The point of the EU

#1
Can anyone explain the point of all this expansion of the EU. The original idea (so we were told) was to form a solid trading block that could compete on the world markets with huge economies like the US and japan. If that's the case why are we now inviting lame duck economies in who's only input seems to be huge national debts that we , the more prosperous nations, have to pay off .
If you believe that there is a case for a common market do you think there is an optimum size?
If not do you think we actually gain anything by staying in?

I'll keep my views to myself at the moment and see what others think.
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#2
craftsmanx said:
Can anyone explain the point of all this expansion of the EU. The original idea (so we were told) was to form a solid trading block that could compete on the world markets with huge economies like the US and japan. If that's the case why are we now inviting lame duck economies in who's only input seems to be huge national debts that we , the more prosperous nations, have to pay off .
If you believe that there is a case for a common market do you think there is an optimum size?
If not do you think we actually gain anything by staying in?

I'll keep my views to myself at the moment and see what others think.
You already know what others think - its been done to death.

If you really have an interest do some research - all the detailed information you could possibly want is publicly available.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
The ONLY benefit of the EU is that we can lower all barriers and tarrifs to trade. Free movement of European nationals to places and industries that need them most.

The EU, properly organised, can have a huge say in world affairs and trading. The only risk is that, like in Germany and other places, we lose any advantages this might bring through inflexible labour policies and subsequent higher labour costs. HSE is a prime example of this. It increaes labour/business costs dramatically, and thus, we will never compete with the Chinese.
 
#4
The point of the EU is to tie France to any other country that may one day be a threat to them, In long run it saves them from surrendering.

Also a good way for Germany and France to force their system of governance (monetry, measurement, legal, language, culture etc ) on everyone else - an aspiration they have been striving for for over two hundred years.

Just because it is a little cynical doesn't make it untrue
 
#5
craftsmanx said:
Can anyone explain the point of all this expansion of the EU. The original idea (so we were told) was to form a solid trading block that could compete on the world markets with huge economies like the US and japan. If that's the case why are we now inviting lame duck economies in who's only input seems to be huge national debts that we , the more prosperous nations, have to pay off .
If you believe that there is a case for a common market do you think there is an optimum size?
If not do you think we actually gain anything by staying in?

I'll keep my views to myself at the moment and see what others think.
To stick it to the Yanks, the ultimate aim being to replace the dollar with the Euro as the world oil currency. It's about time.
 
B

benjaminw1

Guest
#6
annakey said:
craftsmanx said:
Can anyone explain the point of all this expansion of the EU. The original idea (so we were told) was to form a solid trading block that could compete on the world markets with huge economies like the US and japan. If that's the case why are we now inviting lame duck economies in who's only input seems to be huge national debts that we , the more prosperous nations, have to pay off .
If you believe that there is a case for a common market do you think there is an optimum size?
If not do you think we actually gain anything by staying in?

I'll keep my views to myself at the moment and see what others think.
To stick it to the Yanks, the ultimate aim being to replace the dollar with the Euro as the world oil currency. It's about time.
As opposed to NATO which is to Keep the Russians out, The Americans in and the Germans down...
 
#7
Biped said:
The ONLY benefit of the EU is that we can lower all barriers and tarrifs to trade. Free movement of European nationals to places and industries that need them most.

The EU, properly organised, can have a huge say in world affairs and trading. The only risk is that, like in Germany and other places, we lose any advantages this might bring through inflexible labour policies and subsequent higher labour costs. HSE is a prime example of this. It increaes labour/business costs dramatically, and thus, we will never compete with the Chinese.
My Bold: Except in death through industrial accident, where our stats are far lower per head. All that expensive, profit-eating don't-kill-your-employees stuff we have that the Chinese don't, what a bugger, eh? That's one of their biggest causes of rioting over there, not something we want to compete with.

Agreed on the benefit of the EU, though. It's a trading block pure and simple - the rest is just Empire-building by untalented politicians.
 
#8
Can anyone explain the point of all this expansion of the EU.
Same principle as having lots of people dependent on state hand-outs. Helps the people offering hand-outs get elected. Not sure if it is the same now but it used to be just UK and Germany were net contributors of cash. All the others get free money from the EU so they're more keen on allowing the EU empire to expand. If the Germans woke up tomorrow and stopped seeing their money contribution as a kind of war reparations the EU would collapse.

