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haku
01-05-2004, 03:18
First i wanted to make a thread to welcome the new members in the EU, but then i thought that it would be too limiting so i'm making this a European Union general discussion thread. :)

I'm old enough to have lived under the cold war and when i was a teenager we used to live with the fear that we could be at war with the Eastern block anyday. I would have never tought that one day some of those countries would actually join the EU.
I also happen to live in a region, Normandy, that paid a heavy price to WWII. The biggest city, Rouen, where i live was destroyed at 20% and the second and third biggest cities were destroyed at 90% (by the allied ironically), it cost heavy civilian casualties and we have French, German, British, American, and Canadian military cemetaries everywhere with thousands of tombs to remind us what a butchery it was.

I'm starting with that because that is the first and main reason the European Community which later became the European Union was created. To prevent a new European civil war, because that's what WWI and WWII are! European civil wars that spread to the entire planet. Europeans had been used to live with regional wars between European states for centuries, but after WWII they realized that the level of destruction had just gone too far and that if there was ever a new continental war, there would be nothing left. France and Germany alone had been at war three times in 50 years, it had to stop.

So the European Community was created and even if it has many flaws, it has succeeded in its main goal: continental peace. Not a single armed conflict between the member states in over half a century, it's actually the longest period of peace that this part of Europe has known since the Roman Empire!

Today the European Union is expanding to the East and that's making me extremely glad. I know that those new members mostly see the EU has an area of economical wealth. Of course that's an essential part of what it is, but i wanted to remind here that the original goal of the EU is to maintain continental peace. Let's never forget that because Europe has known too many wars for us to say that it will never happen again. It could happen again if the EU was to collapse one day.

But i'll stop there. Today is to celebrate the historical day that finally saw the reunification of Europe. :coctail:

Welcome to all the people of the new EU member states. :kawai:

thegurgi
01-05-2004, 05:13
I will be in Poland the week 1/2 after all these celebrations, and the EU Preparations are actually interrupting our plans, but a lot of those going are very excited to be going back [some of them, to their homes] to a country that is United with that of the rest of Europe... and so i am.

YAY!!!

freddie
01-05-2004, 22:59
Thanks I guess. :D

Well it's been a long journey from 1991. We were extremely lucky to jump ship before Yugoslavia finaly sank and all the bloodshead happened in other Ex-Yugoslav countries in the mid 90s. European Union was always the ultimative goal. We're here now. With mixed emotions. In one way it's cool to end this transitional period symbolicaly with the joining of EU as the most democratic political union of all times. Then again we do have concerns what will happen to our agriculture which has been in a slump for ages. And now with the EU and the open market... I just have doubt our farmers will be able to compete properly with western competition.
Another concern is the poor development of new members in general. Our gross national product is the higest of any joining member but still way lower then any of the existing EU members. And we will have to face this stronger market in an open-trade situation. Who knows what might happen. Just to give you a glimpse at our economic inferiority: Bank Austria is the smallest bank in EU. And even they are larger in capital then all slovene banks put together.

Of course there's no doubt that we have no other choice but to join. Isolation wouldn't be the smartest policy at this time of global integration. Especialy for a nation of 2 million people. We're no switzerland. :P

luxxi
02-05-2004, 12:25
We're in now. Where is that promised milk and honey? :spy:

:newyear:

freddie
02-05-2004, 14:30
We're in now. Where is that promised milk and honey? :spy:

:newyear:

Lol. No milk & Honey. EU is not Santa. We'll still have to work damn hard to make it in the open market. This might just make it a bit easier compared to the rest of the eastern block. Or will it? :spy:

taty994945
10-05-2004, 11:46
Congratulations on your membership. I think it's gonna be real good.

coolasfcuk
03-06-2004, 15:30
I don't see Ukraine joining the EU, they are in the Russian sphere of influence. Personaly, i think that countries that were parts of the USSR (with the exception of the Baltic states of course) should not be admitted into the EU. For me, the former boder of the USSR is where the EU expansion to the east must stop

:spy: haku, please, explain why? :) Im curious to hear why you say that.

So, Bulgaria wasnt part of USSR, but we almost became one at one point (which of course was quickly prevented, since the west was freaking out :gigi: )... so, do we deserve to be in the EU one day? :girl:

Unplugged
03-06-2004, 15:36
Yeah, haku could you explain? :spy: I'm also curious.

For me, I wouldn't mind at all. We have many Ukranians here (and also people from Romania, and of course many Russians) I love them all! They are very hardworking and very simple and funny - I don't know, they don't have that kind of arrogant side that we do here in the West. :) So, why not? I'm sure that would help their country a lot.

So, Bulgaria wasnt part of USSR, but we almost became one at one point (which of course was quickly prevented, since the west was freaking out )... so, do we deserve to be in the EU one day?
For me, every European country who is able to be tolerant and respect other EU countries and contribute to an united strong Europe deserves to join the EU. The ones who only want to stick to their own rules and live in chaos should not join. But I don't think Bulgaria is one of them - although I don't know the country, but from what I've heard, I don't think so :) As long as there's enough wealth and help for every EU country.. why not? :D

Actually, I just remembered something Lena said in that memorable Norway interview... "Russia was always alone..." - it's true, and it also applies to the countries that surround Russia. If it wasn't for tATu and this site, I would have never thought Russia and the surrounding countries had so much great stuff to offer - stuff they can't promote, or even if they can, it won't get great reception exactly because of political reasons. I think this is sad, therefore I think that if some ex-USSR country joined the EU, it would break those barriers a little bit and bring some more curiosity for Western Europeans to know more about the eastern countries and what they're about, and even invest in them. :D It's really sad that we all live in the same continent but some countries have to be 'isolated' from others, just for political reasons.

For example, I'm gonna be working in show-biz. And now I know I can always look for help in the eastern european countries, cause they have such great knowledge and fresh, untouched concepts in terms of music, movies and other forms of art. I didn't know this before, at least not with such greatness and information, basicly due to the Western media which strictly for political reasons does not find this information 'revelant'... :rolleyes: I think that should stop.

haku
03-06-2004, 16:39
So, Bulgaria wasnt part of USSR, but we almost became one at one point [...] so, do we deserve to be in the EU one day?
Of course, i hope Bulgaria will join the EU, if the Bulgarian people want to of course.

For me, any country of the following list can join the EU if they wish:

Bulgaria
Romania
Croatia
Serbia
Bosnia
Macedonia
Albania
Iceland
Norway
Switzerland

But no more.

I'm opposed to Turkey because they are not a European country.

I'm also opposed to any more countries from the former USSR.
Most of those countries are members of the Commonwealth of Independent Sates and obviously have strong economic ties with Russia. Russia doesn't want to join the EU, they want to develop the CIS and strengthen their sphere of influence. For a country like Ukraine, i think it makes much more sense to continue their economic development inside the CIS and have economic relations with the EU on a CIS-EU level. To join the EU, Ukraine would have to severe their links with Russia, which i don't think they are ready to do, and the level of economic development of Ukraine is just too low compared to the EU, it would be counterproductive both for the EU and Ukraine to have Ukraine as a member.
The EU just grew from 15 to 25 members, and could reach 35 with my list above, the geographical/cultural/economic area covered by those 35 countries is in my opinion the right size for a mature EU to develop toward a very tight and stable political union. Once this area of 30 to 35 countries is achieved, the EU will have to clearly say that the EU has reached its maximum size and that no more new members will be accepted. The EU will then be able to focus only on strengthening its political union and maybe evolve toward a confederation, and then a federation.


I think that if some ex-USSR country joined the EU
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were part of the USSR and are now EU member states. I've always been strongly in favor of the 3 Baltic states joining the EU and i don't have any problem with them.

Unplugged
04-06-2004, 15:21
I'm opposed to Turkey because they are not a European country.
Me too.

To join the EU, Ukraine would have to severe their links with Russia, which i don't think they are ready to do
Maybe they want to be ready? I mean, if the prime-minister created a whole new department just for development of Eurovision Song Contest 2005 and building a new arena in order to bring attention to the modern side of Ukraine so they can prove they are a truly european country.

check this article
http://www.doteurovision.com/phpnews/news.php?action=fullnews&id=322

If you read it, you'll see how everybody there is determined to give the Ukraine an EU-approach and back off from the old soviet connections.

simon
05-06-2004, 13:25
I don't see why countries that were formerly in the USSR shouldn't be allowed to join the EU. Ukraine, for instance, is more economically developed than Albania. Surely it should be up to the Ukrainians to decide whether they want to be in the EU or in Russia's sphere of influence?

And why can't Moldova join? Like the Baltic States, it was incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1812. In 1919, it left and became part of Romania (the majority of the people are Romanian). Stalin took it again in 1940, like the Baltic States. I know that Moldova is now the poorest, most economically devastated country in Europe and most adults under 40 now work illegally abroad, but it's so closely related to Romania that it seems perverse to rule that in principle it can never be admitted.

haku
05-06-2004, 18:54
Ukraine is with Russia and Belarus one of the founding members of the CIS and has been an active member since its beginning, i think it shows clearly that Ukraine sees its future with Russia and not the EU. When the CIS was founded after the collapse of the USSR, the Baltic states refused to join, they made clear statements at the time that their goal was to join the EU in the future and therefore it made no sense for them to join the CIS, they even asked Russia to withdraw completely their military forces from their territories. And the Baltic states did not only made statements, they acted. Following the example of former communist countries in central Europe, they engaged profound political and economic reforms which allowed them to meet EU standards in 10 years!
Ukraine did no such thing. As far as i know Ukraine's economy is still very Soviet like, entire sectors of the economy are still state managed. Very little reforms have been engaged and they don't seem very eager to accelerate the process.

And yes, i've read the article posted by staringelf and some of those quotes are incredible, and not in a good way. First, insulting the EU commission by saying "the EU commission has been put in its place" is not going to help them. Those journalists have to stop making a relation between winning the Eurovison and joining the EU! There is no relation whatsoever, winning a tacky song contest does not make you economically and politically ready to join the EU.
Second, what's scary there is that they seem to *demand* to join the EU *now*, and they don't seem to realize at all the huge amount of work they have to do before being even close to EU standards. They should focus a little more on reforming their economy instead of going crazy for "Wild Dances" thinking that it's going to solve all their problems.
Whether they like it or not, Ukraine is in no shape or form ready to join the EU, and it won't be the case anytime soon.

Let's throw in just a few numbers here, the raw GDPs (Gross Domestic Product) per inhabitant of the 15 EU member states before the enlargement:
Austria $25,432 - Belgium $23,981 - Denmark $31,852 - Finland $25,385 - France $24,037 - Germany $24,209 - Greece $12,202 - Ireland $32,105 - Italy $20,554 - Luxembourg $45,778 - Netherlands $26,250 - Portugal $12,200 - Spain $16,457 - Sweden $26,966 - UK $25,950

Average for EU 15: $24,890

Raw GDPs of new EU member states:
Cyprus: $13,289 - Czech R: $6,806 - Estonia: $4,336 - Hungary: $6,400 - Latvia: $3,500 - Lithuania: $3,432 - Malta: $10,051 - Poland: $4,896 - Slovakia: $4,389 - Slovenia: $10,600

Average for new EU member states: $6,769
Average for EU 25: $17,642

Now, talking only of the former communist countries, we can see that Slovenia already has a GDP comparable to some older EU members, the Czech R. and Hungary are around $6,500 and are progressing very well, the five others are between $3,500 and 5,000 which is quite low but again their economic stats are encouraging. All those new members have a high growth rate and i am confident that most of those countries will reach a $15,000 per inhabitant GDP in the next 10 years, even faster for countries that are doing well like Slovenia, the Czech R and Hungary.
Those countries did what had to be done to be ready to join the EU, and after another decade of help from the older 15 members, they will have filled the gap and will be fully participating to the wealth and growth of the whole EU.

Ukraine is another story, its current raw GDP per inhabitant is of $843, that's 4 times smaller than the lowest GDPs among the new members! 20 times smaller than the average of the EU! It's simply impossible to admit such a country in the EU. The EU is rich, but the balance between the richer members and the less rich members has to be "reasonable", there has to be enough rich members to help the less rich. The EU just admitted 10 new members that will have to double or triple their GDPs to fill the gap with the older members, it's going to take some time to "digest" that enlargement.
But like i said, i'm confident that it's going to go well because those new members have the will and they have made the necessary reforms to meet that goal.
I haven't seen any such thing from Ukraine, that, plus their choice of participating in the CIS, is why i don't believe Ukraine should join the EU. And BTW, Ukraine has not even applied to join the EU! They haven't even made an official statement to the EU that they intend to do so. (Only Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, and Turkey have officially applied to this day.)

luxxi
05-06-2004, 19:05
I'm opposed to Turkey because they are not a European country.


Hey, Israel takes part in whole lot of European thingies and it's even less of a European country than Turkey yet nobody complains.

simon
05-06-2004, 19:33
A very interesting post, haku. I was surprised that your figure for the GDP per capita of Ukraine was so much lower than that of the Central European and Baltic States. The reason is that you quoted them with purchasing power parity (PPP) GDP per capita, while you quoted Ukraine's raw GDP per capita. It's like comparing apples and oranges.

The CIA World Factbook http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/

gives PPP GDP per capita: France $26000, Latvia $8900, Ukraine $4500

http://www.studentsoftheworld.info/menu_infopays.html

gives raw GDP per capita: France $24037, Latvia $3500, Ukraine $843

You can see that the difference between Ukraine and Latvia is in fact much less than the difference between Latvia and a rich EU member state like France.

Incidentally, Russia is as wealthy as Latvia either way.

I do agree that Ukraine is in a mess. It hasn't reformed and shouldn't be admitted now. But I wasn't saying that it should be. I was disagreeing with your view that it should never be.

haku
06-06-2004, 00:53
Simon, thanks for giving the accurate numbers and those helpful links.
I have edited my post to reflect the correct numbers (using raw GDP.)

I'll admit that saying never is going too far, so i'll take that back.

When i said that the expansion of the EU to the east will have to stop to the border of the former USSR, i really meant it as "for the foreseeable future".

The EU has to expand to the east progressively and in logical steps.

The first step is Central Europe states + Baltic states.
The second step will be eastern Balkan states.
The third step will be western Balkan states.

Between each of those steps the EU will have to take breaks of several years, integrating 15 countries that are considerably behind in terms of economic development is not an easy task. The goal is to bring every country to the level of the older 15 members, not to bring every one down. As rich as the older 15 are, there is a limit to how many countries they can help at once. Things have to be done progressively.

So in my opinion, anything further east than the former USSR border will have to wait for the foreseeable future, especially since those countries are members of the CIS and are receiving help from Russia.
I'm optimistic though, i'll say that it's going to take from 10 to 20 years for the former communist countries of Central Europe and the Balkans to fill the gap with the older 15 EU member states. That's not that long.
And Ukraine may not still want to join the EU in 20 years, they may feel more comfortable within the CIS with Russia.

In any case, the debate on the future definitive borders of the EU is interesting. It is time for the EU to make a final list of which countries will be allowed to join and which won't. The EU citizens need to get a clear picture of the final shape of the EU, to reach a stable political Union the EU need fixed borders.

Personally, i stay on the list of 10 more countries i've given in a previous post. That would be an EU with 35 countries covering an area that i consider suitable to develop a wealthy economic union and a stable political union.

A brief article on this topic:
http://www.euobserver.com/?sid=15&aid=16346

simon
06-06-2004, 14:04
As an environmentalist I think enlargement has serious downsides. The Common Agricultural Policy is going to lead to the destruction of Central and Eastern Europe's forests and meadows unless it is totally reformed. The CAP might be reformed satisfactorily if the veto is removed in the new Constitution. If big reforms aren't made, enlargement will be a huge environmental disaster over the next 20 years.

However, the prospect of EU membership has been a tremendous carrot to get candidate countries to improve things in many areas. I don't think that the leverage was fully used - the Czech Republic and Slovakia were admitted even though they persecute Gypsies. Hungary by contrast made big efforts to improve the treatment of Gypsies. I don't think the Czech Republic and Slovakia should have been admitted until they made similar efforts. I'm also troubled by the way Slovenia was admitted without satisfactorily resolving the issue of residents of non-Slovene ethnic origin who had been secretly stripped of citizenship and denied civil rights.

I'm concerned that Romania may be admitted in 2007 despite various human rights problems, such as the failure to protect children and the 'disappearance' of journalists. The treatment of Gypsies is also a problem, but it's not as bad as in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Obviously, Ukraine is a very long way from being an acceptable EU member state. Absorbing a country with the same sort of population as France or the UK or all the 10 admitted this time put together, would be a huge challenge. But Ukraine wants to join the EU and the carrot of membership could have very positive effects on a country that would have no incentive to do these things if it was told it couldn't join. It would force Ukraine into Russia's orbit, which is surely the last thing we want.

I think the same argument applies to Turkey. Look at the positive changes that the prospect of EU membership has brought. They even outlawed discrimination against lesbians and gays in order to comply with EU standards! Can you imagine Turkey having done that on its own initiative?

The difficulty with Turkey is that it would be the biggest member state and would unbalance the Union because the country is so conservative in its cultural values. Albania and Bosnia are largely Muslim, but there's no problem because most people there take Islam about as seriously as most Europeans take Christianity - which is not very much at all. The real problem with Turkey is that it's too Muslim (these French geographical arguments are just a smokescreen). I do see that as a really serious problem. For the foreseeable future, I think that treatment of the Kurds, the practice of widespread torture and the political role of the military are all excellent reasons for not admitting Turkey. If Turkey ever reformed itself sufficiently, we'd be in a real bind. You can't say that you're not admitting them because the population take their religion too seriously and the women aren't liberated enough, but that's the truth.

By the way, I think we should admit Moldova at the same time we admit Albania and Bosnia. It's not that much more of an economic basket case than them and you haven't given any good reason to put it behind your ex-USSR iron curtain. Without the prospect of membership, it will sink ever further. Most of its citizens between the ages of 18 and 40 already work illegally in the EU. You can't accuse them of not wanting to join the West enough!

transcend
06-06-2004, 15:11
You can't say that you're not admitting them because the population take their religion too seriously and the women aren't liberated enough, but that's the truth.



I agree...it's totally politically incorrect to say it, but that's just about the way it is at the moment.

haku
06-06-2004, 22:32
I agree that some ethnic discriminations in some of the new and future members have to stop. Those countries must understand that those old feuds have no place in an EU with no internal borders and where citizens, goods, and money can travel freely.

these French geographical arguments are just a smokescreen
Oh when i said that i was opposed to Turkey because it's not a European country, i was not talking geographically, i meant that this country does not belong to the European civilization, and i don't intend to be politically correct here.

In my opinion, the EU can only admit countries that are part of the European civilization, meaning countries that are part of the Celtic, Italic, Germanic, Slavic, and Greek ethno-linguistic groups. (I am aware that Finns, Estonians, and Hungarians are not Indo-European peoples, but they've been immersed in European culture for so long that, except for their languages, they are now indistinguishable from Europeans.) And this has nothing to do with the EU being a Christian club, in my eyes Christianity is not what defines the European civilization, this civilization existed long before Christianity. European values and cultural traits have their roots in ancient Greece and also in the common background shared by all European peoples, all far more ancient than Christianity.

The EU is about unifying the European civilization, not unifying the European civilization and its neighbors. To the south, we have the Arabic civilization and no countries from that area will be admitted, to the south east we have the Turkic civilization that spreads from Turkey to the Uighur region in China and no countries from that area should be admitted either. We have nothing in common, either ethnically, culturally, historically, or linguistically, nothing at all.
And i have nothing against those civilizations, i hope that they will create pan-Arabic and pan-Turkic areas for their countries to develop in common, but that's for them to build, not us.

I am amazed to see some people criticizing the EU for only admitting European countries. That's only normal. The goal of the EU is to provide a stable, peaceful, and wealthy environment to all European peoples that share common culture, values, and history. The EU won't work if we admit a country that clearly does not belong to the European civilization, that would only jeopardize everything we've built and bring chaos.
And the theory that admitting countries from neighboring civilizations would create "bridges" and prevent a clash of civilizations is simply ridiculous. We would get the clash *inside* the EU, no good can come out of that, it would destroy the Union.

And let's be honest here, Turkey is only interested in the economic side of the EU and could care less of the political implications. Do the Turkish people really want to take part in the European parliament? No. Do they share our values about human rights and equality? Certainly not. A simple trade agreement between the EU and Turkey is enough, but the integration of Turkey as a member state is out of the question.
This ambiguous situation with Turkey which is mainly due to Turkey's strategic geographical location during the cold war has to stop, the EU must say clearly to Turkey that it won't become a member, ever.


As for Moldova, Ukraine and even Belarus, well, obviously they *are* European countries and have the right to apply, but they need to be patient. First because their economies are a mess and they need to reform, second because the fact that they are members of the CIS makes things difficult. Being of member of the CIS means that Russia still has a lot to say about what those countries do, Russia has military forces stationed in all of them, a large part of Russia's navy is stationed in Ukraine for example, Ukraine will have to work this issue with Russia because Russia won't let its navy be under EU's jurisdiction, not to mention that Russia is getting a lot of resources from Ukraine at a very low cost, that would change with an EU membership.
I agree that Moldova with only 4 million people is not too much of a burden for an EU with then 500 million people, but all the difficulties with Russia about Ukraine joining the EU also apply to Moldova even if for Russia it's more a principle than a real threat to its security.
Moldova really missed its chance 10 years ago right after the collapse of the USSR, at the time it could have merged with Romania and now it would be joining the EU in 3 years. It's a missed opportunity for them.
The wrecked economies of those countries and the necessity to work an agreement with Russia leads me to think that those countries won't be joining before the 2020s.

simon
07-06-2004, 11:41
In my opinion, the EU can only admit countries that are part of the European civilization, meaning countries that are part of the Celtic, Italic, Germanic, Slavic, and Greek ethno-linguistic groups. (I am aware that Finns, Estonians, and Hungarians are not Indo-European peoples, but they've been immersed in European culture for so long that, except for their languages, they are now indistinguishable from Europeans.)

The Finns, Estonians and Hungarians speak non-Indo-European languages that emanate from somewhere in central Asia, but DNA evidence shows that ethnically they're just the same as their Indo-European speaking neighbours. There's no trace of central Asian genes in their DNA. They were simply conquered by people from outside at one time in their history and ended up speaking their languages, without absorbing their cutures in any way we can see today.

The EU is about unifying the European civilization, not unifying the European civilization and its neighbors. To the south, we have the Arabic civilization and no countries from that area will be admitted,

Actually, both linguistically and largely genetically the Maltese are Arabs. I think the important point is that historically and culturally they are more European than Arab.

to the south east we have the Turkic civilization that spreads from Turkey to the Uighur region in China and no countries from that area should be admitted either. We have nothing in common, either ethnically, culturally, historically, or linguistically, nothing at all.

What's ethnicity got to do with it? Why should it matter about their ethnicity? Why should people have to be 'white' to be admitted? Anyway, not only are the Maltese not Europeans ethnically, the Turks (although not the other Turkic-speaking peoples) are ethnically Europeans. DNA evidence actually proves that they are very closely related to the Greeks and other Balkan peoples. There is also a strong historical connection between the Turks and the people of the Balkans - they ruled the Balkans for hundreds of years.

The EU won't work if we admit a country that clearly does not belong to the European civilization, that would only jeopardize everything we've built and bring chaos.
And the theory that admitting countries from neighboring civilizations would create "bridges" and prevent a clash of civilizations is simply ridiculous. We would get the clash *inside* the EU, no good can come out of that, it would destroy the Union.

And let's be honest here, Turkey is only interested in the economic side of the EU and could care less of the political implications. Do the Turkish people really want to take part in the European parliament? No. Do they share our values about human rights and equality? Certainly not. A simple trade agreement between the EU and Turkey is enough, but the integration of Turkey as a member state is out of the question.

Unfortunately, that's true. It would be lovely if everyone could get along, but we have enough difficulty with nationalism in Europe when we all have so many common values. Trying to bring in people who don't really share our values wouldn't work. It's a conclusion I've drawn reluctantly, because it seems so exclusionary to keep Turkey out.

As for Moldova, Ukraine and even Belarus, well, obviously they *are* European countries and have the right to apply, but they need to be patient. First because their economies are a mess and they need to reform, second because the fact that they are members of the CIS makes things difficult. Being of member of the CIS means that Russia still has a lot to say about what those countries do, Russia has military forces stationed in all of them, a large part of Russia's navy is stationed in Ukraine for example, Ukraine will have to work this issue with Russia because Russia won't let its navy be under EU's jurisdiction, not to mention that Russia is getting a lot of resources from Ukraine at a very low cost, that would change with an EU membership.

Yes, but if the Ukrainians want to be free of Russia, we should help them (sorry, any Russians reading!). Russia has no right to exploit Ukraine as it is still doing. Russia's lease on its naval base in Sevastopol will expire in 2017 and it's going to build a new base on Russian territory.

I agree that Moldova with only 4 million people is not too much of a burden for an EU with then 500 million people, but all the difficulties with Russia about Ukraine joining the EU also apply to Moldova even if for Russia it's more a principle than a real threat to its security.

Russia deliberately sabotaged Moldova by sponsoring the breakaway 'Republic of Transdniestria'. The area east of the Dniester River had been transferred from Ukraine to Moldova by Stalin in exchange for taking away Moldova's sea access. Russia placed forces in Transdniestria supposedly as peacekeepers, but actually to threaten Moldova. Transdniestria shouldn't be in Moldova, but Russia shouldn't be in Transdniestria.

Moldova really missed its chance 10 years ago right after the collapse of the USSR, at the time it could have merged with Romania and now it would be joining the EU in 3 years. It's a missed opportunity for them.

In 1992, the Moldovans thought that Romania was in a worse state than they were, then the trouble with Russia over Transdniestria made Romania very reluctant to get involved with them. Romania has rather cut off Moldova, regarding it as trouble. In 1996, as part of their original failed attempt to get into Nato, Romania signed away any claims to the parts of both Romania and Moldova that Stalin had given to Ukraine. It was a real betrayal of Moldova.

rosh
29-06-2004, 07:31
long article i saw in bbc news about turkey ... will paste bits i found interesting as the whole article is quite long.

Turkey's unrequited EU love

Two years ago, Turkey won the Eurovision song contest with a tale of unrequited love.
In many ways, it echoed the country's own unsuccessful bid to woo the European Union since 1963, when it signed an association agreement that promised eventual membership of the bloc.

Things began moving in 1999 when Turkey was officially recognised as an EU candidate, and especially after the election of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government in 2002, which quickened political reforms to an unprecedented pace.

Earlier this month, Turkish state television began broadcasting in Kurdish, the language of a sizeable minority in this country of 67 million.

On the same day, the government released four Kurdish activists, including human rights award winner Leyla Zana, who had spent 10 years in jail after trials deemed unfair by the EU.

Over the past 18 months, the government has passed nine reform packages, including a ban on the death penalty, a zero-tolerance policy towards torture in prisons, and curtailing the interference of the military in politics, education and culture.

"I am impressed - because starting with the constitution, they've changed a lot of laws," says Murat Celikan, a human rights activist who writes a regular column in the daily Radikal.

"To give one example, two years ago, a radio was banned for one year for airing a song in Kurdish and in Armenian. Now the state television has Kurdish programmes - so that's a great change."

The EU has also welcomed the reforms, but it wants them implemented across this vast country by local police, judges and bureaucrats. So far, implementation is uneven, especially in the provinces and the Kurdish areas in the south-east.


...


The prospect of EU membership, coupled with IMF-inspired reforms, have also brought greater stability to the crisis-prone Turkish economy.


...

For Guenter Verheugen, the European enlargement commissioner, Turkey's strategic position straddling Europe and the greater Middle East is an asset rather than a drawback.

At a recent conference in Brussels, he warned that the EU would make a tragic mistake if it stopped or reversed the process of democratisation in Turkey by denying it eventual membership.

...

In October, Mr Verheugen will issue a progress report on Turkey which will form the basis for the decision of EU leaders.

While the report is widely expected to be positive, public opinion in France, Germany, Austria and elsewhere is becoming increasingly reluctant to accept a further enlargement of the EU, especially to include a large Muslim nation like Turkey.

Since the Netherlands will be holding the EU's rotating presidency in the second half of the year, I asked Ben Bot, the Dutch foreign minister (and a former Dutch ambassador to Turkey) how worried he is about the lack of public support among Western voters?

"Perhaps there has been a lack of proper communication and now there is, I think, an unjustified fear of Islam, which is perhaps understandable in the context of terrorism and so on, but which is not justified - because I think that the situation in Turkey is completely different.

"They also forget that Turkey has been a member of Nato, of the Council of Europe, that it has helped the West during all these years, also during the Cold War, has been a staunch ally.

"And so, it's in itself astonishing that people all of a sudden are against Turkish participation, whereas we think that Turkey would be a very valuable member of the EU. It will take a long time, that I agree, it will certainly take many, many years of negotiations before they fully comply with all the criteria."

Indeed, in 10 years or so from now, the EU will be a very different union, and Turkey will be a very different country.

But come December, EU politicians face one of the toughest decisions they have ever had to take.

If they say no to Turkey, they risk alienating a key ally in the Muslim world. But if they say yes, they may upset many voters at home who are already unhappy about where the EU is going.


full article : -- > http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3847373.stm

haku
29-06-2004, 20:38
Thanks for the article rosh :)

Well, i've already said my opinion on Turkey joining the EU, i'm totally against it. That would be the end of the EU. Turkey is not a European country and it doesn't share our history, our cultures, and our values. Turkey's demographic weight would allow it to block most EU decisions and that would be unacceptable to have decisions taken in Brussels being blocked by Ankara, a capital that is not even in Europe! European populations won't accept that, that's just one step too far, the EU might as well be renamed the New Ottoman Empire if Turkey joined.
The day Turkey joins is the day i'll cease to support the EU and i'll then support the idea that France, Germany and a few other countries should withdraw to create something new.


Edited to add:
Bush crossed a line a few days ago when he said that Turkey met the EU criteria and that the EU had to accept Turkey as a member. So now Bush is in command of the EU too? I'm not surprised that the US once again think that they can order everyone around, even the EU, but this is totally unacceptable. Mind your own business Bush! What country can or can not join the EU is up to us Europeans, not Americans. :rolleyes:

spyretto
01-07-2004, 14:09
Essentially, one part of Turkey belongs to Europe so it's not totally a one-way argument. I think these kind of discussions are a bit of a vicious circle, 10 years is a long time and then EU is not ours - the people's - it's theirs - the politicians' ( and whoever has backed this union up from the beginning. )
People here in the UK don't even feel "European", and I'm sure some 70% would vote against Europe if any kind of referendum took place at any given time. :bum:

haku
11-10-2004, 00:01
The European Commission has agreed this week to start the process for Turkey to join the EU (http://www.euobserver.com/?sid=15&aid=17480).

This is a critical mistake, one that is going to plunge the EU into a deep crisis. Most European citizens are against Turkey's membership, now that this decision has been made, i have no doubt that several member states are going to reject the EU constitution next year. Even in France, traditionally pro-EU, the "no" to the constitution has a good chance to win, and the prospect of Turkey joining is going to push more people to vote "no".
Admitting Turkey in the EU is just going one step too far, a step that European citizens won't accept. This may be the begining of the end for the EU, the whole thing is going to collapse if Turkey becomes a member.

The decision still has to be approved by the European Council in december, but i don't have much hope that any member state is going to have the guts to veto the decision.

After that, the constitution will probably be rejected by a lot of member states, which will cause a major crisis, and ultimately the dissolution of the EU.

spyretto
11-10-2004, 00:51
Dissolution of the EU? I don't think it will happen, if one or more members veto the decision, it will be postponed indefinitely. ( that's the way it goes, isn't it? )
Turkey has a lot of issues to deal with, how about the fact that it's essentially a military state thinly disguised by democratic procedures? Their human rights record is still not adequate, its economy will take years to reach the level of member states, and how about the Kurdish and Cyprus issues? Those have to be resolved as well.
If they manage to deal effectivelly with those things in say, 10-15 years from now, I think it's for the EU's best interest that they join.

What is the time span with regards to Turkey's admittance? Ten years from now, five years, perhaps a year? :eek:

As for December, I don't think that Greece is going to approve unless they get tangible assurances that the Cypriot issue will be resolved. And I also think that France and Germany have serious reasons to veto the decision as well.

haku
11-10-2004, 18:53
I'm talking about dissolution because after Turkey becomes a member, the EU will be in a deadlock, and after a time of crisis the whole thing will just collapse.

Some countries, like France and Germany, want to further the political side of the EU. Germany and France supports the idea of the EU becoming a federal union or a confederation at some point in the future, they know that it will be a long and difficult road, but they can hope that we will get there eventually.
With Turkey becoming a member, everything changes, the hope of a political union totally disappears. Turkey is only interested in the economic side of the EU, it wants money but wants nothing to do with the political side, it will block any further deepening of the political union, and with almost 100 million inhabitants, Turkey will be the most powerful member state of the EU and will have the demographic weight to totally block the decision process of the EU, the EU will just freeze, incapable of doing anything, incapable of taking any decision.
It's only a matter of time before countries like France and Germany get utterly frustrated by the stall in the political side of the EU, with no hope of any improvement in the future, the logical decision for them will be to withdraw from the EU, at least the political side, and start something new with countries that are willing to go further.

Anyway, like i said before, Turkey is NOT a European country, that should have been enough to keep them out. Turkey is no more European than Kenya or Thailand, it's a totally different culture. Turkey doesn't share our history, our culture, our values.
Turkey plans to pass a law to send women who cheat on their husbands in jail for crying out loud! I don't want people like that in the European parliament, i don't want European laws blocked by Turkey because they are against the Coran (which will happen).

It's already difficult to build a union with only European countries that share a common history and culture, adding to that a Middle East country is simply suicidal. And contrary to what has happened in the past where European citizens remained quiet about the evolution of the EU, the idea of having a Middle East country with 100 million muslim inhabitants joining the EU is going to cause a violent reaction in the European population, you can be sure of that.

spyretto
11-10-2004, 20:38
Chiraq announced today that France is to decide freely on Turkey's membership when the issue arises.
By saying "freely" he hinted at a possible veto by France?
As for Greece's position is that they're positive about Turkey's European future as long as Turkey shows willingness to make progress in several key issues, including naturally the Cypriot issue.

I don't share entirely your view, Turkey has a European part which has direct geographical and political connections with Europe. There's no real bond between the different European cultures anyway, it's all about our willingness to participate into something new. As Turkey becomes increasingly more "European", strengthens its ties with the rest of Europe and as the Islamic influence around the country becomes more and more moderate I think Turkey will get to a point where it could be assimilated into the bulk of the European Union. There's a great disparity between the European and Asian parts of the country, in social, economical, and religious terms no less so and I don't think the time is now, not in two years, not in five years but eventually. Turkey has a long way to go but it's definitely NOT a middle east country. :p


I don't think the issue of one country getting into the Union will be strong enough to cause the dissolution of a 50 year old-plan. But there's undoubtedly an increasing uncertainty of how the Union will develop now that so many countries have become full members and many more are to follow.
As for Turkey only caring about the economic aspect of the EU, I think that's fair enough, but if they want the economic benefits they'll have to also deal with the political ones
As for disagreements, there are certain member states who didn't agree and continue to disagree with regards to key political and economic issues - the UK, Denmark, Sweden comes to mind - so it's not the first time and it won't be the last. The EU was never threatened because of that.
But I do agree that the possible admittance of Turkey might pose a need for a re-evaluation of the whole European idea...or, then again, it might not...

luxxi
11-10-2004, 20:39
Turkey has a lot of issues to deal with, how about the fact that it's essentially a military state thinly disguised by democratic procedures? Their human rights record is still not adequate, its economy will take years to reach the level of member states, and how about the Kurdish and Cyprus issues? Those have to be resolved as well.


Why don't you just say Turkey shoudln't be in because they are muslims. Aye, it's ugly and harsh but that's the whole point. Not politically powerfull military, not human rights, not economy but how they pray.

:newyear:

luxxi
11-10-2004, 20:42
Anyway, like i said before, Turkey is NOT a European country, that should have been enough to keep them out. Turkey is no more European than Kenya or Thailand, it's a totally different culture. Turkey doesn't share our history, our culture, our values.


