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Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #31 
Dutch Monarchist, that last post wasn't a response to yours. I won't have a chance to respond to the interesting issues you bring up til tomorrow. I will say it is the COREPER that is the most important body for issuing laws and directives for the EU.

On military matters, I will have more to say, but there has been a real push towards creating an EU fast response force, as a first move towards military integration. In this direction, standardisation of structure and equipment has been sought. About fifteen years ago, for example, Britain was pressured into arming its forces with more expensive and worse quality Swedish troop carriers instead of Humvees, for this very reason.

I will say that military integration has been the area where there has been most resistance from governments.
royalcello

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Reply with quote  #32 

The EU cannot be reformed. It must be destroyed, as must its republics. And will be eventually, but I'd rather it happen sooner than later.

DutchMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #33 
That's a strong statement, but not really one backed up by arguments...

You often say you want Europe to be back the way it was before 1914. In that case, what would prevent 1914 from happening all over again, if there were no EU?
Ponocrates

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Reply with quote  #34 
There is no guarantee that the EU will be successful in preventing wars or revolutions.   Everyone agrees that WWI was a disaster, but Europe had been relatively successful in keeping peace between that period and the Napoleonic Wars.   The League of Nations after WWI was a flop as has been the UN since WWII.
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royalcello

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Reply with quote  #35 

I don't believe that Germany and France need the EU to keep them from going to war with each other again. The old nationalisms are dead. (Not as much in the East, perhaps, but what we've seen of the EU's alleged benefits in the Balkans is not exactly inspiring.) But the status quo is not an option: the architects of the EU have been very clear that their goal is "ever closer union." The goal is a unified superstate, which ought to be as unacceptable to a Dutch monarchist as to a British one.

I wrote this anti-EU essay way back in 2000, when there was still talk of the UK joining the Euro. Thank God that didn't happen, but I think other points are as relevant now as they were then.

http://www.royaltymonarchy.com/opinion/euro.html

DavidV

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Reply with quote  #36 
The EU will eventually collapse because it's unreformable, period. The Soviet Union and Apartheid South Africa rapidly collapsed when their leaders attempted to "reform" their systems and events spun rapidly out of their control, but both systems were doomed to collapse in any case.
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #37 
Here is an example of why the EU is dangerous - namely that extremists such as Leftists and Islamists can use it as a means to further their global goals:
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/682117/Anjem-Choudary-EU-Remain-Islam-radical-preacher-terror-Vote-Leave-muslim
Peter

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Reply with quote  #38 
I think the EU probably is unreformable, too monolithic and too mired in its own bureaucracy for effective change to happen. Nevertheless, comparing it to Apartheid South Africa is wrong, and to the monstrosity that was the Soviet Union far more so. I'm no fan of the EU, but it is no blight on humanity like either of those thankfully gone regimes.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #39 
Dutch Monarchist,

It is certainly the case that the ministers in the Council agree to each new directive or regulation. But it is in the COREPER (Committee of Permanent Representatives), made up of officials from different government departments from each member state, that these directives or regulations are given what is almost always their final form. However, even this input from the Council of Ministers (which is not very transparent, anyway, being behind closed doors) is not what it seems. About 80% of regulations and directives are placed on what is known as the A list, or items that are just nodded through by the Council without examination. Of the other 20% they go onto the B list, whose items the ministers actually see. But even the vast majority of these are not discussed. It must be said that the EU has worked intently to forge links between its civil service and that of the member states, and this has worked. The officials on COREPER are all committed to the European project and compliant to its needs. It is not the case that they consistently stand up for their nation's sovereignty or anything like that.

Here we have a pattern repeated again and again in the EU. The member states still have ultimate sovereignty and authority, formally, but in practice it doesn't work like that, because of the obscure and arcane nature of EU policy making; because of compliant or distracted (there is often so many regulations, and they are such complexity and depth, that it would be hard to look into most of them) civil servants and members of parliament; and because everything is entangled so that a nation cannot just dispense with what it doesn't like, often (and part of the Monnet Method and ever closer union is to always increase the areas in which this is the case), without endangering its whole relationship with the EU.

As for defence integration, there has been numerous agreements to closer union in this area. For example, in 1987 there was launched the Community Defence Policy that says:

We recall our commitment to build a European Union in accordance with the Single European Act, which all signed as members of the European Community. We are convinced that the construction of an integrated Europe will remain incomplete as long as it does not include security and defence.

Geoffrey Howe signed this, probably with Baroness Thatcher ever knowing of the wording.

In 2000, Britain agreed to harmonise its defence forces with Sweden, Spain, Italy, France and Germany for this purpose of integrated defence. As I mentioned, this has sometimes led Britain to have to pay more for or get inferior military equipment for sake of integration.

The Wiki provides some background reading on the Common Security and Defence Policy of the EU. This has certainly been one of the hardest areas for integration to make progress, no doubt because of its obvious implications.



