Mon Dec 12th, 2005 at 04:39:34 PM EST
This is a stolen diary of Migeru's, which I deleted and substituted with a story so that it can move into the debate box later.
This diary is a reaction to Jerome's story Is this really what the UK thinks of Europe?
The issue, really, is that we need an accurate picture of what each country's position vis-a vis the EU is. Never mind what we think should be, if our opinions were mainstream we would be involved with political parties, not blogs.
A related issue is that European governments actively stifle public debate of the EU, because they are all afraid that the people will disagree with the direction they want Europe to take.
Update [2005-12-12 16:39:34 by Colman]: If you're interested in actual data the Europa site has an archive of Eurobarometer polls and so on. We should probably make a stab at answering this seriously after drowning the thread in snark last night.
We need an accurate picture of what the current state of opinion is, and how far it can be stretched, if we are to articulate a vision for Europe. And, seriously, a vision for Europe needs to be articulated (and communicated) between now and 2009, and national political parties won't do it. The current 5-year cycle can be when the EU touches bottom, or the beginning of its disintegration. And the EU will only bounce if a realistic European vision is articulated. But this diary is not about articulating a vision, but about assessing where we are and where we can realistically be.
So, based on your personal experience and any solid data (such as opinion surveys), where do you think each of the 25 member states stands on the EU? For each country, I would like to start by framing the question in the following terms:
what does each country ideally expect from the EU?
what does each country get out of the EU?
what does each country contribute to the EU?
what does each country believe its contribution to the EU can be, ideally?
Feel free to discuss the differences among political parties, and between public opinion and the political class, as well as regional, socioeconomic, or other factors.
And finally, to paraphrase Wittgestein, if you don't have anything to say about a particular country, it's best to say nothing about it.