What about Israel? It's even less European yet it is in several things with euro- prefix. Oh, but they are not muslims so they can come in. :rolleyes:

:newyear:

spyretto
11-10-2004, 20:50
Why don't you just say Turkey shoudln't be in because they are muslims. Aye, it's ugly and harsh but that's the whole point. Not politically powerfull military, not human rights, not economy but how they pray.

:newyear:

I don't think it has much to do with that. But we do want a member state that won't undermine the role of the EU don't we? Albania and Bosnia are also predominately muslim counties but I don't think that issue would arise should they come to a point of becoming full member-states. It's not a matter of religion, every individual is free to believe in whatever they want, it's called freedom of religion. But they also have to allow that to their fellow individuals. It's rather a matter of democracy, freedom and respect for human rights.

About Isreal, my opinion is that they shouldn't be allowed to be part of the EU...

luxxi
11-10-2004, 20:58
I don't think it has much to do with that.


Which country has had most troubles with entry negotiations? Is that country by any chance muslim?


But we do want a member state that won't undermine the role of the EU don't we?


Kick Brits out then. :rolleyes:


Albania and Bosnia are also predominately muslim counties but I don't think that issue would arise should they come to a point of becoming full member-states.


Are they at same point in nagotiations as Turkey is? Oh, and when they do I'm sure it woun't be about being msulim. It will be something else. Like not being integrated (Bosnia), supporting miniritios with separatist tendencies in neighbouring countries (Albania). Or something else that would be used to block them. And if that is solved soemthing else willb e found, don't worry.


It's not a matter of religion, every individual is free to believe in whatever they want, it's called freedom of religion.


Yes, EU is not pressuring Turkey to become christian. Turkey just isn't welcomed in EU because they are muslims.


But they also have to allow that to their fellow individuals. It's rather a matter of democracy, freedom and respect for human rights.

Want to talk about human rights in Hungary? France?

:newyear:

spyretto
11-10-2004, 21:15
Which country has had most troubles with entry negotiations? Is that country by any chance muslim?

Is it Turkey? Do you have an idea why France and Germany would be the stonger oppenents of Turkey's entry? Do you really think it's a matter of being muslims - or maybe - I say maybe - something else? Do you have an idea what will happen in those countries if Turkey were to be admitted in the present circumstances?



Kick Brits out then. :rolleyes:

no comment :gigi:



Are they at same point in nagotiations as Turkey is? Oh, and when they do I'm sure it woun't be about being msulim. It will be something else. Like not being integrated (Bosnia), supporting miniritios with separatist tendencies in neighbouring countries (Albania). Or something else that would be used to block them. And if that is solved soemthing else willb e found, don't worry.

No, they're not. As things stand right now, Turkey will be part of the EU long before Albania does. Albania - one of the most backward countries of Europe - will also be admitted once they fullfil the economic/political requirements.

Yes, EU is not pressuring Turkey to become christian. Turkey just isn't welcomed in EU because they are muslims.

Turrkey is a relatively moderate muslim country. As long as they remain as such there's no reason why they couldn't be part of Europe. If you think there's no problem at all with radical muslim states lets admit Iran and Syria into the European Union and see what happens. They're in Europe aren't they?

Want to talk about human rights in Hungary? France?

What about it? There are instances of human right abuses in every civilised country in the world. What about the US? Do you mean that is an excuse for not getting Turkey into the EU?
and by the way, are you aware that the process of admitting Turkey in the EU is under way?
lest we forget :rolleyes:

haku
11-10-2004, 21:17
What about Israel? It's even less European yet it is in several things with euro- prefix. Oh, but they are not muslims so they can come in.You're talking to the wrong person here, i'm all for kicking Israel out of every European organizations.

]Turkey just isn't welcomed in EU because they are muslims.The "E" in EU means "European", European countries are countries of Celtic, Germanic, Latinate, Greek and Slavic cultures. Turkey is neither Celtic, Germanic, Latinate, Greek or Slavic, therefore it is not European and should not be admitted.

spyretto
11-10-2004, 21:22
Southern Europe (Green)
Southern Europe is a term used in much the same ways as Northern Europe. It includes the Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal, Andorra), the Italian peninsula (Italy, Vatican City, San Marino) and the Balkan Peninsula (Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia & Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria). Usually the Mediterranean States (Cyprus, Malta) and Asia Minor (i.e. Turkey) are also included. In a cultural sense, southern France may be included.

So, according to wikipedia, Turkey is more European than southern France :D

Macedonia is the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

luxxi
11-10-2004, 21:40
Is it Turkey?

Yes.


Do you have an idea why France and Germany would be the stonger oppenents of Turkey's entry?

Because they (Turks) are muslims.


Do you really think it's a matter of being muslims


Yes.


- or maybe - I say maybe - something else?


No.


Do you have an idea what will happen in those countries if Turkey were to be admitted in the present circumstances?

What?


no comment :gigi:


Fine. But don't complain about Turkey's lack of willingness to play by EU "rules" when you have Brits doing same.


No, they're not. As things stand right now, Turkey will be part of the EU long before Albania does.

If either of them ever gets in.


Albania - one of the most backward countries of Europe - will also be admitted once they fullfil the economic/political requirements.

Dubt it.


Turrkey is a relatively moderative muslim country.


But still muslim.


As long as they remain as such there's no reason why they couldn't be part of Europe.


So why are they not in yet?


If you think there's no problem at all with radical muslim states lets admit Iran and Syria into the European Union and see what happens. They're in Europe aren't they?

No, they aren't.

And BTW, Syria isn't radical muslim state. Dictatorship yes, radical islmaic no. Remember Hama?


What about it? There are instances of human right abuses in every civilised country in the world.

But that doesn't prevent them from entering EU.


What about the US? Do you mean that is an excuse for not getting Turkey into the EU?


What about US and how does US affect Turkish entry in EU?


and by the way, are you aware that the process of admitting Turkey in the EU is under way?
lest we forget :rolleyes:

Are you aware that this process is going on for some 20 years? Lest we forget.

:newyear:

luxxi
11-10-2004, 21:43
The "E" in EU means "European", European countries are countries of Celtic, Germanic, Latinate, Greek and Slavic cultures. Turkey is neither Celtic, Germanic, Latinate, Greek or Slavic, therefore it is not European and should not be admitted.

I think Finland, Hungary and Estonia don't fit in this group either. But they are in.

Also you forgot to mention that Europe is christian. Turkey is not. So that's why they woun't get in.

:newyear:

spyretto
11-10-2004, 22:08
Because they (Turks) are muslims.

No, it's something else. How about the muslims who live in EU countries? According to your rationale those would be send back home :rolleyes:

What?

Have a guess :D

Fine. But don't complain about Turkey's lack of willingness to play by EU "rules" when you have Brits doing same.

We're talking about the requirements for joining the EU in the first place here, not about the "unwillingness" of certain states to become fully integrated members. Being/not being muslim does not constitute a requirement - as far as I know.


If either of them ever gets in.

Will see about that. i think both will be.



Dubt it.

They will, trust me. Be a little patient.


But still muslim.

So what?



So why are they not in yet?

Greece was waiting for more than 15 years before they were allowed to join. We also had to wait for a further 3 years for economic unification - after everybody else who wanted to be part of it, became part of it.


No, they aren't.




But that doesn't prevent them from entering EU

Yeah, but we're not talking about one or two instances; Turkey used to systematically abuse human rights until recently.


What about US and how does US affect Turkish entry in EU?

It doesn't, it was just an example. But I think the US does engage in human rights abuses.


Are you aware that this process is going on for some 20 years? Lest we forget.

Really, 20 years seems fair enough to me :p
To sum up with, I don't believe being Muslim has anything to do with it.

luxxi
11-10-2004, 22:16
No, it's something else. How about the muslims who live in EU countries? According to your rationale those would be send back home :rolleyes:


No, where did you get that from? I said muslim countries aren't welcomed in, not muslim people.


Have a guess :D


Not a clue.


We're talking about the requirements for joining the EU in the first place here, not about the "unwillingness" of certain states to become fully integrated members.


So Turkey must accept all EU rules while UK can ignore them?


Being/not being muslim does not constitute a requirement - as far as I know.


De iure no, de facto yes.


Will see about that. i think both will be.


Neither is likelly.


They will, trust me. Be a little patient.


How long?


So what?


So not welcomed in.


Greece was waiting for more than 15 years before they were allowed to join. We also had to wait for a further 3 years for economic unification - after everybody else who wanted to be part of it, became part of it.

Every contry that isn't muslim.


No, they aren't.


No they aren't what?


Radical islamic dictatorship, maybe? I remember Hezbollah.


Which is:
A. Lebanese
B. Shi'ia
C. Mostly supported by Iran


Yeah, but we're not talking about one or two instances; Turkey used to systematically abuse human rights until recently.


One or two instances my arse. :rolleyes:


It doesn't, it was just an example. But I think the US does engage in human rights abuses.


So does Mozambique. Your point?


Really, 20 years seems fair enough to me :p


So they will be in soon?


To sum up with, I don't believe being Muslim has anything to do with it.

You believe what you want. ;)

:newyear:

spyretto
11-10-2004, 22:37
No, where did you get that from? I said muslim countries aren't welcomed in, not muslim people.

Show me where you got that. Or is it your personal view? But if you think that way, Turkey should not have pursued to join the EU in the first place. Does it make sense?


So Turkey must accept all EU rules while UK can ignore them?

UK is a member of the EU

De iure no, de facto yes.

Personal opinion or fact?

So not welcomed in.

Very welcome, indeed, if... and it won't be in 20 years. For now there's not much to be said, because you express your opinion which might be proven right or wrong. I think it will be wrong, and we'll known about it very shortly.
I have faith in my fellow Europeans that they're neither bigots nor racists.

haku
11-10-2004, 22:54
Southern Europe … Asia Minor (i.e. Turkey) are also included.Asia minor is in Europe? Lol Wikipedia is not afraid of geographical nonsense obviously.

Turkey is in Asia, not Europe.

When Turkey becomes a member, it will be the most powerful member of the EU, the most populated one, the one with the most deputies in the EU parliament in Strasburg. Because of their demographic weight, it will be able to block any decision it doesn't like. The European Union will be dominated by a country whose capital is in Asia and run by a muslim fundamentalist party! This is unacceptable.

I still hope that France and Germany, as 2 of the 6 founding members, will have the guts to veto the decision and tell once and for all to Turkey that its membership application is rejected, permanently.

thegurgi
11-10-2004, 23:32
I always thought the EU was an economic issue, not an issue to throw about negative racial, religious and geographical sentiments.

Turkey is already in league with a few other "European" unions and i don't understand why Finland, Estonia or Hungary shouldn't be involved... oi, probably because of their Turkish Roots... is this all just 100s of years of hatred from the Ottoman Empire... or was it that the city of Constantinople was the ruling seat of 1/2 of the Roman empire for a while? So why exactly is preposterious for Turkey to join the European Union when it so obviously has European connections.

Seems like a silly debate that i'm getting into, but i honestly don't see any logical objections to the Turks being in the EU other than racism based on stereotypes. ... but what do i know, i'm just a stupid american who shouldn't have a say on anything he's not really involved in (hahaha)

European countries are countries of Celtic, Germanic, Latinate, Greek and Slavic cultures.
If that's what it means to be European, then ummm, I guess, Canada, The States, Australia and most of South America are pretty European eh? But i'm sure you'd whine just as much if we were admitted to the Union as well... which we wouldn't be... we've got our own little union (but it's debatable about it's success)

spyretto
11-10-2004, 23:39
The main objection has to do with the fact that its largest part belongs to Asia both geographically and culturally; so does its capital. Another reason is that Turkey is a very poor country. A third reason is that it's not a very democratic country. Some stress its distinct religious and cultural difference with the rest of the EU. Are those enough reasons?
Say, I think Puerto Rico is more American than Turkey is European. Why is it not part of the US? I see no reason why it shouldn't be :D

thegurgi
11-10-2004, 23:48
Say, I think Puerto Rico is more American than Turkey is European. Why is it not part of the US? I see no reason why it shouldn't be

It's because the Puerto Ricans like being a territory, for some reason.

I know the objectiosn, bu they seem so silly. And Turkey isn't THAT poor, it's not as bad off as Moldova, or Haiti or some African countries (Haiti and Moldova are two of the poorest countries on the Planet)

I think the reason is the free passport, I'm sure there are people uncomfortable with that thought... but i still think it's sillyness

spyretto
11-10-2004, 23:53
If that's what it means to be European, then ummm, I guess, Canada, The States, Australia and most of South America are pretty European eh? But i'm sure you'd whine just as much if we were admitted to the Union as well... which we wouldn't be... we've got our own little union (but it's debatable about it's success)

:lol:


I think the Union was made so that Europe can become an economic superpower again and reduce the aforementioned countries to mere spectators. So Canada, the US, Australia and the rest joining would be a no-no :p Though, personally, I'd like to see Canada join ;)
Are we getting a bit rediculous here?

Careful not to confuse Hungary with Moldova. Poor Moldova is officially the most destitute country of Europe, while Hungary's economy is doing quite well, in fact it's one of the new member states. Hungary's economy is a lot better than Bulgaria's or Serbia's. As for Moldova they are to join the EU sometime in the next century. :eek:

thegurgi
11-10-2004, 23:54
Careful not to confuse Hungary with Moldova. Poor Moldova is officially the most destitute country of Europe, while Hungary's economy is doing quite well, in fact it's one of the new member states. Hungary's economy is a lot better than Bulgaria's or Serbia's. As for Moldova they are to join the EU sometime in the next century.

i made a mistake, i meant to say HAITI... i dunno why i said Hungary... i fixed it

I think the Union was made so that Europe can become an economic superpower again and reduce the aforementioned countries to mere spectators

That's the ticket i believe...

spyretto
12-10-2004, 00:00
Haiti or Jibudi, Burkina Faso, Netherland Antilles...

I think we should go back to the US elections thread - for our Europeans amusement - and wait for the decision about Turkey's membership. As it stands right now, Turkey will be monitored for the next 15 years by the EU and if they meet all the requirements they will join. The EU is also in a position to stop any negotiations should they see that the democratization of the country is not moving as it should be. ;)

I think the reason is the free passport, I'm sure there are people uncomfortable with that thought... but i still think it's sillyness

An educated guess...as well as the fact that you can freely live and work in another member state indefinitely, and basically enjoy the same rights as everybody else...

haku
12-10-2004, 00:16
I always thought the EU was an economic issueThe EU is a political and economic union, it's the only organization of this kind in the world, it's almost a confederation.

When a country joins the EU, a part of its sovereignty is transfered to the EU, legally an EU member is no longer fully sovereign.
France has had to modify its constitution a dozen times in 50 years to transfer parts of our sovereignty to the EU.

Like a federal state, the EU has an executive branch (the EU commission), a parliamentary branch (the EU parliament), a judiciary branch (The EU Court of Justice), and a central bank.

The EU has a lot of powers over its member states, the EU can force a national government to apply a law for example, the EU can also declare null a law voted by a national parliament which is in contradiction with EU laws.
In a lot of ways, the EU has more power over its member states than the Federal US government over the US states.

Within the EU, borders no longer exist, any EU citizen is free to settle and work wherever they want, any EU citizen can buy whatever they want in any member states, money and goods also travel freely as if the EU was one single state.

The EU is also about redistribution of money among member states, the richest member states pay a lot of taxes to the EU, this money is then redistributed to the less rich members.

If you don't understand why EU citizens are discussing the admittance of Turkey as a member, try to imagine what kind of debate there would be in the US if Mexico was bound to become the 51st state of the United States of America, it is of the same magnitude.

i'm sure you'd whine just as much if we were admitted to the Union as well.Excuse me... I whine?

Are you denying me the right to debate about what people will become co-citizens of mine, about which country is going to participate in the writing of laws i'll have to abide by?

spyretto
12-10-2004, 00:24
If you don't understand why EU citizens are discussing the admittance of Turkey as a member, try to imagine what kind of debate there would be in the US if Mexico was bound to become the 51st state of the United States of America, it is of the same magnitude.

exactly!

But I have a better idea: since thegurgi has mentioned Haiti, I'd propose Turkey to be the 51th state. They're a long-term US ally and they've more in common than Haiti has with the EU - CNN a la Turk, for example...

thegurgi
12-10-2004, 00:44
, try to imagine what kind of debate there would be in the US if Mexico was bound to become the 51st state of the United States of America, it is of the same magnitude.
i think it'd be cool if Mexico became a State... i also think it'd be cool if a state succeeded too, so how knows how i feel, i'd be fine with both Haiti and Turkey... i also like the idea of Newfoundland becoming a state....

Are you denying me the right to debate about what people will become co-citizens of mine, about which country is going to participate in the writing of laws i'll have to abide by?
--- and what the hell is wrong with Turks then? why would it be SO HORRIBLE to have a different view put in?

I think people seem to forget that you know, we're all human, and no matter how many stupid labels you find ways to divide us... we're gonna have to realise that we're all just people, and maybe that will end some the stupid crap that's going on... it's a simple as that. Tolerance...

sorry to get into a little "can't we all get along tangent" but it's really pissing me off (it's election time and every pro-life and fastidious conservative is telling me i'm going to hell... i'm a bit on edge)

haku
12-10-2004, 01:11
what the hell is wrong with Turks then? why would it be SO HORRIBLE to have a different view put in?
Right now, Turkey is run by a fundamentalist muslim party which, among other things, is planning to vote a law to send adultery women in jail, only women, not men guilty of the same felony.

Call me crazy but i don't want that kind of people in the EU parliament at Strasbourg voting laws i'll have to follow.

Of course there's nothing illegal about adultery in any European country, not since the 19th century anyway.

That just shows the huge gap that there is between European countries and Turkey, Turkey still lives in the 19th century.


That's ironic, we are the ones being called close-minded because we don't want Turkey to join the EU, but at the same time political opponents are tortured in Turkish prisons and people praise Turkey for being such a great country.

thegurgi
12-10-2004, 06:00
Why don't you think about how than the Europeans could affect the Turks then instead of vice versa? Why is it never a positive thing... like "Hrmm, maybe we could help the Turks" instead of just turning away and letting them pass those votes, and if they came into the EU, than would the majority be AGAINST that law and it be shut down? ... you have yet to sway me on how this is BAD thing?

spyretto
12-10-2004, 08:20
Why don't you think about how than the Europeans could affect the Turks then instead of vice versa? Why is it never a positive thing... like "Hrmm, maybe we could help the Turks" instead of just turning away and letting them pass those votes, and if they came into the EU, than would the majority be AGAINST that law and it be shut down? ... you have yet to sway me on how this is BAD thing?


You're probably right but let the politicians decide whatever they want to do. Nothing that you, haku or I say will make any difference ( unless there's a referendum on whether Turkey should join. ) It's damn politics anyway...

haku
12-10-2004, 13:19
you have yet to sway me on how this is BAD thing?Well, i'm not really trying to convince you, i'm just saying what i think.

But i've already said several times why i think it's a bad thing.
I'm what we call a Eurofederalist, i want the EU to become eventually a tightly integrated federation. I support the German project for the future of the EU, which is basically applying the German model to the EU scale, each member state becoming a "lander" of the EU.
I want European nations to fade into one single European nation. I want a strong federal government and i want an EU president directly elected by EU citizens.
I want one single army for the EU, and when the time comes, i want France to transfer its nuclear weapons to the EU armed forces and to transfer to the EU its permanent seat to the UN Security Council.
Eventually, we won't be a sovereign state at all, but just a part of a larger one.
This is a huge task, one that will take generations, and it can only be done with countries that share a common culture, a common history, common languages.

Turkey belongs to a totally different cultural area, one that stretches from Turkey in the west to the Uighur region in China in the East and includes most of the countries that end in "stan" in between.
Turkey happens to be in 'contact' with the European cultural area, but it is not a part of it, it won't fit, it's just too different. It will block all EU decisions, the EU will be in a deadlock.
For people like me, once Turkey is in, the dream of European unification is dead.


France will have a referendum on the admittance of Turkey anyway, and i'm convinced that the "no" will win. The latest polls showed that about 80% of people are against it, even the 10% of French citizens who are of Arab origin and mostly muslim are against it (they see Turks as a threat for their jobs).

luxxi
12-10-2004, 15:18
Show me where you got that. Or is it your personal view? But if you think that way, Turkey should not have pursued to join the EU in the first place. Does it make sense?

How many EU member coutnries are muslim?


UK is a member of the EU


Exactlly.


Personal opinion or fact?


See my first response.


Very welcome, indeed, if... and it won't be in 20 years. For now there's not much to be said, because you express your opinion which might be proven right or wrong. I think it will be wrong, and we'll known about it very shortly.
I have faith in my fellow Europeans that they're neither bigots nor racists.

Having fait is one thing. Having blinders is another.


As for Moldova they are to join the EU sometime in the next century. :eek:

Well, they have 97 years to get their economy on track.


When a country joins the EU, a part of its sovereignty is transfered to the EU, legally an EU member is no longer fully sovereign.


WROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON, WRONG WRONG. Oh, did I say this is wrong?

Country can enter an agreement that states that certain decisions are not made by that county. But if country has ability to withdraw from that agreement they retain sovereignity.

Some Himalaian states have agreed to allow India to conduct their foreign affairs. As they can withdraw from this at any point they maintain their sovereignity.

:newyear:

spyretto
12-10-2004, 15:58
Welcome back

I think there are only a few muslim countries around Europe anyway; and none of them is partucularly strong economically. But they belong in Europe, so eventually they're to be allowed into the European Union if they wish and make progress towards that goal.

luxxi
13-10-2004, 13:19
Welcome back

I think there are only a few muslim countries around Europe anyway; and none of them is partucularly strong economically. But they belong in Europe, so eventually they're to be allowed into the European Union if they wish and make progress towards that goal.

Don't count on it....

:newyear:

simon
16-10-2004, 14:48
I don't think Turkey should be admitted to the European Union unless it changes completely, but it would be a big mistake to reject them now. It would just confirm all the negative opinions that Muslims have about Europe. I'm pleased that they've said that Turkey and other post-2004 will have to face much tougher assessments of actual implementation of the policies Europe insists on than the new ten did. I'm still very unhappy that the Czech Republic and Slovakia were admitted when they discriminate so much against Gypsies. But if they were really serious about it, they wouldn't have given Romania a clean bill of health for entry in 2007 - there are still problems with treatment of Gypsies, torture and lack of child protection. All this talk that it will be 10 or 15 years before Turkey is admitted, that's allowing us to spin out indefinitely negotiations with Turkey. But maybe it's just a ruse and then they want to wrap up the negotiations much faster.

I'm certainly not a Eurofederalist, in fact I opposed Maastricht (although fortunately it turned out to be nothing like as federalist in practice as it looked on paper) and the Euro. But I think there's a difference between countries like Britain, Denmark and Sweden, which are sceptical about the Eurofederalist project, and Turkey. Its voting weight would always be on the conservative side and make it almost impossible to enact any progressive measures.

haku
16-10-2004, 16:07
I don't think Turkey should be admitted to the European Union unless it changes completely, but it would be a big mistake to reject them now.
Well, i don't think Turkey should be admitted to the EU ever, but i don't think it should be rejected either, but there are other ways than EU membership to achieve that.

Originally there were two competing organizations in Europe, the EEC (Benelux, France, Germany, Italy) which represented the French-German vision for Europe with economic and political integration (inspired by the BENELUX agreements), and the EFTA (Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, UK) which represented the UK vision for Europe with only economics in view. At some point, for a reason that i have never understood, the UK decided to leave the EFTA to join the EEC even though it didn't agree with the EEC project (it was a big mistake to accept the UK in the EEC in my opinion).

Then the EEC evolved into the EU and several EFTA members joined the EU, but the EFTA still exists today (it has 4 members: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein). Nowadays the EU and the EFTA are no longer competing, the EU and the EFTA have even created a new organization called the EEA which creates a free trade zone between the EU and the EFTA members that agreed to it (Switzerland refused to adhere to the EEA).
Basically, the EEA was designed for countries who want to be a part of the economic area of the EU but don't want to be a part of the political integration of the EU.

Personally, i would have no problem with Turkey joining the EFTA and the EEA, that way Turkey would be economically tightly integrated with the EU (which is the only thing that interests Turkey) but would remain outside the political aspects of the EU (which don't interest Turkey). I think that would be a satisfactory solution for everybody.

I'll add that with the adoption of the EU constitution which is a step forward federalism, the eurosceptic members of the EU are going to have to make a clear choice. The EU constitution has no chance of being adopted in the UK for example (i don't know for Denmark and Sweden), once the UK has rejected the EU constitution, it will be a logical conclusion in my opinion that it should withdraw from the EU and go back to the EFTA/EEA, that way the UK will continue to enjoy the free trade market with the EU but won't have to deal with the political side of the EU which it profoundly rejects and despises.


For people who are not Europeans and my not be familiar with the acronyms:
EEC: European Economic Community
EFTA: European Free Trade Association (http://secretariat.efta.int/)
EEA: European Economic Area (http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/eea/)

simon
16-10-2004, 21:21
Your EEA idea is interesting, but I can see a number of problems. First, Turkey has been an associate member since 1963, so it's not just about trade. There are other reasons for being in the EU rather than having an associate status, a point which I'll return to later.

Second, being in the EEA now brings with it the right to free movement. Since one of the major obstacles to Turkey's EU membership with the French and German publics is the prospect of Turks getting free movement, that would be a political difficulty.

Third, another reason why Turkey would want to join, just like Ireland, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia wanted to join, rather than be in EFTA is because of EU regional aid. Being so poor, Turkey would be entitled to a lot of regional aid.

Fourth, EFTA isn't exactly a thriving organisation. Norway and Iceland are considering joining the EU. Without them, the only other EFTA members would be Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and only Liechtenstein is in the EEA.

Fifth, would Switzerland let Turkey into EFTA? I can imagine the Swiss reacting with even more disfavour to the idea of letting Turkey in and so granting Turks free movement to Switzerland (Switzerland has a free movement agreement with the EEA) than the French and German publics. I mean, these are people who won't even let people of non-Swiss ancestry born in Switzerland become citizens!

Why did Britain join if we don't believe in federalism? We joined because EFTA was free trade with a few small countries. The EEC was free trade with the other big countries in western Europe. At the time, there was no free trade between the two, because the EEC wanted to break EFTA. It only became more friendly to EFTA after Britain left.

At the time, the EEC itself was little more than a free trade area and a huge subsidy scheme for farmers, particularly French and Italian ones. The British didn't much like the idea of subsidising the French, but felt the other economic benefits were worth it. The British also joined to counter the French. If Britain hadn't wanted to do that originally, that was certainly the intention after General de Gaulle said 'non' to the British application in 1963.

Countries like Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the EU in recent years because if you aren't in the EU you have to comply by many EU standards if you want free trade. So you have to follow the rules without having a say in them. It's better to be, as President Johnson once said, inside the tent pissing out rather than outside the tent pissing in.

Regarding Britain having to leave if it rejects the EU constitution, we aren't the only ones who are likely to vote no in a referendum. Denmark and Poland are both likely to vote no too. Polls suggest that the Dutch and even the French might vote no. If the French people say 'non' to the constitution, do you think France should have to leave the EU? Or are some EU members more equal than others, haku?

The problem for European federalism is that the people of Europe don't want it. European integration has been a project of the political elites. The British and the Danes have been the awkward squad for many years, but nearly all the new members are anti-federalist too. That's why the constitution turned out to be such a small step towards federalism. The populations of these countries don't want to hand any more power to the European institutions. Some of that is because of a suspicion of centralisation (which I share) and some of that is because of nationalism (which I don't share), but it's a fact that Eurofederalists are going to have to face up to.

haku
16-10-2004, 22:38
There is a big difference between the certain no of the UK to the constitution, and the possible no of France to the constitution.
The UK is going to vote no because it doesn't want a constitution at all, in France the socialist party is thinking about calling for a no vote because it thinks the constitution doesn't go far enough and is too liberal, the socialist party wants a stronger more federal constitution, it doesn't want France to leave the EU, it wants an even more integrated EU than what the constitution proposes.

I'm not saying that the UK should be kicked out of the EU, but i do think that after it rejects the constitution, the UK will have to reassess its position. For the past ten years the UK has rejected every further integration in the EU, at the last EU elections (if i'm not mistaken) the BNP has made a huge score, from what i've seen in British media, the large majority of British people want the UK to leave the EU, the British tabloids trashes the EU every chance they have and are also campaigning for the UK to leave the EU. If the British people are so unhappy about being in the EU, why force them to stay in? The UK should withdraw, the British people would be much happier obviously.

Whatever happens, the constitution is a turning point for the EU. Next year, the EU member sates will be divided in two groups, those that will have adopted the constitution, and those that will have rejected it. The EU will have to be reshaped, because there will be a huge gap between the members tied together with a common constitution which will continue toward further integration, and the "outsiders" which will remain pretty much where they are now.

simon
16-10-2004, 23:26
There is a big difference between the certain no of the UK to the constitution, and the possible no of France to the constitution.
The UK is going to vote no because it doesn't want a constitution at all, in France the socialist party is thinking about calling for a no vote because it thinks the constitution doesn't go far enough and is too liberal, the socialist party wants a stronger more federal constitution, it doesn't want France to leave the EU, it wants an even more integrated EU than what the constitution proposes.

The irony is that the main effects of the constitution is to reduce the number of areas where nations can use their vetoes. Who caused the introduction of the veto? France.

I'm not saying that the UK should be kicked out of the EU, but i do think that after it rejects the constitution, the UK will have to reassess its position. For the past ten years the UK has rejected every further integration in the EU, at the last EU elections (if i'm not mistaken) the BNP has made a huge score

The BNP didn't do very well. It was the UK Independence Party (UKIP) that did very well, with 15%. They're not neo-fascists like the BNP, they're just xenophobic right-wing nationalists.

from what i've seen in British media, the large majority of British people want the UK to leave the EU

No, in a recent poll only 22% wanted to leave the EU, although another 29% wanted a less integrated EU. Even putting both Eurosceptic options together, that's only just over half. The British people are pretty evenly divided between pro- and anti-Europeans. It's just that a large majority oppose the constitution - only 21% would vote in favour, according to another poll.

If our referendum is last and all the others are carried, then they will tell us that we have to vote yes or leave. Faced with a forced choice of the EU constitution or leaving, perhaps most people will prefer to stay in the EU. I expect that Poland and Denmark will vote no first and we'll vote no in solidarity, so they don't get picked on.

the British tabloids trashes the EU every chance they have and are also campaigning for the UK to leave the EU. If the British people are so unhappy about being in the EU, why force them to stay in? The UK should withdraw, the British people would be much happier obviously.

The British people don't really want to leave. They just enjoy complaining about the EU.

Whatever happens, the constitution is a turning point for the EU. Next year, the EU member sates will be divided in two groups, those that will have adopted the constitution, and those that will have rejected it. The EU will have to be reshaped, because there will be a huge gap between the members tied together with a common constitution which will continue toward further integration, and the "outsiders" which will remain pretty much where they are now.

We'll have to see how many countries vote no. Legally, the constitution can't enter into force unless all members agree. There's no provision for a country to leave the EU (the constitution will create a procedure for secession). I don't know how a two-speed Europe would work where some countries agree to majority voting and others can opt out. I think they'd go back to the drawing board and agree a new much more modest treaty.

haku
17-10-2004, 00:05
Legally, the constitution can't enter into force unless all members agree.
That's not totally true, that's probably what the British eurosceptics are going to say to their people (if you vote no, nothing will happen), but that's not true.

From the EU constitution itself:

"If, two years after the signature of the treaty amending the Treaty establishing the Constitution, four fifths of the Member States have ratified it and one or more Member States have encountered difficulties in proceeding with ratification, the matter shall be referred to the European Council."

In clear, if at least 20 member states have ratified the EU constitution, it will become effective for those member states. The others will have the choice between simple withdrawal from the EU, or a new "associate membership" which probably won't be much more than an EEA membership. This new "associate membership" is not mentioned anywhere but it is already discussed in the "corridors" of Brussels, this new status could also be ultimately the one proposed to Turkey, since nobody really believes that Turkey will ever vote yes to the EU constitution, and if countries like the UK, Denmark and Sweden have become associate members, Turkey won't be as offended by it as it would now.

simon
17-10-2004, 13:21
There is a bit of controversy about it - encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com says:

In the event that 80% of EU member states have ratified the treaty after two years (i.e. by June 2006), while one or more member states have “encountered difficulties in proceeding with ratification”, the European Council has agreed to reconvene and consider the situation. This agreement does not specify what the Council may decide to do, but it remains the case that no treaty can enter into force without being ratified by all parties to it.
http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Treaty%20establishing%20a%20constitution%20for%20E urope

But I agree that it's opening the door for the 20-plus that ratify to proceed, while the others (Britain, probably Denmark and quite likely Poland) don't. Sweden isn't going to hold a referendum (only the Green Party and the Left Party are calling for one), so they will ratify regardless of what the population wants.

The majority of British people would probably be happy with EEA membership, because it brings a customs union and the right to live and work in other European countries. The other benefits EU membership has brought in terms of environmental and social policy are much less apparent to the public (although after expansion to the east, further progress in those areas is going to be limited anyway). But I can't imagine Tony Blair (who I think would probably resign) or even Gordon Brown being happy about leaving the EU. I don't think the constitution itself contains anything very worrying and bringing agriculture not only into qualified majority voting, but also partly under the control of the Parliament is a big improvement. Unfortunately, the environmentally disastrous fisheries and transport policies remain unreformed.

What is worrying is that the Council and Parliament together can amend the constitution in future. So we could be signing up to a superstate by stealth.

I doubt Labour would want us just to have EEA membership. More likely we'll stay in the EU, but with a weakened form of membership. I think the Danish public would be happy with that too. Poland would probably be lured back in with the promise of regional aid. The Swedish public will probably wish they could get a similar deal - after all they regret ever having joined.

haku
30-10-2004, 21:51
People who follow EU politics know that the new EU commission has been rejected a few days ago by the EU parliament. The main reason being that one of the commissioners, Rocco Buttiglione, has made homophobic and misogynistic comments which have outraged the left wing of the EU parliament.

This is good news for EU democracy, since the EU parliament is directly elected by the people whereas the EU commission is appointed by the 25 governments. In a way, it's a victory of the people against the governments.

What is more worrying is that apparently this new commission only lacked about 30 votes (out of 732 EU MPs) to be accepted. This shows that the conservative side is still very strong in Europe, the liberals had the majority, but only a thin one.

This event is also a perfect example of what i've been saying about Turkey's membership and how it's going to unbalance the EU.

Each time the EU is dealing with "sensitive" issues (like gay rights for example) there is always an almost equal repartition between conservatives and liberals, most of the time the liberals win, but only by a thin margin.

That will change when Turkey is a member, Turkey will add about 120 MPs to the EU parliament, almost all conservatives! The balance between conservatives and liberals will be broken with the Turkish MPs, the conservatives will become the large majority in the EU parliament.

I've seen a lot of people saying that once Turkey is a member, it will become more liberal but the recent events show that it's the opposite that is going to happen. With Turkey as a member, it's the whole EU that is going to become more conservative.

If Turkey had been a member now, this new commission would have had enough votes to be accepted, and now we would have a homophobic and misogynistic commissioner.
Knowing that the EU will become much more conservative in the future is definitely not good news, at least not for someone like me.

forre
31-10-2004, 16:18
Not very exciting news, haku, but I believe in the reasonale approach even from the conservatives as the general EU strategy should be based on the idea of the equality of the humans and their rights. I doubt that EU will suddenly turn into a block of dictatures which will pass the line of any democratic values and become a bunch of restorators. In this case, Turkish presence inside the EU may serve a positive purpose as they have to behave strategically correct. In another words, I'm fine with Turkey becoming an EU-member. :)

simon
04-12-2004, 20:12
I'm reviving this thread because two important events have occurred this week which relate to discussions we had earlier in this thread.

Less improtantly, the members of the French Socialist Party voted 59-41 to support the European constitution. That makes it unlikely that France will vote 'no' in its referendum, which would kill the constitution.

Probably more importantly for the future of Europe, the Ukrainian Supreme Court ruled that there should be a revote of the second round of the presidential election by 26 December. It now looks very likely that Viktor Yushchenko will be elected president of Ukraine and will lead the country towards the West.

