EU - Whither or wither the European Union

Auld-Yin

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#1
This is not another Brexit thread but a continuation of the Wither threads for Corbyn and May. The EU is in trouble so here is an opportunity to discuss without mentioning the unmentionable, although I guess that will be hard.

Angela Merkel has announced she is going; up to now she had bee the strongest national politician in the EU and the person that the EU Commission have looked to for support.

Macron has ambitions to fill Merkel's sell imposed role but will face very strong opposition.

On top of the political personnel there is the problem with Western EU MS such as Poland, who have been put on the naughty step by the EU (unelected) Commission.

But the major test facing the EU is the revolt from Italy and their refusal to bow down to the EU over their budget plans.
EU warned Italy has 'no choice but to LEAVE' bloc and trigger HUGE CRISIS
Now this may be from the Express so will be dismissed by several Arrsers, but it does not alter the fact that Rome and Brussels are at each others' throats.

Who is going to back down? My contention is the EU will give in and allow Italy some room for movement but will claim they have kept Italy in line. Italy will go ahead and do what they intend to save their economy. Other MS will sit up and take notice, especially Greece!

The EU is wounded, it may be a while before we see if it is a mortal wound or just one leaving the EU disabled.

So, whither - or wither?
 
#2
The Macron/Merkel piece - France or Germany dominant - certainly reminds me of good old A-level history - Bismarck, Franco-Prussian war etc. It is almost perpetual and probably subconscious to a degree.

As to the Italy thing, a lot will depend on the balls of the individual politicians/parties - I thought both the Italians and Greeks were going to bang out at previous points with hard rhetoric but they ended up acquiescing. As such I think the EU thinks no one will 'call' it and keep bluffing - a lesson for those politiicans negotiating that which shall not be mentioned...
 
#4
The federalisation of Europe was always going to be extremely difficult and tortuous (and, IMHO, bloody), but for the life of me I cannot understand why the architects of the project made the hubristic decision to effect the final unifying act - a common currency - as one of the earliest steps.

The Euro brings all of the formative crises to the fore at once - the misalignment of economies, the need for one central bank, one central government, a central tax system, the acceptance that the taxpayers of the rich centre will subsidise the feckless periphery, the reality that "national" governments can have no further use or sovereignty, that the peoples of Europe (many extremely volatile and/or politically ans socially undeveloped) must accept technocratic rule from a distant foreign palace (or two of them, in the EU's profligate case). IMHO this is too much to swallow at once - people are just not inclined to accept vast sweeping changes in quick succession.

On the economic front, I think that, if I was empire building in Europe, it would have been wise to let the Mediterranean economies fester for a few decades on their Lira, Pesetas and Drachmas, and then bring them into the Euro fold once their governments were gone and the currency black markets had produced a realistic valuation of their coin.

On the Eastern front, it would have been wise to spend a few decades breeding a pliant political class and propagandised populations before taking crass dictatorial decisions such as, for example, dumping millions of third world migrants onto conservative, religious and mono-ethnic countries with no ameliorating colonial heritage.

If the EU had instead gone down the route of steady (often covert) convergence over, say, 100 years, then they may have got to the final EU fedral state with only one or two insurrections. Now, however, I don't see how they will achieve it without serious schism. Instead of lulling national populations into indolence with creeping power transfers (vide Britain), the EU now has no choice but to crack the whip over its Eastern and Southern possessions in order to keep the project on track.
 
#5
Nick Clegg wants to know if the top Euro job pays more than Facebook? Not that anyone would want to imply a Europe run by a self selecting, self serving, and unelected elite who are willing to use authoritarian methods to get their way.

The whole European project is based on a false premise - that the existence of the nation state has been responsible for all the ills of tragedies of European peoples in the last century. This of course ignore the poisonous ideologies of Nazism and Communism which by their nature spread like a contagious virus. Many of the worse excesses of both were committed in Nazi occupied lands or Soviet controlled nations, as local officials wanted to prove their loyalty to their foreign masters.
 
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#6
The federalisation of Europe was always going to be extremely difficult and tortuous (and, IMHO, bloody), but for the life of me I cannot understand why the architects of the project made the hubristic decision to effect the final unifying act - a common currency - as one of the earliest steps.