DavidV

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Reply with quote  #40 
My point is that those systems, besides being stupid and morally repugnant, were doomed to collapse and any attempt at reform will doom it, while elites within the system lost any real conviction and saw no sense in maintaining it. The same will happen with the EU, and I hope it comes soon.
DutchMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #41 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponocrates
There is no guarantee that the EU will be successful in preventing wars or revolutions.   Everyone agrees that WWI was a disaster, but Europe had been relatively successful in keeping peace between that period and the Napoleonic Wars.   The League of Nations after WWI was a flop as has been the UN since WWII.


The World Wars were such disasters for the European people, culture and monarchies that any further war ought to be prevented - even if such an event happens just twice in a century. Absolute guarantees are hard to find in life, but can you really imagine two countries ever going to war when they are both in the EU? The economic ties are much too strong to make it possible, and when you have to work together with leaders from other countries every month, conflicts are likely to be dealt with quickly.

I would say the League of Nations and the UN are two cases completely different from the EU when it comes to their membership, powers, aims and so forth. 
DutchMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #42 
Quote:
Originally Posted by royalcello

I don't believe that Germany and France need the EU to keep them from going to war with each other again. The old nationalisms are dead. (Not as much in the East, perhaps, but what we've seen of the EU's alleged benefits in the Balkans is not exactly inspiring.) But the status quo is not an option: the architects of the EU have been very clear that their goal is "ever closer union." The goal is a unified superstate, which ought to be as unacceptable to a Dutch monarchist as to a British one.

I wrote this anti-EU essay way back in 2000, when there was still talk of the UK joining the Euro. Thank God that didn't happen, but I think other points are as relevant now as they were then.

http://www.royaltymonarchy.com/opinion/euro.html



Many opponents of the EU are trying to revive that nationalism. Marine le Pen spoke of a spring for European nationalism, and I believe that on this forum Ponocrates has said that Europe has to choose between nationalism and internationalism. Given the track record of nationalism in European history, I don't support that.

The 'ever closer union phrase' has indeed been in the European treaties for sixty years now. And yet we still have no 'unified superstate' or something even close to it. There is no EU army or police force or constitution (that proposal was shot down ten years ago) nor can the EU tax people. Both new and old member states can refuse to use the Euro, as is seen in the UK, Poland and many other countries. No superstate there! Rather than focusing on the theoretical aim of the project I focus on its practical merits for Europe. I agree that any attempt to create one European state must be opposed, though.

 

DutchMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #43 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidV
Here is an example of why the EU is dangerous - namely that extremists such as Leftists and Islamists can use it as a means to further their global goals:
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/682117/Anjem-Choudary-EU-Remain-Islam-radical-preacher-terror-Vote-Leave-muslim


DavidV, if your point is that the EU cause is supported by some evil figures, I agree. But please remember this is true for your side as well. The EU is opposed by both fascists and parts of the far-left because of its capitalism - the radical environmental activist which Domhangairt referred to on that other thread is an example. Extremists on neither side of this debate are representative for the cause as a whole. 
DutchMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #44 
Wessexman, thank you for all the information about the defense policy. I agree that attempts to create one single European defense policy are problematic and should be opposed. However, as you said the member states has successfully opposed most of it, indicating that the system works. It should also not be forgotten that we've had common defense policies in Europe since after World War II through NATO. 

It is true that many European laws are passed through COREPER. Those should be mostly the small laws - for every single product where standards must be harmonized, there is usually a regulation, explaining the vast amounts of EU laws which are in force. To my knowledge the big issues are discussed by the ministers. Perhaps you are right and bureaucrats have too much power in the EU, but I don't think that's a problem specific to the EU. 

In general I think I've made my point clear enough on this thread. For me the issue is much more fundamental than certain specific policies of the EU which I don't agree with. I don't think the system of European nations that existed before the EU was there was a stable one at all, and I am glad we've done away with it even if we should also be careful that integration doesn't go too far. But I can see why others here would disagree with me, and I will gladly leave the final word to you guys (although I'll still respond to one interesting point by DavidV and Royalcello).
DutchMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #45 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidV
My point is that those systems, besides being stupid and morally repugnant, were doomed to collapse and any attempt at reform will doom it, while elites within the system lost any real conviction and saw no sense in maintaining it. The same will happen with the EU, and I hope it comes soon.


I find it interesting how Royalcello and you seem to consider the fall of the EU 'inevitable'. Aside from the specific issue of the EU, I don't believe anything in history is ever inevitable. Political history is a matter of choices made by leaders, and on occasions like referenda by the broader public as well. If we all choose to support an organization it will continue to exist; if we choose otherwise, it will disappear. The idea of inevitable developments is one of my many problems with the ideas of Karl Marx. 
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