A few months ago, haku wrote that the EU should never admit Ukraine and should accept that it is part of Russia's sphere of influence. I argued that if Ukraine wanted to join the EU, we should be prepared to let it in when it was ready.

There is an article in this week's edition of The Economist, 'The implications of a democratic Ukraine'. It talks about how France and Germany are appearently opposed to admitting Ukraine because if it was added after Turkey it would move the centre of gravity of the EU even further east. It also writes about how the objective of creating a single European welfare state is undermined by further expansion (too many countries at different levels of economic development) and how Ukraine would kill the Common Agricultural Policy (all those wheatfields). It concludes that just as the objective of a peaceful Europe requires expanding to include the Balkans (as the EU recognises), so it also requires expanding to strengthen freedom and democracy by incorporating the Ukraine. In a typical dig from The Economist, it comments that this is a more worthwhile objective than the Common Agricultural Policy or the working time directive.

I don't agree with The Economist very much (I'm actually fairly left-wing), but I think that they have a point here. I don't think that there's a logically consistent reason for the EU to expand to include the Balkans and not be prepared to include Ukraine.

DinoBora
04-12-2004, 21:04
In another words, I'm fine with Turkey becoming an EU-member. Turkey will be foreign body in United Europe for sure. It's an islamic country. The majority of turks have never shared and do not share the so called western values. I think that eurocracy should rather treat Ukraine as a potential candidate in the distant future. It's more democratic and more european.

forre
04-12-2004, 21:08
But Turkey will have to undergo changes and they'll be under European parliament. The majority of the countries in the EU are non-islamic countries so there's no risk that EU will become islamic. :D

Ukranian question is still hanging up in the air. We'll see.

DinoBora
04-12-2004, 22:39
But Turkey will have to undergo changes and they'll be under European parliament.
Yeah! They'll have to pass billls regarding equality of sexes, human rights issues in general,national minorities issues , freedom of press, use of death penalty and so on and so on... and moreover make alll those changes effective and not just put on paper. If the officials in Ankara try to implement all the requirements imposed by eurocrats and these guys ... I mean european officials... usually are so scrupulous and fight for every single letter, I fear Turks will revolt against their government.

haku
16-12-2004, 19:33
It's done, Turkey will become an EU member. :mad: So, in a few years, the biggest, most populated, most powerful, most influencial country in the EU will be an Asian country that does not share any of the European values, this is ludicrous, outrageous, and dangerous. :bebebe: For me this is the end, the Ottomans have won.

Ghalib
16-12-2004, 23:08
It's done, Turkey will become an EU member. :mad: So, in a few years, the biggest, most populated, most powerful, most influencial country in the EU will be an Asian country that does not share any of the European values, this is ludicrous, outrageous, and dangerous. :bebebe: For me this is the end, the Ottomans have won.

Interesting thread.

Turkey may be a Muslim country but with the Islamaphobia of the West it wont have a significant impact on the EU. It is simply a wait and see approach ....

Maybe they will adopt European values, although I struggle to see any that are genuine across the EU members anyway, maybe they will resurrect the power of the Ottoman empire. Then we can all s**t ourselves ... :rolleyes:

freddie
17-12-2004, 19:48
LOL. Easy Haku. It's not like Turkey is a fundamentalist islamic dictatorship of the Middle East like Iran, or like Afghanistan or Iraq were some time ago. Infact it's the most pro-west orientated Islamic country ever. It's still far from the liberal nature of the Euro countries, but it's not as bad as it looks superficially.

forre
17-12-2004, 20:00
With the pressure of EU, Turkey is actually about to resolve the Cypriotic question. EU may have a positive influence on Turkey and get a fast developing and soon very prosperious country as a member. Haku is very much influenced by French media I think. We all are influenced of course but still, it depends on if you have an optimistic view or not. I have. :) I've been to Turkey and I like this country and people a lot, I even have a working pal who is Turkish, so my experience has been positive so far.

haku
17-12-2004, 21:34
It's not like Turkey is a fundamentalist islamic dictatorshipIt's not my point, even if Turkey was an advanced democracy (which it is far from being), i would still be opposed to it, and i don't care about the main religion over there (i'm French, we are strictly laic, we are the ones who opposed to God and Christianity being mentioned in the EU constitution).
No, as i've already said countless times, i am opposed to Turkey simply because it's not a European country, it's not part of the European cullture, Turkey belongs to a totally different cultural area. In a few years, the biggest, most powerful EU member will be a non-European country, which is a ridiculous situation. I was totally ok with Germany having that role until then, Germany is at the heart of Europe, a link between Western and Eastern Europe, it was a balanced situation. Now it's going to be Turkey, a country in Asia at the far South-East of the EU, ludicrous.
Plus, like i've said in another post, Turkey is an ultra conservative country, they will have more than 120 MPs at the EU parliament, the balance between conservatives and liberals is going to be broken, with Turkey's MPs, the conservative side is going to be much stronger than the liberal one, with the help of Turkey's MPs the views of people like Rocco Buttiglione will provail then.
To me, sharing citizenship and sovereignty with the Turks is unacceptable.

Haku is very much influenced by French mediaNot that much, i've always been opposed to Turkey becoming an EU member, i remember having discussions about that in 1980s.

forre
17-12-2004, 21:44
No, as i've already said countless times, i am opposed to Turkey simply because it's not a European country, it's not part of the European cullture, Turkey belongs to a totally different cultural area. In a few years, the biggest, most powerful EU member will be a non-European country, which is a ridiculous situation. I was totally ok with Germany having that role until then, Germany is at the heart of Europe, a link between Western and Eastern Europe, it was a balanced situation. Now it's going to be Turkey, a country in Asia at the far South-East of the EU, ludicrous.
Plus, like i've said in another post, Turkey is an ultra conservative country, they will have more than 120 MPs at the EU parliament, the balance between conservatives and liberals is going to be broken, with Turkey's MPs, the conservative side is going to be much stronger than the liberal one, with the help of Turkey's MPs the views of people like Rocco Buttiglione will provail then.
To me, sharing citizenship and sovereignty with the Turks is unacceptable.
Eu is still run by UK and France and Germany, which are super influencial countires and Turkey has no chance against EU policies. EU is not going to change and become an islamic union because of that. Then, Turkey is not going to be the most powerful country of the EU because they have the biggest population. :)

Not that much, i've always been opposed to Turkey becoming an EU member, i remember having discussions about that in 1980s.
Politically, you are brought up on French media and that's enough.

haku
17-12-2004, 22:27
Politically, you are brought up on French media and that's enough.What i meant (and i'm sorry i didn't make that clearer) is that in the 1980s, French politicians and media were in favor of Turkey's membership, and despite that fact, i was opposed to it, so i'm not following the media blindly. They have changed their opinion, i haven't.

In the 1980s France supported Turkey's admission because France thought that Turkey had the same laic ideals than France. Both countries had built a republic based on a strict laicity, removing religion from political institutions and schools. France thought that Turkey was to the muslim world what France was to the christian world, an example of how religion can be removed from the public sphere and be stricly limited to the private sphere.
This good opinion of Turkey in France was shattered when an extemist muslim party came recently into power, after that a lot of French politicians and media changed their opinion, Turkey revealed itself to not be the country they thought it was.

forre
17-12-2004, 23:11
haku, Okay then, the explanation is good enough. Then French media was influenced by you! :D
Time will show. We have Bulgaria on the way too. Turkey is already considering some changes in their political system by a pressure from EU, so what do you think?

spyretto
17-12-2004, 23:14
Where is the update on this issue, huh? Now we have EU giving the "green light" - sort of speak - to our Asian muslim friends of Turkey for their eventual integration with EU ( as long as they recognise Cyprus as a unified country for the first time, that was the Greek stance in the first place ) though a lot is left to be discussed and the process might take up to 15 years:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4103931.stm

Any thoughts on the subject? Do we really want this country in the EU? ( Well I bet Blair and his buddy Bush - who hasn't got a say in this but anyhow - would find it very welcoming but what about the others? Germany and Austria say they'll go for a referendum on this issue )

Any thoughts?

kr0k0
18-12-2004, 00:37
I read something about Gypsies being oppressed in Romania, that's the most untrue story.

About joining EU : I think Romania isn't prepared yet.

agriculture : ha ! like in medieval age => 2-3 millions unemployed, at least
industry : low quality, low-tech => 1 million unemployed, at least
services : the most compatible with EU standards, but many of low quality and only at the begining. however, this sector will boom by joining the EU.

and also : corruption ! with EU money, the "cancer" planned to build 1 billion euro dam, somewhere in mountains !! or a 3.8 billion euro highway (10% of GDP) :blabla: ... of course, in less corrupt countries these would be 2-3 times cheaper !

Joining EU will be a disaster, not for democracy, not for justice, but for the people. A more realistic date would be 2015.

coolasfcuk
18-12-2004, 01:27
Well Bulgaria is up to join EU as well ... in January 2007 and about to sign in April 2005.... what can i say ... Romania, Bulgaria - the difference is minimal.

simon
18-12-2004, 22:06
I read something about Gypsies being oppressed in Romania, that's the most untrue story

This sort of attitude is widespread among Romanians. Like in other Central and Eastern European countries, Roma (Gypsies) actually experience tremendous discrimination in Romania. I've heard the kind of opinions that even educated and otherwise liberal Romanians express. Rates of unemployment are very high largely because of blatant discrimination in job hiring. Most Romanians perceive all Roma as stupid, lazy and criminal and see nothing wrong in such discrimination. Most Roma children are classified by the authorities as 'mentally handicapped' and put into a separate education system supposedly for the mentally handicapped, but mostly for normal Roma children. Roma are frequently subjected to violent attacks and the police do not intervene to protect them. There is police violence, torture and deaths in custody - most of the victims are Roma. Amensty International's 2003 report on Romania commented on this phenomenon.

I don't have something in for Romania. Much the same is true of other Central European and Balkan countries. But it's a real problem that needs to be recognised, not denied.

spyretto
25-04-2005, 20:17
Well Bulgaria is up to join EU as well ... in January 2007 and about to sign in April 2005.... what can i say ... Romania, Bulgaria - the difference is minimal.

According to this article by yahoo.com, there are distinct differences in terms of democratic and economic institutions, between the two countries:

Romania, Bulgaria sign 'historic' EU entry pact (http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20050425/wl_afp/euenlargeromaniabulgaria_050425170023)

Well, I don't know, I'm positive about the whole thing and I always have been. That was the idea of the early "European Community" anyway: to gradually encompass all European nations and strengthen peace and ecomonic stability within the Union. I think there'll be no problem with Bulgaria and Romania joining, if not in 2007, maybe a bit later. The biggest challenge for the EU won't be Bulgaria or Romania but Turkey. As for the Ukraine, they should be free to join if they make the political reforms and economic adjustments necessary because they're historically part of Europe, be it under the influence of Russia or not. The UK is traditionally under the influence of one U.S.A, in fact they feel more American than European. They're shunning the constitution and currency, but that hasn't prevented them from being full members. They're all political decisions after all. If there was to be a referendum tomorrow on leaving or staying in the EU , I wouldn't be surprised if the Brits voted in favour of the former. So it may be that the Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Romanians, or even the Albanians, feel more "European" than the Brits, after all.

So let them all in. The food has gone better since the UK joined the EU, and I wouldn't mind it at all if the Isles were infested by Eastern bloc babes :D :D

haku
29-05-2005, 22:01
We said no… I can't believe it… I feel so utterly ashamed.

Of course it was predictable, many things have upset French people in recent years; social dumping from new eastern members that were probably integrated too soon in the EU, the beginning of talks for Turkey to become a member which French people radically oppose, the fact that many EU countries supported the US war instead of the French-German anti-war position, and more generally France losing more and more influence within EU institutions.

But that's no excuse, that's a shame and a catastrophe for the country, 50 years of work for nothing, and a lifetime dream that just vanished for me. *falls into depression*

coolasfcuk
29-05-2005, 22:52
We said no… I can't believe it… I feel so utterly ashamed.
yeah, I just read here, in the 'parisian News' for Bulgarian Francophones : http://www.parisvesti.com/?u_s=2&u_a=189&sid= - it says that The French said NON :blabla: supposedly, as stated in the article, this will not affect the Romania and Bulgarian joining in 2007 (for now its said), but i doubt it that would hold :hmmm:

spy, I just saw your post as welll, and the link is not working

forre
30-05-2005, 04:50
We said no… I can't believe it… I feel so utterly ashamed.
It was expected. The constitution goes to the trash-can as there's no further prospect. A sort of pity as it was worth to give it a try.

The analysts said that French people would probably vote "No" to demonstrate its disagreement with the current French government generally.

nath
30-05-2005, 06:06
I've voted "No"....:lalala:

Not because of social dumping from new eastern members that were probably integrated too soon in the EU, ....., the fact that many EU countries supported the US war instead of the French-German anti-war position, and more generally France losing more and more influence within EU institutions.

....but because of the constitution itself: we've spent so many years before to succeed to vote for our President in a Direct Vote ...the french people chooses directly its President....I don't want to not be able to vote Directly for the President of Europe....

haku
01-06-2005, 20:39
The Netherlands also said no to Europe. The EU is dead. I guess it's only fair that it would be two founding members that would destroy what they started 50 years ago.

forre
01-06-2005, 20:43
The EU is dead
Not too fast, please. It was about the constitution only. EU remains.

haku
01-06-2005, 22:02
The EU won't last long without a constitution, the current treaty (treaty of Nice) was only meant as an interim treaty until the constitution would be adopted, the treaty of Nice doesn't allow the EU to function properly with 25 members for very long, it doesn't allow any efficient decision making and soon EU institutions will come to a still, totally unable to reach any decisions.

The EU is dead because the historical French-German alliance that followed WWII is now destroyed and the EU won't advance anymore without that essential alliance. The EU is dead because the winners of that new situation are the UK and its 'new Europe' pro-US eastern buddies that only joined the EU to destroy it, under this new anglo-saxon leadership, the EU is going to decay into a loose free economic zone with no political control and no social regulations, the opposite of what Monet and Schumann wanted.

The EU is dead because French and Dutch people, two founding members, have become anti-European. Extreme nationalism is back like in the 1930s, people want their countries to leave the EU and go back to nation states with closed borders, like before WWII. People have forgotten the devastations of WWII and why the EU was created in the first place.

It's a late victory for the totalitarian leaders of the 1930s, in a way they were right, it was a mistake to think that we could build a European Confederation through a peaceful democratic process, obviously such an historical change can only be achieved through a new continental war.

nath
01-06-2005, 22:10
The Netherlands also said no to Europe. The EU is dead. I guess it's only fair that it would be two founding members that would destroy what they started 50 years ago.
Indeed if all other countries say "no"....France won't be isolated....and they would be obliged to listen the voice of People....so if all other countries say NO....Of course, it will take a long time, but it would be possible to build a new constitution, I hope a better constitution.
So don't be desesperated Pat. :)

PS:Pat , i read your post after having posted mine...and I 'm asking myself a question in reading it ...I surely misunderstood your post...but...I have the feeling that you "see" the Future Europe " as a kind of BIG FRANCE-GERMANY.....I mean about the ideologies.....I say that in relation with what you wrote about UK , for exemple.....
So I don't understand something....the future Europe wouldn't be a Europe with 25 countries...25 members ??? :confused:
Because in reading you , I have really the feeling that as France was in the creation of this Europe, for exemple , France will have more right, more power than the other countries.... :confused:

So I ask to myself WHY ?... We will be 25....is it because we are the older than the other countries have to "obey" to us and to follow our style of life , our style of thinking ?...
Because we made REVOLUTION 200 years ago than all the other peoples have to shut up and to venerate us ?...

I think that for a lot of people in France , it's seen like that : Europe would be a big "thing" following the "rules/models " of France and Germany ...
And I even can imagine the huge deception of our Président Jacques Chirac....I voted for him...and not because I was forced to do it ....but I won't never do it again, even if he was ready for another mandate.....because he's changed a lot during last years because of Europe...he became arrogant ....he wasn't seeing himself and acting just as the President of France but as if he was ALREADY THE PRESIDENT OF EUROPE !!!
As if it was an evidence , of course, that the Future President would be a French or a German....

So I just ask myself if it's fair....we will be 25 members isn't it?....
1/ Sorry but I feel we(French) are a little pretentious....we are the best ... I will be clear here...I love my country ...in the meaning that I love the FREEDOM which I have in my country...I think I'm very lucky ...BUT ...even if i would really fight to protect what was built in my country (state of mind...relation with freedom...) I don't see which right we have to impose it to others.....

2/When you see what happened in Africa with ethnic wars....what happened in Ex-Yougoslavia with all these horrible crimes just because peoples had different origines and mentalities...(of course it should be the fault of USA.... ;) ).... I wonder how easy it would be deal with 25 members....
Just the simple problem of religion...France is a laïc state... some other countries aren't ...Europe has to be Laïc or not ? (About absorbtion for exemple , they've said each country will follow its own rules....because of this problem of religion...)

So if we follow the idea that France/Germany will be the model to follow ...
1/ As a French woman it's good for me cause I want to keep my free choice of decision if I want to have an absorbtion or not...
but ...as a free mind I think
2/ It's unfair that other countries which have different tyles of life have to follow "our " rules just because we were at the origine of Europe and we made the Revolution the first...

If the future shows that Egality of the rights of the 25 members has to be ....
1/ I'ld be glad cause I would think it's fair..
2/ But if somebody delete , one day , the right I have to absorbtion......believe me I Make/Do a New Revolution!!!

All this long and annoying post , just to say .....
1/ that I'm not against the Idea of a Big Europe....but I don't think it would be sooo easy ....cause we are very different ... :(
2/ that the Idea that it's an Evidence that it will be the France/Germany which will be the DRIVERS , the LEADERS of Future Europe is Dangerous.....

And as I'm a naïve mind , I ask myself a last question ...WHY EUROPE ? .....I mean ...I'm not interested in listening the "beautiful/political lovely speaches" which speak about LOVE.....I mean ...Frankly speaking ...do we really want all the other countries of Europe follow the wonderfull example of France just because we "Love" them and we want they become happy thanks to us ?....
Frankly speaking I would answer to you that the french people is an egocentric people and really doesn't care about the happiness of its neighboors...
When he cares, if you observe well ...it is just because "he" is afraid about "his" own security or just because his "counsciousness"....he feel lighter in his counsciousness in wanting peace eveywhere and it avoids to him to pay a psychanalyst!!....
I know my words are hard but I really believe them...

So WHY EUROPE? frankly speaking ....if it's just for ECONOMICAL ASPECT ....aren't we hidding a Pure CAPITALISM MIND under wonderful words as PACIFISM, FREEDOM, EQUALITY?...

I Have to think about that so I go to my bed now ...The Night Brings Advice...hihi... :p
Seriously ,there were just some questions which were mine and that I wanted to share with you may be to see more light after.. :)

spyretto
01-06-2005, 22:28
The Netherlands also said no to Europe. The EU is dead. I guess it's only fair that it would be two founding members that would destroy what they started 50 years ago.


Always exaggerating...What you say is wishful thinking and wishful thinking only... the EU is now stronger than ever. The EU is primarily an economic union. The economic incentives that bond the nations together are now stronger than ever. That was the reason for the existence of the EU in the first place, with a consitution, with an ammended constitution or without a constitution at all.
Anyway, people have spoken and they don't want the constitution. When the mountain can't go to Mohammed, Mohammed can go to the mountain.

haku
02-06-2005, 01:41
it would be possible to build a new constitution, I hope a better constitution.There won't be a new constitution, and this one will end up in the trash. The UK is now the clear leader of the EU and they are going to reshape it to their liking, they are going to turn the EU into an ultraliberal free market zone and destroy any political or social aspects that France and Germany were trying to build, it's a great victory for the UK (and the US behind them).
The trouble is, i've never been interested in an economic union unless it's part of a political one, and now French people have decided that there will be no political union and want to go back to a closed nation state, ok, so be it, Jean-Marie Le Pen's point of view has won, but i won't be a part of that.

the future Europe wouldn't be a Europe with 25 countries...25 members ?We were supposed to reach about 35 members ultimately, it won't happen now.

WHYBecause France and Germany are the two largest founding members and have always been the ones that were pushing forward for more European integration. The EU constitution was a French-German creation and we managed to convinced the other members that it would be a good thing for the EU to have a constitution. France even managed to get rid of all religious references in the text even though almost all other members wanted it, it was a great victory for France, the EU constitution was actually largely inspired by the French constitution, well, it was a great victory until we shoot ourselves in the head last sunday. No wonder the British are laughing their ass off all over the kingdom, it's always funny to see the French destroy their own creation.

WHY EUROPE ?The original goal was to prevent war between members to avoid a new continental devastation, and then to create a new political superpower that would be able to face the US, China, or India in global strategy. We are 455 million people in the EU currently, and our opinion is worth NOTHING on an international level because we are not politically unified. Of course with the French and Dutch votes, both goals are now failures.


Anyway, i voted yes, you voted no, my point of view lost, your point of view won, there's not much to add. And i'm taking a break as i'm feeling too depressed about all this and need to retreat.

spyretto
02-06-2005, 02:45
Haha, actually the idea is that even if the people say no to the constitution, they really have no choice. I'm sure Chirac and his pro EU buddies will find their own way of pushing things towards some form of constitution after all, even if it takes longer.
That's what the chaps were saying in the news here.
So all is not lost for your Utopian dream to be realised haku. Although I doubt people would be ok with the idea of a cabinet in Brussels running their own country, they might succumb to it sooner or later. What's the difference anyway.
Even Blair is pro-Euro.

So don't be that pessimistic ;)

forre
02-06-2005, 04:56
I agree with spy on economic ties. Nothing will happen to EU. You may continue sleeping well, haku. :)

2 countries said "no" and 9 countries said "yes". The future of the constitution will be decided during the top EU meeting in two weeks.

nath
02-06-2005, 05:39
The trouble is, i've never been interested in an economic union unless it's part of a political one, and now French people have decided that there will be no political union and want to go back to a closed nation state, ok, so be it, Jean-Marie Le Pen's point of view has won, but i won't be a part of that..
It's a little "easy" Haku..... ;) I'm not often really angry but I could become here...
If you see me , having a "nationalist-Extrem Right"vision about my country ....let me tell you that your vision of Europe is a Very Nationalist Vision: a "Big France"...


The original goal was to prevent war between members to avoid a new continental devastation, and then to create a new political superpower that would be able to face the US, China, or India in global strategy. We are 455 million people in the EU currently, and our opinion is worth NOTHING on an international level because we are not politically unified. Of course with the French and Dutch votes, both goals are now failures.
.
a new political superpower that would be able to face the US, China, or India in global strategy ....may be a typo, here, Haku...I think you've forgotten a word: "a new political and economical superpower that would be able to face the US, China, or India in global strategy.."...if you neglect this aspect , I'm not sure your vision about the furture Europe is complete...

About war...I remember you we have/had political "alliances"....USA was one of them....At the beginning of the Irak Conflict , Jacques Chirac considering him already as the "President of Europe"...the "Empereur of Europe", and becoming at this vision a perfect "Megalomane", has publicly HUMILIATED the UsA which was our allies....
I consider that as a VERY IMPORTANT FAULT!...I mean I absolutely agree that France disagrees with the engagement in Iraq war and expresses its desapprobation to the States....but in all times , in the Political World , we always use Diplomatic Words ...even when we speak to the worse terrorists or dictators!!!!....




the EU constitution was actually largely inspired by the French constitution

...yes but WHICH ONE?...this is one of my main problem about this constitution....We are under the 5th Republic...in the present days...this constitution is inspired from the 4th Republic !!!!...so I don't see something which goes ahead but goes back...

I'm not against Europe....I've voted YES to Europe in the previous referendum.
But I don't think this constitution is a good text, that's all.

And my other problem is that I'm a little afraid that "with the precipitation to become the Most Powerfull" and with our arrogance and pretention...we transform a good idea in a Babel Tower!

Haku...You want a Unified Europe....Have you noticed how much you hate UK, yourself? ;)

spyretto
02-06-2005, 06:21
I agree with spy on economic ties. Nothing will happen to EU. You may continue sleeping well, haku. :)

2 countries said "no" and 9 countries said "yes". The future of the constitution will be decided during the top EU meeting in two weeks.

Greece didn't even have a referendum. Ya, the parliament voted for yes. I have a serious doubt the people would say yes, though. So much about democracy.

forre
02-06-2005, 06:35
Greece didn't even have a referendum. Ya, the parliament voted for yes. I have a serious doubt the people would say yes, though. So much about democracy.
Sweden is going to do the same.

luxxi
02-06-2005, 08:55
We said no… I can't believe it… I feel so utterly ashamed.

Goes to prove that if you want to do soemthing you have to ignore will of the people. Screw democracy, let political elites decide instead of the people. People sometimes vote in a way government doesn't want them to. Can't have that. :rolleyes:


The EU is dead because French and Dutch people, two founding members, have become anti-European. Extreme nationalism is back like in the 1930s, people want their countries to leave the EU and go back to nation states with closed borders, like before WWII. People have forgotten the devastations of WWII and why the EU was created in the first place.

Do you know why Dutch voten nee? Several reasons.
1. They were afraid EU will force them to change their laws (soft drugs, euthanasia, gay marriages....). I thought that you woudl understand that.
2. Because they had euro crammed down their throats and weren't asked about it. Not to mention gulden was undervaluated re german mark. This tends to p/o people.

As I siad above, can't let people decide what they want. That's why politicians are for. :rolleyes:

:newyear:

freddie
02-06-2005, 20:21
Haku, the french "non" doesn't seem like extreme nationalism of the 30s, to me. They said no to the CONSTITUTION. It just means we'll all follow the rules of the Nice Contract for a bit longer. It's not like the two things differ all that much. The constitution is just a normal evolution in the path of Rome-Mastricht-Amsterdam-Nice agreements. It'll be accepted sooner or later. Probably in a revised form, but nevertheless. I think the french people acted negatively towards the constitution simply cause they're fed up with it's elitist goverment, who couldn't present the pros of a more unified Europe to them properly.

Luxxi: Aristotel (might have been Plato as well) said democracy is chaos. I'd tend to agree judging from recent reports that Dutch & French people on average didn't know anything about the content of the constitution. They didn't even know what they were saying no to. It's like turning down a blind date, to get back at one's tyranic father (goverment). :p

spyretto
02-06-2005, 20:53
Actually, democracy was never about the will of the people. It was just another system next to oligargy and tyranny. It was only perceived as such by the modern societies which foresaw in it the most stable system for the perpetuation of a certain status quo with the least degree of direct censorship - and therefore was pushed along those lines. To have true representation of the will of the people is a utopia.
I'm really not sure what the benefits of the EU have been for its citizens. Yeah, I guess the free passage of goods and services is great, the common currency is handy but life has becoming increasingly more difficult for the simple folk. So I'm not surprised if people are a little disilussioned by the "panacea" that the EU professed itself to be.
Though I am, as I said pro EU - for whatever personal reasons - it doesn't really mean much to me and it doesn't really have a direct effect on my life.
I'm sure many people would thnk the same way.

freddie
02-06-2005, 21:27
The original reason behind the whole "common european" idea was to prevent Germans from getting stronger military again and starting another WW (talk about dejavu :p). So the European Community for Coal and Steel was created and later EURATOM, European economic community etc... so the Germans decided to make damn good cars instead of thinking of best ways to annihilate slavics and jews. :p

But later the whole idea grew bigger. And yeah... I do believe that besides all the idealistic stuff (with common euro heritage, nations working together etc) there are huge economic advantages. Only way we all will ever compete with the States and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

spyretto
02-06-2005, 21:38
what common euro heritage? :D

freddie
03-06-2005, 00:40
what common euro heritage? :D

Living together on the same part of the continent for millenia, common history & fate of the european people, historic connections via old european monarchies, traditional alliances etc...

luxxi
03-06-2005, 12:01
Luxxi: Aristotel (might have been Plato as well) said democracy is chaos. I'd tend to agree judging from recent reports that Dutch & French people on average didn't know anything about the content of the constitution. They didn't even know what they were saying no to. It's like turning down a blind date, to get back at one's tyranic father (goverment). :p

Then perhaps governments should spent a little more time informing their citizens about constitution. :rolleyes: I think 90% or more Europeans don't know what constitution is about.

I guess they expected that elites will decide about constitution and people will vote yes because they were told to vote yes.


Living together on the same part of the continent for millenia, common history & fate of the european people, historic connections via old european monarchies, traditional alliances etc...

Millenia of fighting, several continent wide wars, nations trying to exterminate other nations.... ;)

:newyear:

freddie
03-06-2005, 12:08
I guess they expected that elites will decide about constitution and people will vote yes because they were told to vote yes.

Errrr... welcome to the world of politics. :)



Millenia of fighting, several continent wide wars, nations trying to exterminate other nations.... ;):newyear:

Yes, yes, thus they needed to ensure stability in the region somehow. Nothing better then unify the whole continent and promise the parties to make money in the process. That's what it was. An economic union couples with disguised political intentions at the begining. Nothing wrong with that.

fanoff
17-12-2005, 11:55
Hey!

I've been a member of this forum for more than a month and did believe that most of the members are open to positive ideas,modern and non-politic people,and one day(today)i had a look at the previous threads and when i saw the EU thread i felt lucky to learn what the european members think about our country's long(since 1962) adventure in front of the door of EU.I knew that our participation would be the most topic that has been the most arguments on.I also knew that some members would be against us,but i never thought that those people would say politely that we shouldnt be admitted in the european community.


First,we actually are european country since the period of ottoman empire.at first times there were wars against ottomans,this time these wars are in the tables.

and i cant figure out why some people think we are lack of human rights,political strategies of eu.Once upon a time these ASIAN land couldnt be shared among the most powerful european countries.now since lozan which we got our independence back,these countries still are trying to have opinions to get this country down and to make this country their land.but now this is not invasion,but things and problems like cyprus,kurdish and armenian.you cant say no cos weve known such things about that.we here live with kurds,and i cant figure out why it is being a problem over there,if its a problem,it must be aboutus,cos since 1982,some kurdish illegal organisations are trying to found a kurdish country in the turkish land.we lost many(over 30.000)soldiers over this problem about PKK.and i also cant figure out why western countries refuse to see it.

i wanted to write more but i gotta o to my course,i ll continue my post

haku
17-12-2005, 13:51
we actually are european country since the period of ottoman empire.Turkey is not a European country, Turkey is in Asia and Turkish people are not of Indo-European descent, there's nothing European about Turkey. And the fact that the Ottoman empire tried to conquer Europe and destroy the European civilization certainly does not make Turkey European in any way.

I won't even go into the facts that Turkey is not a democracy, regularly violates human rights, illegally occupies the northern part of Cyprus and won't even recognize the existence of the Cypriot state even though that country is now an EU member state (Which puts us in the ludicrous situation to have a candidate to EU membership that illegally occupies EU territory! This is unacceptable.)
But even if those issues were resolved, it wouldn't change anything to the fact that Turkey is not a European country and should never be allowed to join the EU.

fanoff
17-12-2005, 18:20
I won't even go into the facts that Turkey is not a democracy, regularly violates human rights, illegally occupies the northern part of Cyprus


ouuuuuuuuch!how come you say that we occupie the north cyprus?and how come you say that we dont have democracy?have you ever been to here?i dont think so,if you once came to here you would see how nonsense your thoughts(not opinions)are.i can say without any doubt that turkey is in europe(even though we werent admitted in the EU),has a total democracy since Mustafa Kemal Atatürk(have you heard of that man?i dont think you ever heard of him,if you ever did for just one time and tried to know what he did in turkey,you would see how much youre saluting Turkish people)

but anyway,we(i mean turkish people) arent so willing to enter your christian club but will always try to better than what we are now.If some of us want so,it would not be because of economical profits or something like you told in your previous posts,,it would be becaouse of improving theirselves.and you(i mean people like you)dont want to accept the reality that your fathers did in the 15th century and make up stories like so-called armenian genocide(yea,thats what we call it),which makes us just laugh.

haku
17-12-2005, 19:09
how come you say that we occupie the north cyprus?Because you do, Turkish troups have invaded Cyprus in 1974 and still occupies the Northen part of the island. The invasion and occupation of Northern Cyprus has been declared illegal by the UN and Turkey has been repeatedly asked to withdraw its troups.

how come you say that we dont have democracy?Because Turkey is a long way from being a democracy.

i can say without any doubt that turkey is in europeTurkey is NOT in Europe, Turkey is in Asia, you can try to redefine geography all you want to fit your political agenda, it won't change the fact that Turkey is in Asia Minor.

has a total democracy since Mustafa Kemal AtaturkWow, you really think that Turkey has been a 'total democracy' since the 1920s? That's really sad because it shows that you have no idea of what is required for a country to be considered a democracy. For example the Turkish republic was a single-party regime for decades, single-party means by definition no democracy, and that's only one of the criteria.

make up stories like so-called armenian genocide(yea,thats what we call it),which makes us just laugh.I'm not surprised that the Armenian genocide makes Turkish people laugh. :rolleyes:
The Armenian genocide is not 'made-up', between 1 and 1.5 million Armenians died, all historians (except Turkish ones of course) agree on that and it's certainly not a laughing matter.

Anyway, i see that Turlkish propanganda is still fully working on its own people, from 'we did not invade Cyprus' to 'there has never been an Armenian genocide'… denial, denial, denial.

Argos
17-12-2005, 19:23
The EU is no democracy either. I do not see much ways for European people to fight laws which are somehow spit out in Brussels neglecting the consequences of concerned people.
The EU does nothing to give minorities (smaller states and provinces) equal rights. They have to accept, what Brits, French and German have played out in their private cardgames.
And this all since the foundation of this club, I do not think that Switzerland, Norway and Iceland are on the wrong way not trying to become a member of this crazy institution. Turkey is for years the much better democracy, even if they have a long way to fix their many problems.

fanoff
17-12-2005, 20:27
are you from france?then you might know that all french historians have decided to suggested to go back from a mistake not to accept the lie.

let me tell you the truth,when russia opened a war against turks,armenians sided for them(once upon a time when turks opened a war against the byzantine,they sided for turks)and started to take action against turkish people(i mean raping women,killing the old and children,not so big,huh?)then the german commander told the ottoman government to get armenians a safer place.then the famous law has been realesed(can be discussed if its right or wrong).then armenians were about 1.620.000 people.then they started to leave their places and there were sickness,war and kurds that has been fighting against eachother then in 1918 they came back to their home.there were losts for armenians but not soooooooooo big like they tell now.true historians(not populist ones,like justin mccarthy)say that its about 500-600 thousand.and if you had known the meaning for genocide,which has been defined after the WW2,you would have seen that its not a genocide.but you seem not to know it.Then if youre from france and follow the media,you would see news that 19 french(not turkish) historians have founded a group with the slogan freedom for history and wanted the government to remove the laws about armenian genocide(like you say)


it's certainly not a laughing matter.
i agree with that,but making up fake documents are making them so unfair and laughable

spyretto
18-12-2005, 13:17
ouuuuuuuuch!how come you say that we occupie the north cyprus

You don't? Let me make a guess about that: You "protected" it by invading it to not end up being occupied by Greece, did you? :rolleyes:
And if the Armenian genocide wasn't a genocide what was it then? What term would you use for what happened? Massacre?
Not to say Turkey is not a democracy and stuff but being a bit commonsensical would really do the trick. If you think that the EU is no good then why struggle to be part of it? Turkey has enough conflicting influences and interests on its own to stay independent.

freddie
18-12-2005, 21:14
Armenian genocide is a FACT. Saying it wasn't is just as ridiculous as the current president of Iran claiming that holocaust was a myth. You can't argue factual evidence which is supporded by mass majority of experts everywhere. If anyone can be pronounced as populist it's those who claim that it wasn't a genocide. Claiming this is also supporting a daft notion that the whole world somehow conspired against Turkey, making it look bad in the eyes of the international community. Plausable? I should think not.

That being said I do think that Turkey (in reasonable time) should be granted entrance into the EU. Yeah, there are still some human rights issues and their democracy certainly isn't perfect... but lets not forget that the foundations of the EU stem from economic factors at the core... and I don't see any reasons why Turkey would somehow failed to contribute to the economic growth of the entire continent. It's just economic reality - we NEED Turkey. It's still just business with it all comes down to it.

