Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

Just having a bad day

by Frank Schnittger Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 05:17:36 AM EST

Letter to the Editor:

Madam - Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, former Foreign Minister of Denmark, is right to say that the time has come for Ireland to withdraw from the EU and allow the other 26 Members to continue its development through the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty.  This possibility is in any case provided for under the "Enhanced Cooperation" provisions of the Nice Treaty to which we are a party.  Effectively the other 26 Members would form a new EU based on the Lisbon Treaty and Ireland would be left on its own in the empty shell of the old EU-27.  Ireland would become the new Atlantis, lost beneath the waves of rising sea levels somewhere between Boston and Berlin.  

DANA ROSEMARY SCALLON (Letters, June 14) would have her wish that "the primacy of Ireland's Constitution" would be reasserted and we could all go back to the blissful poverty of 1970 when we had "All kind's of Everything" - except jobs, incomes, equality or religious tolerance.  The Irony is that the eurokeptic UK would, like the other 26 members, "follow the money" and be part of the new EU whilst we would be outside, pure and holy, no doubt dancing at the cross-roads, and sending our young people to look for work abroad.  Oh I forgot - without the EU they would have no right to work abroad.



Some local references which might require some clarification:

  1. DANA ROSEMARY SCALLON won the 1970 Eurovision song context with a song called "All kinds of anything" in which she epitomised the old DeValera vision of a pure and holy rustic Ireland with "comely maidens dancing at the cross-roads".  She later became a Catholic activist in Ireland, a Christian Broadcaster in the US, and then an Irish MEP (1999-2004).

  2. Mary Harney, former Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and current Minister for health, was the leader of the tiny neo-liberal Progressive Democrat party who said that Ireland was "spiritually probably a lot closer to Boston than Berlin." She has championed the introduction of American style private for profit health care provision sometimes within the public health care system itself.

Display:
'The Associated Free State of Ireland' - the Irish would be able to vote in the US primaries, but not in the elections. The new capital would be Shannon, but renamed Ryanair.

<runs and hides>

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 06:23:13 AM EST
ireland.com - The Irish Times - Thu, Aug 30, 2007 - Controversy over Shannon

Madam, - The controversy over Shannon Airport can surely be resolved by a simple but imaginative strategem often pioneered by Ryanair elsewhere. Simply rename Shannon Airport as Dublin (West) and develop it as Ryanair's new European hub - thus resolving the chronic overcrowding and overcharging at Dublin about which Ryanair so often complains. Were it not for unionist opposition, Ryanair might well have re-branded Belfast Airport as Dublin (North) by now. - Yours, etc,

FRANK SCHNITTGER



"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:06:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you interested in discussing all the inaccuracies or exaggerations in your letter, or are you just being grumpy?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 06:26:27 AM EST
Shoot

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:07:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's start from the beginning.
Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, former Foreign Minister of Denmark, is right to say that the time has come for Ireland to withdraw from the EU and allow the other 26 Members to continue its development through the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty.  This possibility is in any case provided for under the "Enhanced Cooperation" provisions of the Nice Treaty to which we are a party.
First of all, that's rich coming from a country which enjoys and has not yet given up opt-outs obtained after rejecting the original EU treaty, and which Ellemann-Jensen himself must have negotiated since he was foreign minister at the time.

Then, it cannot be correct that Nice's enhanced cooperation allows Lisbon to be implemented and at the same time the no vote makes it right for Ireland to leave the EU.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:26:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ireland must go by UFFE ELLEMANN-JENSEN*

I cannot help but recall the situation in the summer of 1992, when a small majority of Danish voters rejected the Maastricht Treaty. Back then, there were 12 members in what was then still called the European Community. Following their vote, the Danes were told in unmistakable terms that one way or another the country would have to leave the EU family if we did not find a way out. As Denmark's foreign minister at the time, I was able to secure some opt-outs from EU directives, and then a second referendum was held. The result was a "Yes" to the Maastricht Treaty. We in Denmark have been marred by those opt-outs ever since.

