It's five to midnight for the European Union

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It's five to midnight for the European Union

Post by Lia » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:34 pm

Dennis de Jong wrote:The countdown to the UK’s Brexit-referendum has begun. It’s striking how contradictory are the reactions to this here in Brussels. Last week the Polish president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, told a meeting of European Christian Democrat and other centre-right parties that we shouldn’t move too fast on European integration. A few days later the Belgian Liberal MEP Guy Verhofstadt asserted that without the UK on board it would be easier to move towards a really federal Europe. This shows how divided the European Union is and how fragile. When we advocate a looser form of cooperation between member states, we are often accused of provincialism, yet it is precisely such a cautious approach which could prevent the whole thing from falling to bits.

Most people in the Brussels bubble are trying to keep a low profile and not put forward any more wild plans, plans which tend to range from reinforcing European Economic Governance to establishing a European Public Prosecutors’ Office to further interference in energy policy and even in national security policies. These plans have been put on the back burner, but once June 23rd is behind us, they’ll be quickly brought back into view and the Brussels bubble will be back to its old ways.

That those old ways run along a dead end street is something many members of the European public know well enough, but the bubble would rather listen to big corporations who of course continue to bang on about further integration, which is principally in their interests. This is what made it remarkable that Tusk applied the brakes. It’s not entirely coincidental that this came from a Pole. Eastern Europeans have made it clear both in the refugee crisis and in reaction to Brussels’ criticism of their human rights policies that they don’t welcome interference from that quarter. Eastern Europe is a bit less Europhile that it was just a few years ago and as things stand can reasonably be termed Eurosceptic.

In southern Europe too, confusing tendencies are evident. As in the east, southern European member states are to a large extent dependent on European funds. At the same time resistance to the harsh austerity policies of Eurogroup chair Jeroen Dijsselbloem and his colleagues is growing exponentially. At the end of this month Spain will hold a fresh general election and there’s a good chance that Podemos will once again do well. This movement represents popular protest and is certainly not best pals with Brussels.
It’s understandable that as a Belgian Verhofstadt is in favour of a federal Europe. The Belgians have always sought to heal their national division via the European Union. Verhofstadt, moreover, with all of his interests in big corporations, is a neoliberal through and through and is aware that these companies control the European Union by means of all their lobbying activities. That the public have come increasingly to question this is of no interest to him.

There are, in short, and quite apart from a possible Brexit, powers at work which will only increase the contradictions in the European Union in the form of growing criticism from eastern and southern Europe of the ‘business as usual’ attitude coming from the traditional Brussels bubble. That can’t continue. In that sense Tusk has shown good judgement: if we don’t put the brakes on, things could certainly go extremely wrong in Europe. However much people in the bubble would like to see things differently, protests in more and more member states are making it necessary for fundamental steps to be taken in the direction of less power for Brussels and more power for the national governments and national parliaments. In our European Parliament election programme we made a number of sound proposals, such as limiting the powers of the European Commission. It would be much better to implement these than all of the Eurocrats’ plans to hand more power to Brussels. In that sense, it’s five minutes to midnight.

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Re: It's five to midnight for the European Union

Post by Elly » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:45 pm

EU is the source of the Euro Crisis, the Sovereign debt crisis, Le Crise, the Bank Bailout, the housing collapse, the shutdown of all manufacturing, the Hungarian Mortgage Crisis, the Welfare Giveaway Crisis, and so forth.

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Re: It's five to midnight for the European Union

Post by Olivier » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:53 pm

I heard about 67% of UK trade is with the EU countries. If they leave there will be tarrifs n barriers on British good exported to EU countries and this worries me as it will take time for Britain can build its trade outside the EU.

Do not vote for Brexit if you do'nt want to feel kind of responsible for people loosing their jobs.

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Re: It's five to midnight for the European Union

Post by Sophie » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:57 pm

Many Britons vote for Brexit beceause they don't have money to food their families. They blame the EU for this fact.

Perhaps if UK stopped producing illegal bombs for Saudia Arabia and Bahrain, and not send troops illegally into Iraq, Syria and Lybia they could invest this money in their people who need it more?

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