And since many people stumble upon Turkey's loose democracy - lets not forget that EU's "democracy" is still a very formal entity. It works de iure, but not de facto. We all know that that despite equality of every EU member in reality big countries have informal means of "persuading" smaller, less significant ones to turn their way in certain political issues. No one knows that better then us - new member countries. So I think we should rather fix our own shortcomings before criticizing potential future members, in order not to sound hypocritical.

Rachel
18-12-2005, 21:21
It's just economic reality - we NEED Turkey. It's still just business with it all comes down to it.Well, it's sad if they can look past the human rights issues for business. :bum:

freddie
18-12-2005, 21:43
We all look past human rights issues on a personal level while buying cheap junk Made In China, ignoring the fact an average Chinaman works in a factory exposed to impossible conditions 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for $100 a week, thus enabling us to buy stuff cheap. Money makes the world go around. It's sad, but it's also a reality.

haku
18-12-2005, 22:33
but lets not forget that the foundations of the EU stem from economic factors at the core... and I don't see any reasons why Turkey would somehow failed to contribute to the economic growth of the entire continent. It's just economic reality - we NEED Turkey. It's still just business with it all comes down to it.I totally disagree that the foundation of the EU is purely based on economics, the reasons were as political as they were economic. The European project was created by French and German politicians and the core reason was to find a way to prevent a new war between the 2 countries, there had been 3 devastating wars in 70 years between France and Germany, and they wanted to put an end to this on-going conflict. So yes, the EEC was an economic association, but it also had an important political side with the European parliament and the executive commission which together create and vote laws on a European level. The EEC was (and still is) the only international organization that requires major transfers of sovereignty to a central body. No other economic association in the world has a central parliament, a central executive, a central bank, and a central court of justice, the EU as it stands today is much closer to a confederation than to a simple economic association.

Anyway, my opposition to Turkey is based on the fact that Turkey is not a European country, even if Turkey was the greatest democracy and the richest country in the world, i would still be opposed to its membership. Actually, if the EU was solely a free trade association (like the EFTA), i wouldn't mind Turkey's admission, but the EU is much more than that, i don't want Turkish MPs in the EU parliament pushing conservative laws that we will all have to follow, i don't want my tax money to fund Turkey's development, i find ridiculous and extremely dangerous the idea that the most powerful, most populated EU member (and therefore the member with the most MPs in the EU parliament) would be a *non*-European country, this would be a tremendous threat to European freedom and values.

We all know that that despite equality of every EU member in reality big countries have informal means of "persuading" smaller, less significant ones to turn their way in certain political issues. No one knows that better then us - new member countries.EU members are equal, but that equality is moderated by their respective populations. It is obvious that Germany with 80 million people has more weight than Luxembourg with 500,000 people, you can't expect all EU members to have a value of '1' in the decision making, how would we explain to 80 million people that their votes are equal to the votes of half a million elsewhere? Where would be the democracy in that? Democracy can't be only about a majority of EU members, it has to take into account the populations they represent, otherwise we could end up with a situation where a majority of EU members representing a small minority of the EU population could impose a decision on a large majority of the population even if they were against it.

freddie
18-12-2005, 23:32
To be more precise European Coal and Steel Community and then eventually European Economic Community was largely created with a purpose of making money. Even the name tells a story. Of course there were other positive side-effects of this - mainly preventing Germans from reeking havoc upon the Earth again. But there were other measures taken to literaly castrate german war machinery in that respect - the only reason why this was named as one of the reasons for establishing EU was paranoia of some specific nations that post WW1 scenario might repeat itself. Imo... it couldn't, anyway. But make no mistake. Money always was and always will be the main motivation in this and ANY international community. Regional peace and stability? Sure. But first you need money and economic stability to achieve it.

I don't get what exactly a "European country" means. What is the criteria to achieve that? Cultural? Regional? Historic? Religious? For instance Russian territory extends through a vast part of Asia, yet it's culture is recognizably European. So as far as the territory's concerned Russia's more Asian than European for instance. If it's a religious and cultural criteria you're targeting then for instance Bosnia which is predominately muslim would never be accepted as well. Either way you look at it, it's a very elitist viewpoint.

And regarding Euro equality... I was talking about the EU comission. Every country has (or at least had till now) one member in it... EU commision is the one proposing laws and writing basic outlines for new legislature. Does that stop the wealthiest (yes, the wealthiest, not the biggest... otherwise Poland would have a huge say in these "informal agreements" that are happening in EU policies every day) countries from literaly manipulating other "lesser" nations, when it comes to their own self interests.

spyretto
18-12-2005, 23:47
Anyway, my opposition to Turkey is based on the fact that Turkey is not a European country, even if Turkey was the greatest democracy and the richest country in the world, i would still be opposed to its membership. Actually, if the EU was solely a free trade association (like the EFTA), i wouldn't mind Turkey's admission, but the EU is much more than that, i don't want Turkish MPs in the EU parliament pushing conservative laws that we will all have to follow, i don't want my tax money to fund Turkey's development, i find ridiculous and extremely dangerous the idea that the most powerful, most populated EU member (and therefore the member with the most MPs in the EU parliament) would be a *non*-European country, this would be a tremendous threat to European freedom and values.
.

That is of course only partly true. The bit of Turkey that is in one side of the Bosphorus and which divides Europe with Asia is historically European, and used to be the centre of the Byzantine. Then again, Istanbul is a pretty much cosmopolitan - may I say European metropolis today. The question is about the rest of Turkey; but frankly, you'll have to add the whole Anatolia as part of Europe too, as it borders in the Mediterranean and it has been historically part of Europe where Greek city states prospered ( Ephesus, Pergamos, Smirni etc ).
Turkey has come a long way from being a muslim fundamentalist state; there's clear separation between church and state, and they have their noses towards the West, in both Europe and America, rather than to the East. The question is with regards to the Asian portion of Turkey - and it is a very big part indeed.
Ok, they had their vices before, siding with the Germans and all but that doesn't count for anything. We're talking about modern Turkey here - and the modern Turkey too has European roots. Unless of course you consider as Europe only your middle Western European buddies, the Germans, Austrians, Belgians etc.
Why don't you just admit that you're a bit scared of them overpopulating your country - as it stands you have enough problems with the Arabs and the Africans there and their rather dubious equal rights. Oh wait...those are not Europeans either, are they?

My opinion is that admitting Turkey into the EU might actually be a good thing and might even bring about prosperity and stability in the whole region, also make the EU extremely powerful economically. But there are a LOT of issues to be discussed until that can become a possibility.

haku
19-12-2005, 00:19
I don't get what exactly a "European country" means.Since when has it become so hard to define what a European country is? Iceland is European, Saudi Arabia is not, do i really need to explain why? A European country is a country on the European continent with a Celtic, Italic, Germanic, Slavic, or Greek culture (and yes, i know that Hungary, Estonia, and Finland are Finno-Hugric, but those countries are embedded in Europe and are now clearly part of the European culture).
Turkey belongs to a totally different civilization, it is already difficult enough to make the EU work with countries that share a common cultural background without adding a totally alien country to the mix.

Why don't you just admit that you're a bit scared of them overpopulating your countryI don't really think that many Turks will immigrate to France, but i do have a big problem with Turkey becoming the most powerful and populated EU member, i have a big problem with Turkey having the most seats at the EU parliament and having the most weight at the EU commission. Turkey is an extremely conservative country and with its demographic weight, it would unbalance Europe in favor of extremely conservative views, it's a serious threat to European values and liberal approach to moral issues.
It will certainly be a sweet revenge for Turks to see that after the failure of the Ottoman empire to conquer Europe, they managed to do it through our own institutions.

spyretto
19-12-2005, 00:47
I don't really think that many Turks will immigrate to France, but i do have a big problem with Turkey becoming the most powerful and populated EU member, i have a big problem with Turkey having the most seats at the EU parliament and having the most weight at the EU commission. Turkey is an extremely conservative country and with its demographic weight, it would unbalance Europe in favor of extremely conservative views, it's a serious threat to European values and liberal approach to moral issues.
It will certainly be a sweet revenge for Turks to see that after the failure of the Ottoman empire to conquer Europe, they managed to do it through our own institutions.

You make it sound overdramatic. How exactly will they unbalance a European Union of over 25+ member states? let alone when the EU's parliament can hardly bear any significant weight onto how each member run its business fundamentally. All they can do I suppose would be to veto some decisions - well the Brits are doing that all the time and it didn't really crumble the unity of the EU did it. And I doubt very much that Turkey would like to do that anyway, being a developing country; so they'd put their economic development above such matters. Moral issues shouldn't even come into question at all, as those will have to be clearly defined before Turkey joins the EU in the first place. Can you tell me a moral issue that the EU has tackled, decided upon and imposed over its states lately? It's all theoretical and inasfar as the sovereignty that each state has handed over is a far cry from touching the fabrics of the mechanisms by which each member state operates, there's not even an issue about that. On the contrary, Turkey will have to align its own laws to be in par with the European ones, which means they're going to improve themselves considerably.
As about Europe being strictly defined by those races that you mention, well, I'm sorry, these are clearly NOT all the races that occupy the land known as Europe. It's also irrelevant whether the Turks belong to the European races; as long as they occupy a part of what is considered the European continent they're European. By the same analogy, we should just deport all those European citizens who do not comply with your definition of European races. How about the EU citizens who are Indians, Arabs or Chinese, what about those?

freddie
19-12-2005, 13:22
Exactly. Amber that definition you made of a Euro country - that's YOUR definition. We don't have to be limited by political, religious, territorial or any other kind of boundaries. And it's common sense as well that Turkey IS historicaly inevitably connected to European past. It's not like we're accepting Syria or Lebanon. What if Israel would want to join once as an European enclave? It would make sense since the country was founded on jewish immigrants as a direct result of holocaust. What would we say to them in that case?? They're not European enough? Semitic nations have no place inside the EU? That'd be boderline nazi. But it would have to be said, since same standards would apply to Turkey.
And regarding Turkey becoming the most influecial member: first of all - like I sad, the most influencial country is the one that's the wealthiest. If population would make a crucial difference in the realms of EU politics then Poland with the population of 60 million would be 10 times more influencial than Slovenia with 2 million. And it's not. Yeah Turkey will have a lot of seats in the parliament, but since when was that crucial? EU parliament has extremely limited powers, while the comission has a rotary system anyway so no fear the "evil empire" will take over the legislation. :p

haku
19-12-2005, 15:34
How exactly will they unbalance a European Union of over 25+ member states?The EU will have about 500 million people and Turkey about 100 million at the time of Turkey's proposed membership, that's a significant addition! You don't add 100 million to a group of 500 million without some major disturbance in the European balance of powers, especially when those 100 million belong to a single state.

the EU's parliament can hardly bear any significant weight onto how each member run its business fundamentally.The EU parliament will have much more power at the time of Turkey's proposed membership, and with 100 million people Turkey would have even more seats than Germany, becoming the major power in the assembly.

Can you tell me a moral issue that the EU has tackled, decided upon and imposed over its states lately?The EU hasn't had to impose anything in that area lately to its members simply because EU members, even the former communist ones, were already advanced enough to respect human rights as we see it in Europe. But Turkey is not at all in phase with European values, death penalty is still in effect whereas death penalty is forbidden by the EU for example, and not so long ago, Turkish MPs proposed a law that would allow to sentence adultery women to jail, something totally unthinkable in any EU member, the fact that the Turkish parliament can still be working on such backward laws that clearly belong to the Middle-Ages tells volume on the level of advancement of the Turkish society.

It's not like we're accepting Syria or Lebanon.And what's to stop Syria or Lebanon to apply once we've accepted Turkey? Turkey is just as non-European as Syria and Lebanon, accepting Turkey is opening a pandora's box that will cause the destruction of the EU itself, European populations won't accept to see the EU expanding to Asia and North Africa, they already have a hard time with the Eastern expansion, and if European politicians think that they will be able to 'sell' to their populations an expansion of the EU outside Europe, they are totally blind and out of touch with what European people are thinking.
The EU is NOT an empire, it can't expand indefinitely further and further, some final borders have to be set, and the sooner the better. Surveys in France and the Netherlands after the negative votes to the EU constitution have showed that people were concerned by the fact that the EU was expanding uncontrollably and nobody could tell them clearly *where* exactly the expansion would stop. This is a cause of great worries and people now want to know exactly where the EU will stop, they want clear external borders, it is now urgent for the EU to stop its expansion and consolidate the EU as it is now, a final list of future potential members can be defined but that is all, the time for growth is now over, it is time to set final Eastern and Southern borders so people will have a clear idea of the final shape of the EU.

What if Israel would want to join once as an European enclave?Israel and Morocco have actually approached the EU (in the 70s-80s if i remember correctly) to see if an eventual EU membership would be possible, they have both been turned down because they are not in Europe and the decision is definitive.

Semitic nations have no place inside the EU?No they don't, it's obvious that Arab countries do not qualify to join the EU, all Arab countries are in North Africa and the Middle East, clearly outside Europe. Like i said above, Morocco applied for EU membership a few decades ago and it was immediately refused, and this is a permanent decision, the EU has made it clear at the time to its Southern neighbors that the EU would not expand outside the European continent, and Israel was also turned down for the same geographical reasons (not to mention that all those countries have some serious human rights issues, but since they do not meet the geographical requirements, there is no need to go into that anyway).

freddie
19-12-2005, 20:02
There's no reason for Israel as a direct result of European history not to be - eventually - accepted into EU - though I'd imagine they wouldn't even want to join these days, seeing as though most European countries had serious reservations on the US "war on terror", which Israel (of course) supported.
Anyway... if you go by that totally ortodox and elitist mindset on who can be qualified as European and who can't then countries like Ukraine or Belarus? And how about Russia? Historically it's just as European as France is.
And no matter what authority the parliament gets it'll never ever get full legislative power like national parliaments have. That's not what it was designed for. So imo there's no real threat of a Turkish political dominance.

haku
19-12-2005, 22:00
if you go by that totally ortodox and elitist mindset on who can be qualified as European and who can't then countries like Ukraine or Belarus? And how about Russia? Historically it's just as European as France is.Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine are undeniably European, however those 3 countries are part of another economic organization, the CIS, it is in my opinion best for those countries to continue their development within the CIS which is much more fitted to their needs and level of development. So i am opposed to any of those countries joining the EU.
This is a moo point for Russia anyway, we all know that Russia will never ask to join the EU, Russia still sees itself as a superpower and wants to be at the center of its own regional organization (the CIS) and not simply an additional member to another regional organization (the EU). Furthermore, let's not forget that the oldest EU members have to fund the development of new members which is quite a strain on their finances, and Russia is way too big for the EU, the amount of money required to fund Russia would be unbearable for the EU. So i think it is best for the CIS and the EU to develop separately.
That being said, i think it will be possible at some point to create some kind of North hemisphere trade agreement between CIS, EU, and NAFTA, especially with the Arctic ocean becoming open to new trade routes because of the global warming.

For me, in addition to Bulgaria and Romania that are already scheduled to become EU member states, only the remaining former Yugoslav countries and Albania should be allowed to join the EU. After that, admissions should be permanently closed, the EU will have in my opinion reached its maximum size, that would be 32 member states (possibly up to 35 since Iceland, Norway and Switzerland all have bilateral agreements with the EU that allow them to become members at any time) with a total population of about 0.5 billion. That's enough to have a flourishing internal market and a significant weight on an international level.
And i don't see that as an elitist position, the EU is not the UN, it was never meant to include the whole world, it's a regional union. I just want the EU to only include countries that have enough in common to actually make it work, and i don't want the EU to become too big as it would only end up collapsing under its own weight.

freddie
20-12-2005, 02:35
Enough in common? That's just the reason why any kind of European integration was pondered (even before WW2) in the first place: Euro countries, and even the core EU members never had enough in common to coexist in peace without centuries of bloody wars. If anything Europe was the direct consequence of these differences.
I know Russia itself would never venture into a political union with EU - I only gave it as an exampe too expose how bannal that stance on "closing the borders and throwing away the key" is. Though I wouldn't put it past Ukraine to apply for the membership in a few years - especially after the orange revolution. CIS can coexist paralel to the EU.
And while we're on the subject of ex Yugoslav republics - Turkish invasion left a huge influence on Serbia and especially Bosnia - it literaly shaped the two countries and gave them a typical "eastern" mentality. It even gave Bosnia it's official religion. So by your criteria it should be far to estranged by now since such a foreign culture played an integral part in the development of the nation (even their genotype shows turkish influence).

simon
21-12-2005, 22:48
Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine are undeniably European, however those 3 countries are part of another economic organization, the CIS, it is in my opinion best for those countries to continue their development within the CIS which is much more fitted to their needs and level of development. So i am opposed to any of those countries joining the EU.
What about the Orange Revolution? Ukraine doesn't want to be in the CIS, it wants to be in the EU.

This is a moo point for Russia anyway, we all know that Russia will never ask to join the EU, Russia still sees itself as a superpower and wants to be at the center of its own regional organization (the CIS) and not simply an additional member to another regional organization (the EU). Furthermore, let's not forget that the oldest EU members have to fund the development of new members which is quite a strain on their finances, and Russia is way too big for the EU, the amount of money required to fund Russia would be unbearable for the EU. So i think it is best for the CIS and the EU to develop separately.
Russia in the EU wouldn't work in the foreseeable future. But you haven't given any real reason why Ukraine and a post-revolutionary democratic Belarus shouldn't join the EU.

For me, in addition to Bulgaria and Romania that are already scheduled to become EU member states, only the remaining former Yugoslav countries and Albania should be allowed to join the EU. After that, admissions should be permanently closed, the EU will have in my opinion reached its maximum size, that would be 32 member states (possibly up to 35 since Iceland, Norway and Switzerland all have bilateral agreements with the EU that allow them to become members at any time) with a total population of about 0.5 billion. That's enough to have a flourishing internal market and a significant weight on an international level.
And i don't see that as an elitist position, the EU is not the UN, it was never meant to include the whole world, it's a regional union. I just want the EU to only include countries that have enough in common to actually make it work, and i don't want the EU to become too big as it would only end up collapsing under its own weight.
But it seems completely arbitrary to draw the line at the boundaries of the Hitler-Stalin pact. Moldova, which you would exclude, is a small corner of Romania that was under Russian occupation 1806-1918 and 1944-1991. Do you really think the EU would collapse under its own weight it was admitted too? And why do you regard Ukraine as a less promising EU member than Albania? It's not that big - it's not much bigger in population than Poland, and smaller than the combined eight ex-communist states that joined last year. I can't help feeling it's just because Ukraine has a population of over 50 million and you can't stand the idea of another 'big' country to join France, Germany, Britain and Italy. You don't want France's status diluted.

YLuelniaa
22-12-2005, 03:30
Belarus would never join the EU at this point in time given that fact that Lukachenko (dictator) is in power an is isolating his country from EU countries.

haku
22-12-2005, 06:52
What about the Orange Revolution? Ukraine doesn't want to be in the CIS, it wants to be in the EU.

Russia in the EU wouldn't work in the foreseeable future. But you haven't given any real reason why Ukraine and a post-revolutionary democratic Belarus shouldn't join the EU.My reasons are political and economic. Belarus and Ukraine remain strongly tied to Russia, those 3 countries are still very much interdependent (80 years of soviet economy will do that to you) and they are actually the 3 founding members of the CIS, which tells a lot (the 3 Baltic states refused to be part of the CIS for example, a clear political sign). Russia still considers that Belarus and Ukraine are vital to its national interests and sees the joining of any of them to the EU as a threat, at this stage, it would be unwise to corner Russia and make it feel threatened.
I also think that Ukraine would be too much of a burden for the EU. The first former communist country to join the EU was East Germany when it reunited with West Germany, 15 years later Germany still hasn't recovered from the cost of the reunification, and East Germany had less then 20 million people! The EU just admitted 8 new former communist countries, and 2 more in 2 years, from the East German experience, we can tell that it's going to take decades for the EU to assimilate those new members and bring them up to EU standards, adding to that a former soviet republic like Ukraine with a large population and a totally crippled economic infrastructure would be unbearable.

Moldova, which you would exclude, is a small corner of Romania that was under Russian occupationMoldova is a special case, if it were to reunite with Romania, like East Germany with West Germany, that would be acceptable, but i am opposed to Moldova joining as a full member.

And why do you regard Ukraine as a less promising EU member than Albania?Well, i don't see Albania joining anytime soon anyway, the country is a mess, but once Romania and Bulgaria will have joined, the remaining western part of the Balkans will be totally surrounded by EU territory, and it will be only natural for those countries to join eventually.

you can't stand the idea of another 'big' country to join France, Germany, Britain and Italy. You don't want France's status diluted.That's a legitimate concern and i'm not going to apologize for it, France, Germany and Italy along with the Benelux are founding members, they have dedicated a lot of resources for 50 years to the development of the EEC and then the EU, and of course they have a particular vision for the future of the EU.
I've already said that i am willing to go very far in terms of transfers of sovereignty, i support the idea of France transferring its permanent seat at the UN Security Council to the EU, i also support the idea of France transferring its nuclear capabilities to a future EU defense ministry so the EU as a whole would become a nuclear power. But of course, i'm not willing to do that with just *any* members within the EU.

Anyway, my main point is that the recent eastern expansion of the EU has caused great concerns among western populations, in another post i used the expression "uncontrollable expansion", this is something that i've heard a lot for the last couple of years. Until then, the EU had only grown by small steps, 1 to 3 countries at a time, no more, and with the eastern block, people had a good idea of the maximum shape the EU could take. But with the collapse of communist regimes, everything has changed, and it's not 3, but 10 more countries that have joined during the last enlargement, and we already know that 2 more will follow shortly, and we are already talking of Turkey, Ukraine, even Russia sometimes. From 15 member states, we went to 25 in one step, and people have been told that it could reach 35 or even 40 in the near future! The populations of the oldest members have become extremely worried, they no longer know how many countries will join, they don't know how far the EU is going to expand, and most importantly, they don't know where it's going to stop. This is something i've heard a lot as well, people now want to know exactly what countries the EU will include in its final form, they want to know where will be the final external borders, they want to hear that the current expansion is a final phase and that once it's completed the EU won't get any new members ever.
To me, those concerns that didn't exist before mean that the EU has somehow reached its critical mass, the maximum size that populations are willing to accept, anything beyond that won't be accepted by people and it will only cause rejection and instability within the EU itself. In France the topic of the "uncontrollable expansion" has become so acute, that under public pressure, the government had to go as far as to add a new article to the French constitution, an article that states that from now on, any new candidate to EU membership will have to be approved by referendum, and so if the referendum is negative, France will veto the candidacy of that particular country thus blocking its admission since unanimity is required for a new candidate to be approved.
Those concerns have to be taken into account, enlargement won't be possible if the populations of the oldest members don't support it.

simon
23-12-2005, 14:27
My reasons are political and economic. Belarus and Ukraine remain strongly tied to Russia, those 3 countries are still very much interdependent (80 years of soviet economy will do that to you) and they are actually the 3 founding members of the CIS, which tells a lot (the 3 Baltic states refused to be part of the CIS for example, a clear political sign).
That was 1991, Ukraine has now come over to the pro-western camp. The argument about economic interdependence could have been (and was) made about the Baltic states 15 years ago. I'm not talking about Ukraine joining now, an obviously impractical notion, I'm talking about in 15 years time. You're saying that the EU must annouce that Ukraine can never join.

Russia still considers that Belarus and Ukraine are vital to its national interests and sees the joining of any of them to the EU as a threat, at this stage, it would be unwise to corner Russia and make it feel threatened.
Russia said that about the expansion of Nato. Russia was unhappy about the Orange Revolution, but we were right to back it. We shouldn't kowtow to Russia's desire to dominate its neighbours.

I also think that Ukraine would be too much of a burden for the EU. The first former communist country to join the EU was East Germany when it reunited with West Germany, 15 years later Germany still hasn't recovered from the cost of the reunification, and East Germany had less then 20 million people! The EU just admitted 8 new former communist countries, and 2 more in 2 years, from the East German experience, we can tell that it's going to take decades for the EU to assimilate those new members and bring them up to EU standards, adding to that a former soviet republic like Ukraine with a large population and a totally crippled economic infrastructure would be unbearable.
The expansion of the EU isn't like the reunification of Germany. Those kind of huge financial transfers to the new states aren't being made. I agree that the EU is going to have a problem absorbing the new members and Romania and Bulgaria when they join in 2007/8. But once they have been absorbed, the EU could then absorb Ukraine. Economically, it's at a similar level to Romania and Bulgaria.

Moldova is a special case, if it were to reunite with Romania, like East Germany with West Germany, that would be acceptable, but i am opposed to Moldova joining as a full member.
I'm sure you know that Moldova can't reunite with Romania because there is a large Russian minority, like in Estonia and Latvia. I don't see why its admission as a member in its own right is a problem.

Well, i don't see Albania joining anytime soon anyway, the country is a mess, but once Romania and Bulgaria will have joined, the remaining western part of the Balkans will be totally surrounded by EU territory, and it will be only natural for those countries to join eventually.
But once we've admitted Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania, it's going to be rather unfair to say to Ukraine, "those countries can join, but you can't join because France doesn't want any more big member states, only little ones it can push around more easily."

That's a legitimate concern and i'm not going to apologize for it, France, Germany and Italy along with the Benelux are founding members, they have dedicated a lot of resources for 50 years to the development of the EEC and then the EU, and of course they have a particular vision for the future of the EU.
This charming French attitude that all EU member states are equal, but one or two are more equal than the others, is what really pisses off everyone else. You know, Chirac's remark about how the new members states had "missed a good opportunity to stay quiet". The idea that if Britain or the Netherlands rejected the constitution they could be ignored or expelled from the EU (as you suggested), but if France rejected it then of course the constitution was dead. I don't think it's acceptable for France to reject Ukraine as an EU member because they don't want another country the same size as them joining. Although I'm pleased that you've been honest enough to admit it.

Anyway, my main point is that the recent eastern expansion of the EU has caused great concerns among western populations, in another post i used the expression "uncontrollable expansion", this is something that i've heard a lot for the last couple of years. Until then, the EU had only grown by small steps, 1 to 3 countries at a time, no more, and with the eastern block, people had a good idea of the maximum shape the EU could take. But with the collapse of communist regimes, everything has changed, and it's not 3, but 10 more countries that have joined during the last enlargement, and we already know that 2 more will follow shortly, and we are already talking of Turkey, Ukraine, even Russia sometimes. From 15 member states, we went to 25 in one step, and people have been told that it could reach 35 or even 40 in the near future! The populations of the oldest members have become extremely worried, they no longer know how many countries will join, they don't know how far the EU is going to expand, and most importantly, they don't know where it's going to stop. This is something i've heard a lot as well, people now want to know exactly what countries the EU will include in its final form, they want to know where will be the final external borders, they want to hear that the current expansion is a final phase and that once it's completed the EU won't get any new members ever.
It's already clear that the EU isn't going to admit any country that doesn't have European territory. I do think that accepting Turkey (97% in Asia) is stretching that idea. Beyond the ones you would admit, I don't see a real problem with admitting Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova (when the latter two have become democracies too). I wouldn't want Russia until it's a real democracy, but I still think Russia might change one day, become a real democracy, accept that it's no longer a superpower and start acting like a normal European country. Putting Ukraine and Belarus on the membership track would be a good way to get Russia to wake up and smell the coffee. That's a long way off. France would hate the idea of Russia becoming the biggest member state, but the strategic advantages of Russian membership would be huge. I'd also admit Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan too. That's it - I'm not going to consider Kazakhstan, it certainly isn't a European country.

To me, those concerns that didn't exist before mean that the EU has somehow reached its critical mass, the maximum size that populations are willing to accept, anything beyond that won't be accepted by people and it will only cause rejection and instability within the EU itself. In France the topic of the "uncontrollable expansion" has become so acute, that under public pressure, the government had to go as far as to add a new article to the French constitution, an article that states that from now on, any new candidate to EU membership will have to be approved by referendum, and so if the referendum is negative, France will veto the candidacy of that particular country thus blocking its admission since unanimity is required for a new candidate to be approved.
Those concerns have to be taken into account, enlargement won't be possible if the populations of the oldest members don't support it.
There's a lot of concern about Turkish membership in several member states, but it's only in France that the 'Polish plumber' has become a bogey figure. And that's what it's about, not some grand geopolitical strategic vision that French people have. They don't want poorer countries in the EU. The referendum is going to give the French elite a mechanism to get the French public to do their dirty work for them and say 'Non!' to any further expansion. The important thing for the French elite is try to revive the federalist vision. If it means that the Balkans eventually slips back into war, tough. They want to show the other countries it's their way (a narrow but deep federalist union) or no way. Unfortunately for the French elite, the constitution referendum shows that the French public doesn't want either a wider or a deeper union. The EU is going to be stalled - by the French.

KillaQueen
23-12-2005, 15:13
Not meaning to disturb your exciting politics discussion, boys ;), but just to mention something.
Moldova is a special case, if it were to reunite with Romania, like East Germany with West Germany, that would be acceptable, but i am opposed to Moldova joining as a full member.
moldova won't be reunited with romania any time soon, because well, that country will only pull us down with its economical and political status. i mean we're already bad enough by ourselves. imagine how we'd be dragging along the poorest country in europe :bum: then again, there is the cultural and historical issue. most romanians hate moldovans (we've got an area here called moldova as well, the romanian moldova, to the left of the border with moldova the country; together they used to form the whole moldovan territory which would often change borders - it was either part of romania in its wholeness or part of ukraine - and was definitely split from romania in ww2). there is this popular/traditional belief that moldovans are the laziest and stupidest of all romanians. we even use their names in bad words and mock their russian accent. and plus, we're too busy with our own crap to take moldova under our wing. all we've done is try to restore our language in the area, EVEN THOUGH a good majority of moldovans REFUSE to re-learn it, if you will. plus, ever since '89, romanians don't look eastwards, but suck up to the west, so there you have it. truth be told, under these conditions, i doubt moldova will EVER re-unite with romania.
I'm sure you know that Moldova can't reunite with Romania because there is a large Russian minority, like in Estonia and Latvia. I don't see why its admission as a member in its own right is a problem.
i'd have to say i agree with Amber here, Simon. i guess you can only compare estonia and latvia to moldova when it only comes to the nearly 50 year period of communist regime, but not after. i mean moldova has 'developed' VERY differently than estonia and latvia. russia has a higher influence on that country than in the baltic states, and the romanians there are only so in ethnicity and/or name. and actually the majority of names are russian there, and there's only a few that take pride in the fact that they are in fact romanians, unlike estonians, for example, where i've seen great patriotism. i mean those people are proud to be who they are, related to finns and all, and detest russians still clinging onto the remains of their power. and lets not forget they went through more or less the same ordeal the moldovans went through during russian domination. yet look at how estonians came out of it, and look at how moldovans ended up. i mean antithesis is the word here. on absolutely all levels. that on the one hand. on the other hand, like i said, moldova is the poorest country in europe. the EU raise their eyebrows at the economical status of romania and bulgaria even, so i dont see why they should even consider moldova as a potential member. then there is the fact that moldova has other internal issues, what with the restless transnistrian area.

simon
23-12-2005, 22:50
moldova won't be reunited with romania any time soon, because well, that country will only pull us down with its economical and political status. i mean we're already bad enough by ourselves. imagine how we'd be dragging along the poorest country in europe :bum:
In 1989, Romania was the second poorest country in Europe (after Albania) and Moldova was significantly better off. Moldova experienced a peculiarly terrible economic collapse after the dissolution of the USSR. A main reason for that is that there was a civil war in 1992-3 when Russia armed and financed the separatist Republic of Transnistria. Russian 'peacekeepers' intervened, shelling the Molodovan side, and set them selves up protecting the Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country. Moldova found itself largely separated from its former markets to the east by Transnistria, effectively an economic blockade by Russia, while its agricultural produce was not of sufficiently high quality to sell to markets to the west. Moldova experienced the worst economic collapse of any post-communist country except Bosnia.

then again, there is the cultural and historical issue. most romanians hate moldovans (we've got an area here called moldova as well, the romanian moldova, to the left of the border with moldova the country; together they used to form the whole moldovan territory which would often change borders - it was either part of romania in its wholeness or part of ukraine - and was definitely split from romania in ww2). there is this popular/traditional belief that moldovans are the laziest and stupidest of all romanians. we even use their names in bad words and mock their russian accent. and plus, we're too busy with our own crap to take moldova under our wing.
Romanian prejudice against Moldovans and indeed people from Romanian Moldavia is just that - a stupid prejudice. Moldavia is the least advanced of the three main Romanian provinces, but that's not because Moldavians are stupider than other Romanians, it's because of Moldavia's geography, largely cut off by the Carpathians. Romania sold out Moldova in a territorial deal with Ukraine in 1995. Stalin had taken Moldova's outlet to the sea and given it to Ukraine, swapping it for Transnistria. Romania, the former sovereign power which had given the USSR Moldova under duress, in 1995 signed away Moldova's territorial claims against Ukraine. This was done in a failed Romanian attempt to get into Nato by giving up its territorial claims to the east. Romania didn't care that it was throwing away one of Moldova's bargaining chips. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

all we've done is try to restore our language in the area, EVEN THOUGH a good majority of moldovans REFUSE to re-learn it, if you will.
That's completely incorrect. About 65% of Moldovans speak Romanian as their first language.

plus, ever since '89, romanians don't look eastwards, but suck up to the west, so there you have it. truth be told, under these conditions, i doubt moldova will EVER re-unite with romania.
Romania has indeed sucked up to the west and sold Moldova down the river.

i'd have to say i agree with Amber here, Simon. i guess you can only compare estonia and latvia to moldova when it only comes to the nearly 50 year period of communist regime, but not after. i mean moldova has 'developed' VERY differently than estonia and latvia. russia has a higher influence on that country than in the baltic states, and the romanians there are only so in ethnicity and/or name. and actually the majority of names are russian there,
Romanian names were forcibly Russified in Soviet times.

and there's only a few that take pride in the fact that they are in fact romanians, unlike estonians, for example, where i've seen great patriotism. i mean those people are proud to be who they are, related to finns and all, and detest russians still clinging onto the remains of their power. and lets not forget they went through more or less the same ordeal the moldovans went through during russian domination. yet look at how estonians came out of it, and look at how moldovans ended up. i mean antithesis is the word here.
It's quite true that Moldovans lack the strong sense of identity that Estonians have. Estonia and the other Baltic States were always the most advanced parts of the Russian Empire and the USSR. More advanced nations dominated by less advanced nations always retain a profound sense of national pride because they strongly regard themselves as superior. Moldova was not advanced compared to Russia, it was largely agricultural. People from less advanced nations often find foreign domination much more challenging to their identity. Moldovans' Romanian identity emerged from Soviet repression much weakened. Moldova's identity had survived the first century of occupation by the Russian Empire (1806-1918) largely intact, but the Soviets were more determined and ruthless, and succeeded to a substantial extent, in a way that they didn't in the Baltic States.

on absolutely all levels. that on the one hand. on the other hand, like i said, moldova is the poorest country in europe. the EU raise their eyebrows at the economical status of romania and bulgaria even, so i dont see why they should even consider moldova as a potential member. then there is the fact that moldova has other internal issues, what with the restless transnistrian area.
Moldova is the poorest country in Europe because Russia has occupied part of the country and systematically destroyed its economy. First, Russian occupation of Transnistria needs to be ended. But Moldova also needs help to recover. Free access to western markets and the prospect of eventual EU membership is required.

haku
24-01-2006, 01:54
The referendum is going to give the French elite a mechanism to get the French public to do their dirty work for them and say 'Non!' to any further expansion.It's kind of a deal that politicians had to make with the population.
It is now clear that the EU constitution (unchanged) will be submitted to a new vote in France after the next presidential and parliamentary elections (2007), this time though, it will be submitted to the parliament to ensure its adoption, not to the population. There isn't even a need to find a justification for the change of method, in France it's the president alone who decide if a vote will go through the parliament or a referendum, and each president takes different decision, so the justification will simply be that the new president has taken a different decision from the previous one. And the fact that both the president and the parliament will have been freshly elected will allow them to say that they obviously have the legitimacy to adopt the EU constitution in the name of the people since they've just won the elections!
However, in exchange for this future parliamentary adoption of the EU constitution, politicians had to give something to the population, some kind of control over what worries people a lot: the expansion of the EU. And this is where the new law of having referendums for each new member get into play. With that law, politicians will be able to say to the population: "Yes, the parliament is adopting the EU constitution, which is good for the country, but the people will now have control over the expansion of the EU and will be able to veto any new member they don't approve of".
That's the deal.