Our European partners could not throw us out in June 1992 -- but the other 11 could create their own EC-11 and we could have been left alone in the empty shell of an EC-12. This time, however, it seems very difficult to see how all others could agree to create an EU-26 while isolating Ireland in an empty EU-27, though that would be a reasonable solution. That is why the Irish should show magnanimity and tell the others to go on without them.

He is not calling for Ireland's expulsion - but asking Ireland to be magnanimous and allow others to go ahead without it.  

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:40:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One should not take Uffe Ellemann Jensen's memory of past events as gospel truth. For instance, his memory of the event surrounding the Tamil Affair, the Double-Track Decision and the collapse of the Soviet Union might charitably be described as lacking nuance and over-emphasising elements that support his ideological position. Less charitable observers might even accuse him of historical revisionism.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:48:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, but in this specific instance, what has he got wrong?

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:52:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not old enough to remember the details, but my impression from the quote is that he overestimates the willingness and ability of EU-12 to move along further integration without Denmark.

I also have the distinct impression that this wasn't necessary, because the Danish politicians - almost all of them, even the ones opposed to the treaty - agreed that Denmark should accede with certain opt-outs.

So in summary, I think he's over dramatising the situation. But of course, that's with the benefit of hindsight - I'm sure it wasn't particularly comfortable to be him at the time.

As an aside, I think it's depressing that a Reaganite cold warrior is the most outspoken pro-EU voice among Europe's (more or less) active politicians.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 23rd, 2008 at 03:33:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
I'm not old enough to remember the details, but my impression from the quote is that he overestimates the willingness and ability of EU-12 to move along further integration without Denmark.
You are correct for the following reason: the Treaty of Maastricht created the European Union by adding to the European Economic Community (first pillar, with separate legal personality) the Second and Thurd pillars (Common Foreign and Security Policy, and Police and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Justice) as well as the Schengen agreement (which had been operating outside EEC structures since the mid-80's among France, Germany and the BeNeLux, and the Euro. There was no such thing as "enhanced cooperation" outside of the single market (first pillar, where it was not needed since decisions could already be taken by qualified majority, if I am not mistaken).
As an aside, I think it's depressing that a Reaganite cold warrior is the most outspoken pro-EU voice among Europe's (more or less) active politicians.
It's just that he belongs to the generation of European leaders who were active before 1995. Anyone from that generation would tell you the same. He's been retired ffrom politics since 2000, hasn't he?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 23rd, 2008 at 05:25:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Since 1999, I think. But only retired in the sense and to the extent that - say - Al Gore retired after 2000. He stepped down after he lost the third election in a row, and he didn't want to hang around as former bigshot because (he says) he thought it would cause all kinds of problems for his party.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 23rd, 2008 at 09:05:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger:
This time, however, it seems very difficult to see how all others could agree to create an EU-26 while isolating Ireland in an empty EU-27, though that would be a reasonable solution.
He's right: it's not going to happen. But Enhanced Cooperation under Nice requires only 2/3 of the member states.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:48:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ireland.com - Breaking News - Cowen's speech to the EU Council

In conclusion, I know that the situation regarding the referendum which I have just reported to the Council is a difficult one. I believe that it is our responsibility to work together, in the spirit of solidarity which has served the Union so well for decades, to find a viable way forward.

The Union has found itself in similar situations before. Each time, working calmly, constructively and collectively, we have found an acceptable path. I am personally determined to see this resolved and I am counting on your support and cooperation.

Cowen and the other members will make sure it won't happen - encouraging collegiality is his strength.  Nevertheless I think we should be clear on the potential downside should all this go seriously wrong - e.g. a second referendum defeat.

In what ways is my letter inaccurate?   In my view there IS nothing to stop the other 26 creating their own EU based on Lisbon - except the strong traditions of solidarity and collegiality which have been  built up over the years.  And it is this solidarity which we are chipping away at with baseless accusations against the EU.

