Originally Posted by flash
That's an excellent.well written post,all understood F2000,but is it all necessary,didn't the countries of Europe have all of that before the advent of the eu?
Just seems to me to be an unwarranted and unnecessary imposition on the running of individual states.
A big concern of mine (and others) is where will it all end?
How big does the eu want to get?
What are the future aims of this behemoth?
I still think it will all end in tears.
How big does the EU want to get? The EU doesn't want anything. The EU only expands its impact when new treaties are signed. Which means that every memberstate has vetopower. The driving power behind the EU is (unlike common believes) NOT somekind of holy ideal of European Unity but contemporary Realpolitik. The EU started with something very practical: the European Coal and Steel Community °1951. The positive experience led to the founding of the European Economic Community. The six members sought to create economic integration and a common market. Both the ECSC and the EEC operated under supranational entities. Britain set up the European Free Trade Association as a counterorganisation in 1960. This worked not as well as the EEC (although it did have positive effects on trade.) Most members later joined the EU or the European Economic Area.
The oil crisis of 1973 struck hard in Europe. EEC member states originally used sneaky tricks to block off foreign products despite the common market (such as packaging and safety regulations). This didn't work. The Single European Act changed that. Qualified Majority Voting in the Council of Ministers was expanded. This helped establishing a real free market and gave the economy a boost due to advantages of scale, specialization in most productive sectors etc.
The EU acquired the right to introduce legislation in a lot of new sectors due to spillover effects. As written above memberstates used packaging, health and safety, social and environmental legislation to keep the borders closed. However memberstates realised that this had a negative effect on the economy. That's why the EU started making rules in these sectors that applied to everyone, levelling the economic playingfield.
The Commission has the right to negotiate economic treaties with other countries. This together with coordinating help for the Third World lead to some form of external policy. This eventually led to the European External Action Service.
Small issues and Realpolitik lead to further European Integration.
Peace in Europe:
Didn't the countries of Europe have all of that before the advent of the eu?
The Second World Ward ended in 1945. The European Coal and Steel Community was founded in 1951. This included France, BRD (West-Germany) and Italy plus the Benelux. Peaceful relations between France and Germany were and are crucial for peace in Europe.
Europe got rich due to early industrialisation and colonies. Especially Great-Britain and France relied heavily on this economic colonial backyard. This starts to break down after WW2. The oil crisis of 1973 points out nicely that the world was no longer economically dominated by Europe. The common market was essential for the European economy when the colonies gained their independance. I think that a common market is a more respectable solution that colonisation
International political and economical power
Britain, France and Germany were worldpowers before WW2. All were weakened after the war. Yes, Britain too. From then on the USA and the USSR called the shots. Today the Cold War has ended and we are left with a multipolar world. Although Americans call it a unipolar world
The USA is primus inter pares. Russia is still a force to be reckoned with. China is a big player and is still rising. India and Brazil are big regional powers and rising in importance. The political and economic importance of the separate European countries is diminishing. The EU as a whole however is a very big player especially economically. See
The EU has the highest imports and exports. It even beats China and the USA.
The EU Commission can broker better international economic treaties than the separate countries can and has more influence. In 1997 Boeing and McDonell Douglas, 1st and 3th largest producers of civilian jets, merged to form a single company acquiering 70% of the world market share. The American Federal Trade Commission was fine with that. The EU Commission objected and forced Boeing to make some important concessions.
The EU is the most important engine behind international conferences about global warming
. Other big players care less although they have taken some mesures.
I still think it will all end in tears.
I think we will be fine as long as we stick together and fix previous mistakes.