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Thread: What do you think about the EU?

  1. #1
    Hanna
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    What do you think about the EU?

    What do Russians, Americans and others here think about the EU?


    • Successful peace project?
    • "Necessary evil"? (that's probably the most common European view).
    • Pointless and ineffective?
    • Future superstate to stand up to the US and China (and Russia!)?
    • Force of good in the world? Or hypocritical?
    • Good or bad for Eastern Europe?
    • USA puppet or sufficiently independent?
    • Best thing to have happened to Europe?
    • Its' two-tier agricultural politics....
    • Take from the rich EU countries and give to the poor.. good or bad?


    If you are European, do you think the EU is good as it is, support a federal super state or wish to dissolve the union?

    Super cheezy pro-EU TV promotion aimed at young people: (they are giving politically correct reasons for why the EU is good: anti-racist, environmental, peace project, economic solidarity etc)

  2. #2
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Pointless and ineffective. It's creation was probably necessary but I don't think that this 'structure' will stand. Europeans will never think of themselves as the one country and that's fatal. Every country will be trying to take advantage of its neighbours and I don't think Europe will ever be truly unified. There are natural leaders like France or Germany and there are backwater outsiders like Eastern Europe. Seeing as France sends the gypsies home only proves my point.
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  3. #3
    Почётный участник Sgt. Cold's Avatar
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    The EU was an idea developed by those who have stated that their long term goal is a one world government. Why would any individual want to be part of the EU?
    "It's dangerous to be right when the government is wrong." --- Voltaire ---
    -- Исправьте мои ошибки --

  4. #4
    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. Cold View Post
    Why would any individual want to be part of the EU?
    I guess the EU was formed as an attempt to withstand the economical pressure of the US. Just look at the anti-US sentiments strongly hooked together to the pan-Eurasian ideology.

  5. #5
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    So, the idea of United Europe rests on the well-being of USA. A political paradox.
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  6. #6
    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    That's right. It's because "an enemy of my enemy is my friend" kind of EU foundation.

  7. #7
    Hanna
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    That's wrong actually. It was the US that suggested the partnership that has developed into todays EU, after WW2 (although the idea was started by Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi before then, in his book that is almost prophetc - Paneuropa)
    The idea of the Americans lead to the Coal and Steel union which developed into the Europäische Gemeinschaft (EG) which became the EU in the 1990s.

    The reason to have a Coal and Steel union was to tie together the economies of France and Germany so tightly that it would be economic suicide for one to start a war against the other.

    And in case you haven't noticed, the EU is more of a puppet to the US than any kind of counterweight.

    I started supporting it when I was at uni, and Asia was growing at a fantastic rate. All the ideals of socialism seemed to be dead or dying, and everyone was fed up with Europe being a playground of superpowers. The EU seemed to me and my friends like the only way that the the European countries could stand up for themselves on a global perspective. I was pretty active in the campaign ahead of the referendum on EU membership for Sweden.

    In hindsight I am not completely convinced that it was the right thing to do, but at the time it felt completely right. The EU was clearly a successful peace project and not necessarily quite as "evil" as socialists and others had been preaching for years. I thought it could become whatever Europeans made it.. At least on paper, it is very democratic. My friends and I thought that if we weren't in it, we couldn't influence it, and that there was no other possible future for Europe anyway.

    Also, I was quite passionate about solidarity with the Eastern European countries in an organisation called the PanEuropean Youth Movement. One of its main objectives in the 1990s was to try to get Eastern Europe to join the EU as soon as possible - for the EU to lower it's economic entry criteria so they'd qualify, and convince the Eastern Europeans that it was a good thing. At the time, it seemed like an almost impossible objective. But those objectives have been achieved. The only reason to support this was to improve living standards which fell so horribly in the 1990s.

    Unfortunately nobody (at least not me!) considered the consequences of a situation whereby all European countries apart from Russia were members.. such a scenario was so far off in the future. The EU was never intended to be an "us vs them" type of situation in regards to other Europeans. The Paneuropean youth movement is a bit questionable to be honest, but back then, I completely agreed with all its goals. Coudenhove-Kalergi had said (in the 1920s!) that Brits and Russians would never want to be part of a pan-Europe anyway, so there was no point in trying to accommodate either. Not completely off the mark.

  8. #8
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    So since this is a Russian language forum, I wan't to shift the emphasis of this thread into something like 'Should Russia try to integrate into EU or should it try to integrate EU into Russia'. By latter I mean peaceful integration but being a host instead of being a newcomer. I know this is probably an utopian scenario but still Russia and Europe are on the same continent and they face roughly the same geopolitical challenges of withstanding both US and China.
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  9. #9
    Властелин
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil View Post
    By latter I mean peaceful integration but being a host instead of being a newcomer.
    Wait, which one should become the host?