Please tell me I have got this all wrong.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 08:00:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger:
In my view there IS nothing to stop the other 26 creating their own EU based on Lisbon - except the strong traditions of solidarity and collegiality which have been  built up over the years.
Well, through enhanced cooperation you cannot do anything with military or defence implications, according to Nice. That is one of the big differences with Lisbon.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 08:04:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However in a doomsday scenario where Ireland continues to reject even a Lisbon with opt-outs for military and defense matters, what is to prevent two thirds or more of EU members engaging in enhanced cooperation on non-military matters, and forming a separate Union based on Lisbon to cover all else - and then gradually allowing the old Nice based EU 27 to wither on the vine?

My argument is that there is nothing in international law to prevent this - in depends on the political will of the member states - are they prepared to ignore Ireland in this way?  And the more Ireland pisses them off, the more likely this becomes.  Ultimately we are still talking about politics here - and 26 states acting in what they agree is in their own best interests.

At some point in that process they will care less about what Ireland wants - if political relationships deteriorate sufficiently.  And frankly, if Libertas, Coir, and Sinn Fein end up running this country, I couldn't blame them.  What have any of them ever done for the EU or its other member states?

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 08:16:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you really think it will come to this you should stop talking about "26" and seriously consider what a "Core Europe" would be.

Note that nothing prevents a small group of countries unable to start an enhanced cooperation from establishing their own parallel international agreements. As long as these do not conflict with the aims of the EU, they can't be said to be in breach of the EU treaties.

One of the things I don't like about the Lisbon Treaty "security and defence" section is that it pays too much lip service to NATO, which will come to bite the EU in the arse in the future.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 08:21:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Just having a bad day
Effectively the other 26 Members would form a new EU based on the Lisbon Treaty and Ireland would be left on its own in the empty shell of the old EU-27.
I see now you're paraphrasing Ellemann-Jensen almost literally:
Our European partners could not throw us out in June 1992 -- but the other 11 could create their own EC-11 and we could have been left alone in the empty shell of an EC-12.
Now, I am not quite sure how this would happen. They would have to create a parallel set of institutions because those of the EC-12 would still be in place. I think this is a rhetorical excess. After Nice, though, Enhanced Cooperation makes it less of a rhetorical excess but 1) enhanced cooperations acts don't contribute to the acquis; 2) enhanced cooperation cannot be funded by the EU budget; 3) it is not clear to me whether qualified majority is sufficient to establish an enhanced cooperation even in matters which require unanimity under Nice (police and judicial cooperation, and foreign and security policy).

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 08:10:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One more inaccurate statement:
Oh I forgot - without the EU they would have no right to work abroad.
Leaving the EU doesn't mean leaving the European Economic Area. Switzerland doesn't even make part of the EEA but has a similar set of bilateral agreements that allow it to take part in the single market.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 09:00:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
One more inaccurate statement:

there are others?

I grant you this point - on a technicality - but what is to prevent our ex-partners from changing that arrangement if they decide it is in their interest to do so and we are no longer in a position of influence?

All Treaties can be abrogated or changed - in accordance with the Law of Treaties.  Ultimately it is interests, politics, and relationships which make the world go around - and kicking dirt in your partners faces is not a good long term strategy for a small nation to adopt.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 09:45:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Those of you who have bought into this Lisbon or Destruction thing, should really stand back for a second for a bit of air.

If Lisbon falls, as it should, now that a 3rd country, in reality, has stuck a dagger into its heart, the EU won't ground to a shuddering halt.

Yes it took 7 years to come up with an EU Constitution, but the French and Dutch defeats was the time to take a serious review of what was so objectionable, even it took another 4 or 5 years to do so. THAT is where the Eurocrats went wrong. Too much, too sooner and allowed the NO side plenty of angles to attack. Madness.

Instead, it was essentially the same document with a new Title designed to deny the French and Dutch people their rights, and indeed citizens all over Europe. Did they have ANY idea how that would look ?

Even now people here in Ireland are talking about the bullying tactics likely to be employed over the coming months. No one believes the nicey nicey rubbish coming from the likes of Sarkozy and Merkel today.