Unfortunately for the French elite, the constitution referendum shows that the French public doesn't want either a wider or a deeper union.It's a bit more complicated than that, the left wing of the socialist party, the communist party, and various extreme left parties that caused the 'no' to win the referendum are not anti-EU, and they are certainly not anti-federalist, quite the contrary, what they are is anti-capitalistic.
They rejected the EU constitution because they think it is too liberal, too close of the ultra capitalistic US model, those people indeed want a deeper EU, they support the idea of a highly centralized EU, they want an EU president directly elected by the people, they want a central government, they want centralized public administrations. For example they are opposed to the privatization of electricity companies and to have an open EU market where all electricity companies from all EU members can compete, they see that as the US ultra capitalistic way of doing things and they don't want that for Europe. What they want is to create at the EU level what was done at the national level of many European countries, they want the nationalization of all electricity companies in the EU and their merging in a huge EU public company which would have a monopoly within the EU, same thing for railroads or the post office, they want an EU railroad company and an EU post office.
Basically, they want to keep the same level of quality in social and public services that most European countries currently have, and they don't want those national public services to compete with each other in a big capitalistic EU market, they want those national public services to merge in order to create EU public services.
They want a social Europe, not a capitalistic jungle like in the US or China for that matter.

So even though those people on the left have voted no to the EU constitution, it's only because they see it as capitalistic, they want a socialist constitution, they are indeed in favor of a much more deeply integrated EU with highly centralized administrations. And this is why they are also opposed to a further expansion of the EU, because they consider that the priority is to strengthen the EU with its current members, they see the expansion as a way for big private companies to expand their market and to exploit workers in the poorest new members by paying them 10 times less than what they pay in older members (but still selling their products at the same price which means huge profits for a few and poverty for millions), putting workers in older members out of jobs or blackmailing them into accepting lower salaries.

haku
19-05-2006, 15:42
Slovenia to join Euro zone in January 2007. (http://euobserver.com/19/21617)

Slovenia is going to adopt the Euro next January. Congratulations to Slovene people for being the first former communist country to reach EU economic levels and monetary standards. :)

freddie
19-05-2006, 20:31
Thanks! :D

It's gonna be a bitch to get used to those big-value Euro coins... if you drop a coin worth 1 or 2 Slovene Tolars you aren't really bothered to go back and look for it, or even arch your back and pick it up if it's right in front of you. Now I'm presuming we're gonna see many people on the floor looking for their lost 5 Euro coins (1 Euro= approx. 240 Slovene Tolars). So the Euro will literaly bring us to our knees by default. :p

Estonia was scheduled to adopt the Euro as well, but they pulled out at the last moment. I was kind of surprised since their economic growth is blistering. They could have easily adopted it without any major shake-ups.

coolasfcuk
19-05-2006, 20:34
Bravo Slovenia.. and we cant even get IN yet :lol: wonder how those things happen :gigi:

. Now I'm presuming we're gonna see many people on the floor looking for their lost 5 Euro coins (1 Euro= approx. 240 Slovene Tolars). So the Euro will literaly bring us to our knees by default. \
there are 5 euro coins? I only recall 1 and 2 ... 5 is a bill, no?

freddie
19-05-2006, 20:40
Bravo Slovenia.. and we cant even get IN yet :lol: wonder how those things happen :gigi:

Don't be hurt. It's just business. :p


there are 5 euro coins? I only recall 1 and 2 ... 5 is a bill, no?

Yeah, apparently so. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euro_coins)I could have sworn I saw a 5 Euro one somewhere. Must have been dreaming. :confused: 2 Euro is still huge though. 480 Tolars in a single piece of crafted metal. Yikes. We have a big bill for 500 now.

haku
20-05-2006, 17:36
Estonia was scheduled to adopt the Euro as well, but they pulled out at the last moment.I didn't know Estonia was planning to and pulled out, strange indeed. With their ties to Finland, it can only be a positive step for them.
Oh well, joining the Euro zone is a yearly process, they can refile next year.

I could have sworn I saw a 5 Euro one somewhere. Must have been dreamingMust be, there's never been a 5 euro coin. :p

spyretto
20-05-2006, 18:23
They just postponed it for later i think. There will be more countries joining in 2008 ( correction ), Lithuania, Cyprus among others.
Well, i haven't seen the 5 euro coin either. Maybe soon, though.

dradeel
21-05-2006, 17:13
Heh.. EU. Funny thing this. The Norwegian populations have said no twice, and I have split feelings... I'm thinking no only because I'm afraid of changes and the fact that our economy will possibly be weakened by the membership.

But I'm thinking yes as I'm a big supporter of the European Union and having a big powerful union competable with USA, China, Russia and so on. European countries are small, but together we do posess a great deal of might and influence. Allthough I really would favor a Scandinavian Union I guess EU is a good second choice. Hehehe.

I've tried to read through some of issues that has been brought up in the discussion (I know it's an old one tho), and I agree with haku pretty much over the whole line. However, I hope Switzerland will never join EU and stay out of any european issues as far as possible. I admire Switzerland for its democracy and independance. Hehe. Complicated to explain, but it's just my thought of the dream country really :) I'm not ruling out the fact that I'll move to switzerland sometimes if I get the choice. Hehe.

Hmm... but Norway won't join EU any time soon tho. The Red-green government had to make some agreements to make it possible to rule together, and the little green shitty party got their say in that - no EU-membership. (I dislike the red parties as well tho. Hahaha. Half-socialistic shitty parties.) Anyways, I hope we're able to rebuild a great blue bastion to the election in 2009. They have talked about a voting over a EU-membership sometimes in 2010 or the first following years. I think today that I will vote yes.

Linda16
23-05-2006, 21:38
I didn't know Estonia was planning to and pulled out, strange indeed. With their ties to Finland, it can only be a positive step for them.
Oh well, joining the Euro zone is a yearly process, they can refile next year.

We wanted to join the Euro zone in January 2007.
However, Estonia has decided to postpone its euro zone entry until January 2008. The reason: high inflation.

Citing higher than expected inflation figures, the government of Estonia has decided to put off the country's joining the euro zone by one year, to 1 January 2008. On 26 April, the Central Bank of Estonia, Eesti Pank, released its latest inflationary projection for 2006, which increased the previous figure from 3.2% to 4.4%. The ceiling set by the Stability and Growth Pact is currently at 3%. According to Estonian officials, the criteria for joining the euro zone could be met by the second quarter of 2007, which would enable the country to adopt the common European currency in 2008. The government will adjust its National Changeover Plan accordingly.

According to EU rules, the inflation rate of the new euro zone entrants must be within 1.5% of the average of the three EU countries with the lowest rates. For now, Slovenia appears to be the only country that could join the euro zone in January 2007.

Source: http://www.euractiv.com/en/euro/estonia-reconsiders-euro-adoption-date/article-154767

fanoff
17-06-2006, 09:23
Well, i don't see Albania joining anytime soon anyway, the country is a mess

albania is going to take its place in EU in 2010.Its not a big problem for some but the ones who think we should be an Eu member cant stand that a little country that will always be futrher to follow the eu standarts is joining that community sooner than us.Turkey doesnt even have a date ahead.Greeks and Cypriot greeks have the weapon not to agree the membership.but our prime minister is not that convinced by them.anyway well wait and see whats gonna happen

spyretto
17-06-2006, 11:30
albania is going to take its place in EU in 2010.Its not a big problem for some but the ones who think we should be an Eu member cant stand that a little country that will always be futrher to follow the eu standarts is joining that community sooner than us.Turkey doesnt even have a date ahead.Greeks and Cypriot greeks have the weapon not to agree the membership.but our prime minister is not that convinced by them.anyway well wait and see whats gonna happen


What? 2010?? No f'in way, make that 2020 minimum :p
Greece will endorse the membership of Albania and all other neighbours be 100% about that. Why wouldn't we agree the membership, Just think about the huge issues with illegal or semi illegal immigrants and how the problem will be sorted by magic for the Greek governments. :p Or the business prospects ( Albania are already literally depended upon Greece, so does Macedonia, I mean Yugo republic of freddie ).
As for Turkey, yeah they want them too and you're not even European. Go figure.
Need to keep quiet and stop escalating incidents in the Aegean though ( like the last time )
The Greeco-Turkish relations are heating up again because of it. We should do the same, diffuse the situation. The status-quo is the Aegean is not going to change.
But Greek Cyprus is different. They will have to be forced to agree to Turkey's membership. Unless the island is unified and they get reimbursed for the losses of their properties in North Cyprus - you can't bring the dead back - they're not going to agree.

haku
17-06-2006, 14:03
albania is going to take its place in EU in 2010.Its not a big problem for some but the ones who think we should be an Eu member cant stand that a little country that will always be futrher to follow the eu standarts is joining that community sooner than us.
I highly doubt that Albania will become an EU member by 2010, negociations have just started and it will be a long road for Albania to reach EU standards.

However, Albania and Turkey are not at all in the same situation. Albanian people are ethnically and culturally European, and Albania is clearly on the European continent, so there's no debate about whether the country should even join, it's only a question of *when* it will join.
Turkish people on the other hand are neither ethnically nor culturally European, and most of the country is not even on the European continent, so many European people consider that Turkey has no right to become an EU member and they will do everything they can to block the process and prevent that from happening ever. Expanding the EU to the Middle East is just going one step too far for many European people.

And i really don't see why it's so hard to understand for Turkish people, aren't you taught your own history in school? Aren't you taught that Turkic people originate from Central Asia and invaded Anatolia only 9 centuries ago, and that's for the Asian part of modern Turkey, the small European part (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_of_Constantinople) was invaded by Turkey only 5 centuries ago.
And massacring the Byzantine people to take their land did not make Turkish people European in any way. Turkey should try to create a Community with its other Turkic cousins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkic_languages) in Central Asia, not with us Europeans, you have much more in common with them than with us.

spyretto
17-06-2006, 14:31
Yah we know your stance on Turkey joining the EU, haku, but I don't think it has much to do with the people's origins themselves. There's no European "race" as such, as all Indo-european races came from the East - if I'm not mistaken - and the Ottomans were in direct ahem...liaisions with Europeans ever since they descented in that area and captured Constantinople 6 centuries ago. I think history may be a lesson but not a hindrance for progress, so I can't foresee a future where the Turks will be conquering Europe one way or another. However, the problem for me lies with the geography of Turkey. Only a small part is at the borders with Europe, only a small part is Westernised ( though I wouldn't call Istanbul European myself as it's more Americanised...the rest lies in the depths of Asia. Their capital is in Asia as well. If Turkey then why not Tukmenistan?
The other problem I see is Turkey now exceeding 85 million when 20 years ago it was 50 million. Their demographics resemble more of a thrd world country demographics.They're breeding fast.
There are of course obvious other issues with democracy ( STILL, and despite some changes the country is essentially run by the armed forces ), the economy ( inflation is huge ) human rights ( Kurds in the East ) the status quo of Cyprus and many others. For all these reasons I can't see how Turkey will join the EU any time soon.
As for Albania, joining the EU is the only way forward.

haku
17-06-2006, 20:46
There's no European "race" as such, as all Indo-european races came from the East
Well, i don't really believe in the concept of human 'races', but there are undeniably human ethnic groups. And there is a specific European ethnic group.

All modern European people are a mix of Indo-European genes (from the Eastern invaders) and Pre-European genes (from the indigenous European population). Pre-Europeans had very specific and unique genetic markers because that population was reduced to a small isolated group during the last ice age with no contacts with other human groups until the Indo-European tribes arrived. Those Pre-European markers are present in all modern Europeans, a typical European person has a 60% Pre-European / 40% Indo-European gene mix.

Indians and Iranians, our Indo-European cousins, don't have a single trace of Pre-European genes of course.
As for Finns, Estonians and Hungarians who don't speak Indo-European languages and have little trace of Indo-European genes, they show a large percentage of Pre-European genes as any other moden Europeans (indicating that Finno-Hugric invaders were probably very little in numbers and mixed largely with the indigenous European population while imposing their languages on them). So despite having a non-Indo-European origin, Finns, Estonians and Hungarians are closely related to other European people through the Pre-European heritage.

Turkic people on the other hand belong to a totally different and unrelated ethnic group, they don't have Indo-European or Pre-European genes at all, they have mainly Altaic genes like people in Central Asia and speak Altaic languages, they have nothing in common with European people.

fanoff
18-06-2006, 11:04
haku,once convince yourself that you dont want Turkey on EU because of the high population and you're afraid we will get a power when we get into it.Stop making up reasons like the european part conquered 5 centuries ago or non-european culture or anything and dont make people's minds confused.and spyretto,i cant understand why you changed your previous post and make the idea of it turn 180 degrees.I dont even want to talk and bother myself about it cos you are just like the politicians,makin up funny reasons.If they dont want Turkey in the EU,why wouldnt they just say that were not gonna join them?they are afraid to say it because EU will loose the belief in itself and they will loose such a big associate.Also theyre afraid to say this because of USA.They seem to support us in the way.

freddie
18-06-2006, 20:27
Well, i don't really believe in the concept of human 'races', but there are undeniably human ethnic groups. And there is a specific European ethnic group.

All modern European people are a mix of Indo-European genes (from the Eastern invaders) and Pre-European genes (from the indigenous European population). Pre-Europeans had very specific and unique genetic markers because that population was reduced to a small isolated group during the last ice age with no contacts with other human groups until the Indo-European tribes arrived. Those Pre-European markers are present in all modern Europeans, a typical European person has a 60% Pre-European / 40% Indo-European gene mix.

Indians and Iranians, our Indo-European cousins, don't have a single trace of Pre-European genes of course.
As for Finns, Estonians and Hungarians who don't speak Indo-European languages and have little trace of Indo-European genes, they show a large percentage of Pre-European genes as any other moden Europeans (indicating that Finno-Hugric invaders were probably very little in numbers and mixed largely with the indigenous European population while imposing their languages on them). So despite having a non-Indo-European origin, Finns, Estonians and Hungarians are closely related to other European people through the Pre-European heritage.

Turkic people on the other hand belong to a totally different and unrelated ethnic group, they don't have Indo-European or Pre-European genes at all, they have mainly Altaic genes like people in Central Asia and speak Altaic languages, they have nothing in common with European people.

Yeah see, that's all true, European nations probably do have some sort of a genetic bond, but why would that aspect hold any significance when deciding on new member states? It's not like we're an unon of genetically related people. We're first and foremost a political union, brougth together (primarily) for economic reasons. Yes there are other reasons why EU exists in the first place, but I find none of them a significan tenough reason to ban Turkey from joining. This genetic theory (though it may not have been intended this way) reeks of subliminal racism. And even if you go with this genetic theory there are basic flaws in it. Look at Israel... from the mass exodus of European jews after WW2 I wouldn't be surprised if their genetic structure would be pretty much equal to ours, while I bet many people living on Iberian peninsula (I won't name them Spaniards due to the high ethnic diversity in Spain) are partially arabic genetically - from the Moors invasion in the 8th century.
So you see the whole genetic/ethnic issue is very vague in this day and age, not to mention that (imo) EU could really use a touch of cultural non-indoeuropean refresher. I mean why would that hurt us in any way? Would it stir our genetically homogenous union? Interfear with our herritage? I don't understand.

On the other hand I do agree that there are other significant hurdles which Turkey is yet to overcome. First and foremost the Kurd minority issues. They can't even think about joining till that's settled once and for all. Then there's a small thing of getting in military/teritorial disputes with a EU member (namely Greece), which is also not really something that'd boost their membership hopes. Their economy's not exactly perfect but it's on a steady rise (a great emerging markets opportunity much like the Balkan area minus Slovenia where stocks are overinflated by now). And from what I know automotive industry is absolutely adoring Turkey (DaimlerChrysler built a van factory, so did Ford and Renault has a car factory... so I'd reckon the future prospects are pretty bright as they seem to be opened to foreign investors.

As far as Albania is concerned, I'd say that while yes it definitely has to become a member at certain point, but 4 years is way too little. I'd take an economic miracle of enormous proprotions. Lets not forget Albania is pretty much the poorest country in Europe to date. I'd be suprised if they got in before 2020.

dradeel
18-06-2006, 22:54
(I haven't read all the posts, but I'm writing from what I understand after the last couple of posts: :))
I think it's dangerous and more than anything wrong to divide people according to genes. Culture is a better way, as that can actually create real issues when cultures are mixed and when cultures are standing up against eachother.

Now, I haven't really made any stand when it comes to Turkey and membership in the EU, but as they have become recent NATO-members, and tactically it's a very important country, and is undoubtebly the most western country "down there" (if you can say that) :), then I think it's important for EU to work for some kind of solution, even tho it would be hard, and it will take quite a long time ... but then again things happens so fast nowadays, and noone can tell what the future will bring us. But saying that Turkey should never join EU even tho the situations allows them to or shouldn't join simply because genetically they haven't got the same history as "us" are both unaccaptable conclusions to make imo.

haku
19-06-2006, 00:56
This genetic theory (though it may not have been intended this way) reeks of subliminal racism.There is nothing racist in what i said, racism is about thinking that one race is superior to others, i never said that i think that Europeans are superior to others, all i said is that European people do exist (and are different from Indo-Iranian people, Turkic people, or Semite people). But you're free to think that my opinions are racist.

All i'm saying is that the European Union should be limited to *gasp* European countries, i disagree that the European Union should expand to Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, the European Union is not an empire and was never meant to expand indefinitely over the world, we are not building some kind of new Roman/British Empire where the Sun will never set.

I don't think it's racist to want the European Union to have a clear limit and not expand beyond the European continent. expanding the EU to Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa makes absolutely no sense to me and i don't see how anyone can think it will work.

In my opinion, building such a deepy integrated confederation can only be done with people who share a common heritage, a common history, common values and live on a coherent geographical area. Adding an alien entity like Turkey to the mix can only lead to failure because Turkey do not share any of the values of the European Union. Just look how difficult it is for the Turks to implement even the most basic democratic reforms, that's because it's not part of their culture and goes against everything they believe in. They do not embrace democracy or human rights, they see it as a painful chore that has to be indured to access European money. And look how the Turks reacted to the caricatures of Mohammed, the Turks did not support freedom of expression, they sided with Muslim extremists and cheered at European buildings being set on fire. Do we really want that kind of extremists in the EU parliament making EU laws for all of us to follow.

not to mention that (imo) EU could really use a touch of cultural non-indoeuropean refresher. I mean why would that hurt us in any way? Would it stir our genetically homogenous union? Interfear with our herritage? I don't understand.That's where we differ, you see Turkey as a 'refresher', something that is going to take us forward, and you support an unlimited enlargement to other continents.
I on the other hand see Turkey as a threat to European culture and values, something that is going to take us backward, and i oppose any enlargement outside of Europe.
Backward because Turkey do not believe in equal rights for women, Turkey do not believe that homosexuality should be allowed, Turkey do not believe that religion should be separated from the state (their current Prime Minister is the leader of a Muslim extremist party)… If Turkey joins, it will be the most populated and most powerful country in the EU (and ironically the capital of the most powerful EU state will be in Asia). That power plus the huge number of deputies Turkey will have in the EU parliament thanks to its huge population will allow Turkey to lead Europe in whatever direction they want and take us one big step backward to the Middle Ages and ultra conservatism.

PS:
from the mass exodus of European jews after WW2 I wouldn't be surprised if their genetic structure would be pretty much equal to ours
I doubt it, European jews ultimately came from the Middle-East, and Jewish people almost exclusively marry other Jewish people (precisely to keep the Jewish line pure and prevent contamination from other human groups), so i'm thinking modern Jewish people in Europe or Israel are pretty close to being genetically pure Semites.

dradeel
19-06-2006, 05:09
I don't think it's racist to want the European Union to have a clear limit and not expand beyond the European continent. expanding the EU to Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa makes absolutely no sense to me and i don't see how anyone can think it will work.
I do agree with haku here. And I didn't think what he wrote was racism, but I don't think genetics should matter either way. One can't use that as an argument, even how true it might be :)

But I agree that expanding outside the borders of Europe is kinda weird since it's the _European Union_. You have to draw the line SOMEWHERE, and along the European border is the most fair and square imo. However, many people includes Turkey in Europe and the european maps and so on, but I dunno if it's just to fill a void down in the lower right corner tho, since Europe reaches out on the north-side of "the black sea" that is (is it called "the black sea" in english? That's the name for it in norwegian at least... :p).
I on the other hand see Turkey as a threat to European culture
That's the very essence... culture. Opposing cultures will create problems. One might disagree on some fundamental values and issues, which could stir up big problems. Just look at the problems something as simple as the muhammad-drawings caused. Now, I know that there is a huge number of muslims living in EU today, but as big as Turkey is, and how many people are living there and so on, we are looking at great cultural differences. Some issues much bigger than the drawings might occur, and that could be hard to deal with if Turkey were an EU-member. On the other side, if we were able to handle such problems, and the cultural differences became smaller, then I think a Turkish EU-membership could have many benifits.

haku
19-06-2006, 12:19
You have to draw the line SOMEWHEREExactly. "Where is it going to stop?" is the main concern of many European people at the moment, they keep hearing of enlargement again and again but nobody is telling them exactly *where* it will stop and this has caused people to become extremely worried.
From the creation of the EC to maybe 10 years ago, European people were not worried at all by enlargements because the EU was expanding to countries that felt totally European and people could see the "final limit", but now, with a country like Turkey we are crossing a continental border and entering Asia and there's no longer any clear "final limit", where will it stop? Iran? India? China? None of this sounds European at all to people anymore and they've come to think that the whole thing has gone totally out of control.

European people are now demanding a clear final border for the EU, they need to know where the expansion will stop permanently.

For many people, including myself, this is what the final borders of the EU (http://eubookshop.com/1/107) should look like. It's big enough to be a major player on an international level and compete with China, India or the US, but it's still limited to a group of people who have a lot in common culturally and historically, and it's limited to a coherent geographical area that EU citizens can immediately recognize as being *Europe* and identify with.
Anything bigger than that will look like an out of control expansionist empire with undefined borders and will end up collapsing under its own weight.

marina
19-06-2006, 16:35
Could anyone be so kind to explane me 3 or more main reasons as to why Turkey wants so much to be a part of EU. Thank you

haku
19-06-2006, 17:05
Could anyone be so kind to explane me 3 or more main reasons as to why Turkey wants so much to be a part of EU. Thank you
Main reasons are:

1. EU structural funds. The richest EU members give money to the poorest EU members, it's one of the basic principles of the EU. When a country becomes an EU member and is poorer than the EU average, it is entitled to millions of Euros every year to boost its development until it reaches the EU average. Of course the more populated a country is, the more money it gets, with its very large population Turkey would be entitled to massive amounts of money.

2. EU citizenship. Every EU citiizen can live and work wherever they want within the EU, there is no borders and no limitations of any kind. If Turkey became a member, millions of Turkish people would move out of Turkey to work in Europe with no limitations.

That's basically it, Turkey wants money and free access to the EU market for its workers, nothing more, it doesn't share any of the ideals of the founding members of the EU: prevent a new continental war and build a unified Europe with a common society based on values of democracy, freedom and human rights.

dradeel
19-06-2006, 18:34
For many people, including myself, this is what the final borders of the EU should look like.
Where did Iceland go? :)

I'm not sure if that should be the _absolute final_ border of EU. I know it's been discussed earlier, and I don't want to drag that up again, buuut Ukraine... I know I know, the economy-thingie with Russia and all that, but even so, we DO NOT KNOW what the future will bring. Saying that a country like Ukraine could _never_ join isn't wise. First, it's in Europe, second and most important for me: a competitable "bread basket" to the american one. The Ukrainian soil is actually as rich as - if not richer than - the american one. With the technology and money we'd be able to have two "bread baskets". If it were to be included in the EU-market EU could be a much larger exporter of food and crops. I think that's very important. We'd compete with japan on fish, with the middle east and usa on oil and with usa on food. There are many factors that should be taken into consideration. As for now (and many years ahead), I must agree that the borders you gave an example on there are good (if it included iceland that is. hehe). Perhaps as close to the final border as we can get, but we should never say never. Things might happen and things could change... That's all :)
That's basically it, Turkey wants money and free access to the EU market for its workers
Aye... With Turkey in the EU, businesses might grow up in Turkey more than before, since weather in Turkey is hot, and work force is plenty and cheap. That way they'll be able to trade much more than before ... export and import and stuff :) And what would that result in? Less businesses in the cold north with fewer inhabitants and the need for central heating?

marina
20-06-2006, 12:48
haku, thank you very much for answering my question .
:)

freddie
20-06-2006, 21:15
Why would Turkey be "the most powerful" EU member? It's definitely not economically as advance as any of the old members (and quite a few new members are economically better developed as well). Because it has 80 million people? So does Germany. And that number is more a burden to them than an advantage. Yeah sure, they'll have a lot of members in teh parliament, but the EU parliament differs vastly from national parliaments. I does not have a legislative function on it's own. It's function is mainly consultational (EU commission is the one coming up with new legislature proposals originally). While it's true that EU commission has to come to agreement with the parliament and council as far as new laws are concerned it's still the one who proposes new ones (in case EU parliament has veto power over new legislature and it uses it's veto right that doesn't mean it can then come up with a new law on it's own... what it needs is a new recommendation from the Commission). And the EU council always has the last word. So as far as that's concerned - I think there're no real worries Turkey's role might be too important within the EU and it's institutions (Poland was a good example - many skeptics were sure it'll be a major force to reckon with, given it's huge populace - but as of now 2 years after the expansion it turned out Poland with it's 60 million people is not really politically any more important than Slovenia with 2 million.

Saying Turkey doesn't share our values is a bit extreme imo. Basically all people pretty much share the same values when it all comes down to it. We all want to prosper, be free and happy. I personally don't see them as a threat to democracy or something like that. EU made it clear that they'll have to sole ALL issues regarding gender equality and minority rights. It's not like we're knocking on their door. They're knocking on ours. If they want in they'll adapt. If not then so be it. That's pretty much what it comes down to. It's not like teh EU will accept Turkey at all cost. I think most European leaders were pretty firm on the stance that they'll be accepted ONLY if all issues get resolved. And once they do we won't be able to say "we share different values" anymore.

And what about Russia? What if they decide one day to stop playing a super-power and want in? Russia certainly shares common herritage and history with all current EU members. If Russia gets in it'd mean EU would expand almost towards Japan, covering a large chunk of Asia. And what about Ukraine? Belarus? Moldova? All those share our common European herritage, but it's still mean expanding the lmits of the Union further than some would like them to be.

And from what I understand a part of Turkey IS in Europe so admiting Turkey wouldn't automatically mean letting any other Asian or Middle-Eastern country - because they are infact not in Europe and have nothing to do with it whatsoever (except maybe Israel, but that's another story).

fanoff
21-06-2006, 01:23
ooh,still,i want to thank all of the members that wrote here lately,they made me laugh so much.It was nice to see how they are so thrilled and try to say bad things about the people they dont even have an idea.i still think Turkey should be a member of EU and you will all see well be fucking one of them.you made me want it more.

haku
21-06-2006, 02:27
Because it has 80 million people?And 120 million in a couple of decades (and up to 150 million), one third more than Germany, twice more than France or the UK, one sixth of the total EU population… That will give Turkey an overwhelming weight in EU decisions, Turkey will be in control of the EU and that's an insane risk to take.

And what about Russia? What if they decide one day to stop playing a super-power and want in? Russia certainly shares common herritage and history with all current EU members. If Russia gets in it'd mean EU would expand almost towards Japan, covering a large chunk of Asia. And what about Ukraine? Belarus? Moldova? All those share our common European herritage, but it's still mean expanding the lmits of the Union further than some would like them to be.I don't see Russia becoming an EU member ever, and for many reasons.

- I doubt current EU members would agree on Russia's membership. That would totally unbalance the Union, Russia is just too big and massive, the EU can't admit a country that is several times bigger than the entire current EU.
- The cost! The entire EU budget would not be enough to finance the billions of Euros Russia would be entitled to as part of the structural funds, Russia's membership would bankrupt the EU.
- The Western public opinion. People have reached their maximum level of acceptance, The Western public opinion wouldn't accept an enlargement going as far as Japan, and people are in no mood to pay more taxes to finance a huge country like Russia.
- Russia has other plans, Russia wants to be at the center of something, not just a part among other parts. Russia has already created a 'state-union' with Belarus and Russia is thinking of creating a Eurasian Union grouping many Central Asian countries.
And i say good for them, there is room for a Eurasian organization, and it makes much more sense than expanding the EU across Asia.

As for Ukraine, well, whatever they might say, Ukraine remains closely linked to Russia (it's a CIS member), and i don't trust Ukraine as an EU member. It's better if Ukraine stays with Russia in whatever Eurasian organization Russia will create.

And from what I understand a part of Turkey IS in EuropeYes, unfortunately we were unable to regain Constantinople at the fall of the Ottoman Empire, a critical historical mistake which we are paying now.

spyretto
21-06-2006, 12:00
...and spyretto,i cant understand why you changed your previous post and make the idea of it turn 180 degrees.I dont even want to talk and bother myself about it cos you are just like the politicians,makin up funny reasons.If they dont want Turkey in the EU,why wouldnt they just say that were not gonna join them?they are afraid to say it because EU will loose the belief in itself and they will loose such a big associate.Also theyre afraid to say this because of USA.They seem to support us in the way.

What do you mean I changed my previous post and made the idea turn 180 degrees. I changed my post because at first I thought we're talking about Albania, not Turkey, so I had to change the post accordingly. Albania is a whole different proposition. In any case, I didn't express personal opinions I was just trying to outline the reasons why it will be very difficult for the EU to admit Turkey and I believe those reasons are valid. Haku has stated his own reasons. As I said earlier, Greece do want Turkey in the EU because they believe many problems between the two countries will be solved, but Cyprus don't wanna hear about a possible entry because of your invasion to the island in 1974 and the illegal occupation of 1/3 of the island. Now I can't see where the problem is with what I said, I thought I was quite clear.
If you asked me, I wouldn't care if Turkey joined Comecon or even Conmebol. It's all the same to me :p

fanoff
21-06-2006, 13:21
Yes, unfortunately we were unable to regain Constantinople at the fall of the Ottoman Empire, a critical historical mistake which we are paying now

why am i discussing this with the people who still announces ISTANBUL as constantinople?they showed that their minds are still in the back 1453,when we conquered ISTANBUL(and it will always be Istanbul not the fucking BYzantine name).

haku
21-06-2006, 17:31
when we conquered ISTANBUL(and it will always be Istanbul not the fucking BYzantine name).It was not just a conquest, but a butchery, Byzantine soldiers were executed, civilian men were enslaved, children were slaughtered, women were gang-raped. A great military day for the Turks. But it was not enough, they had to even erase the name of the city to complete its destruction.

they showed that their minds are still in the back My mind is stuck in the past? Not at all. I acknowledge the past, which is totally different, instead of like you pretending that it never happened.

The mention of the previous name of Istanbul should not make you angry in any way, it's history, it happened. Here in France many cities have three names (or more), one Celtic, one Roman and one French. Nobody will be angered by the mention of any of those names, quite the contrary, the inhabitants are proud of the long history of their cities and acknowledge all of it. The city of Marseille for example is often referred to as Phocée, from its Greek name Phocaea (Marseille was originally a Greek colony), and the inhabitants of Marseille don't hesitate to call themselves Phocéens, they embrace their entire history, from the Greek colony of Phocaea, to the Roman town of Massilia, to the French city of Marseille.

But if you mention Constantinople to the Turks, you get an angry response, like the past history of Istanbul is a shame and should be erased, like the city was actually founded by the Turks, like St -Sophia (i'm sorry, i don't know the official Turk name as i'm sure calling it by its original name is also considered offensive) was actually built by the Turks, like anything that ever happened before the Turkish conquest has no value whatsoever. You should be proud of the long history of that city instead of being offended by the mere mention of its pre-Turkish past. How do you cope with the ancient ruins of Greek cities on the Turkish Western coast, have you also renamed them with Turkish names so you could pretend you're the ones who actually built them?

It's a general characteristic of Turkey to have trouble dealing with the past, coping with history, the general attitude is to pretend that many things never happened even if it's right there in your face. The Armenian genocide? It never happened. Kurdistan? It doesn't exist. And of course the illegal occupation of northern Cyprus is a myth, Cyprus has always been a Turkish land (even though in reality most Turks currently living in Cyprus were brought there a few decades ago) and for Turkey the Greeks that have been living in Cyprus for over 2000 years do not exist, Turkey won't even recognize the existence of the Cypriot state which is right there next to them and they invaded 30 years ago. So we are now in the ludicrous situation to have Turkey that want to become an EU member, but won't recognize that one of the current EU members even exist!

So no, i'm not stuck in the past, like i said, i acknowledge it, which is a much healthier attitude than pretending that it never happened. It's time for Turkey to realize that history is not a menu à la carte where you can pick and choose what happened and what didn't happened.

spyretto
21-06-2006, 17:52
why am i discussing this with the people who still announces ISTANBUL as constantinople?they showed that their minds are still in the back 1453,when we conquered ISTANBUL(and it will always be Istanbul not the fucking BYzantine name).

Prior to 1453 ( ie Ottomans invasion to Constantinople and eventual fall of the city ) the city is known as Contantinople. Subsequent to the invasion the city is called Istanbul. Go back to my post and read again. If I talked about Stalingrad at the time of Stalin I'd call it as it was called at the time, STALINGRAD and not Volgograd...got it now?
This is nothing to do with the hatred the Greeks harbour towards the Turks, it's just for practical purposes.
INSTABUL is also Greek ( from "is tin poli" - I thought we had it figured out before )
But then again, if you're not talking about my own posts then I apologise.

fanoff
21-06-2006, 23:13
It was not just a conquest, but a butchery, Byzantine soldiers were executed, civilian men were enslaved, children were slaughtered, women were gang-raped. A great military day for the Turks. But it was not enough, they had to even erase the name of the city to complete its destruction.

then the history books you read must be from another planet.thats too much over-rated!You wouldnt also disagree that we suffered a lot more from BUTCHERIES than you(what you see was not as big as we did)!


My mind is stuck in the past? Not at all. I acknowledge the past, which is totally different, instead of like you pretending that it never happened.

me pretending it never happened?calling the city with its previous and non-Turkish name is absolutely pretending that the conquest never happened.

The mention of the previous name of Istanbul should not make you angry in any way, it's history, it happened. Here in France many cities have three names (or more), one Celtic, one Roman and one French. Nobody will be angered by the mention of any of those names, quite the contrary, the inhabitants are proud of the long history of their cities and acknowledge all of it. The city of Marseille for example is often referred to as Phocée, from its Greek name Phocaea (Marseille was originally a Greek colony), and the inhabitants of Marseille don't hesitate to call themselves Phocéens, they embrace their entire history, from the Greek colony of Phocaea, to the Roman town of Massilia, to the French city of Marseille.
i got nothing to do with that.Even the city im living now is called similar to the hellenic name of it(i live in Bergama,it was Pergamon,and im proud to live in this city which is full of history)but its different from the Istanbul matter.Many people calling the previous name of Istanbul claims the city still belongs to greeks,pretending not to see the city is Turkish for more than 500 years.

But if you mention Constantinople to the Turks, you get an angry response, like the past history of Istanbul is a shame and should be erased, like the city was actually founded by the Turks, like St -Sophia (i'm sorry, i don't know the official Turk name as i'm sure calling it by its original name is also considered offensive) was actually built by the Turks, like anything that ever happened before the Turkish conquest has no value whatsoever. You should be proud of the long history of that city instead of being offended by the mere mention of its pre-Turkish past. How do you cope with the ancient ruins of Greek cities on the Turkish Western coast, have you also renamed them with Turkish names so you could pretend you're the ones who actually built them?

i wont repeat what i said above.