The Euro brings all of the formative crises to the fore at once - the misalignment of economies, the need for one central bank, one central government, a central tax system, the acceptance that the taxpayers of the rich centre will subsidise the feckless periphery, the reality that "national" governments can have no further use or sovereignty, that the peoples of Europe (many extremely volatile and/or politically ans socially undeveloped) must accept technocratic rule from a distant foreign palace (or two of them, in the EU's profligate case). IMHO this is too much to swallow at once - people are just not inclined to accept vast sweeping changes in quick succession.

On the economic front, I think that, if I was empire building in Europe, it would have been wise to let the Mediterranean economies fester for a few decades on their Lira, Pesetas and Drachmas, and then bring them into the Euro fold once their governments were gone and the currency black markets had produced a realistic valuation of their coin.

On the Eastern front, it would have been wise to spend a few decades breeding a pliant political class and propagandised populations before taking crass dictatorial decisions such as, for example, dumping millions of third world migrants onto conservative, religious and mono-ethnic countries with no ameliorating colonial heritage.

If the EU had instead gone down the route of steady (often covert) convergence over, say, 100 years, then they may have got to the final EU fedral state with only one or two insurrections. Now, however, I don't see how they will achieve it without serious schism. Instead of lulling national populations into indolence with creeping power transfers (vide Britain), the EU now has no choice but to crack the whip over its Eastern and Southern possessions in order to keep the project on track.
All of your points are entirely valid. My personnel opinion is that the Germans wanted the single currency very badly because they are an export economy, and the single currency maintains the value and stability of their market.
 
#7
Looks like Italy is giving the EU Brussels Politburo and the ECB Bank the old 'two fingers'. Italy could drop out of the Eurozone, hopefully, then the EU-SSR's 'political experiment' will become totally 'Gefecked!"
 
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#8
The federalisation of Europe was always going to be extremely difficult and tortuous (and, IMHO, bloody), but for the life of me I cannot understand why the architects of the project made the hubristic decision to effect the final unifying act - a common currency - as one of the earliest steps.

The Euro brings all of the formative crises to the fore at once - the misalignment of economies, the need for one central bank, one central government, a central tax system, the acceptance that the taxpayers of the rich centre will subsidise the feckless periphery, the reality that "national" governments can have no further use or sovereignty, that the peoples of Europe (many extremely volatile and/or politically ans socially undeveloped) must accept technocratic rule from a distant foreign palace (or two of them, in the EU's profligate case). IMHO this is too much to swallow at once - people are just not inclined to accept vast sweeping changes in quick succession.

On the economic front, I think that, if I was empire building in Europe, it would have been wise to let the Mediterranean economies fester for a few decades on their Lira, Pesetas and Drachmas, and then bring them into the Euro fold once their governments were gone and the currency black markets had produced a realistic valuation of their coin.

On the Eastern front, it would have been wise to spend a few decades breeding a pliant political class and propagandised populations before taking crass dictatorial decisions such as, for example, dumping millions of third world migrants onto conservative, religious and mono-ethnic countries with no ameliorating colonial heritage.

If the EU had instead gone down the route of steady (often covert) convergence over, say, 100 years, then they may have got to the final EU fedral state with only one or two insurrections. Now, however, I don't see how they will achieve it without serious schism. Instead of lulling national populations into indolence with creeping power transfers (vide Britain), the EU now has no choice but to crack the whip over its Eastern and Southern possessions in order to keep the project on track.
The introduction of the Euro was a win win. The 2 power houses - France and Germany wanted it at a time when the global economy was booming so there would be less resistance to such a huge change. Remember when people are living way beyond their means believing the party will never stop, then they are less likely to object to change.
France gets what it has always wanted - political power over Europe. The Euro currency is the straight jacket to force other member states to accept the federalist drive from Paris
Germany gets the other win - the economic powerhouse gets what should be an unbeatable advantage over other member states through the single currency.
From small beginnings in the European coal and steel community, the stage was set.
 
#9
The federalisation of Europe was always going to be extremely difficult and tortuous (and, IMHO, bloody), but for the life of me I cannot understand why the architects of the project made the hubristic decision to effect the final unifying act - a common currency - as one of the earliest steps.

The Euro brings all of the formative crises to the fore at once - the misalignment of economies, the need for one central bank, one central government, a central tax system, the acceptance that the taxpayers of the rich centre will subsidise the feckless periphery, the reality that "national" governments can have no further use or sovereignty, that the peoples of Europe (many extremely volatile and/or politically ans socially undeveloped) must accept technocratic rule from a distant foreign palace (or two of them, in the EU's profligate case). IMHO this is too much to swallow at once - people are just not inclined to accept vast sweeping changes in quick succession.