Dick Roche (the Irish Europe Minister) or Cock Roche as I have heard him being called (!!!), was kept hidden during the campaign but was released like a hound today and was up to his old scaremongering tricks. Will people be fooled a second time ? Time will tell, but one thing is for sure, all the talk of respecting the Irish vote is nonsense. It would be better if people took the Iris result as a time for a reality check.

by MoveAlongFairlyLively on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 06:50:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You have to admit that the true Eurosceptics have been using the argument of Lisbon or Destruction to their own advantage, too, claiming that a no to the new treaty means the EU should be disbanded, or integration stopped, or expansion stopped. This actually is used quite irresponsibly by the pro-EU political leaders to convince the pro-EU public that there is no alternative.

So it is all very well that we keep giving the National governments a well-deserved black eye over this treaty and the way the Council operates, generally. But then the questions that we need to ask ourselves are:

  • is this the end of the road for the intergovernmental EU? If you implemented the Lisbon Treaty piecemeal as small treaties you'd be approving a new treaty every 6 months - now the police cooperation, now the foreign policy, now the new "President of the Council" - and each time you would require unanimity.
  • if the EU is to move on from an intergovernmental organization based on treaties between states to - say - a confederacy, how is that to be accomplished other than by proposing a new treaty which does tabula rasa, and in any case, in a confederacy don't you have to have each member state approve constitutional amendments in order for them to come into force?

So maybe that's what will happen next - the Lisbon Treaty will be implemented through the enhanced cooperation provisions in the Treaty of Nice, at least the parts of the Lisbon Treaty that can be implemented in that way (common security and defence is not one of them) and when people are comfortable enough about the new structures they will be incorporated into the treaties (as happened with Schengen: it was in development for 7 years among France, Germany and Benelux before it was incorporated into the Maastricht Treaty).

In fact, one of my projects for the near future is to look at the Lisbon Treaty and figure out to what extent each of the provisions can be implemented within Nice. We might all be surprised. But the problem is the lack of political will to use enhanced cooperation: it's been in the books for over 15 years and there hasn't been one attempt because everyone is (or claims to be) afraid that it will "divide the Union". Well, all kinds of countries and territories sit out of various parts of the EU acquis and that doesn't divide the Union already, so that's just an excuse for our political leaders' lack of European vision.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 06:24:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wouldn't one of the problems of the piecemeal approach be that the Lisbon treaty represents a global compromise, which would break up if each issue was adopted on its own ?

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 08:18:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 08:25:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the global approach has too many handles for people to oppose the whole.

If you forced people to separately vote on each part you couldn't assemble a coalition of peaceniks, religious nuts,  atlanticists and nationalists able to carry 55% of the vote.

And the governments would be forced to compromise within each part when drafting them, instead of horse-trading across unrelated areas ("I'll let you have an agricultural policy if I can have private health care")

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 08:29:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Last night I went to sleep peacefully in rustic Ireland. No ugly city sounds marred the quiet. Before retiring, I had seen the fox come through the yard and watched the rare Goldfinches feeding. Yet I knew that I was living in the Evil Outcast Member State of the EU, the Country That Must Be Blamed, and I mused on whether I could ever sleep under the circumstances. Yet, I slept well.
This morning I awoke to a new and different world, a world were Ireland is not so ugly and not so evil. "What had changed?", said I to only myself, as the nearest human is a half mile away.
Could it be that the Czech Republic may also vote No on Lisbon? Could it be that others may also vote No?
Could it be that the farmers, fishermen and lorry drivers might be staging protests, upsetting the 'Yes'ers, causing confusion in the ranks?
Whatever caused the change, the EU suddenly guesses that Lisbon may indeed be dead and no new countries can enter the ethereal realm of the EU. The EU suddenly guesses that some parts of Lisbon may indeed have to be renegotiated. It is a bit Orwellian today, or else I have woken up in the middle of Alice In Wonderland without noticing how I arrived here, and that just might keep me awake tonight.


