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For instance, I would regard the EU's influence on Ireland's social and human rights development as more important than the oft mentioned fiscal transfers as part of the agricultural, structural, cohesion and regional funds. As Ireland has now become a much more (relatively) rich country, I also don't have a problem that those fiscal flows were on the point of being reversed when the crisis hit.
That the past few years have been so negative by comparison is of course a major disappointment to me, and, I hope, not a harbinger of things to come. However, at this point in time, if one were to draw a balance sheet on Ireland's membership of the EU, the experience would still have been overwhelmingly positive, and it is on those positive elements I hope Ireland and the EU will build into the future.
It will, of course, require a realignment of political forces within the EU, and a defeat for the current Austerity ruling ideology for this negative trend to be reversed. However some of what is happening is also due to a failure of the neo-liberal model of capitalism more generally, and also due to peak oil and a relative decline of Europe within the world economy - and thus not the sole fault of the EU. Indeed I see the EU as being the main factor that can help a small state like Ireland to address these larger geo-political and economic challenges.
Most importantly, from a historical perspective, the EU has helped to consolidate an unprecedented period of peace in Europe, current riots in Greece and Spain notwithstanding. Let's not lose sight of that in our despair at the current generation of political leaders.
Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger - Dec 6 1 comment
by Metatone - Dec 5 11 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Dec 5 1 comment
by marco - Nov 30 6 comments
by Bjinse - Nov 24 13 comments
by afew - Nov 28 45 comments
by vbo - Nov 21 8 comments
by Oui - Nov 9 1 comment
by Oui - Dec 61 comment
by Frank Schnittger - Dec 61 comment
by Frank Schnittger - Dec 5
by Frank Schnittger - Dec 51 comment
by Metatone - Dec 511 comments
by marco - Nov 306 comments
by afew - Nov 2845 comments
by Bjinse - Nov 2413 comments
by Oui - Nov 2317 comments
by vbo - Nov 218 comments
by Metatone - Nov 2030 comments
by gmoke - Nov 195 comments
by Oui - Nov 196 comments
by Cyrille - Nov 18107 comments
by Ted Welch - Nov 1510 comments
by Oui - Nov 14
by Oui - Nov 1210 comments
by afew - Nov 1233 comments
by madeleine kando - Nov 1114 comments
by Crazy Horse - Nov 1154 comments