Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
yeah, certain preconditions have to be there; in this case, the closure of foreign subsidiaries. I suppose the problem will always be where to draw the line.

The federal EU state is coming, though, and if the only way to make the people understand is to bring the nation-state to its fiscal knees, well, let's do it. Better sooner than later. We desperately need a democratically-elected body big enough to take on global companies (that are already profiting from the unbalanced situation, like they were in the XIX century before nation-state bodies stabilised), and parochial feelings are holding us back.

by toyg (g.lacava@gmail.com) on Tue Dec 13th, 2005 at 07:30:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The more I think about this the more I support the "Europe of the Regions". And this coming from a supposed Spanish centralist. Kcurie would be proud.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 13th, 2005 at 07:34:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eh oh, time-out!
... if the only way to make the people understand is to bring the nation-state to its fiscal knees, well, let's do it.
The revolutionaries please chill down a bit. May be living in the UK is hopelessly atrocious :) But I mostly like my country and would rather keep it more or less intact for the time being if you don't mind.

We desperately need a democratically-elected body big enough to take on global companies.
It will be either big or democratic, but not both. See, democracy is messy and takes a long to establish itself with all its niceties. And global companies are a threat now.
by Francois in Paris on Tue Dec 13th, 2005 at 08:27:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It will be either big or democratic, but not both
it will be, as usual, a compromise, like the nation-state was. But it's about time we admit it's going to happen, or we can really get used to irrelevancy. US and USSR had a strategic interest in Europe as political and economic battlefield, I believe China and India will not share that interest.
by toyg (g.lacava@gmail.com) on Tue Dec 13th, 2005 at 12:19:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you really think that a federal EU state is going to be anymore democratic than the nation states?

That the elites will be more responsive at the federal level than at the national level?

That a federal Europe will be more egalitarian and not more elitist?

That the market-state of Europe will be run by us?

At least with a Confederation of Nation States there are some checks and balances provided by national parliaments. In terms of politicians and political access, a Federal EU would be a pale reflection of a Federal USA once the cheering has died away.

Eats cheroots and leaves.

by NeutralObserver on Tue Dec 13th, 2005 at 01:06:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree that a confederation is probably better than a federal state.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 13th, 2005 at 01:51:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wasn't talking about democracy or representation. I was talking about an european entity expressing itself on the global stage. Have you ever seen how european nation-state leaders greet people like Bill Gates? Not as peers, but as servants. They realise that someone like Bill has MUCH MORE POWER and on a MUCH WIDER SCALE than them, and are scared shitless to pick a fight with him. That's why the only serious challenges to the MS monopoly came from EU institutions, that DO express power on a much bigger scale. I'm not so utopian to think that a federal EU will be more democratic or more responsive to its citizens than nation states. It just happens to be the only way we can introduce some friction in the cogs of globalized corporativism, recreating some sort of antagonism. We need someone that can scare back big companies (and yes, the american friends as well, for they tend to create quagmires too much and too near our strategic interests) -- not Blair, not Schroeder and certainly not Chirac can do that at the moment. We need checks and balances on a global scale, even though they are not "100% direct democracy". When never had direct democracy anyway, we have little to lose.
by toyg (g.lacava@gmail.com) on Wed Dec 14th, 2005 at 10:08:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Serious challenges to the Redmond Borg's monoppoly power are coming from places like Peru, Brazil, China, India,... 3rd world countries seem to be less afraid of picking a fight with Microsoft. Admittedly, that is because they have less to lose, but also they just can't afford to pay M$'s licensing fees, plus open source is a national security issue. You don't want some multinational in Seattle having back doors to log on to your government servers, do you?

Well, apparently France thinks differently.

The EU parliament is the only force keeping corporate influence moderately at bay. If it weren't for them we'd have software patents, riduculous intellectual property laws, no REACH, and the Balkenstein directive.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 14th, 2005 at 10:23:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My point, absolutely.
by toyg (g.lacava@gmail.com) on Wed Dec 14th, 2005 at 01:33:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The politicians of a Federal EU will be just as scared of/in the pockets of Bill Gates et al as those of the nation states.

The European Parliament can resist at the moment because it does not rule, it simply has oversight.

Once the Council of Ministers is replaced by an elected Federal Executive, the corporations will target them just as they target the national leaders currently.

I don't know what solution is best, but a Federal Europe will be a lot worse than the current situation IMHO.

Eats cheroots and leaves.

by NeutralObserver on Thu Dec 15th, 2005 at 02:14:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We desperately need a democratically-elected body big enough to take on global companies.

Government is the problem, so to speak... In the modern enterprising democrasy, no one has appropriate access and significant infulence to governments but only multinational or similar companies. The people have "their say" once in a few years, and that show is manipulated handily by the media. While some NGO would celebrate a compromise law of their concern, any "respectable" company would have scored a bonanza of favourable laws and exemptions from several governments. Is there any light?

by das monde on Wed Dec 14th, 2005 at 06:51:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series