Makes no economic sense to tie ourselves in with economies that are worse off than ours imo. Does makes political sense for the EU empire-builders though.
 
#12
The EU gave Germany respectability post WW II.
It gave France someone eles to pay for their excessive socialist lifestyle and allowed them to play the part of a Major world class Nation.
john
Both France and UK should be stripped of their seat on the UN security council, for niether cuntry is now a World Leader.
 
#13
I thought the point was to provide a huge trough for failed, unelected and unaccountable politicians and their legions of bureaucrats and 'hangers-on' to gorge themselves and line their pockets with our, YOUR, tax money!

The idea of 'free and unrestricted trade, and 'collective security' were selling points to obtain the main objectives described above.
 
#14
Well the UK wanted 'widening' of the EU to prevent the 'deepening' the French and Germans wanted. It worked.

The high water mark of European integration has IMO now passed with the French and Dutch 'NO' votes. Europe really doesn't in any way act in a co-ordinated manner on the world stage, they disagree too much amngst themselves.
 
#15
The best answer to the question 'What's the point of the EU' was given by Sir Humphrey Appleby in the TV series 'Yes Minister':-

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Minister, let's look at this objectively. It is a game played for national interests and always was. Why do you suppose we went into it?

James Hacker: To strengthen the brotherhood of free Western nations.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Oh, really. We went in to screw the French by splitting them off from the Germans.

James Hacker: Well why did the French go into it, then?

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Well, to protect their inefficient farmers from commercial competition.

James Hacker: That certainly doesn't apply to the Germans!

Sir Humphrey Appleby: No, no. They went in to cleanse themselves of genocide and apply for readmission into the human race.


I would add that the EU is invaluable as it keeps the likes of Neil Kinnock, Peter Mandelson and the recently jailed benefit fraudster Ashley Mote MEP from becoming involved in UK politics.
 
#17
Originally we had EFTA (The European Free Trade Area) which was, as the name implies a commercial initiative for free trade throughout the EEC (European Economic Community).

Where it started to go wrong is when the politicans started to have grand designs and turn the original idea from a commercial one into a political agenda for a super European state with centralised power.

Now we ALL know politicans for their pursuit of power and their self-serving nature, so it is obvious that they could not help themselves into meddling with what the original idea was.

Now we see the results of a slow walk to a United States of Europe, with each country being like a state in the US with limited local power. But the main clout being in Brussels.

I agree with a previous contributor, in that the Euro politicans want to be as powerful as their American counterparts and have world influence, like the US and make the Euro the major trading currency. All a bit pie in the sky really, because Europeans will always squabble amongst themselves and the EU will probably splinter and nations break away in the decades to come.

In the meantime, we in this country will continue to give away our independence by disingenuous politicians until we will be subservient to a European President who will represent US in foreign policy and defence issues. Imagine it, a French Euro President speaking on our behalf on these important matters! and there is nothing we could do about it.

The sheer arrogance of our politicians never ceases to amaze me.

Vote on Europe now. (Not allowed by courtesy of Gordon Brown. The same man who promised us one!)
 
#18
Ancient_Mariner already beat me too the Germany just wanting readmission to the human race quote so here's the other pertinent one from Yes Minister. :)

Yes Minister said:
Sir Humphrey: Minister, Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for at least the last 500 years: to create a disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and Italians against the Germans, and with the French against the Germans and Italians. [The Dutch rebellion against Philip II of Spain, the Napoleonic Wars, the First World War, and the Second World War -- Ed.] Divide and rule, you see. Why should we change now when it's worked so well?

Jim Hacker: That's all ancient history, surely.

Sir Humphrey: Yes, and current policy. We had to break the whole thing [the EEC] up, so we had to get inside. We tried to break it up from the outside, but that wouldn't work. [A reference to our futile and short-lived involvement in EFTA, the European Free Trade Association, founded in 1960 and which the UK left in 1972 -- Ed.] Now that we're inside we can make a complete pig's breakfast of the whole thing: set the Germans against the French, the French against the Italians, the Italians against the Dutch. The Foreign Office is terribly pleased, it's just like old times.

Jim Hacker: But if that's true, why is the foreign office pushing for higher membership?

Sir Humphrey: I'd have thought that was obvious. The more members an organization has, the more arguments it can stir up. The more futile and impotent it becomes.

Jim Hacker: What appalling cynicism.

Sir Humphrey: We call it diplomacy, Minister.
 

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