The Armenian genocide? It never happened. Kurdistan? It doesn't exist. And of course the illegal occupation of northern Cyprus is a myth, Cyprus has always been a Turkish land (even though in reality most Turks currently living in Cyprus were brought there a few decades ago) and for Turkey the Greeks that have been living in Cyprus for over 2000 years do not exist, Turkey won't even recognize the existence of the Cypriot state which is right there next to them and they invaded 30 years ago. So we are now in the ludicrous situation to have Turkey that want to become an EU member, but won't recognize that one of the current EU members even exist!

muhahaha.you take things so easy.its not like that as you should know.But you dont even try to listen to me and even understand it.Dont comment on things you dont know much about.who told you that we think greeks dont exist in cyprus?oh,hush i should have thought that you think that Turkish people dont exist in Cyprus,then thought we think the same way.

history is not a menu à la carte where you can pick and choose what happened and what didn't happened
thats so true,but you dont see the fact that history is always lived.what writes on the books is not always true,or not always include what all happened,just the thing which will do some work for you later,anyway im not trying to change anybody's mind as you are trying to do,so...

spyretto
22-06-2006, 14:21
Hey, what on earth are you on about, the city is Turkish, period....and a fine city it is. If we could we'd claim it off you again and rebuild a center of Christianity there as before, but we don't live in the 15th century. So it can't be done - for now. 12 million Greeks can't fight 85 million of Turks :p
You want to get your hands in the Aegean, maybe we want Istanbul back...no harm in wanting something. But we cannot ignore history as freddie did when he said why don't the Turks have more of the Aegean :bum:
Yes, there was butchery on 29.05.1453 but the gates were opened from the inside, so the legend has it. There were always traitors and ruffians among the Greeks.

dradeel
22-06-2006, 16:16
haku and fanoff - I think that name-thingie has evolved to unecessary heights. :) Speaking about Istanbul today, I think it's fair and square that it's beeing called Istanbul, but in haku's defense we were talking about a city that formerly were a western city, aye? And when the war against the Ottomans were going on, the city would've (most probably) be renamed with its former name if it was conquered. Sooo... in that way they would've recaptured Constantinople ... it would be kinda wrong to say they had "recaptured Istanbul". But either way, they didn't conquer the city.. Hehe. So let's not speak of what ifs and buts.

And it's not like haku said: "I'm going to Constantinople for my summer vacation." Cause that would've been very wrong. Agree? :)

I'm personally a much more fan of the norse name Miklagard tho. Hehe

freddie
23-06-2006, 09:35
And 120 million in a couple of decades (and up to 150 million), one third more than Germany, twice more than France or the UK, one sixth of the total EU population… That will give Turkey an overwhelming weight in EU decisions, Turkey will be in control of the EU and that's an insane risk to take.

But I still fail to see how they're going to be "in control of the EU" soley cause of their massive populace, seeing as how the EU parliament doesn't have same legislative authority as national parliaments. And even so, don't forget that their birth rate might fall significantly once they reach a comfortable economic level in which most people will start treasure their own luxuries in life more than they'll be willing to take care of a large family. It happened in pretty much most developed countries in the world and I doubt Turkey will be an exception. If anything economic currents will help in restraining the country's over-population problems.


muhahaha.you take things so easy.its not like that as you should know.But you dont even try to listen to me and even understand it.Dont comment on things you dont know much about.who told you that we think greeks dont exist in cyprus?oh,hush i should have thought that you think that Turkish people dont exist in Cyprus,then thought we think the same way.

thats so true,but you dont see the fact that history is always lived.what writes on the books is not always true,or not always include what all happened,just the thing which will do some work for you later,anyway im not trying to change anybody's mind as you are trying to do,so...

That's a very non-chalant way of going about things. While I do initially support Turkey's bid to be accepted into the EU Haku & Spyretto raised some valid points which your country has to come to terms with politically and ideologically and you just attacked those points without any merit or credible arguments in your case. That's the kind of attitude I hope your leaders won't show when they're negotiating with the EU. And frankly... saying "what's written in books is not always true" (in this case at least) can be percieved as thinking all historians in the world are probably wrong and they're conspiring against Turkey when they write something negative about it.
Turkey DOES have a lot of skeletons in the closet and you can bet your ass no one just made them up out of thin air. It's your country's duty though to recognize and make amends for those mistakes.

You want to get your hands in the Aegean, maybe we want Istanbul back...no harm in wanting something. But we cannot ignore history as freddie did when he said why don't the Turks have more of the Aegean

I did? :spy:

On a different note:
Regarding this whole thing about the Turks not being part of our cultural herritage and things like that... that may be true to an extent. But an ironic part is that genetically most Turkish people today are very much indoeuropean, with a significant helenic gene pool prsent within the population. See if they'd retaint heir original gene herritage they'd really be a mongoloid race (oriental), like people people of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and a those other ex Soviet republics (partially) are. But it seems like Turks these days are mainly caucasoids and if there IS a mongoloid genetic presence it's certainly very faint. So as far as their genes are concerned... they're as European as it gets. :p

About city names: Old city names are only contraversial when there're political agendas (or at least political ideologies) behind it. For instance old latin names for major cities are widely used here in popular culture (Emona, the Roman name for our capital Ljubljana is also a chain of stores, Celeia, the Roman name for Celje (our 3rd largest city) is a dairy etc) Given the history of Constantinople/Istambul it's really very obvious Turks would consider it a great symbol of triumph over their adversaries, so it's kind of logical this would be a touchy subject (as it is for Europeans).

dradeel
23-06-2006, 14:36
about the Turks not being part of our cultural herritage and things like that... that may be true to an extent. But an ironic part is that genetically most Turkish people today are very much indoeuropean, [...]. So as far as their genes are concerned... they're as European as it gets.
Genes doesn't count for anything in this matter, and I think it's very wrong to decide who should be included or not based on genes. And I can't understand why it was brought up in this conversation at all. To prove that Turkey belong to Europe? I think there are other ways of argumenting for that. As Turkey gets more westernized they'll be more and more drawn to Europe and the west instead of the east. Personally I think Turkey is an important country to cooperate with for EU, and if they won't become a member in the first decades to come, then at least there should be formed strong relationships between EU and Turkey.

freddie
23-06-2006, 20:28
Genes doesn't count for anything in this matter, and I think it's very wrong to decide who should be included or not based on genes. And I can't understand why it was brought up in this conversation at all. To prove that Turkey belong to Europe? I think there are other ways of argumenting for that. As Turkey gets more westernized they'll be more and more drawn to Europe and the west instead of the east. Personally I think Turkey is an important country to cooperate with for EU, and if they won't become a member in the first decades to come, then at least there should be formed strong relationships between EU and Turkey.
That's my point. I only brought the gene issue up as an interesting fact, as a counter-ballance to opinons saying they're an alien enity in this great ethnic pool of indoeuropeanism.

fanoff
26-06-2006, 01:02
i dont give much shit about those "genes" thing but heres a little research about etruscans.The Etruscan people are the people who ruled Italy before the Roman period if my memory doesnt betray me.In this research it says that etruscans have a very very strong relativeship between Turks and Tuscans

hers the research by the Ferrera university in Italy in pdf format (http://web.unife.it/progetti/genetica/Giorgio/PDFfiles/AJHG2004.pdf)

haku
27-09-2006, 02:26
So it's now official, Romania and Bulgaria will join the EU in 3 months, so congrats to them. :)

After those two, the enlargement process will however come to a long pause (http://euobserver.com/9/22497). Until the EU gets new institutions, there will be no more enlargement, and i think that was the reasonable thing to do. The EU must get its constitution and a much more federal structure before going any further.

Rachel
27-09-2006, 02:28
I have a feeling we may pull out of the EU :bum:

haku
27-09-2006, 02:38
I have a feeling we may pull out of the EUEverything is possible with the UK. :none: If that happened, i'm guessing the UK would virtually become an oversea US territory, if not a full state.

Rachel
27-09-2006, 02:43
LOL! So true! We are majorly over reacting at the moment about Romania & Bulgaria. Damn us having the language so many people know! LOL

There's been a lot about this (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/foreign/davidrennie/sept06/britainleaveeu.htm) recently, too.

the unforgiven
03-10-2006, 20:08
Bush says Turkish EU membership is in US interest.

LOL at that
so pathetic!! when the next american elections will take place?
our lovely W. would better ratify the treaty of Kyoto for Sustainable development's sake !!

haku
02-11-2006, 22:16
EU-led Cyprus-Turkey talks have collapsed (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6110126.stm) and are unlikely to resume anytime soon. EU leaders will meet in December and may decide to freeze accession talks with Turkey.

prospector
02-11-2006, 22:47
EU-led Cyprus-Turkey talks have collapsed (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6110126.stm) and are unlikely to resume anytime soon. EU leaders will meet in December and may decide to freeze accession talks with Turkey.

A blind alley:rolleyes:

haku
03-11-2006, 15:47
The EU commission will publish next week a report on Turkey and its ability to join the EU, the BBC has already read the report (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6113662.stm) and its conclusions are very negative for Turkey.
EU leaders will meet in December to discuss the report and what to do next, several EU Members are expected to ask for a suspension of accession talks with Turkey.

coolasfcuk
03-11-2006, 18:07
LOL! So true! We are majorly over reacting at the moment about Romania & Bulgaria. Damn us having the language so many people know! LOL
we love you too :kwink:

haku
03-11-2006, 22:47
In related news, in the same report published next week (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6113926.stm), the EU commission will recommend to postpone membership talks with Western Balkan countries until an undefined date.

However, the EU commission is once again shying away from formally declaring where the final borders of the EU will be, which in my opinion is a grave mistake. If more and more people are opposed to further enlargement, it's precisely because they don't know 'where it's going to end' and feel that it's gotten out of control. People need to know what the final borders of the EU will be so they can get used to it, keeping a blur on the borders will only push people to be even more conservative and block any future enlargement in fear that 'it's never going to end'.

haku
08-11-2006, 17:33
As expected, the EU commission has issued a report recommending to pause the enlargement process.

No speedy Balkan enlargement as EU urges reforms (http://euobserver.com/9/22815)
EU to take more self-protecting approach to enlargement (http://euobserver.com/9/22819)

Personally, i totally agree with the decision, the EU has gone from 15 to 27 states in a couple of years, a long pause is very much needed. The EU is already big enough to be a major player in the world anyway, and with the latest enlargement, it has reached in the East the strategic borders that it was aiming to reach. Now, the primary focus for the foreseeable future should be on strengthening the EU as it is.
We also should be very careful about the real intentions of any future member state. Poland for example pretended to be very much pro-European during accession talks, but as soon as it secured its membership, it turned around and said it was actually quite eurosceptic, pro-American and pretty much in line with the UK in thinking that the EU should be dissolved. We'll have to make sure that future members join for the right reasons and not because they want to sabotage the EU from the inside.
It would probably be prudent to pause enlargement until the EU (or a subset of the EU such as the Eurozone/Schengen states) reach federal status, which would prevent a few newcomers to jeopardize what the older members have worked hard to build since 1957.

haku
10-11-2006, 19:46
Poland refuses to cooperate (http://euobserver.com/9/22837) with the EU investigation into the illegal CIA detention centers and renditions.

Poland has become the first EU member state to be theatened several times that its voting rights in EU institutions could be suspended for failure to respect fundamental EU regulations (the previous time was when Poland mentioned its intention to bring back the death penalty).
The general attitude of Poland since joining the EU only 2 years ago has been extremely disappointing to say the least, the country has quickly turned its back from the EU and become pretty much a trojan horse of the Bush administration, apparently breaching some basic EU regulations in the process. One can wonder if Poland was truely ready to join the EU, a bitter experience to keep in mind for future possible enlargements.

Unfortunately the EU lacks federal powers to fully investigate the wrong doings of member states, but hopefully the recent Democrat victory in the US will allow to unveil the dirty work of the Bush administration and by ricochet will hurt those in Europe who have shamelessly collaborated with it.
Some people in Europe seem to have considered that the Bush administration would remain in power forever and that there never would be any consequences to a full colaboration with it, i can only hope that they'll be proven wrong very soon.

Argos
10-11-2006, 21:41
The general attitude of Poland since joining the EU only 2 years ago has been extremely disappointing to say the least...

Unfortunately the EU lacks federal powers to fully investigate the wrong doings of member states...
The European Profit Union should have worked for installing credible 'in house' institutions, with legislative, executive and jurisdictionally powers long time ago, but what have they done, expanding into 'cheap' countries, now reaching their greedy hands towards Ukraine, Moldavia, the Balkan and promising even Georgia an EU membership (really good joke, isn't it?). Now the omissions work against the EU and the demon of disintegration appears at the horizon. Soon there will be strong voices for a core-EU with the rest being second class EU members. Is that the idea of a politically and economically strong and independent Europe?

haku
11-11-2006, 18:44
The European Profit Union should have worked for installing credible 'in house' institutions, with legislative, executive and jurisdictionally powers long time ago, but what have they done, expanding into 'cheap' countries, now reaching their greedy hands towards Ukraine, Moldavia, the Balkan and promising even Georgia an EU membership (really good joke, isn't it?). Now the omissions work against the EU and the demon of disintegration appears at the horizon. Soon there will be strong voices for a core-EU with the rest being second class EU members. Is that the idea of a politically and economically strong and independent Europe?
I agree with the first part, it would have been better to create a true federation when we were only 6 members and only then admit more states that were willing to join a federation, something similar to the creation of the Canadian federation.

I disagree with the second part, i think it would be a very positive step if a group of EU states decided to go forward and found a federation, a federation would be much more democratic than the current confederation (even though it's rarely said, the EU is de facto a confederation now) with a real seperation of powers and of course an elected federal executive (contrary to the appointed executive we have now). It would not be a question of first or second class, each state would be free to join the federation or remain in the confederation.
The federation-within-a-confederation scenario has been talked about in European circles, it's obvious that Europe won't have any true political and economic weight in the world until a European federation is founded, it's also obvious that it would be impossible to found a federation with all 27 EU states at the same time, the only viable solution is to allow a subset of deeply integrated EU states (the 6 founding members + the 2 Iberian sates as a minimum, the 12 Eurozone states would be ideal) to create a federation within the confederation.
I certainly hope this solution will be adopted in the near future, a federation (even with a small number of EU states) is the only way Europe will be able to be politically and economically strong and independant.

haku
15-11-2006, 22:15
Once again the US are interfering in EU internal affairs (http://euobserver.com/9/22867?rss_rk=1) concerning our talks with Turkey, that's another area where the new Democrat majority has changed nothing.

Funny how the US are pushing us to open our borders and give full EU citizenship to 80 million Middle-Eastern people, while on their own continent the US are in the process of building a *fence* to prevent Hispanics from entering the country (and we're not even talking of giving US citizenship to 80 million of them), it would be like us building a fence to cut Spain from Europe…
The whole thing is a clear case of 'do as i say, not as i do'.


In somewhat related news, the EU parliament is recommending a freeze of enlargement (http://euobserver.com/9/22850?rss_rk=1) until EU institutions have been reformed. That would be a welcomed decision.
Hopefully EU leaders next month will agree with that recommendation, we should already have reformed our institutions before agreeing to the 2004 enlargement but better late than never.

haku
20-11-2006, 19:30
EU to ban cat and dog fur trade (http://euobserver.com/9/22911)

This should make a lot of people happy in Europe. :)

Rachel
20-11-2006, 21:18
This should make a lot of people happy in Europe. :)Inc. me!! :coctail:

QueenBee
21-11-2006, 06:03
Me too! :D

spyretto
21-11-2006, 12:36
Once again the US are interfering in EU internal affairs (http://euobserver.com/9/22867?rss_rk=1) concerning our talks with Turkey, that's another area where the new Democrat majority has changed nothing.

Funny how the US are pushing us to open our borders and give full EU citizenship to 80 million Middle-Eastern people, while on their own continent the US are in the process of building a *fence* to prevent Hispanics from entering the country (and we're not even talking of giving US citizenship to 80 million of them), it would be like us building a fence to cut Spain from Europe…
The whole thing is a clear case of 'do as i say, not as i do'.



Yeah they're building that fence even though the hispanics are not even a problem but a benefit to them from all the cheap labour they're getting. Yet another classic case of the US' policy of double standards.

freddie
21-11-2006, 15:01
Once again the US are interfering in EU internal affairs (http://euobserver.com/9/22867?rss_rk=1) concerning our talks with Turkey, that's another area where the new Democrat majority has changed nothing.

Funny how the US are pushing us to open our borders and give full EU citizenship to 80 million Middle-Eastern people, while on their own continent the US are in the process of building a *fence* to prevent Hispanics from entering the country (and we're not even talking of giving US citizenship to 80 million of them), it would be like us building a fence to cut Spain from Europe…
The whole thing is a clear case of 'do as i say, not as i do'.

It's a different situation though. Mexicans pose an economic burden on the States while Turkey will only strenghten us economically (in the long run). I completely agree though that they have no business in suggesting any enlargement plans to the EU. They can comment on it but never outright suggest. It's strictly an internal matter.

Yay about hte fur trade though! About time. Animal fur is such a savage fashion statemet. Not to mention you can get perfectly good artificial fur these days without anyone but the elitist snobs noticing the difference. I still support a complete economic embargo on Iceland for their whale-hunting antics.

haku
21-11-2006, 16:50
EU-Russia relations are becoming more and more tense.

The latest row is about animal products, Russia is threatening to ban all imports of EU animal products (http://euobserver.com/9/22916) from 1 January when Romania and Bulgaria join the EU. First of all, Russia is extremely pissed to see two more of its former satellites joining the EU and has been imposing all sorts of economic sanctions on both countries for years, so this is just an escalation in the 'punishment' for leaving Moscow's orbit. Second, it's a convenient bargaining chip in the other EU-Russia row about energy trades that will be discussed later this week.

I haven't seen that kind of tension since the days of EEC-USSR talks in the 80s, and Russia is actually using the same strategy as the USSR back then, which is to refuse to talk to the EU as a whole about trade issues and insist on having separate bilateral talks with each member state, a classic "divide to conquer" strategy (like sending 25 letters to each EU state about the possible animal products ban blaming Bulgaria and Romania for the problem, while the proper procedure would have been to send only one letter to the EU commission which is in charge of trade issues).

This clearly shows how the EU needs to evolve toward a more federal structure that will be able to resist more efficiently to the bullying from the big countries we have to compete with (US, Russia, China, India, Brazil) and will render that "divide-and-conquer" strategy completely useless.

Rachel
21-11-2006, 18:31
Mexicans pose an economic burden on the States while Turkey will only strenghten us economically (in the long run)..In your opinion.

freddie
22-11-2006, 18:18
In your opinion.

Not just mine, to be honest. It's a widely accepted macro-economic analysis.

Rachel
23-11-2006, 13:55
How are Mexicans hurting American economy if they are doing the job Americans do not want to do?

And as far as the Turkish go, it would be a LONG time before we could see any financial advantages to them joining. They have a GDP of around 5 thousand dollars. So we know where the EU money will be going for a long time!

fanoff
23-11-2006, 15:21
So we know where the EU money will be going for a long time!

Haha,and the real reason why people like you you dont want Turkey in the EU is revealed!!Neither that genocide thing,nor talkings about freedoms and democracy,its just a matter of money!If only we got that money!The others are just excuses to not get Turkey in!!

Rachel
23-11-2006, 15:46
fanoff, I mentioed money because we are talking about economical issues. No reason other. Of course money is a deciding factor ASWELL as the other issues.

haku
23-11-2006, 17:49
Haha,and the real reason why people like you you dont want Turkey in the EU is revealed!!Neither that genocide thing,nor talkings about freedoms and democracy,its just a matter of money!If only we got that money!The others are just excuses to not get Turkey in!!That kind of absurd statement just shows how little you know about the EU and how it works, a totalitarian state would never be allowed to join no matter how rich it could be, an EU candidate has to meet *all* criterias to be allowed to join, not one more than the other, all of them.
Accession talks are conducted on an Acquis Chapter by Acquis Chapter basis anyway, here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlargement_of_the_European_Union#Progress_of_futu re_enlargements) you can see a list of Acquis Chapters and their negociation status for all EU candidates, all Acquis Chapters have to be succesfully closed for a country to be allowed to join.


Full EU membership is not the only option anyway, the EU has several associate agreements that are available to its neighbors. The EU commission will unveil the enhanced ENP-plus plan next week for example, and there's also the EEA free trade agreement.
For people who are not familiar with it, here's a map of the EU and its various associate agreements (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:European_Neighbourhood_Policy.png).
Needless to say, i am among the people who think Turkey belongs in the ENP, i would not even oppose Turkey joining the EEA eventually once its economy is up to speed actually.
I've never had any problem with a free trade agreement with Turkey (ENP, EEA, or special bilateral agreement like with Switzerland), i'm just opposed to a full EU membership because it includes being part of European confederal (and one day eventually federal) executive, legislative, judiciary, and monetary institutions where only highly integrated European states belong.
And honestly, i think even Turkey would be happier with a simple EEA agreement.


Oh and for people who are wary of EU enlargement, do not freak out seeing the ENP map, being in the ENP agreement does not mean in any way a future possible EU membership, not at all.
Many of those countries belong to other continental blocs actually:
African countries belong to the African Union (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_union)
Eurasian countries belong to the Eurasian Economic Community (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_Economic_Community)
And Middle-Eastern countries will eventually join the Gulf Council (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperation_Council_for_the_Arab_States_of_the_Gul f)
Given its geographic position, Turkey could alternatively join the Eurasian Community or the Gulf Council.

If you add to that list of continental blocs, the SAARC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Asian_Association_for_Regional_Cooperation) for South Asia, the ASEAN (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_Southeast_Asian_Nations) for South-East Asia, the NAFTA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Free_Trade_Agreement) for North America, and the SAC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_American_Community_of_Nations) for South America, you have the 8 (or 7 since China is working on merging SAARC and ASEAN) continental blocs that will shape international relations for the foreseeable future, all countries will eventually belong to one of those blocs.

fanoff
23-11-2006, 18:51
hey man,imm just joking,wouldnt you try to take it simpler?I saw an attitude above like "Theyre not rich enough to get in the EU",and i wanted to joke with it.That geographic situation is so funny reason,i still believe some religional and "secret" reasons dont let us in the EU.By the way,i was at the journey to Istanbul,and both the Anatolian and the european parts of Istanbul are gorgeous,i am fascinated.Definately the most fascinating city in the entire world!And luckiliy i was there in the 83rd anniversary of the Republic Day in here.The Bosphorus was amazing.I cant tell the words.Let me show some pics

I was in that ship!!! (http://galeri.milliyet.com.tr/2006/10/29Bogazda_Cumhuriyet_coskusu/16.jpg)
Nice view (http://galeri.milliyet.com.tr/2006/10/29Bogazda_Cumhuriyet_coskusu/14.jpg)
from my low quality cam (http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/2153/grnt039sa9.jpg)

you can see more here (http://www.milliyet.com.tr/content/galeri/yeni/goster.asp?galeriid=600)

haku
30-11-2006, 03:45
Following Turkey's refusal to normalize relations with EU state Cyprus, the EU commission recommends a partial freeze of accession talks (http://euobserver.com/9/22981) with Turkey. A small step in the right direction in my opinion.

Specifically, the EU commission proposes to freeze 8 acquis chapters, the other 27 acquis chapters can still be open but can't be closed until the issue is resolved. That being said, all 25 EU states (and soon 27) must agree for an acquis chapter to be open, and Cyprus will veto the opening of any acquis chapter until Turkey recognizes its existence, so accession talks are de facto halted.

The final decision will be taken by EU leaders next month.

haku
03-12-2006, 18:15
The EU has published its annual population report last week, here's the main figures (numbers are in thousands people):

Pop. 01.01.2005 Natural change Migration Pop. 01.01.2006

EU 461 478.7 381.3 1 650.6 463 523.4 (+2 044.7)

Belgium 10 445.9 14.8 50.7 10 511.4 (+65.5)
Czechia 10 220.6 -5.7 36.2 10 251.1 (+30.5)
Denmark 5 411.4 9.3 6.6 5 427.5 (+16.1)
Germany 82 500.8 -144.4 79.0 82 438.0 (-62.9)
Estonia 1 347.5 -3.0 0.0 1 344.7 (-2.8)
Greece 11 082.8 2.5 40.0 11 125.2 (+42.5)
Spain 43 038.0 78.6 651.3 43 758.3 (+720.2)
France 62 518.6 275.1 97.5 62 886.2 (+367.6)
Ireland 4 109.2 33.6 53.4 4 209.0 (+99.8)
Italy 58 462.4 -34.9 260.6 58 751.7 (+289.3)
Cyprus 749.2 2.8 14.4 766.4 (+17.2)
Latvia 2 306.4 -11.3 -0.6 2 294.6 (-11.8)
Lithuania 3 425.3 -13.3 -8.8 3 403.3 (-22.0)
Luxembourg 455.0 1.8 2.7 459.5 (+4.5)
Hungary 10 097.5 -38.2 17.3 10 076.6 (-21.0)
Malta 402.7 0.7 0.1 404.3 (+1.7)
Netherlands 16 305.5 51.5 9.2 16 334.2 (+28.7)
Austria 8 206.5 3.0 49.2 8 265.9 (+59.4)
Poland 38 173.8 -3.9 -12.9 38 157.1 (-16.8)
Portugal 10 529.3 1.9 38.4 10 569.6 (+40.3)
Slovenia 1 997.6 -0.7 6.7 2 003.4 (+5.8)
Slovakia 5 384.8 1.0 3.4 5 389.2 (+4.4)
Finland 5 236.6 9.8 9.0 5 255.6 (+19.0)
Sweden 9 011.4 9.6 27.1 9 047.8 (+36.4)
UK 60 059.9 140.6 220.0 60 393.1 (+333.2)
There's a few striking numbers:

An important natural decrease in Germany (-144,000 people), Germany has been losing annually over 100,000 people for several years now, but it's the highest annual loss so far.

A massive immigration to Spain (+651,000), Italy (+260,000), and the UK (+220,000), the numbers are similar to previous years and there's no sign of slowing down in the immigration to those 3 EU states.

A steady natural increase in France (+275,000) which alone provides about 75% of the natural increase of the entire EU (only +381,000). It's not that France has had an exceptionally good year, France has had an average annual natural increase of 250,000 for the past 20 years, so this year is just slightly above average, it's the rest of the EU which is experiencing a natality collapse.

haku
05-12-2006, 19:06
Some more interesting stats for 2005: Birth Rate (in brackets is the birth rate in 2000 to show the trend), Male Life Expectancy, and Female Life Expectancy.
BR MLE FLE

EU 1.52 (1.48) 75.8 81.9

Belgium 1.72 (1.61) 76.7 82.4
Czechia 1.28 (1.14) 72.9 79.1
Denmark 1.80 (1.77) 75.6 80.2
Germany 1.34 (1.38) 76.2 81.8
Estonia 1.50 (1.39) 67.3 78.1
Greece 1.28 (1.27) 76.6 81.5
Spain 1.34 (1.23) 77.4 83.9
France 1.94 (1.89) 76.7 83.8
Ireland 1.88 (1.90) 77.1 81.8
Italy 1.34 (1.26) 77.6 83.2
Cyprus 1.42 (1.64) 77.0 81.7
Latvia 1.31 (1.24) 65.6 77.4
Lithuania 1.27 (1.39) 65.4 77.4
Luxembourg 1.70 (1.78) 76.2 82.3
Hungary 1.32 (1.33) 68.6 76.9
Malta 1.37 (1.67) 77.7 81.4
Netherlands 1.73 (1.72) 77.2 81.6
Austria 1.41 (1.36) 76.7 82.2
Poland 1.24 (1.37) 70.8 79.4
Portugal 1.40 (1.55) 74.9 81.4
Slovenia 1.26 (1.26) 74.1 81.3
Slovakia 1.25 (1.30) 70.1 77.9
Finland 1.80 (1.73) 75.5 82.3
Sweden 1.77 (1.55) 78.4 82.8
UK 1.80 (1.64) 76.9 81.1
On average, male life expectancy has gained 1.4 year and female life expectancy 1.1 year since 2000, so the gap between genders is slowly decreasing. Life expectancy also tends to converge everywhere in the EU and all EU states should end up with the same life expectancy in the near future.

The EU's birth rate is slightly increasing but contrary to life expectancy, there is no convergence in sight, the situation is very different from state to state, from an extremely low 1.24 in Poland to an almost satisfactory 1.94 in France.
Besides the social consequences, those differences will also have political consequences, many EU states will see a decrease of their populations while others will see an increase, which will affect the number of seats attributed to those states in the EU parliament and modify significantly the current distribution.

coolasfcuk
02-01-2007, 05:11
well, congratulations to me i guess, Bulgaria is part of the EU from today :coctail: ... wether we were really wanted or not :gigi:

spyretto
02-01-2007, 05:48
well, congratulations to me i guess, Bulgaria is part of the EU from today :coctail: ... wether we were really wanted or not :gigi:

You didn't want to ? :eek:
Well, to be honest I think the move was a little premature, but so were those of 2004.
It'll take a while for the new member states to be frully integrated.

freddie
02-01-2007, 18:40
And we officially accepted Euro as our national currency. Goodbye tolar, hello confusion and high-value steel coins.

Bank of Slovenia declared our citizens functionally unable to perform simple multiplications and proceeded with it's plan of sending everyone a daft little pocket calculator (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2442910010048043026MAmume), which makes direct Euro-Tolar conversions. Sadly though it turns out people who're thick enough to have problems with simple "Euro-amount-times-239" calculations are also the ones who're having problems operating a pocker calculator. Go figure.

haku
15-02-2007, 19:02
The EU parliament has officially condemned (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6360817.stm) the CIA renditions conducted by many EU states.

For several years, people in Europe have been illegally abducted, detained and tortured with the complicity of our own governments, you would expect such behavior from the Gestapo, the Stasi or the Securitate, not from modern law enforcement agencies, i applaud the EU parliament for officially condemning those outrageous activities.
Shame on those who have collaborated with those operations and decided that violating EU laws and people's basic rights was worth it just to please the US government, it's a disgrace and an insult to everything the EU stands for.

haku
19-02-2007, 23:59
France set to overtake Germany as biggest EU state (http://euobserver.com/9/23522?rss_rk=1)

Talyubittu
04-03-2007, 13:37
France set to overtake Germany as biggest EU state (http://euobserver.com/9/23522?rss_rk=1)

good thing i'm learning both languages haha. interesting article - thanks for posting it.

haku
22-03-2007, 01:10
The EU parliament is to investigate an anti-homosexual law (http://euobserver.com/9/23746?rss_rk=1) that is currently being drafted by the Polish government. If Poland was to pass such a law, it would violate EU anti-discrimination rules and would lead to sanctions.

Unfortunately the current Polish government has been dangerously drifting into far-right fundamentalist views, causing concern in other EU states.
For example Poland has recently proposed that a reference to "god, christianity, and creationism" be added to European common values in the text celebrating the 50th anniversary of the EU, that proposal has of course been rejected.

QueenBee
22-03-2007, 01:20
That's just disgusting :grustno:

Talyubittu
22-03-2007, 03:33
That's just disgusting :grustno:

Ya...very.

haku
23-03-2007, 22:34
50 reasons to love the European Union
As the EU celebrates its anniversary, The Independent looks at 50 benefits it has brought, and asks: "What has Europe done for us?"

1. The end of war between European nations
While rows between England, France and Germany have been a feature of EU summits, war between Europe's major powers is now unthinkable. The fact that the two world wars that shaped the last century now seem so remote is, in itself, tribute to a visionary project that has permanently changed the landscape. As the EU celebrates the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome it is clear that while the detailed topography will always be difficult to agree, it is an extraordinary achievement that we are standing on common ground.

2. Democracy is flourishing in 27 countries
Spain, Portugal, Greece, and the EU's 10 ex-Communist countries are parliamentary democracies. None of these nations were truly free in the decades following the Second World War. Each is now a democracy anchored within the EU and is unlikely to change course.

3. Once poor countries like Ireland, Greece and Portugal prospering
EU subsidies well spent have been crucial to the lift-off of the Irish economy. Once firmly in Britain's economic shadow, the Celtic tiger has emerged. Gross domestic product per capita in Ireland in 2005 was 137.1 per cent of the EU average, compared to 116.8 per cent in the UK.

4. The creation of the world's largest internal trading market
The 27-nation EU now around 500m people making it the world's largest economic trading bloc. By comparison the US has a population of around 300m. The old EU 25 had 19.2 per cent of the World's exports as compared with 14.4 per cent from the US. This gap is set to grow following the last enlargement in January to 27 member states.

5. Shopping without frontiers has given consumers more power
European consumers can buy goods for their own use in whichever EU country they choose - in person, on the internet, over the telephone, or by mail order - without paying additional taxes. This competition is driving down prices and increasing quality

6. Co-operation on continent-wide immigration policy
Though EU countries set immigration levels the EU is increasingly active in the fight against illegal migration and in trying to match the labour needs of European countries to the supply of migrants. On the downside, the EU is increasingly an impregnable fortress and many lose their lives trying to get here by boat from Africa

7. Crime-busting co-operation, through Europol
This provides a clearing house for EU police forces. The police in EU member states can now use an EU arrest warrant to get suspects moved from one country to another where they will face serious charges without lengthy extradition procedures.

8. Laws which make it easier for British people to buy property in Europe
It may not be good for the environment but access to second homes a short-haul flight away has fulfilled the dreams of millions of Britons. Retirement or regular holidays from the south of Spain to the east of Bulgaria has become a reality for many and a legally safeguarded one at that.

9. Cleaner beaches and rivers throughout Europe
EU law and peer pressure - including annual reports - have forced the UK to clean up its act, for example bringing the once-dirty waters off Blackpool beach up to standard. The first EU legislation was passed in 1976 with two more pieces in 2002 and 2006. Now you can monitor the quality of bathing water by checking on a website.

10. Four weeks statutory paid holiday a year for workers in Europe
The EU Working Time Directive ensures that all Europeans get at least four weeks of paid holiday per year. In the US many workers get a fortnight. The same directive provides for 11 hours rest in every 24 and one day of rest per week plus a rest break if the working day is longer than six hours. Minimum standards are set for paid maternity and paternity leave.

11. No death penalty (incompatible with EU membership)
No EU member state has the death penalty and reintroduction of capital punishment would not be compatible with EU membership. Even countries outside the EU are having to review their policies if they want to be considered for membership of the club, most notably Turkey.

12. Competition means cheaper phone calls
Since the liberalisation of telecommunications in the 1980s loosened the grip of the monopolies, prices have plummeted. The European Commission says the cost of international calls in the EU has fallen by 80 per cent since 1984.

13. Small EU bureaucracy (24,000 employees, fewer than the BBC)
Despite the eurosceptic claims, the number of EU officials is surprisingly small. After the scandal of 1999 when the Brussels based European Commission resigned, strict new rules were imposed on spending.

14. Making the French eat British beef again
When the BSE crisis subsided and British meat was judged safe, the European Court of Justice ordered France to resume imports. France contested the ruling but had no alternative in the end. By contrast, the US retains an embargo.

15. Minority languages, like Irish, Welsh and Catalan recognised and protected
Minority languages are gaining recognition. Be it Irish, Welsh or Catalan, minority languages are getting a greater role thanks to the EU which even has a Commissioner for Multilingualism. Irish became an official language of the EU this year. Catalans have lesser language rights because their tongue is official only in one part of Spain, their member states. The EU - with 23 official languages - is doing more to keep lesser tongues alive than some individual member states.

16. Europe is helping to save the planet with regulatory cuts in CO2
The EU has announced the most ambitious targets for curbing carbon emissions, promising a cut of at least one-fifth on 1990 levels by 2020. Other parts of the world are being challenged to follow suit. The EU also has blazed a trail with its carbon emissions trading system which, despite teething troubles, is still a model for other parts of the world.

17. One currency from Bantry to Berlin (but not Britain)
The Euro is now the only real alternative to the dollar on the international stage. You can travel throughout 13 countries and use one currency. Slovenia became the 13th and latest nation to join the single currency this year. Several more nations have yet to meet the necessary criteria.

18. Europe wide bans on tyrants like Robert Mugabe
Smart sanctions on the Zimbabwean President and his cronies have been negotiated through the EU and prevent those on a list from visiting all 27 nations. Though countries differ in the way they believe the EU should treat the government in Harare, they all agreed to renew the sanctions for another year.