Marie
by marie on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:09:05 AM EST
Nah - you can sleep easy - as I do in my equally rustic idyll.  There is nothing evil about Ireland or the 26 other members making their own different choices.  We just need to be aware of the possible worst case consequences of doing so.  

Nice is not some static status quo idyll.  It too can lead to an ongoing development of how the members choose to associate with each other.  And that association doesn't have to include Ireland if we don't want it to.  However, right now I think Croatia would be a more deserving (and needy) member of the EU.  Perhaps now that we have taken the spoils and become rich in the process it is time we made way for someone else to have the same opportunity.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:21:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My elitist self-esteem would not like opting out just when we have become a Contributory State...or perhaps it would.
I am not anti-EU. I just want respect and concern for the citizens of all the EU countries over and above what some politicians might desire. The EU was right on when it devoted itself to an economic and social alliance. When it decided that a standing army would be a nice new toy, it lost me. When it decided not to stand up for its human population, it lost me.
Now I will go back to mumbling about my ideals in my idyll.

Marie
by marie on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:34:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
marie:
When it decided that a standing army would be a nice new toy, it lost me.
Please quote from the treaties.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:39:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
marie:
My elitist self-esteem would not like opting out just when we have become a Contributory State...or perhaps it would.
The problem with Ireland is that it has a nominally high income (GDP) but very unequal distribution (pockets of abject rural poverty you were debating with Colman the other day) on which (redistribution) please address yourself to the Taoiseach.

Also on the fact that the high income has been engineered by lowering corporate tax which benefits yuppies in Dublin but results in Ireland losing access to Structural Funds.

Maybe EU tax harmonization wouldn't be such a bad idea, after all, since it would eliminate the race to the bottom on corporate tax (on which, again, address the Taoiseach) and its ill effects on rural Ireland.

Where is the problem, in Dublin or in Brussels?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:43:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Where is the problem, in Dublin or in Brussels?"

Both places. It has become a never-ending circle jerk. My original statement was that this was a referendum against the current Irish government...as much as the EU.

Marie

by marie on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 09:12:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So what exactly has Brussels done without the explicit approval of Dublin?  In fact Dublin took the lead role in the negotiations which led to the conclusion of the original Constitutional Treaty  - on which much of Lisbon is based.  I can't see how you can blame Brussels for doing precisely what Dublin asked it too - as it is required to do under all the previous Treaties.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 09:40:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do you confuse the Irish government with the Irish people? Yes, they elected the current government, but do they like what the government has done lately? Not so much. Almost 55% not so much.

Marie
by marie on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 09:49:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, is Sinn Fein poised to win the next election, or will that 55% vote for the same government?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 09:50:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This government, with minor variations, has been re-elected three times - almost unprecedented in Irish History.  We prefer to rotate Government and opposition as much as possible!

I've no problem with you being anti-government Marie, - what I don't understand is how you can expect the EU to do what Sinn Fein, Coir, Libertas and a few small Socialist parties want it to do - when their positions are all contradictory, and their combined vote in the the general last year was c. 10%

Surely it would be far more undemocratic for the EU to follow their policies?

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 09:57:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which of the 26 other democratically elected Governments would you like to see deposed, and why?  And why have Irish No voters got the right to tell other countries that their democratically elected governments are not democratic enough for us to want work in partnership with them on the lines that they have all agreed?

I can understand you being unhappy about the Irish Government's performance.  But which of its current functions would you want to see taken over by the EU?  Environmental planning? Gay rights? Reproductive rights?  Do you think the rest of the No voters would also be happy to cede control of these areas?

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:50:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Moreover, do you think some of the more eurosceptic countries or even France (which is not actually federalist) would agree to expanding Union competences in those areas?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:54:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger:
We just need to be aware of the possible worst case consequences
Ah, so this is a [Schnittger's Crystal Ball of Doom™ Technology] diary!