On the economic front, I think that, if I was empire building in Europe, it would have been wise to let the Mediterranean economies fester for a few decades on their Lira, Pesetas and Drachmas, and then bring them into the Euro fold once their governments were gone and the currency black markets had produced a realistic valuation of their coin.

On the Eastern front, it would have been wise to spend a few decades breeding a pliant political class and propagandised populations before taking crass dictatorial decisions such as, for example, dumping millions of third world migrants onto conservative, religious and mono-ethnic countries with no ameliorating colonial heritage.

If the EU had instead gone down the route of steady (often covert) convergence over, say, 100 years, then they may have got to the final EU fedral state with only one or two insurrections. Now, however, I don't see how they will achieve it without serious schism. Instead of lulling national populations into indolence with creeping power transfers (vide Britain), the EU now has no choice but to crack the whip over its Eastern and Southern possessions in order to keep the project on track.

However,

the architects of a 'United Europe' have decided they can ignore history and fast track their United Europe by car crashing together the assembled ingredients and hope that out of all the broken eggs, a wonderful and perfect EU Cake will will arise.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
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#10
They've threatened to hoof the Greeks.
The British are going.
The Italians are threatening to go.
Merkel is losing the will to fight those of her people who want to go.
It's no time since the French were wetting themselves that the far right would win their election and pull the plug.

I see a theme developing.
 
#12
The EU or Union, I hate calling it the EUROPEAN union as its insulting to those nations who are not in it. But, the EU was broken at its conception in the early 90s... If they had kept it small and driven the thing to completion, then went for expansion, its possible the project could have worked despite all the differences. But they went for expansion before getting all the fundamentals settled.

That makes it an empire in my book, disparate elements thrown together, without a dynasty a majority can owe allegiance to, so it only now exists at the behest of business and a collective political will, the fear of break up with all the attendent uncertainity which derives from change is the glue.

My guess is the union will last so long as the german and french taxpayers are willing to support it. But the migration problems have greatly unsettled both countries and another shock to either or both countries will see the whole thing fracture.
 
#13
Not that anyone would want to imply a Europe run by a self selecting, self serving, and unelected elite who are willing to use authoritarian methods to get their way.
It seems to me that the likes of Juncker, Tusk and Merkel (and no doubt other EU bureaucrats) share certain similarities with Ceausescu - they seem convinced only they know best, have a right to dictate what goes on and are unable to understand that a lot of people are not happy with their idea of how things should be done.

I suspect that the wheels on the EU bus may well fall off if:

1. They don't change their attitude
2. Another country tells them to poke it - we're out

Interesting times indeed. However, things might well have been very different if they had stuck to being an economic trading bloc - the "Common Market" which I and many others voted for back in the day. I certainly didn't vote to be ruled by the self selecting, self serving, and unelected elite described by Yokel.
 
#16
The EU or Union, I hate calling it the EUROPEAN union .......
That makes it an empire in my book, disparate elements thrown together, without a dynasty a majority can owe allegiance to, so it only now exists at the behest of business and a collective political will, the fear of break up with all the attendent uncertainity which derives from change is the glue.

My guess is the union will last so long as the PIIGS taxpayers are willing to bail out German and French banks. .......
FOC.
 
#17
It’s the bicycle and panzerfaust thread at last.
The next sound we hear will be the Eu falling apart. All we need is another thread on it and everyone has to believe really really hard.
Brexit. The final victory.
What is it with you and derailing discussions in the serious parts of the site ?
 
#18
Meanwhile Macron and Varakhdar are working hard at kicking the UK to prove their loyalty to " the project" and to demonstrate to the local peasantry that there's no way there will be referendums round their way
 
#19
The Macron/Merkel piece - France or Germany dominant - certainly reminds me of good old A-level history - Bismarck, Franco-Prussian war etc. It is almost perpetual and probably subconscious to a degree.

As to the Italy thing, a lot will depend on the balls of the individual politicians/parties - I thought both the Italians and Greeks were going to bang out at previous points with hard rhetoric but they ended up acquiescing. As such I think the EU thinks no one will 'call' it and keep bluffing - a lesson for those politiicans negotiating that which shall not be mentioned...
Macron is little more than a puppet of French vested interests.
 

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