19. The EU gives twice as much aid to developing countries as the US
The European Union and its member states paid out more than ?43bn in 2005 in public aid to developing countries. This is the equivalent of 0.34 per cent of GNP of the 25 member states, and is higher than the per capita aid levels of the United States at around 0.2 per cent. More than ?7bn is channelled through the EU.

20. Strict safety standards for aircraft
Airlines deemed to be unsafe are now banned from travelling into any EU country. Recently some of Pakistan's national carrier were barred because of safety fears.

21. Free medical help for tourists
Any citizen of a European country is entitled to free medical treatment if he or she is taken ill or suffers an accident in another member state. So long as you carry the correct form from your national health service, no questions will be asked.

22. EU peace-keepers operate throughout the world
The EU is building its crisis intervention force and has taken over operations in Bosnia from Nato. EU forces have also been in action in Africa helping avert humanitarian crises. In addition the EU has a big policing project.

23. easyJet and Ryanair can fly anywhere without national rules protecting high cost flag carriers due to liberalisation of air travel
easyJet and Ryanair can fly anywhere without the national rules protecting high-cost flag carriers due to liberalisation of air travel. Any airlines granted a licence in an EU country - meeting safety standards and other conditions - can operate services anywhere within the EU. Between 1992 and 2000 prices at the cheaper end of the market fell by 40 per cent.

24. Introduction of pet passports
Since 2004 travelling across borders with pets has been easier. In addition to pet passports with a vaccination certificate pets require permanent identification which can be either a tattooed code on the skin or a microchip which can be read by a special machine. In the future the microchip is likely to be obligatory.

25. It will soon take only two hours from London to Paris by Eurostar
The Channel Tunnel, and high-speed lines in France and now Britain are not, properly speaking, EU projects. However, the tunnel was built partly as a means of reducing the mental barriers between Britain and the Continent. With the opening of the final section of Britain's fast line to St Pancras this year, trains will travel to Paris in two hours.

26. Prospect of EU membership has forced modernisation on Turkey
The presence of an affluent and stable bloc to its west has given the modernisers in Turkey the ally they needed to create a democratic constituency for change. That change has been pushed through with the promise of a European future.

27. Unparalleled rights for European consumers
Any consumer can send back a product if it breaks down within two years of purchase. Manufacturers often claim that they offer only a 12 month guarantee, but EU law states otherwise and consumers are demanding their rights.

28. Study programmes and cheap travel means greater mobility for Europe's youth
Through the Erasmus programme, in the 2003-4 academic year, 7,500 UK students spent between three and 12 months at a university in one of the other member states.

29. Food labelling is much clearer
All ingredients used in food products must be listed. Any GM ingredients must be mentioned as must colouring, preservatives and other chemical additives.

30. End of the road for border crossings (apart from in the UK)
Frontier posts have been abandoned between the 15 countries that have implemented the Schengen accords. This agreement means that EU nationals crossing most borders in continental western Europe do not need to show passports. The newer nations plan to join in soon.

31. Compensation for air delays
Passengers must get immediate help if their flight is delayed by more than a few hours, cancelled without notice or if they are denied boarding because the plane is overbooked. The carrier must make alternative travel arrangements unless the passenger asks for their money back instead. Depending on the length of the delay they must provide food and refreshments and accommodation if necessary.

32. Strict ban on animal testing for the cosmetic industry
Since November 2004 the EU has banned animal testing on finished cosmetic products entirely. Remaining safety testing on animals of ingredients for cosmetics will be ended.

33. Greater protection for Europe's wildlife
Tough European laws protect birds, flora and fauna, although the EU bird directive is widely flouted in southern Europe, particularly in Malta where 2m migratory birds are shot each year, including 80 protected species which are shot or trapped by hunters.

34. Regional development fund has aided the deprived parts of Britain
Some of the UK's poorest regions have benefited from massive handouts from the EU which has been used to regenerate some of the country's most run-down areas. Scotland's Highland and Islands have benefited enormously as have the Welsh mining valleys, Cornwall and deprived inner cities like Liverpool.

35. European driving licences recognised
Driving licences issued in one EU country are valid in any other, providing they are modern, EU-standard, ones with a photo identity. This means that the old days of having to gain translations for a UK permit to drive in Italy are over.

36. Britons now feel a lot less insular
A famous newspaper headline (perhaps apocryphal) once read "Fog in Channel; Continent Cut Off". Remember the 1960s, when Ostend seemed like an exotic destination? EU membership has not dried up the English Channel but is has helped to remove the psychological barriers between Britain and the continent.

37. Europe's bananas remain bent, despite sceptics' fears
The suggestion that the EU wanted to impose straight bananas, or blue bananas, or ban all but Caribbean bananas, is one of the oldest of Euro-myths. Obsessive euro-harmonisation of rules is a thing of the past.

38. Strong economic growth - greater than the US last year
The EU's ambition to overtake America economically by 2010 has been ridiculed. The German economy has picked up with the UK and Nordic nations are performing strongly. Even Italy, thought to be in dire straits last year, is clocking up reasonable growth. The European Commission said it expects the economy of the 27-nation European Union to grow 2.7 per cent this year, ahead of the US's estimated 2.5 per cent

39. Single market has brought the best continental footballers to Britain
The Bosman ruling, based on European law, and other decisions, have freed up football transfers. From Eric Cantona to Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo, British fans have been enjoying watching Europe's finest talent for the past 15 years.

40. Human rights legislation has protected the rights of the individual
The introduction of the Human Rights Acts has provided a legal framework to prevent abuses of power.

41. European parliament provides democratic checks on all EU laws
The European Parliament, directly elected since 1979, has been given increased powers over the years. The parliament has made a significant impact in areas ranging from the environment to animal rights.

42. EU gives more, not less, sovereignty to nation states
Switzerland and Norway, two independent countries have little or no negotiating leverage when they deal with the EU. In fact they have less sovereignty than member states who decide the policy. Britons are more able to control their own destiny - in areas from international trade, to environmental protection, to consumer rights - because they are part of a 27 nation, democratic bloc. Real sovereignty, rather than theoretical sovereignty, is enhanced by EU membership.

43. Maturing EU is a proper counterweight to the power of US and China
As it develops common foreign and defence policies, the EU is finding its voice. Europe's interests and those of America and the emerging powers, such as China and India, will sometimes coincide, sometimes conflict. Could Britain's interests be protected if we stood alone or if we became a junior partner of the US?

44. European immigration has boosted the British economy
Hundreds of thousands of Poles commute between Poland and Britain. More surprisingly the economies of both countries are booming. The UK economy has benefited from a surge of well-qualified, highly motivated workers.

45. EU common research programme
Job opportunities and Europe-wide access to education mean there really are Europeans now who see the need to speak at least three modern languages.

46. Europe has set Britain an example how properly to fund a national health service
Some continental countries have health funding problems but several, the Dutch in particular, provide quality care while keeping down costs. It took the EU to rule that British patients had a right to seek care abroad.

47. British restaurants now much more cosmopolitan because of European influences
Britain has become - let us admit it - a more continental country in the last 34 years. We now care about what we eat. Nowhere has this been more marked than in the quality and variety of food being offered in our restaurants.

48. Mobility for career professionals throughout Europe
Professionals from doctors to architects now have a right to have their national qualifications recognised across the EU. Language and cultural barriers will always remain a problem for professionals but there are can no longer be purely protectionist obstacles to a career in another EU country.

49. Europe has revolutionised British attitudes to food and cooking
Despite major drawbacks, the bloated Common Agricultural Policy has enabled small family farmers to flourish in Europe. Its support has led to the birth of the Slow Food movement and arrival in British towns of farmers markets, growing with quality organics produce. Bon appetit!

50. Lists like this drive Eurosceptics mad
In the Daily Mail-Sun universe, the EU can never do any good. Brussels is an insane bureaucracy, which secretly plots to have all donkeys painted blue (with yellow stars). The 50th birthday of the European project is a time to celebrate the many positive things which the EU has brought us.

The Independent (http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/article2377694.ece) (UK)

dradeel
23-03-2007, 23:24
50 reasons to love the European Union
I enjoyed reading this. Just confirms my wish for Norway to someday join EU - hopefully not in too many years... :)
50. Lists like this drive Eurosceptics mad
:laugh:

spyretto
23-03-2007, 23:37
3. Once poor countries like Ireland, Greece and Portugal prospering
.

Dunno about Ireland and Portugal but I wouldn't call what's happening in Greece right now "prospering". Oh yeah the big corps and the banks prosper but the common people are relying on loans that are gonna have a tough time repaying as they're passed on to their kids and maybe the grand-kids. So this is a side-effect of the overt capitalism coming to our country - live a life on loans and don't care about tomorrow, an unknown situation until recently to the traditionally economicaly-modest-small-means-surviving Greek. Well, not anymore...

Spain, Portugal, Greece, and the EU's 10 ex-Communist countries are parliamentary democracies

This is a bit nonsensical too, Greece has uninterrupted democracy since 1974. Monarchy and the junda were all pre-1974. The guy is abviously not well informed as far as Greece is concerned.
Greece had applied to be a member state since the late 50's when the whole thing started - that didn't stop the junda taking power in their hands. The membership talks resumed after Greece got rid of the dictators and re-installed democracy, so I guess the European Community at the time were unable to prevent anything.
Things are getting hairy between Greece and the Turks again, well we'll see what the EU can prevent this time around.

The stuff about Britain, most of them seem close to the truth ( food and health services in particular ). But is food and restaurants really that important? I mean getting a better health service to follow the examply of the Dutch or whoever would be a step ahead that would qualify as a reason but it's not really happening , is it?. And I didn't know the Poles boosted the Brits economy, this is I guess debatable... Otherwise they wouldn't want to impose bans is it? well now they might have to think twice if things are as rosy as described on the Independent.

I'm all for Europe but whoever wrote this is very euro-friendly, hehe

dradeel
24-03-2007, 01:29
And I didn't know the Poles boosted the Brits economy, this is I guess debatable...
Do not underestimate Polish workers... :) There are even a huge flow of polish workers to Norway ... they are cheaper and they are more efficient as they actually finish their work quickly without whining before moving over to a new project :laugh: and they do just as good work as any norwegian worker. This is mostly in the construction business...

Work that locals are getting too lazy to do are left for the ones who wants to do a good job - Polish summer-time workers (more and more are coming anytime during the year now tho), and they get rewarded with more work offers. This means more competition and forces businesses to think new. Which again means cheaper prizes and a pick-and-choose role for consumers when it comes to quality and price. It actually has made a difference here... so yeah, I'm guessing it's somewhat the same in Britain.

spyretto
24-03-2007, 09:23
a similar thing happened in Greece with the Albanians and they weren't even EU...so when is Albania joining the force?

haku
24-03-2007, 23:40
when is Albania joining the force?Around 2015, it's the informal target date for the rest of the Western Balkans to join the EU.

Most EU states favor a rather quick integration of the Western Balkans anyway since at that point the EU will have more or less reached its final borders. With enlargement done and over with, the EU will be able to fully focus on internal matters with stable external borders.

******

An interesting interview with Max Kohnstamm (http://euobserver.com/9/23759?rss_rk=1), a man who worked with the founding fathers of the EU right after the end of the second world war.

'We had no time to philosophise about this revolution'

It was during a trip to a destroyed Germany in 1947 when Max Kohnstamm, a Dutchman working as a private secretary for queen Wilhelmina, became deeply convinced that Europe should take "common responsibility" for its post-war future.

"That journey made a great impression on me," says Mr Kohnstamm who just a few years later became one of the pioneers of European integration and a close collaborator of EU 'founding father' Jean Monnet.

"I was especially overwhelmed by the unimaginable destruction of Germany," the now 92 year-old tells EUobserver in his home in the Belgian Ardennes.

"When you saw children crawling out of the from the ruins it appeared hard to defend that these children were guilty of Auschwitz," he states.

During the German occupation of the Netherlands, Mr Kohnstamm himself had spent periods in the concentration camp of Amersfoort and the prisoner camp of Sint-Michielsgestel.

But seeing Germany's despair, it became evident to him that "the reconstruction of the Dutch economy would lead to nothing if at the other side of the border, the desert would start."

On the other hand, Dutch memories of Nazi agression were still very fresh. "What sense does it make to have the Ruhr area in full swing if used to produce bombs which can be thrown at Rotterdam?"

When Mr Kohnstamm worked as a foreign ministry official in 1948-1949, political circles in The Hague were already searching for solutions for the difficult German question, mooting plans to integrate Germany in some sort of pan-European economic structure.

'This step had to succeed'
But it was France's foreign minister Robert Schuman who in May 1950 presented - in Mr Kohnstamm's words - a "revolutionary" plan to put Franco-German production of coal and steel under a common High Authority, in a scheme open to other countries that might be interested.

Immediately inspired by the Schuman plan, Mr Kohnstamm became a member of the Dutch delegation in negotiations between six nations on what was to become a European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).

The ECSC talks were chaired by another Frenchman who had been the real brain behind the Schuman plan - Jean Monnet, at that time the head of the French General Planning Commission.

"At the opening of the negotiations, Monnet very clearly stressed the revolutionary nature of this process," Mr Kohnstamm recalls on the first round of the talks, which he describes as "to a large extent informal" with a small number of people.

"On the nature of the revolution, we did not philosophise a lot. There was no time for that. We made this step and it had to succeed. If it failed, there would not be much more left to think about."

Meanwhile, West Germany was an equal partner in the talks - something which was not that self-evident, even if the upcoming Soviet threat made re-engagement of the Germans a matter of urgency.

One close Monnet aide, Etienne Hirsch, had lost his parents in Auschwitz. "But he negotiated with the German delegation on the basis of equality. That was proof of a greatness of vision."

Meanwhile for the Netherlands - strongly oriented towards the UK and the US - it was hard to swallow that the British had chosen to stay out of the talks.

"The Germans were hated by a large part of the population, the Italians we had never really taken seriously, we did not trust the French and we didn't really trust the Belgians either," Mr Kohnstamm describes the early post-war atmosphere in the Netherlands.

Monnet's view on the world
But the revolutionary negotiations succeeded, and Mr Kohnstamm was rewarded in 1952 with a job as the first Secretary of the High Authority - the executive body - of the European Coal and Steel Community.

Mr Kohnstamm worked directly under Jean Monnet who served as the ECSC's first president, leading to a close working and personal relationship between the two.

The Dutchman also followed Monnet when he switched from the ECSC to the so-called Action Committee for the United States of Europe, a pressure group lobbying for further European integration from 1956 onwards.

During those years, he gradually developed an understanding of Monnet's deeper motivations, which the Frenchman did not often share with others.

Monnet had no end-goal in sight for the European project, but rather saw it as a "process without an end," Mr Kohnstamm says.

"For Monnet, terms like federation or confederation – those were words. But the process was clear – a process through which people started to realise that they had a common responsibility."

"One of the rare times when our conversations did go in-depth, Monnet said: look, freedom of goods, services, people, capital is very important and necessary, but what this is really about is to get people to understand that it's not about my interest against your interest, but that in this world, only common solutions are possible."

Message for the future
This was, according to Mr Kohnstamm, Monnet's "view on the world" - a view which the Dutchman wants to pass on to younger generations. His message on the occasion of the EU's 50th birthday is directed to world leaders rather than to Europe alone.

Mr Kohnstamm says he is "not very worried" about the EU's current constitutional crisis and believes the integration process is "continuing."

"The essential element of it is the common decision-making and the European Court in Luxembourg. The greatest triumph has been that in these 50 years, not a single government has said – well, the heck with it."

"But on the level of world politics, we are busy returning to the balance of power as the regulating principle," he says expressing deep concern about the power politics of the US in particular, citing various examples such as Washington's recent coalition-building efforts with Japan and Australia against China.

"We know from our own history what that leads to...If you want to put it in a very dark way: the European Community was created not before, but only after 40 million people were killed."

By Mark Beunderman

haku
25-03-2007, 15:55
Text of the Berlin Declaration

Declaration on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the signature of the Treaties of Rome

For centuries Europe has been an idea, holding out hope of peace and understanding. That hope has been fulfilled. European unification has made peace and prosperity possible. It has brought about a sense of community and overcome differences. Each Member State has helped to unite Europe and to strengthen democracy and the rule of law. Thanks to the yearning for freedom of the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe the unnatural division of Europe is now consigned to the past. European unification shows that we have learnt the painful lessons of a history marked by bloody conflict. Today we live together as was never possible before.

We, the citizens of the European Union, have united for the better.

I

In the European Union, we are turning our common ideals into reality: for us, the individual is paramount. His dignity is inviolable. His rights are inalienable. Men and women enjoy equal rights. We are striving for peace and freedom, for democracy and the rule of law, for mutual respect and shared responsibility, for prosperity and security, for tolerance and participation, for justice and solidarity.

We have a unique way of living and working together in the European Union. This is expressed through the democratic interaction of the Member States and the European institutions. The European Union is founded on equal rights and mutually supportive co-operation. This enables us to strike a fair balance between Member States' interests.

We preserve in the European Union the identities and diverse traditions of its Member States. We are enriched by open borders and a lively variety of languages, cultures and regions. There are many goals which we cannot achieve on our own, but only in concert. Tasks are shared between the European Union, the Member States and their regions and local authorities.

II

We are facing major challenges which do not stop at national borders. The European Union is our response to these challenges. Only together can we continue to preserve our ideal of European society in future for the good of all European Union citizens, This European model combines economic success and social responsibility. The common market and the euro make us strong. We can thus shape the increasing interdependence of the global economy and ever-growing competition on international markets according to our values. Europe's wealth lies in the knowledge and ability of its people; that is the key to growth, employment and social cohesion.

We will fight terrorism and organised crime together. We stand up for liberties and civil rights also in the struggle against those who oppose them. Racism and xenophobia must never again be given any rein.

We are committed to the peaceful resolution of conflicts in the world and to ensuring that people do not become victims of war, terrorism and violence. The European Union wants to promote freedom and development in the world. We want to drive back poverty, hunger and disease. We want to continue to take a leading role in that fight.

We intend jointly to lead the way in energy policy and climate protection and make our contribution to averting the global threat of climate change.

III

The European Union will continue to thrive both on openness and on the will of its Member States to consolidate the Union's internal development. The European Union will continue to promote democracy, stability and prosperity beyond its borders.

With European unification a dream of earlier generations has become a reality. Our history reminds us that we must protect this for the good of future generations. For that reason we must always renew the political shape of Europe in keeping with the times. That is why today, 50 years after the signing of the Treaties of Rome, we are united in our aim of placing the European Union on a renewed common basis before the European Parliament elections in 2009.

For we know, Europe is our common future.

haku
28-03-2007, 04:14
EU countries to scrap extra charges for cross-border payments

EU finance ministers have unanimously supported a new package of rules for making payments across the union without extra charges. The move could lead to cross-border payment transactions costing the same as payments within one member state.

The so-called Payment Services Directive, adopted on Tuesday (27 March), provides the legal framework for a single payments area - with no national barriers to impede companies from offering their services across borders and no extra fees for consumers to use their debit or credit cards abroad or send money anywhere in the EU.

The European Commission believes that the reduction of costs will save the EU economy ?50-100 billion per year and make it simpler and cheaper for Europeans to make cross-border payments.

The package should provide conditions for new types of payment services offered for example by mobile operators or supermarkets. Payment firms will be allowed to issue credit to someone in another country for up to 12 months.

Under the new rules, companies that wire migrant workers' salaries home will be allowed to operate in other EU member states without having a base there, while it will be easier for consumers to set up direct debits to banks in another EU country.

"Assuming that the compromise text is acceptable to the European Parliament, the payment services directive will ensure that consumers benefit from high level of protection and a broader choice of payment services," EU internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy told journalists after the ministerial meeting.

While member states objected to some technical details regarding the new rules, they agreed to go ahead with the legislation and tasked the commission to review its functioning three years after it is implemented at national level - scheduled for November 2009.

Brussels argues that more efficient and competitive payments market should also lead to cuts in fees for basic banking services, for which Europeans pay on average from ?34 to as much as ?252 per year.

EU Observer (http://euobserver.com/9/23795)


I think this will make everybody in Europe happy. :kawai:

haku
29-03-2007, 20:09
Poland to fight for 'square root' law in EU treaty

Poland plans to propose a new voting system in the upcoming EU treaty talks that will be based on square roots of populations instead of simple populations. The so-called "Penrose square root law" would give Warsaw more say against Berlin, with one Polish official already talking about potential Polish vetoes.

The plan was confirmed by Poland's lead negotiators on the new treaty, Marek Cichocki (a historian) and Ewa Osniecka-Tamecka (a senior Polish official), to Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza on Wednesday (28 March) - three months before the June EU summit hopes to clinch agreement on a "roadmap" for a new text.

"If other countries do not want to discuss our proposal, we will take the last resort," Ms Osniecka-Tamecka said, on the possibility of a Polish veto on constitution talks. The new voting plan would be a "Polish historical rebate" for the fact that "for 50 years Poland for no fault of its own was outside EU integration," Mr Cichocki added.

The current draft constitution has a so-called double majority system, which requires at least 15 out of 27 EU states which represent at least 65 percent of the total EU population to get a decision through. Similar rules exist for establishing "blocking minorities" to stop reforms from going ahead.

Poland's Penrose system requires at least 14 out of 27 EU states which represent at least 62 percent of national votes, which are awarded on the basis of square roots of population. In the draft constitution Germany has 82 population "points" while Poland has 38. In the Penrose scheme, Germany has nine votes and Poland has six.

Lionel Penrose was a British mathematician of the 1940s, whose ideas on game theory keep on bobbing up in EU debate. Ms Osniecka-Tamecka - who runs Poland's EU integration office, UKIE - told Polish press she hopes for French, British, Dutch, Romanian and Czech support. The Polish opposition party, Civic Platform, already backs the idea.

The issue of voting rights is at the heart of the EU's intricate power balance. If draft constitution ideas on extending the range of issues subject to qualified majority voting instead of consensus go forward, voting rights will carry even more importance. Issues such as immigration and budget deficit procedures are set to undergo the shift to qualified majority.

Voting rights are also a hot topic in future enlargement. The existing double majority would have no problem coping with Croatia or Macedonia. But if Turkey - which reopened EU accession talks this week - joins in, say, 2020, when it is forecast to have a population of almost 90 million, it would immediately become the most powerful EU state.

But with Germany last weekend setting a daring timetable of ratifying a new EU treaty by 2009, Poland's suggestion to open the Pandora's Box of voting is unlikely to go down well. German chancellor Angela Merkel's man in the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering, has already pleaded with Warsaw to leave voting alone.

Speaking to EUobserver in Warsaw in February, when the Penrose idea was already doing the rounds, the head of Polish think-thank demosEUROPA Pawel Swieboda speculated that Penrose could be a Polish bluff, with the real government position being to keep the existing double majority system but to cap the maximum population weight at, say, 70, so that no country, no matter how populous, could dominate the club.

The latter idea would also address the Turkey challenge.

The Polish expert's advice to Warsaw is that the best way to secure lasting influence in the EU would be to "ratify the constitution as it stands, ratify it now." But his advice clashes with the Kaczynski twins' view of Brussels, who see it as an arena of competing national interests where solidarity is a fable.

EU Observer (http://euobserver.com/9/23808)


The current Polish government has really decided to turn Poland into the most troublesome EU state.

"Square roots of population" to determine voting rights of EU states, how is that even remotely democratic? That would mean that EU citizens would be worth more or less depending on which EU state they live in, that would be completely unfair. Voting rights must reflect exactly the size of the population of a given EU state, 1 man = 1 vote.

freddie
30-03-2007, 08:57
Mwahaha... they can keep dreaming. :p

haku
20-04-2007, 14:04
EU agrees breakthrough hate-crime law

After six years of political wrangling, the European Union has agreed to make incitement to racism and xenophobia a crime across the 27-nation bloc, setting a jail sentence of at least one to three years. But the text avoids controversial terms such as the Holocaust and crimes under the Stalin regime.

The deal agreed by justice ministers on Thursday (19 April) "proves that the EU now has moral responsibility and not only on the economy" EU home affairs commissioner Franco Frattini said.

"There is no safe haven for racist violence, anti-Semitism or people inciting to xenophobic hatred," he added, underlining the text agreed by ministers is "a right balance between fully respecting freedom of speech and punishing any criminal actions, not ideas."

Under the new law, offenders will face up to three years in jail for "public incitement to violence or hatred, directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin."

The same rules will apply to people "publicly condoning, denying, or grossly trivialising crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes," but only those recognised under statutes of the International Criminal Court.

According to German justice minister Brigitte Zypries, speaking on behalf of Berlin's six-month EU presidency, the EU-wide sentencing framework is "an important political signal...especially to the young generation."

However, the wording has been carefully chosen to make it acceptable to the UK, Ireland and the Scandinavian countries, who were particularly worried about the scope of freedom of speech.

Denial of the Holocaust is allowed under British freedom of speech rules, unless it specifically incites racial hatred.

On the other hand, the three Baltic countries and Poland and Slovenia - all carrying the burden of a communist past - gave up their demand that crimes under the Stalin regime in the former Soviet Union also fall under the bill's scope.

In exchange, a declaration saying the EU will organise high profile public debates on totalitarian regimes accompanies the new law. "This is our political response to those concerns," Mr Frattini said.

EU Observer (http://euobserver.com/9/23902)

fanoff
20-04-2007, 15:16
Voting rights are also a hot topic in future enlargement. The existing double majority would have no problem coping with Croatia or Macedonia. But if Turkey - which reopened EU accession talks this week - joins in, say, 2020, when it is forecast to have a population of almost 90 million, it would immediately become the most powerful EU state.


That's why EU doesnt seem to get Turkey in,not the protecting human rights or reforms or someting.

QueenBee
20-04-2007, 15:35
That's why EU doesnt seem to get Turkey in,not the protecting human rights or reforms or someting.
I'm happy to hear that.

fanoff
20-04-2007, 15:49
I'm happy to hear that.

I know Turkey is still developing both in economical and democratical way,but the reasons to not let Turkey in are not in a supportive way,just building up unbreakable walls,they'll be funnier in a further time,saying we dont have enough ground on Europe,and we dont own them culturally:D.

haku
26-04-2007, 18:00
Poland urged to halt 'homophobia'

The European Parliament has called on Poland to stop public leaders inciting discrimination against homosexuals.

The resolution follows a statement by a deputy education minister that Poland was drafting a law to punish teachers who "promoted" homosexuality.

Poland's PM later said there would be no discrimination against gay teachers.

But MEPs repeated an appeal to EU anti-racism experts to look into "the emerging climate of racist, xenophobic and homophobic intolerance in Poland".

They asked the Polish authorities to "publicly condemn and take measures against declarations by public leaders inciting discrimination and hatred based on sexual orientation" and called on European Parliament leaders to send a fact-finding mission.

In a debate on the resolution on Wednesday, British gay MEP Michael Cashman said a country that had lived under repression should know the value of fundamental human rights.

Walk-out

"You should be teaching us about fundamental values and that is why we will not hesitate to defend human rights and human rights' defenders wherever they are," he said.

But Polish MEP Witold Tomczak said homosexuality was against the law of nature, and called on "so-called defenders of human rights" to tackle "discrimination against normal families".

"Every person has a right to life and deserves respect and help, including one who - lost and scarred - has given into homosexual tendencies.

"The solution is to help those who suffer and to provide them with the cure that they expect us to deliver."

Several Polish MEPs walked out of the chamber when attempts to prevent the debate failed.

Poland's deputy education minister, Miroslaw Orzechowski, said last month that a law banning the promotion of homosexuality in schools would be finished within weeks.

Human rights organisations said it would prevent lessons promoting tolerance towards homosexuals, and the dissemination of lifesaving information about Aids.

'Biologically useless'

"It was not just any person who made this dreadful statement, it was a member of the government, helping to contribute to a climate in which hatred is regarded as normal," said Dutch MEP Sophia in't Veld.

Employment and Equal Opportunities commissioner Vladimir Spidla warned that any measures banning discussion of homosexuality in schools would violate European law.

Mr Orzechowski is a member of the League of Polish Families, a junior partner in the coalition led by Mr Kaczynski's Law and Justice Party.

The AFP news agency reports that an MEP from the League of Polish Families, Maciej Giertych, has published a pamphlet stating that homosexuality is "biologically useless" and "reversible" as long as there is "the desire to become heterosexual and the spiritual motivation".

BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6596829.stm)

************

MEPs rally round Geremek in war on Warsaw

MEPs from the major political groups rallied round Polish liberal deputy Bronislaw Geremek on Wednesday (25 April), after Polish authorities threatened to strip his MEP mandate in a spat over lustration - Warsaw's hunt for Communist-era collaborators.

MEPs from the conservative, socialist, liberal, green and far-left parties reacted with noisy applause in Strasbourg plenary after liberal group leader Graham Watson called on parliament to use "all legal means possible" to protect Mr Geremek, with the legal affairs committee set to look into the case in the coming weeks.

The events - described as "a rare moment of life in the chamber" by one liberal group official - come after Poland's National Elections Committee wrote to Mr Geremek, saying it will take away his MEP mandate if he does not submit a fresh lustration declaration in line with a new Polish law.

"To this imperative demand that urges me to subordinate to a humiliating procedure I have only one answer - I refuse," Mr Geremek fired back in a public statement, saying the law violates the Polish constitution on "respect for human dignity."

"[Lustration] threatens the freedom of speech, media freedom and the autonomy of the universities. It creates a kind of ministry of truth, or a police of memory," he added, calling for Poland's "democratic forces" to rally for the "protection of Poland's good name."

Poland's name has certainly taken a bashing in EU circles since the rightist-coalition government of the Kaczynski twins came to power in late 2005, with MEPs from the Kaczynskis' Law and Justice party heckling Mr Geremek's supporters in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

The Kaczynskis' lustration campaign is designed to usher in a Polish "Fourth Republic" by purging society and the post-Communist administration of collaborators with the old regime, recently targeting ex-Polish president, Wojciech Jaruzelski, on criminal charges.

Polish prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski defended his policy in Brussels last week by saying that Spanish or Italian media which have called lustration a "witch-hunt" or a new "inquisition" do so "on the basis of a total lack of knowledge about Poland."

The lustration law is a hot topic inside Poland as well, with some popular support for exposing the hypocrisy of senior Roman Catholic clergy who passed information to secret police and for the Jaruzelski move - the ex-president is arguably responsible for up to 90 killings in the 1980s.

But Law and Justice's suggestion there is some kind of ex-Communist cabal secretly running the country and the extension of lustration to teachers and journalists is seen as ugly populism by others. "The 'Fourth Republic' idea is absurd," one senior Polish official told EUobserver.

Gambit could damage Kaczynskis
Mr Geremek's attack on lustration has the potential to further damage the Kaczynskis' reputation in the EU: as an ex-Polish foreign minister with strong Solidarnosc credentials, he has friends in high places. The professional historian is widely-respected in Brussels and was once tipped to be parliament president.

His attack also comes in the context of the Kaczynskis' ruling coalition partners, the League of Polish Families party, publishing anti-Semitic literature and tabling legislation to throw gay schoolteachers out of work or tighten further Poland's strict abortion laws.

But the Geremek gambit also takes him into uncharted legal territory, with one parliament contact saying the Polish lustration law works via an "automatism" that dictates Mr Geremek's mandate must be taken away. "We just don't know what will happen," the source said.

"It's a very complex, very delicate matter and it's too early to say anything," another European Parliament official said. "We've had cases before where national legislatures have withdrawn members, but never for such a reason. We'll have to see what the legal affairs committee says."

EU Observer (http://euobserver.com/9/23939)

************

How can a country go from communism to borderline fascism in only 15 years? And who put twins in power, i mean seriously wtf? I can only hope that Polish people are going to wake up and realize that the country is engaged on a very dangerous road.

PowerPuff Grrl
26-04-2007, 23:28
How can a country go from communism to borderline fascism in only 15 years? And who put twins in power, i mean seriously wtf? I can only hope that Polish people are going to wake up and realize that the country is engaged on a very dangerous road.

:p Lol, I first heard of the Kaczynski Twins on the Daily Show, the American version of a fake news show. I swear to God I thought it was a joke at the time.
But seriously, that's some massive regression going there.

The AFP news agency reports that an MEP from the League of Polish Families, Maciej Giertych, has published a pamphlet stating that homosexuality is "biologically useless" and "reversible" as long as there is "the desire to become heterosexual and the spiritual motivation".

Now I personally think the "gay gene" theory is dubious but you can totally see the line of reasoning with this shit. Removing any evidence pertaining to the belief that LGBTs are "born that way" hate crimes committed towards them wouldn't be considered as bad as say, anti-Semitism. Fault could then be placed on non-hetersexual people for "voluntarily" participating in acts that would get them hurt, thus it would be their fault for not getting the help, or "spiritual motivation," to become heterosexual.

Assholes, fucking assholes.
I'm sorry these kind of people get to me. If it were sooo easy to switch your sexuality then how about they lead by example and become homosexual.

haku
27-04-2007, 18:22
Now I personally think the "gay gene" theory is dubious but you can totally see the line of reasoning with this shit. Removing any evidence pertaining to the belief that LGBTs are "born that way" hate crimes committed towards them wouldn't be considered as bad as say, anti-Semitism. Fault could then be placed on non-hetersexual people for "voluntarily" participating in acts that would get them hurt, thus it would be their fault for not getting the help, or "spiritual motivation," to become heterosexual.The political agenda of the League of Polish Families is very similar to that of the National Socialist party in Germany before WWII, it's pure fascism full of hate and intolerance toward anything that is not a good christian heterosexual ethnic polish. They even proposed an EU-wide ban of homosexuality and that Christianity be declared the official religion of the EU, that shows how delusional they are, they are even worse than the French National Front, it's complete madness that such a party is in a ruling government.
The worst for Poland is that the extremist positions of the current government has completely discredited Polish representatives in EU institutions, few people listen to their intolerant rantings. Anyway, those new Polish laws, if they are voted and enforced, will violate many EU regulations and there will be consequences for Poland.

**********

Dollar falls to record euro low

The dollar has fallen to a new all-time low against the euro after data showed that US economic growth disappointed in the first three months of the year.

The 1.3% first quarter economic expansion - the slowest pace for four years - pushed the greenback down 45 cents to $1.3658 in Friday trade.

Analysts predict the US currency will fall further on renewed expectations of interest rate cuts to support growth.

The pound strengthened against the dollar, still trading above $2.

Tainted

US GDP figures were tainted by lower exports and widespread problems in the world's biggest economy's housing market.

"I think we're going to see 1.38 [euros to the dollar] without too much trouble here," said Joe Trevisani, chief market analyst at FX Solutions, in Saddle River, New Jersey.

On the other hand, the upward momentum in the European single currency is being bolstered by strong economic growth in the 13-member eurozone.

The euro also reached a record peak against the Japanese yen, hitting 162.88 after the data was released.

BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6600363.stm)

haku
30-04-2007, 23:53
US and EU agree 'single market'

The United States and the European Union have signed up to a new transatlantic economic partnership at a summit in Washington.

The pact is designed to boost trade and investment by harmonising regulatory standards, laying the basis for a US-EU single market.

The two sides also signed an Open Skies deal, designed to reduce fares and boost traffic on transatlantic flights.

But little of substance was agreed on climate change.

However, EU leaders were pleased the US acknowledged human activity was a major cause.

Richest regions

Economics rather than the environment or politics was the focus of the summit, says the BBC's Europe correspondent, Jonny Dymond, from Washington.

The two sides agreed to set up an "economic council" to push ahead with regulatory convergence in nearly 40 areas, including intellectual property, financial services, business takeovers and the motor industry.

The aim is to increase trade and lower costs.

Some reports suggest that incompatible regulations in the world's two richest regions add 10% to the cost of developing and producing new cars.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency, said last month that if the US and EU could set business norms today, they would "secure the markets of tomorrow".

She has made repairing damaged relations with the US a top priority, since she came to office 18 months ago.

Emission cuts

The Europeans said they were pleased that the US now officially acknowledges that climate change is happening and that human activity is a major cause of it.

"We agree there's a threat, there's a very serious global threat," said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

"We agree that there is a need to reduce emissions. We agree that we should work together."

But behind the scenes, says our Europe correspondent, officials were saying that not much had changed.

Ms Merkel will try to nudge the US towards a global approach to climate change before a G8 summit Germany is chairing in six weeks' time, says our correspondent.

