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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 JakeS - May 15 7 comments
by ARGeezer - May 16 10 comments
by Nomad - May 10 14 comments
by Metatone - May 14 85 comments
by gmoke - May 17
by DoDo - May 12 10 comments
by Migeru - May 6 100 comments
by Migeru - May 7 8 comments
by gmoke - May 17
by ARGeezer - May 1610 comments
by JakeS - May 157 comments
by Metatone - May 1485 comments
by DoDo - May 1210 comments
by Nomad - May 1014 comments
by Migeru - May 78 comments
by marco - May 782 comments
by Migeru - May 6100 comments
by Ted Welch - May 35 comments
by afew - May 340 comments
by ceebs - May 26 comments
by gmoke - Apr 301 comment
by Frank Schnittger - Apr 3067 comments
by joelado - Apr 2954 comments
by Metatone - Apr 2854 comments
by ATinNM - Apr 275 comments
by ceebs - Apr 265 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Apr 2686 comments
by In Wales - Apr 2136 comments