they represent – do not like being told what to think and do by a clique of faceless and unaccountable supra-national pen-pushers who have convinced themselves that public opinion and the nation-state are passé.

A United States of Europe is theoretically possible (as are most things), but I seriously doubt if it could survive contact with the real world. As it is, there is a growing body of opinion that the EU will not survive beyond the next two decades.
 
#15
The EU is one of the most undemocratic and unaccountable organisations in the West. It is steeped in corruption from top to bottom and is only really in existense to provide a gravy train for the Eurocrats themselves.

There is no democratic mandate for the illegal laws that are being foisted on the Nation States of the EU and if the Britsh people were given a say in the matter we would withdraw from the EU.

An economic community was and is one thing. Political and federal Union quiet another.

Those who signed treaty's supposedly on our behalf are guilty of treason in every sense of the word.

They have sold our sovereignty for 30 peices of Euro Silver.

Why should the EU have a foreign policy? Who does it represent? The free peoples of Europe? Hardly!

The sooner we can have a national referendum on membership, the happier will the peoples of Britain be.

I want our Billions back.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#16
In the interests of objectivity I think I'll weigh in here.

A couple of senior EU political figures have in the past proposed closer integration, but the arguments always fell on deaf ears when the reality was tabled.

Nobody is proposing a federal Europe (except possibly the "The Sun" et al), and it is precisely that national identity, culture and shared history that binds European nations together.

The European Union is a project in progress, the United States have almost 2 centuries headstart in integration, but still have different laws between states, many geographical political divides and a fair amount of internal tension and resentment on many issues.

The EU is looking to exploit common ground between member states - not impose "mindless" rules. Common ground means just that, but you cannot placate all parties all the time. Too much discussion - the EU is slated, change something to benefit the majority - the EU is slated.

I work daily with members of all the European states, and I have to say, my colleagues are about the best thing about my job.

As far as accountability, transparency and auditability goes there is no match in any national public service environement in Europe. The problem is - people dont care! Theydont read the reports of the European Court of Auditors, they read the comments of a tabloid journalist!

Egos, errors and arguements have all caused issues in the past, but as someone very close to it for the last 8 years, I can say with certaintly it is getting better year on year.

I repeat, it is a project in progress, ideas are floated, rules are discussed, opinions are argued - it takes a long time, but with good principles and intentions as a foundation people in the EU and beyond will benefit in the longer term.
 
#17
Excellent post, gallowglas.

I would say that I personally think the high water mark of European integration passed with the French and Dutch (2 founder members, remember) rejection of the Constitution. A Europe of 27 states is simply too diverse to have common policies on many things, especially where divergent national interests are involved. Look at the current spat over the US missile shield in Czech/Poland, for example.
 
#18
Gallowglass wrote-

You state that "Anglo-Saxon descendants are a minoroty" - however, based on the population figures as of October 2006, whites constitute almost 75% of the American population, of which the majority are German-Americans, Irish-Americans and English-Americans; therefore, the largest percentage of the largest ethnic group in the USA is Anglo-Saxon.
As I understand the use of the term Anglo-Saxon, it applies to those of specifically English descent. I'd be surprised if many Irish Americans (or residents of the Republic) considered themselves to be Anglo-Saxon, let alone those of German descent!

Ironically enough however, the most recent evidence suggests that there isn't that much Saxon in us Anglos either-

http://www.bloodoftheisles.net/index.html

An interesting read that hacks a lot of long cherished ideas about the population of the UK right in the fork.
 
#19
Neuroleptic said:
Gallowglass wrote-

You state that "Anglo-Saxon descendants are a minoroty" - however, based on the population figures as of October 2006, whites constitute almost 75% of the American population, of which the majority are German-Americans, Irish-Americans and English-Americans; therefore, the largest percentage of the largest ethnic group in the USA is Anglo-Saxon.
As I understand the use of the term Anglo-Saxon, it applies to those of specifically English descent. I'd be surprised if many Irish Americans (or residents of the Republic) considered themselves to be Anglo-Saxon, let alone those of German descent!

Ironically enough however, the most recent evidence suggests that there isn't that much Saxon in us Anglos either-

http://www.bloodoftheisles.net/index.html

An interesting read that hacks a lot of long cherished ideas about the population of the UK right in the fork.
Further to this, didn't an 'anglo saxon' couple threaten to sue Channel 4 when a programme they were on proved them to have part sub saharan african DNA. Very funny, especially as before they were espoucing the England für Englander line of some dodgy party or other
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#20
The constitution was one of those ideas that bombed, for various reasons.

Actually the reality with the new member states is that they are pushing for more common policy - having already signed up to the full package as part of the entry process.

There are suprisingly few divergent interests between member nations - with some notable exceptions - and all member states share a common desire to promote a stable economic environment, allowing promotion of prosperity financially and a higher standard of living/quality of life for their citizens.

A common currency was not thought possible 10 years ago....Germans giving up the D-Mark? No more French Francs?

The biggest challenge now is the diplomatic manageability of several groups of expanded membership. Despite all the negativity so popular in the UK press there exists a lot of enthusiasm not mentioned. Results are also there - economic stability and growth, rising living standards across the EU.

The frustrating thing is the lack of interest in politics in general by the EU populace - every country has falling voter turnouts on national levels, and MEP elections - well not even worth going there! The democratic process exists, accountabilty and transparency are second to none, information propagation is excellent - no-one gives a sh1t....... then whinges when someone tries to improve something.

The apathy and ignorance thats exists in some areas is more than matched by the enthusiasm in other areas. Those who take the time and interest may be suprised to find out exactly how much is achieved every month.
 

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