But the US has consistently rejected the European approach of imposing national limits on greenhouse gas emissions, saying they would harm the international economy.

Visa hope

The Open Skies agreement will take effect on 30 March 2008 and will allow EU carriers to fly to anywhere in the US and vice versa.

The deal promises to lower airfares and widen choice for passengers on both sides of the Atlantic.

The EU hopes to go further and create an "Open Aviation Area" between the two sides "in which investment can flow freely and in which European and US airlines can provide air services without any restriction," said a EU statement.

The EU is also hoping that the US will agree to withdraw its visa requirement for travellers from a number of EU states.

BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6607757.stm)

Ace of Order
04-05-2007, 01:43
So... President Bush is thinking of vetoing sexual orientation hate crimes legislation...

That upsets me, as an American, and definitely as a Rhode Islander. If he vetoes that legislation, there's only one mode of recourse left to my state.

We're joining the European Union.

Really. We have just over a million people in RI, I promise it won't unbalance the powers that be in the EU. And we're just as liberal as you guys across the Atlantic are. Think of us as a colony (Just give us our voting rights and promise not to meddle in our affairs).

Seriously, my American pride is so strained at the moment... it's getting to the point where RI just needs to secede from the Union. :o

Khartoun2004
04-05-2007, 01:47
So... President Bush is thinking of vetoing sexual orientation hate crimes legislation...

That upsets me, as an American, and definitely as a Rhode Islander. If he vetoes that legislation, there's only one mode of recourse left to my state.

We're joining the European Union.

Really. We have just over a million people in RI, I promise it won't unbalance the powers that be in the EU. And we're just as liberal as you guys across the Atlantic are. Think of us as a colony (Just give us our voting rights and promise not to meddle in our affairs).

Seriously, my American pride is so strained at the moment... it's getting to the point where RI just needs to secede from the Union. :o

Yeah I second that except... I would say Save the Northeast!!, except for Conneticut... they gave us Bush in the first place... Please???? We won't cause any problems...

haku
04-05-2007, 14:20
A US state asking for EU membership, that would cause quite a stir. :D I guess New England states would fit in alright, they would just need to generalize the metric system and allow women to be topless on beaches to comply with EU regulations. :p

Rhode Island could also try to join the Canadian federation, it's closer, and if you took Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine with you, you would even have territorial continuity. :D


************
Poland's ban of gay parade ruled illegal

Poland has lost its case against a group of gay parade organisers, with the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights ruling unanimously that Warsaw's ban on a 2005 rally - which took place anyway - was illegal.

In a verdict announced on Thursday (3 May), the court said Poland broke several principles covered by the European human rights conventions, such as freedom of assembly and prohibition of discrimination.

Back in 2005 - after the organisers filed their request for a permission to hold a tolerance march in May and a rally in June - the Mayor of Warsaw said in a newspaper interview that in his view, "propaganda about homosexuality is not tantamount to exercising one's freedom of assembly."

He then went on to refuse to give the green light to organisers. But the June parade went ahead anyway and was attended by around 3000 people.

The group of European judges, including one from Poland, suggested that without official authorisation for the 2005 event, people could have been discouraged from participating in it as "no official protection could be ensured by the authorities against potentially hostile demonstrators."

Warsaw also proved discriminatory against the gay march organisers, according to the Strasbourg court, as it explained its decision to refuse allowing the event by referring to the applicants' failure to submit a 'traffic organisation plan' – something it had not requested from organisers of other rallies.

The verdict comes just a week after MEPs adopted a resolution calling for a fact-finding parliamentary mission to be sent to Poland to look into the issue of homophobia and potential discrimination against gays and lesbians in the country.

Prior to last week's debate on the topic, the parliament's legal service confirmed it had not found any proof of Poland breaking the EU's rules on anti-discrimination in terms of legislation already in place.

But MEPs voiced their concerns over plans by the country's education minister, Roman Giertych, to introduce a new law stating that "promotion of sexuality" by school directors, teachers and pupils should be punished.

Also, the deputies criticised the suggestion by the Polish Ombudsman for Children to set up a list of jobs for which homosexuals are unfit.

But parliamentarians praised the fact that gay pride events are no longer systematically banned in Poland.

EU Observer (http://euobserver.com/9/23995)

Станко394
07-05-2007, 22:31
^^ Omg, I didn't know that! :(
But I just have to say that I'm so fuck**g glad that Europe united, and I hope wars won't destroy it anymore. I wait for the day when Serbia is gonna join EU! lol

About Turkey...Hmm...I'm not so sure about leting Turkey in, but who asks me?! lol
Not that I have something against Turkey or something it's just...I don't know, they're not even on Europe continent for real, if you ask me. Just one small part of it is on Europe's territory...
But, if Turkey shows a real will to join EU and EU also shows will for Turkey, than it would be perfect.
As I said, I'm not sure about Turkey, what I wanna say - I don't have strong posture so...xD

haku
08-05-2007, 17:25
Porsche to become a European company

On 26 June, the German company Porsche AG will be legally transformed into a European company under the name Porsche Automobil Holding SE, the new status will allow the company to work as a single legal entity in all 27 EU states.
In the same move, Volkswagen AG (and therefore all its subsidiaries) will be placed under the direct control of Porsche SE.
Porsche SE headquarters should remain in Stuttgart but this has yet to be confirmed (a SE company can easily move its headquarters to any EU state).

Ace of Order
08-05-2007, 20:26
But... we like Europe better!

You have Amsterdam. 'nuf said.

And if we joined the EU (Or Canada, I suppose), we'd have federal mandates that prod us to legalize gay marriage.

... Not that I'm ever happy with anything federal, but as long as your not taking rights away, I'll survive.

Sunrider
08-05-2007, 20:46
The political agenda of the League of Polish Families is very similar to that of the National Socialist party in Germany before WWII, it's pure fascism full of hate and intolerance toward anything that is not a good christian heterosexual ethnic polish. They even proposed an EU-wide ban of homosexuality and that Christianity be declared the official religion of the EU, that shows how delusional they are, they are even worse than the French National Front, it's complete madness that such a party is in a ruling government.
The worst for Poland is that the extremist positions of the current government has completely discredited Polish representatives in EU institutions, few people listen to their intolerant rantings. Anyway, those new Polish laws, if they are voted and enforced, will violate many EU regulations and there will be consequences for Poland.

I couldn't agree more. One of my closest friends is a Polish girl. She's from Warsaw, and she's had several gay friends actually *leaving* the country because of the anti-gay political climate there that's just getting worse and worse every day.

The League of Polish families has often quite publicly shown it's admiration for National Socialism; at a meeting of its youth wing, the All-Polish Youth, party members were seen celebrating around a large, burning swastika. The youth wing in particular, is also known for using political violence, and in their official party statements they apparently refer to homosexuals as faggots and perverts.

There's a lot of evil stuff happening in Poland atm, and the League, and Radio Maryja are just two examples of these things.

What that country needs is....QueenBee to take over! :p

haku
09-05-2007, 16:39
Some interesting GDP stats for 2007 published a few days ago by the EU (Eurostats agency).

EU combined GDP : 12.1 trillion euros
EU per capita GDP : 24700 euros

Here's a state by state break down, the first number is the per capita GDP (in euros), the number in brackets is the "GDP Index" (EU per capita average = 100), the GDP Index is a useful tool to quickly visualize the gap between the EU average and a given state.
In black are the 15 older sates, in red the states that joined in 2004, in purple those that joined in 2007.

Luxembourg : 66900 (259)
Ireland : 35900 (139)
Netherlands : 32300 (125)
Austria : 31500 (122)
Denmark : 31200 (121)
Belgium : 30100 (117)
Sweden : 30000 (116)
United Kingdom : 30000 (116)
Finland : 29100 (113)
Germany : 28300 (110)
France : 27200 (106)
Italy : 25300 (98)
Spain : 25100 (97)
Cyprus : 22500 (87)
Greece : 22000 (85)
Slovenia : 21800 (84)
Czechia : 19900 (77)
Malta : 18300 (71)
Portugal : 17900 (69)
Estonia : 17700 (69)
Hungary : 16300 (63)
Slovakia : 16300 (63)
Lithuania : 14800 (57)
Latvia : 14700 (57)
Poland : 13600 (53)
Romania : 9600 (37)
Bulgaria : 9300 (36)

The general idea is that no state should have a per capita GDP below 2 thirds of the EU average (a GDP Index below 66 in other words), the 'less rich' older state, Portugal, being just above that threshold with a GDP Index of 69.
The main focus of the EU since 2004 has been to bring new member states up to speed and within EU standards of wealth.

Out of the 10 new member states that joined in 2004,
5 states - Cyprus, Slovenia, Czechia, Malta, Estonia - are above the 66 threshold and are now considered within EU standards,
2 states - Hungary, Slovakia - are almost there and will reach the 66 threshold within a couple of years,
2 states - Lithuania, Latvia - are a bit lower but should easily reach the 66 threshold within 5 years,
1 state - Poland - is further behind and will need a lot of efforts, the 66 threshold should be reached within 10 years if everything goes well

The 2 new member states that joined in 2007 are understandably much lower and will need even more efforts, the 66 threshold is reachable within 15 years though.

Most of those states, especially Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria, will see a major influx of EU structural funds during the 2007-2012 period, which should give a significant boost to their economies.
All in all, things are progressing relatively well and all EU states should be within EU standards of wealth by 2020.

QueenBee
09-05-2007, 17:41
What that country needs is....QueenBee to take over!
Well, that's just about the smartest thing I've ever read. :gigi:

Станко394
09-05-2007, 22:02
All in all, things are progressing relatively well and all EU states should be within EU standards of wealth by 2020.

I'm glad to hear that. But I belive they'll make it maybe a bit sooner.
I think that EU will be more powerful than America or Japan in about..hm..let's say 5 to 10 years [if it isn't already].

haku
10-05-2007, 18:55
German rebuke sets up tense EU-Russia summit

The German EU presidency and the European Commission have rebuked Russia for upholding its ban on Polish food imports days ahead of the EU-Russia summit in Samara, with Moscow also facing criticism for "attacks" on Estonia and anti-democratic backsliding at home.

"The time has come for Russia to give a date for when the [Polish] embargo will be lifted," German Europe minister Günter Gloser said at the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday (9 May), adding "it [the EU-Russia summit] shouldn't fail on a technicality."

Russia's 18-month long food ban last year saw Poland veto the launch of negotiations on a new EU-Russia treaty, saying Moscow was using trade as a political weapon. The Polish position has since been backed up by commission experts, who say there are no safety grounds for the embargo.

Mr Gloser also referred to Russia's recent actions against Estonia as "an attack on the sovereignty of an EU member state" and pledged Berlin's "full support" for Tallinn, after mobs besieged the Estonian embassy in Moscow and Russian MPs called on the Estonian president to resign.

The row - sparked by Tallinn's decision to remove a Soviet-era WWII statue from its city centre - continues to rumble on, with Vladimir Putin on Wednesday condemning people who "desecrate memorials to war heroes" and with Russia blocking road and rail traffic to Estonia.

In an uncharacteristic tone for a member of the German socialist party - which is traditionally Russia-friendly - Mr Gloser also said "We are concerned about freedom of the media and civil society. The way demonstrators were recently dealt with in Moscow, St Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod has not gone down well."

'Spiral of mistrust'
"Everything must be done to avoid a spiral of mistrust [in EU-Russia relations]," the minister went on. "The modernisation of Russia will only be possible if rule of law and democracy are respected."

"There are many points of tension between the EU and Russia, we disagree on many points," European Commission vice-president Günter Verheugen added, mentioning the future status of Kosovo, Moscow's threat to enter a new conventional arms race and its wobbly energy supplies to Europe as other lines of division.

The commissioner called Russia's food ban on Poland "disproportionate and unjustified" and said "never again will we allow anybody to drive a wedge, or try to drive a wedge between the EU and one of its member states" on Russia's approach to Estonia.

In terms of the agenda for the 17 and 18 May summit in Samara, on the eastern bank of the Volga river, Brussels hopes Moscow will agree to set up an early-warning system for potential gas and oil supply shocks and come on board with the EU's new CO2 emissions cut targets.

Prickly summit agenda
The two sides will also talk about sending OSCE observers to Russian presidential elections next year, Moscow's crackdown on free media and NGOs, human rights abuses in Chechnya and Russia's role in the so-called "frozen conflicts" in Moldova and the South Caucasus.

The EU's criticism on Wednesday of its giant eastern neighbour was offset by references to Russia as Europe's "strategic partner" and mutual "interdependence." Germany's Mr Gloser also talked about "realism" and "strategic patience" in terms of prospects for EU values in Russia.

The European Parliament discussion fell on Russia's VE day, which saw celebrations on the Red Square in Moscow where Mr Putin gave a speech about Russia's defeat of the Third Reich. Afterwards, 7,000 soldiers - 1,000 more than in 2006 - marched by and nine jet fighters flew overhead, the BBC reports.

EU Observer (http://euobserver.com/9/24030)

PowerPuff Grrl
11-05-2007, 06:58
Mr Gloser also referred to Russia's recent actions against Estonia as "an attack on the sovereignty of an EU member state" and pledged Berlin's "full support" for Tallinn, after mobs besieged the Estonian embassy in Moscow and Russian MPs called on the Estonian president to resign.


God, finally somebody in the EU said something!
I'm aware that relations with Russia are... "delicate" to say the least, but to abandon an EU member in a pretty volatile situation is pretty shitty, IMHO.

And to a lesser extent, this also applies to the States; if they can meddle in European affairs and denounce the reluctance of the EU to embrace Turkey then surely they could've said something about this.

Not to say Estonia shouldn't fight their own battles (I mean Goddamn, at least fight in instances where you know you can have a chance at winning), but come on, a little solidarity people!

Sunrider
11-05-2007, 09:31
God, finally somebody in the EU said something!
I'm aware that relations with Russia are... "delicate" to say the least, but to abandon an EU member in a pretty volatile situation is pretty shitty, IMHO.

Not to say Estonia shouldn't fight their own battles (I mean Goddamn, at least fight in instances where you know you can have a chance at winning), but come on, a little solidarity people!

They got too much support as it is. The reason they didn't get more was because public opinion in most EU countries strongly disagrees with Estonia in the Bronze soldier case. The Estonian government is strongly anti-Russian, and will gladly accept any oppertunity to express this sentiment; even at the cost of their national stability. It's a trend in Europe I guess, making one group the scapegoat, heating up the situation with your actions, and creating a political platform out of the situation you've just worsened.

I don't know if you've ever been in Estonia, but it's quite shocking to see how the government of an EU memberstate treats 30% of its population as second class citizens.

Then again, the EU-label doesn't mean anything when it allows memberstates to outlaw political youth organisations because they hold the opinion that private ownership should be replaced with collective ownership of the means of production (Czech Republic; what happened to freedom of speech?). Then again, no legal action against this organisation (KSM) was taken, until its mother-party was receiving 25% in the polls, whereas the governing Social Democrats were under 9%, so there were probably some ulterior motives

haku
11-05-2007, 17:54
God, finally somebody in the EU said something!The EU did react from the very beginning, Angela Merkel, acting as EU president, called Vladimir Putin several times, and the German ambassador in Moscow (accompanied by the Portuguese ambassador if i'm not mistaken), acting as EU ambassador, handed a letter of formal prostest to the Kremlin on 3 May, they were received by a Russian minister who expressed his "bewilderment" at the EU's attitude. You have to imagine a "bewildered" Russian minister venting his theatrical outrage to a couple of bored European ambassadors mostly thinking "Wtf is his problem, who gives a shit if a freaking statue is moved?", except in more diplomatic terms. :p

The reactions from the EU and its member states were publicly relatively restrained (except for the Polish twins who vented quite a lot on TV, but Poland is planning to remove all Soviet memorials this summer so they are bracing themselves) but you can be sure that the reactions through diplomatic channels were quite firm.
One sign of that is the fact that Vladimir Putin congratulated the new French president 2 days after everybody else, in diplomatic language that's a sign of great discontent.

More generally, the problem is that the EU is not a real federation yet and that the EU has no legal mandate in foreign affairs, it's a member states reserve at the moment, and the EU must be sure to have the backing of all member states before saying anything in that area.
When the EU has a president and a foreign affairs minister, such conflicts with a third party will be dealt with much more strongly and quickly. Going toward more European integration and a truly federal structure will be the most efficient way for EU member sates to resist to bullying tactics from third parties.

I don't know if you've ever been in Estonia, but it's quite shocking to see how the government of an EU memberstate treats 30% of its population as second class citizens. It's a thorny issue for Estonia, the Russian minority makes no secret that it sees Estonia pretty much as a Russian oblast, it's difficult for a country to give citizenship to people who think the country should not exist. And we have to remember that those Russians were brought there by the USSR in a process of forced russification of the area and the locals, it's difficult for Russians to claim that they are an oppressed minority when they had themselves no regards for the Estonian minority in the USSR to begin with.
Forced russification is a process that has been going on from the Baltic to the Pacific since the old days of the Russian empire, the Komi republic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komi_Republic#Demographics) is a good example of that, 92% Komi in 1926, 60% Russian now, a slow but effective process, the same thing was happening in Estonia until it broke away from the USSR.

It's no secret that many Russian politicians would want Russia to go back to its historical imperial borders, the LDPR (with which our own Tatu girls are good friends) even has it written in its platform, and that Russian minorities in neighboring countries are used as an excuse for a potential territorial expansion. Even though the ruling party United Russia doesn't go as far as the LDPR in terms of territorial claims, it does favor a return to the former USSR borders (with possibly Finland as an added bonus), and it is particularly irritated with the loss of the Baltic states since it has caused the Kaliningrad oblast to become detached from Russia proper, the Baltic states joining the EU has even reinforced that seperation since the free movements of goods and people within the EU implies a reinforced border around non-EU Kaliningrad.
The Baltic states and Kaliningrad have become to Russia what the Danzig corridor and East Prussia was to Germany between the 2 Word Wars (the Allied should have never agreed to Kaliningrad becoming Russian, the land should have been given to Poland or Lithuania, but not Russia, big mistake).

Sunrider
11-05-2007, 18:50
It's a thorny issue for Estonia, the Russian minority makes no secret that it sees Estonia pretty much as a Russian oblast, it's difficult for a country to give citizenship to people who think the country should not exist. And we have to remember that those Russians were brought there by the USSR in a process of forced russification of the area and the locals, it's difficult for Russians to claim that they are an oppressed minority when they had themselves no regards for the Estonian minority in the USSR to begin with.
Forced russification is a process that has been going on from the Baltic to the Pacific since the old days of the Russian empire, the Komi republic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komi_Republic#Demographics) is a good example of that, 92% Komi in 1926, 60% Russian now, a slow but effective process, the same thing was happening in Estonia until it broke away from the USSR.

It's no secret that many Russian politicians would want Russia to go back to its historical imperial borders, the LDPR (with which our own Tatu girls are good friends) even has it written in its platform, and that Russian minorities in neighboring countries are used as an excuse for a potential territorial expansion. Even though the ruling party United Russia doesn't go as far as the LDPR in terms of territorial claims, it does favor a return to the former USSR borders (with possibly Finland as an added bonus), and it is particularly irritated with the loss of the Baltic states since it has caused the Kaliningrad oblast to become detached from Russia proper, the Baltic states joining the EU has even reinforced that seperation since the free movements of goods and people within the EU implies a reinforced border around non-EU Kaliningrad.

And it was Atilla who brought the huns to Hungaria. Your point being? 30% of the population of Estonia are Russians. They are there, and they are not going to go away no matter how badly they are being treated (and they are being treated VERY badly). It's a reality Estonia had better come to terms with; polarising the two major ethnicities further certainly isn't going to help the country. Maybe the politicians who are in power, sure, several of them have been known to take a liking to National Socialism, so polarisation fits in there perfectly. But the country is not going to be helped; neither the Russians, nor the Estonians. It sure as hell isn't going to make a single Russian Estonian adopt the opinion that Estonia has a right to exist.

A minor correction btw, haku. Tatu are not friends with the LDPR (which is officially the scariest party in Russian mainstream politics); Yulia is friends with a deputy who is a member of the LDPR (and a moderate one at that). That's quite a big difference. I have friends who are members of the Dutch laissez-faire liberal party. Please, please, don't think of me as a friend of the party though. :p

Linda16
11-05-2007, 19:52
They are there, and they are not going to go away no matter how badly they are being treated (and they are being treated VERY badly). It's a reality Estonia had better come to terms with; polarising the two major ethnicities further certainly isn't going to help the country. Maybe the politicians who are in power, sure, several of them have been known to take a liking to National Socialism, so polarisation fits in there perfectly. But the country is not going to be helped; neither the Russians, nor the Estonians. It sure as hell isn't going to make a single Russian Estonian adopt the opinion that Estonia has a right to exist.

Can you elaborate your argument a little bit? How are Russians treated VERY badly in Estonia? How is National Socialism related to Estonian politicians? Why do you think that local Russians do not think that Estonia has a right to exist?

Sunrider
11-05-2007, 20:31
Can you elaborate your argument a little bit? How are Russians treated VERY badly in Estonia? How is National Socialism related to Estonian politicians? Why do you think that local Russians do not think that Estonia has a right to exist?


The Estonian government refuses to grant citizenship to a large portion of its Russian population (in fact, not only its Russian population falls victim to these policies; the same goes for Ukrainians, Germans etc., anyone whose forebears did not posses Estonian citizenship before the Soviet annexation). Only 35% of the Estonian Russian population (which itself is between a quarter and a third of the entire Estonian population) holds Estonian citizenship; about the same percentage holds no citizenship at all; the remaining Estonian Russians hold Russian citizenship, but this brings along major disadvantages when living in Estonia (basically, you have a whole lot less rights; for example, the only elections you can vote in are municipal elections). Also, discrimination against Russian Estonians is very common in everyday life in Estonia.

The European Union has, in the past, expressed its concern about this situation; but as usual, has not been to do anything about it.

As for the National Socialism thing; the previous Estonian government made headlines in 2002 when it removed a monument in Parnu honoring Estonian members of the Waffen SS; a move they made because they believed the momument would hinder the Estonian accession to the EU. However, the removal caused quite a stir, politically; the monument enjoyed quite some popularity, because it was very explicitly anti-Russian. What most Western sources failed to mention was that this momument was not first unveiled DURING world war II, but was actually supposed to be first unveiled hours before its removal in 2002. This was not a 60 year old monument Soviet authorities had forgotten about, it was a brand-spanking new monument honoring members of the Waffen SS.

The story does not end there; far from it. The momument was moved to Lihula, where it was finally unveiled in 2004; a number of MP's from different political parties were reported to be present at the unveiling. However, it once again attracted a lot of foreign criticism, and was removed under presssure of the United States, and the European Union. Russia complained too, but I doubt that helped. If anything, it would probably have been a reason to keep the monument where it had been standing up to that point.

Anyway, there's more still. After its second removal, the monument was moved again in 2005; this time to Lagedi, a village just outside Tallinn, where it got a new place near the Museum of Fight for Estonia's Freedom. Once again, several MP's were reported to be present at the unveiling, although it would not surprise me if they were the same ones that were present at the 2004 unveiling. Once again, the unveiling caused public outcry; particularly in Russia, and (quite understandably) Israel. However, the monument was not removed a third time; it's still there in Lagedi.

As for your third question; when I said Russians in Estonia do not think the country has a right to exist, it was part of an answer to haku's previous post, where he stated that this was the case. I do believe he is partly right about this; I think a large number of Russian youths in Estonia really do not believe the country has a right to exist. But in all honesty, the Estonian government has gone out of its way to worsen this feeling.


:eek: long post!

[/rant]

Linda16
11-05-2007, 23:38
The Estonian government refuses to grant citizenship to a large portion of its Russian population (in fact, not only its Russian population falls victim to these policies; the same goes for Ukrainians, Germans etc., anyone whose forebears did not posses Estonian citizenship before the Soviet annexation). Only 35% of the Estonian Russian population (which itself is between a quarter and a third of the entire Estonian population) holds Estonian citizenship; about the same percentage holds no citizenship at all; the remaining Estonian Russians hold Russian citizenship, but this brings along major disadvantages when living in Estonia (basically, you have a whole lot less rights; for example, the only elections you can vote in are municipal elections).

Estonian government does not refuse to grant citizenship to the abovementioned group. The citizenship has to be applied for.

Any alien can submit an application for the acquisition of Estonian citizenship, if he or she has settled in Estonia before July 1, 1990 and resides permanently in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit during the time of the submission of the relevant application or has stayed permanently in Estonia on the basis of a long-term residence permit for at least five years prior to the date on which he or she submits an application for Estonian citizenship.

An alien who wishes to acquire Estonian citizenship has to:
be at least 15 years of age;
have general knowledge of Estonian needed in everyday life;
have knowledge of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia and the Citizenship Act;
have a permanent legal income, which ensures his or her own subsistence and that of his or her dependants;
be loyal to the Estonian state;
take an oath: "Taotledes Eesti kodakondsust, tõotan olla ustav Eesti põhiseaduslikule korrale" [In applying for Estonian citizenship, I swear to be loyal to the constitutional order of Estonia.]
In order for an adult to acquire Estonian citizenship he or she has to pass an exam on his/her knowledge of the official language and an exam on his/her knowledge of the Constitution and the Citizenship Act of the Republic of Estonia.

Source: http://www.mig.ee/eng/citizenship/citizenship/

So, basically for getting Estonian citizenship one has to live in Estonia at least for five years, be loyal to Estonian state, have permanent legal income and to know basic Estonian. These terms are not very difficult to follow.

Also, discrimination against Russian Estonians is very common in everyday life in Estonia.

Estonian Russians are not discriminated.

As for the Lihula monument - it was moved by the Estonian authorities and is now in the museum. The fact that some Estonian men fought against Soviet army with Germans, is part of our history. However, these men fought in a separatate division and their ideology was neither Nacional Socialism nor fascism, but they fought for their own country - Estonia. The goal was to resist Soviet troops and establish independent Estonia - like Finland managed to do. There is another thread - General discussion about Russia - where haku and simon are thoroughly and objectively explaining Estonia's history.

I think a large number of Russian youths in Estonia really do not believe the country has a right to exist.

It's a very sad statement to be heard. Estonia is a souvereign independent country, member of NATO and EU. Our state exists and is steady.

Sunrider
12-05-2007, 09:58
Estonian government does not refuse to grant citizenship to the abovementioned group. The citizenship has to be applied for.

So, basically for getting Estonian citizenship one has to live in Estonia at least for five years, be loyal to Estonian state, have permanent legal income and to know basic Estonian. These terms are not very difficult to follow.

Estonian Russians are not discriminated.

Many of these Russians have been living in Estonia for several generations now; yet they are unable to obtain Estonian citizenship. Like I said, 35% of them currently posses no citizenship of any nation at all. Explain to me what the problem is then. Do you really think not automatically granting citizenship to normal Estonian Russian families who have been living in Estonia for generations after the Estonian independence was the humane thing to do? I think it isn't. They've become victims of the situation.

Russians are not discriminated? Russians have difficulty getting jobs, loans etc. As for my personal experience, I met with little but hostility from Estonians when I was in Tallinn with my (Russian) ex-fiancée (to meet her relatives). Speaking Russian got us a whole lot of dirty looks. I think denying the problem is not going to help the situation your country is in. A lot of people feel they're being treated rather badly. They feel alienated. They felt so years ago, and I imagine it's not gotten much better since the Estonian government removed the Bronze Soldier. And I must say I get the impression, from what I've seen there myself, that they are right.

Now of course people are always going to use different ways to react to a situation like this; some people use violent, others become overachievers, etc. People who belong to the group/class that is in control are usually going to pretend the problem either does not exist, or they're going to blame it on some cultural or ethnic defect (a la, those Russians, they're all violent and lazy). This reaction is a human defect I guess. It's the same in pretty much every country.

As for the Lihula monument - it was moved by the Estonian authorities and is now in the museum. The fact that some Estonian men fought against Soviet army with Germans, is part of our history. However, these men fought in a separatate division and their ideology was neither Nacional Socialism nor fascism, but they fought for their own country - Estonia. The goal was to resist Soviet troops and establish independent Estonia - like Finland managed to do. There is another thread - General discussion about Russia - where haku and simon are thoroughly and objectively explaining Estonia's history.

It's a very sad statement to be heard. Estonia is a souvereign independent country, member of NATO and EU. Our state exists and is steady.

Objectively explaining the history of a country is impossible. Study history and it's the first thing you will learn. History is a discussion with an end. Only dictatorships establish "objective" histories that consist of "truths".

The monument, which is not IN the museum, but near it, and was removed twice, under international pressure, because the Estonian government did not get the message the first time, depicts an estonian in an SS uniiform, pointing his gun towards Russia. It's an aggressive message of hatred towards Russia and of admiration for the Nazi regime. Surely whoever created it could have come up with something better than a soldier in an SS uniform pointing his gun to Russia. If it had been erected in 1941, it probably would have been a lot less disgusting. But erecting a monument heroically portraying an SS-soldier, 60 years after the fact, after all those horrible crimes of the Nazi regime have become known to everybody, it's just wrong, and it tells a lot about the perception of history of those who have endorsed this monument.

And being member of the EU and NATO has absolutely nothing to do with having a right to exist, does it? It's certainly not going to change the minds of those Russian Estonians your government has alienated. I agree with you on one thing; it's a sad situation.

haku
12-05-2007, 16:22
Many of these Russians have been living in Estonia for several generations now; yet they are unable to obtain Estonian citizenship.Yeah, but what does it say about people who've been living somewhere for a few generations and don't even have a basic command of the local language? Any child who is born somewhere from non-native parents should grow up perfectly bilingual, the only way it could not happen is if parents purposely isolated the child from the local culture, which doesn't show a great respect for the locals, does it?
It's a typical colonial attitude, the same attitude that European colonists had in Africa where they rarely spoke the local languages while naturally expecting the locals to speak European languages (and it's not a stretched comparison, Estonians are among the rare people in Europe who do not speak an Indo-European language, they speak an Uralic language, and Russians have always regarded Uralic speakers like Europeans regarded Africans in colonial times).
Like i've already mentioned, Russia is 17 million km2, 4 times the size of the EU, this should easily be big enough for all Russians to live happily without taking even more lands to their small neighbors.


************
More EU-Russia troubles brewing…

Russia clinches gas pipeline deal

Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan have agreed to build a new natural gas pipeline north from the Caspian Sea.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin announced the deal at a summit with Central Asian leaders in Turkmenistan.

The agreement ensures Russia's access to Turkmenistan's gas, and is a setback to rival US and European Union plans.

They had hoped to pipe Turkmen gas across the Caspian sea via Turkey, in order to reduce the EU's dependence on Russian-controlled energy.

Following two days of negotiations the presidents of the three countries, meeting in the Turkmen port city of Turkmenbashi, announced they would sign a treaty on the planned pipeline by September.

President Putin said the deal would mean increased energy supplies to Europe.

'Huge blow'

The new pipeline will carry gas from Turkmenistan, one of the world's largest sources of gas, through Kazakhstan to Russia.

"We will reconstruct the Caspian shore gas pipeline with a capacity of 10 billion cubic metres (per year) and build a parallel gas pipeline." Mr Putin said.

The deal represents a victory for Russia, which buys Turkmen gas at below-market prices.

The BBC's Natalia Antelava says the agreement is a huge blow to Washington, Brussels and Beijing, who have all been vying for direct access to Turkmenistan's gas.

They have lobbied strongly for a route under the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan and Turkey, bypassing Russia.

Turkmenistan's massive gas reserves are effectively controlled by Moscow, since it relies on Russian energy giant Gazprom's Soviet-era pipelines for distribution.

For two decades, the isolationist policy of Turkmenistan's late leader Saparmurat Niyazov made additional access impossible.

But his death last year opened a window of opportunity and it was hoped that new President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov would give the go-ahead to a trans-Caspian pipeline that would ease Europe's dependence on Kremlin-controlled energy.

BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6649169.stm)


It's a huge blow for the EU, we're going to have to completely rethink our choice of energy sources so we don't depend at all on Russia in the future.

Linda16
12-05-2007, 19:47
Sunrider, I'm continuing this discussion not in the hope that I will change your world view, but for the sake of others who may read this thread.

I'm saying that Estonia is an open, fast developing normal democratic state.


Many of these Russians have been living in Estonia for several generations now; yet they are unable to obtain Estonian citizenship. Like I said, 35% of them currently posses no citizenship of any nation at all. Explain to me what the problem is then. Do you really think not automatically granting citizenship to normal Estonian Russian families who have been living in Estonia for generations after the Estonian independence was the humane thing to do? I think it isn't. They've become victims of the situation.

Russians are not discriminated? Russians have difficulty getting jobs, loans etc.

As haku already mentioned, it's not difficult to know Estonian at least on the minimum level. Most of countries are requiring that a person applying for the citizenship is able to communicate in the language of the country. I have been in Norway and African and Vietnamise immigrants spoke fluently Norwegian, not questioning the fact at all. So, I do not understand, why it is so difficult to make a small effort for obtaining the citizenship. For instance, when I come to France and want to apply for French citizenship, it's elementary that I have to understand French.

Today in Estonia, we do not suffer from unemployment, but we are suffering from the lack of labour force. Everyone, who really wants to work has no difficulty to find a job. Companies are competing with each other for getting workers. The only sectors where Russians not speaking Estonian have difficulties in getting jobs is government sector and service industries - because in these jobs they have to communicate in Estonian. But again, can you imagine a French government officer not understanding French?

And as for the loans - several Russians are much more wealthy that Estonians. Whoever has a decent income, can get a loan today in Estonia.

I have lived here in Estonia for all my life. I do not know what you mean by the "dirty looks" you received when you spoke Russian. In the centre of Tallinn you hear people speaking Russian, Finnish, English, Swedish, Estonian, German. Everyone is accustomed to it.

I repeat, Estonia is a democratic and open-minded liberal country.

dradeel
14-05-2007, 09:13
I have been in Norway and African and Vietnamise immigrants spoke fluently Norwegian, not questioning the fact at all.
Indeed. Everyone immigrating to Norway and want to live in Norway must take a Norwegian class. :)

haku
14-05-2007, 18:13
Malta and Cyprus to get green light for 2008 switch to euro

Two Mediterranean islands - Malta and Cyprus - are expected to get a green light for joining the 13-strong eurozone next January, with both the European Commission and European Central Bank likely to give a positive evaluation this Wednesday (16 May).

"Malta has sufficiently converged towards EU levels according to the criteria set in the EU treaty to adopt the euro on January 1, 2008," writes a draft commission report seen by the Times of Malta, suggesting the same applies for Cyprus.

The positive verdict on the candidates readying to enter the currency union is foreseen following last week's report by the EU executive, which stated that the economic criteria in both countries are within the eurozone's limits.

According to the commission's spring forecast, Cyprus (777,000 inhabitants) will record inflation of 1.3 percent and Malta (400,000 inhabitants) of 1.4 percent which is below the required threshold. Both countries' budgetary deficits are also below the 3 percent limit.

The 2006 public debt figure of 63.5 percent of GDP in Cyprus is higher than the EU's 60 percent limit but it is on a downward path and set to pose no problem. Similarly, Malta had a debt of 66.5 percent of GDP last year with a clear tendency to fall further.

Malta's large public debt figure has resulted from its government's efforts to cut public deficit, with only Hungary recording similar debt levels while other countries from central and eastern Europe average around 25 percent.

But according to analysts, the public debt rule has not been previously strictly applied in the cases of Italy, Belgium and Greece and is not expected to become an obstacle for the Mediterranean duo.

Malta and Cyprus will follow Slovenia, which in January became the first new EU state to join the currency club. Slovakia and some of the Baltic states could be next in 2009, with the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary likely to follow only after 2010.

EU Observer (http://euobserver.com/9/24051)


This is great news, congratulations to Malta and Cyprus. :D

Станко394
15-05-2007, 18:11
Malta and Cyprus will follow Slovenia, which in January became the first new EU state to join the currency club. Slovakia and some of the Baltic states could be next in 2009, with the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary likely to follow only after 2010.

EU Observer (http://euobserver.com/9/24051)


This is great news, congratulations to Malta and Cyprus. :D

Isn't Hungary's valute euro?! Omg
Montenegro already has Euro, eventhough it's not in EU xD
I hope soon Serbia will become candidate soon...:(