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 08:22:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I made the mistake of contributing to Timesonline's blog on this topic Charles Bremner - Times Online - WBLG: Pity about the Irish No to Europe
Maggie has asked me to come back to add my tuppence worth to this discussion on this forum. I have been hosting a series of blogs on the Lisbon Treaty at http://www.eurotrib.com/user/Frank%20Schnittger/diary and the last one is currently running at 328 comments, so you can see how much interest has been generated by this debate.

More as a plug for ET than anything else.  But I get seriously depressed having to confront all the neocons and eurosceptics who populate that place all the time.  

Hence my somewhat apocalypical polemic here.  It's time we stopped indulging the petty anti EU propagandists who want all the benefits, and yet do nothing but try to tear it down - particularly Brit expats sponging on French health services complaining about hard working immigrants in England changing their culture.

The beleaguered europhiles there want me to stay but I don't have time to do both.  They won't come here because they see it as a "closed" community.  We have got to work on that perception and market ourselves better... but then I get in trouble over here.

Time to take a break, methinks.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 08:39:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's actually a very good column by Bremner.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 08:54:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yea - but some of the comments are awful - he is running very close to the edge of his papers editorial policy...

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 09:26:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now, now.  Being aware of worst case possibilities is not predicting them.  Perhaps instead an ET METAL OF MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARD instead.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 01:35:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't believe Ireland will be left high and dry - or submerged as Atlantis was - but I do think we have got to rid people of the delusion that you can continually kick our 26 Partners in Europe in the groin and not do damage to the relationships we have painstakingly built up there.  Ireland has done extremely well out of the EU - probably better than we actually deserved - but now that goodwill is being squandered.  And the people whinging at the EU now will be the first to whinge when the Merkel's and Sarkozy's of this world really do start playing hardball.  And then we won't get a lot of sympathy from the rest of Europe either.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:19:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Small Nations in Europe should always keep in mind that it is the EU which gives them much more power over the large Nations, then they would have in the case of hardball realpolitik.
by rz on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 10:30:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Ellemann-Jensen doctrine?

Nw, what do you make of Atlanticist small EU nations who think their big buddy is Uncle Sam?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 10:31:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Depending on the alternatives sticking to the US can be very beneficial. One example for that is Georgia.

However if you are part of the EU you have a very good alternative, obviously the EU. Then being to close to the US might cost you more then you profit from it.

by rz on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 12:11:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unless your goal in foreign policy is to stick it up to Russia.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 01:06:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you know Croatians were putting the EU flag on their car licence plates in at 2000? I'm not sure whether that was legal or state-sanctioned, or people just did it themselves.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 08:39:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
marie:
I had seen the fox come through the yard
You know, sometimes I see a fox in my yard in rustic London, too, though the experience is marred by ugly city noises.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:22:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is he after your chickens, too?

Marie
by marie on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:26:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He got my ducks....

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:43:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
marie:
Whatever caused the change, the EU suddenly guesses that Lisbon may indeed be dead and no new countries can enter the ethereal realm of the EU.
What does  LIsbon have to do with new accessions? I was not aware that Nice limited the number of Member States.
The EU suddenly guesses that some parts of Lisbon may indeed have to be renegotiated.
Is Nice good enough for you? Which parts of Lisbon would you like to see renegotiated?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:32:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
marie:
Could it be that the Czech Republic may also vote No on Lisbon?
Sometimes it seems that the Czech Republic is closer to Boston than to Berlin, too. And don't get me started on Vaclav Klaus.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:33:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Last night I went to sleep peacefully in rustic Ireland. No ugly city sounds marred the quiet.

I often have trouble falling asleep my first night in the countryside without all those pretty city sounds and disturbed by the ugly rural ones. (Crickets, birds? Where's my comforting hum of cars, the soft, deep rumble of passing subways in the distance rocking me to sleep?)

by MarekNYC on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 01:34:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trying to sleep with gecko lizards making mating calls and monkeys fighting on the roof is not easy either...