  10. #10
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    In this latter variant it's Russia.
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  11. #11
    Властелин
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    I understand you really wish for that. But this is wrong to my mind. The population of EU is almost four times as much as the population of Russia. The latter just can't be the host.

  12. #12
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    What has population to do with that? Russia has the resources for all these people which I cannot say for Europe. Moreover, Siberia now is very scarcely populated which fact the Chinese is undoubtedly aware of. Europe is overpopulated. If Russia is to give free land in Siberia how many people would migrate there? (I'm only partly serious, of course, but I'd suspect that Europe would be more glad to deal with Russia than with China, but I might be wrong).
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  13. #13
    Hanna
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    I think there should be a close and equal free trade area between Russia and the EU.
    Including "free movement goods and people" interchangeable education qualifications and all of the basic principles of the EU.

    That would allow Russia to continue doing whatever it wants to do without changing to accommodate to EU rules, but still have the majority of the benefits of membership. Plus, it would get around the problem of Russia being "too big" for the EU.

    The one reservation I have is the situation with corruption in Russia. It is very offputting. The whole oligarchy situation does not appeal to me at all.

    I think that Russia will play a more and more important role in Europe either way.
    Russia has so much to offer Europe; agriculture, scientific expertise, forest...
    The fact that the Americans have a thorn in their side to Russia has nothing to do with us.

    There is one more really important point to consider: Transportation from East Asia. If the Transsiberian Railway was properly modernised and expanded it could transport goods from Asia much faster, cheaper and ecological than via sea or air. If it is stretched all the way to South Korea (this is being planned), then any goods from Korea or Japan could benefit form this route too. It can already be used for transports from China although I have read that that is not utilised to it's full potential.

    Europe is VERY dependant on Russia for gas and oil and I'd just be worried that there was more European reliance on Russia than the other way around.

    I'd also like to see Ukraine and Belarus fully benefiting from the same agreement.

  14. #14
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Add the projects of a tunnel under the Bering's straight to Alaska. It costs trillions right now, but a railway connecting Asia and America might be worth it.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil View Post
    What has population to do with that? Russia has the resources for all these people which I cannot say for Europe. Moreover, Siberia now is very scarcely populated which fact the Chinese is undoubtedly aware of. Europe is overpopulated. If Russia is to give free land in Siberia how many people would migrate there? (I'm only partly serious, of course, but I'd suspect that Europe would be more glad to deal with Russia than with China, but I might be wrong).
    Yeah, well, I guess neither of the two is welcome to absorb the Europe. What about normal cooperation, why not? Russia is more desirable here cuz China has quite an unpredictable system, no one can trust commies. But again, no absorption.

  16. #16
    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    @Hanna
    So, you're saying that Greece has entered the EU so as not to be attacked by France and Germany and vice versa?

    You seem to make a logical mistake confusing between the major driving forces behind the inception and the major driving forces behind the sustainability and the expansion. How can you explain the foundation of the Euro currency? A major step to prevent France from assaulting Germany? That's laughable.

    The present pan-European ideology postulates the external enemy (the US that is) and acts accordingly.

  17. #17
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile View Post
    @Hanna
    So, you're saying that Greece has entered the EU so as not to be attacked by France and Germany and vice versa? .
    Obviously not but that's how it STARTED. I believe Greece joined in the 70s or 80s. Originally there were only a few members, namely the ones that had been the most involved in recent wars, and their neighbours. However the idea proved useful in many different ways, hence Greece's decision to join. Nowadays of course, the EU is about much. much more than preventing France and Germany from fighting each other.

    One of the really nice things about the EU is that all the parts are treated as equals even though in reality there are all sorts of economic, linguistic, religious and other differences. Nowadays kids are taught to appreciate every part of the EU for what it has to offer and whatever is good about that area. For the first time there is real hope of no more wars on the European continent.

  18. #18
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil View Post
    Add the projects of a tunnel under the Bering's straight to Alaska. It costs trillions right now, but a railway connecting Asia and America might be worth it.
    That would be incredibly cool... but is it really feasible?

  19. #19
    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    One of the really nice things about the EU is that all the parts are treated as equals even though in reality there are all sorts of economic, linguistic, religious and other differences. Nowadays kids are taught to appreciate every part of the EU for what it has to offer and whatever is good about that area. For the first time there is real hope of no more wars on the European continent.
    You should leave the lightweight .net programmers and start working at the propaganda department. Do you seriously think the WWI and WWII could have been prevented by teaching kids to appreciate every part of Europe? The uneducated kids were the reason?

  20. #20
    Hanna
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    I think you've teased me enough today. I have run out of inspiration to respond.

    But there has never been a war between the EU countries, so my "propaganda" is true.

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