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 01:47:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I love thinking about the standing army part of this. So in what country or countries shall this army be placed? Or shall it rotate much as the presidency did, going country to country every 6 months? The economic benefits alone of having an army based in your country would be very nice. And what bases shall this standing army use? NATO bases? Or do we, goody-goody, get to build whole gigantic new ones? Where? And whose country's munitions factories get to produce all the weaponry for the new standing army to use? Do we get a say in the contracts or the price? If we get to sharesy bases with NATO, what happens if we decide we don't "like" NATO's policies anymore? Are we trapped forever in the EU-NATO dance? If the army comes to Ireland, do we get to make them stand down for 6 months and enjoy the pubs?
We probably should draw up an Enemies List before this goes much further, much like Bush did. Which countries do we want to blast into glass first? What if we disagree on the "enemy"? Who will resolve who the current enemy might be? Or should we go on the basis of "The enemy of my enemy is my friend, unless, of course, your country thinks otherwise, but believe me you are wrong...my friend"?
I have only barely scratched the surface of all the economic and social benefits this standing army can bring to Europe! Let your imagination fly. Let it soar like the new fighter jets we will get to play with. Let wisdom descend on us like the new bombs we will get to use.

(I am now practicing 'duck and cover' because it is only sort of snarky)

Marie

by marie on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 09:44:53 AM EST
There is no "standing army part of this".

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 09:47:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have we thrown out all the military provisions?

Sorry, I just popped back in and must finish the chores now.

Marie

by marie on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 09:51:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, but there are no provisions for a "standing army". I asked you to quote from the treatues.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 09:52:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What ever about a "standing army", what would receive universal support is a European Coastguard. The EU has been crying out for this, for years.
by MoveAlongFairlyLively on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 06:55:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can you elaborate?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 06:05:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FRONTEX 2.0

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 23rd, 2008 at 04:16:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If my understanding of the treaties is correct there is no way that a European Army can be established. It only gives the option for different countries to work together in the military area. The Armies would still be under the sole control of the Nation states.
by rz on Sat Jun 21st, 2008 at 10:25:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why can't Ireland be more like France, and so be eternally popular thoughout the EU ?

  • We should pass all Referenda like the French...oops, they already shot down the EU Constitution didn't they ?

  • We should at least be as open to new countries as the French.....oops, actually we allowed the Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, Czechs etc free movement of labour right from the start....how are France (and Germany) doing with that one ? But sure we are bad Europeans. Tsk Tsk.

  • Well, in that case, Ireland should at least allow another member's goods pass through safely without being held up by its gridlocking strikes....oh, looks like we doing a bit better than France on that one as well....

Still, what did the Romans ever do for us ? :-)
by MoveAlongFairlyLively on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 11:22:03 AM EST

And welcome to ET!

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 11:45:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks

Nice Youtube ! ;-)

by MoveAlongFairlyLively on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 05:47:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Welcome to ET.

Yeah right - I thought everybody hated the French and loved the Irish?  And it's not as if the French route a lot of their stuff through Shannon, is it?  Sometimes we're a bit too flahoulough with this fee movement of everything stuff.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 12:36:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.

Everybody loves the Irish when we stick to holding court in the pub and not getting involved in matters that don't concern us...such as Treaties and the like !!!

If the French did route stuff through Shannon, they might find it far more effective than when our goods try make it through the frequent blockades ! ;-)

by MoveAlongFairlyLively on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 05:50:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks guys for humouring and tolerating me on a bad day.  I feel better already!  I'm hitting the road (to Germany) for a few days now and won't have much access to WWW if at all - but please feel free to carry on without me!

A special welcome to the new or very occasional members who have joined us on this thread.  We may not always agree but your contributions are always appreciated.  The more diversity the better.  ET tends to be mostly pro-EU but that doesn't mean we don't appreciate a good argument and Migeru is a great man for digging up whatever obscure document is required to clarify an even more obscure point.

A few refugees from Timesonline may also be joining us.  Try to give them a soft landing as they are used to being harangued by neo-cons and Eurosceptics.

Auf Wiedersehen

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 20th, 2008 at 07:53:53 PM EST


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries