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Hmmm...

Sounds as if you want to scare us into joining the EU.

We are not easily scared...we had the Germans in the country for 5 years, remember...

by Solveig (link2ageataol.com) on Sat Oct 20th, 2007 at 08:45:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"We're richer and braver and smarter than the rest of you. We don't need you."

Maybe that's not what you mean, but that's certainly what you sound like. (Or so says the - by axiom triply arrogant - French technocrat banker)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 05:09:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think I had a debate with Sirocco to that tune in the olden days.

Wait, it's here, also involved Gjermund E Jansen, and it must be admitted the two made some rather good points on their side.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 05:55:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I used to hang out with Danes a lot in 1998-2000 and you got the same whiff of "we're better than the EU on everything and the EU will just lower our standards".

But the fact is, neither Norway nor Switzerland need the EU, nor does the EU need them. I don't see why as a matter of principle the EU should seek to include any given country. If they want to join and meet the acquis, they should be allowed in. If they don't want to join we shouldn't worry about it, and if they want to but don't meet the acquis it's their own problem to solve.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 06:13:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are we (Jérôme or me) the EU, or simple citizens?

As simple citizens, do you think we can have desires and opinions about various countries joining the Union based on principles rather than that countries' current public opinion? (And can we have an opinion on local public opinion?)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 06:20:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know why you had to react defensively. Everyone can have an opinion, and I didn't say otherwise.

My opinion is that the EU should not have expansion to any definite borders as a goal, nor should it "set its final borders" (doublespeak for "keep Turkey out") —that's the kinds of principles I sometime find annoying: expansion is a practical matter, not a matter of principle—, and personally I have 1) given up on trying to convince Norway and Switzrland to join; 2) come to the conclusion that there is a value to having small countries like Norway and Switzerland which are in the orbit of the EU but more independent so they can try to do things differently.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 06:41:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]

neither Norway nor Switzerland need the EU, nor does the EU need them.

I'm sure Norway and Switzerland will solve climate change all on their own too. And I'm also pretty sure that Switzerland would not be so happy if it was somehow made illegal for any EU citizen to hold any money in Switzerland...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 11:24:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU membership is neither necessary nor sufficient to cooperate on tackling climate change. Regarding money laundering... what is the likelihood that the EU will agree to that, and wouldn't that be a problem already with the EEA free market rules? How do decisions get made on what applies to the EEA?

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 11:28:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There seems to be a view that European countries must be either in the EU or condemned to outer darkness and (implicitly) a Third World and/or vassal status.

But Norway demonstrates that is its possible to have your cake and eat it, too

ie it's both/and not either/or and they are free to have a look at what the EU is proposing and then to adapt or adopt it according to taste.

Not that they reject much, and indeed they tend rather to adopt more rapidly, and more comprehensively than the funereal pace of most EU initiatives - which, with enlargement, can only get slower.

In terms of Jerome's point re climate change, the initiative IMHO can only come from energy producers acting collectively and putting to the EU and US alike an offer they cannot refuse.

I believe that Norway is uniquely well placed to lead that process if they could only summon up the self confidence to add to their innate (and currently rather tarnished) sense of moral superiority.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 12:03:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe that Norway is uniquely well placed to lead that process if they could only summon up the self confidence to add to their innate (and currently rather tarnished) sense of moral superiority.

I believe Jerome agrees...

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 12:12:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There seems to be a view that European countries must be either in the EU or condemned to outer darkness and (implicitly) a Third World and/or vassal status.

The EU as "manifest destiny". Me not like.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 12:15:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU is certainly more likely to get anything ever done on the climate change front - unless Norway suddenly decided to stop unsequestering all their carbon and leave it it the ground instead of digging it up.

My point was not about money laundering, but about sovereignty. Those countries that are so proud of their freedom and independence should not have any complaints about the EU taking decisions that would deprive them of their main livelihood and reveal them as utterly dependent on it.

It's easy to have a holier-than-thou attitude when you are the richer, smaller parasite of a larger organism.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 12:47:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome a Paris:
I'm sure Norway and Switzerland will solve climate change all on their own too.

Norway works with, and within, numerous organisations (the EU included) on climate change and a multitude of other matters where international co-operation is necessary.

I'm not sure why you seem to think that it is not possible to be pro-active, progressive, innovative and co-operative outside the EU?

   

by Solveig (link2ageataol.com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 12:41:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is the ultimate in selfishness. I'll cooperate when it's profitable for me, but not otherwise. Right. Because I value my "freedom".


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 12:53:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh: who knew this?
A major challenge in 2003/2004 was to ensure that the EEA was enlarged at the same time as the EU, so as not to disturb the good functioning of the Internal Market. To this end, an EEA Enlargement Agreement was negotiated between the Community and its Member States, the EEA EFTA States and the Acceding Countries. The EEA Enlargement Agreement came into force on 1 May 2004, thus allowing for the simultaneous enlargement of the EU and the EEA. Most of the elements of the EEA Enlargement Agreement are technical adaptations, but one of the major substantial results of the enlargement negotiations was a ten-fold increase in the financial contribution of the EEA EFTA States, in particular Norway, to social and economic cohesion in the Internal Market (1167 M€ over five years, 600 M€ from all three EEA EFTA States and 567 M€ as a bilateral Norwegian contribution). Another element of the EEA Enlargement Agreement was that the Community would open additional quotas for certain marine and agricultural products from the EEA EFTA States.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 01:32:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that the economic benefits of membership (or any quasi-equivalent access), for small countries, far outweigh the costs, as acknowledged by these countries by their choices.

But of course, the EU is not about the economy.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 02:33:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is certainly not about selfishness.  

Co-operation is by definition consensual, and cannot be imposed top-down.

Norway has had decades of coalition governments, so we know how necessary it is to find solutions that we can all accept - and live with.  

We approach international issues in international fora the same way, I believe -  and with respect for other nations' freedom.  

by Solveig (link2ageataol.com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 01:53:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You seem to be arguing on the premise that Norway has an obligation to join the EU. Is geography destiny? Has the EU claimed the whole of Europe on virtue of its name?

If not, you could just as well argue that France should apply for membership in the US. Because everything else is selfish.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 06:12:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
to the line of argument which says "we're better than you at everything, why should we join you stupid shmucks"

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Oct 22nd, 2007 at 05:38:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I certainly didn't detect that line of argument.

The Norwegians are free to choose EU policies they approve of and adopt them while the EU is still grinding its way through the process.

Why then should they have to adopt EU policies they don't like?

Maybe people who do that ARE schmucks.....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Oct 22nd, 2007 at 06:43:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The Norwegians are free to choose EU policies they approve of and adopt them while the EU is still grinding its way through the process.

That's the perfect definition of selfishness: let's pick those policies of the group that are advantageous to us while sitting out those that would have a cost, or be inconvenient for us. Solidarity is not a one way street.

"Oh but we're rich, so we would pay all the time". "Oh but we're doing things a lot better, why should we lower ourselves to the paltry EU standards". Back again to our starting point.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2007 at 01:56:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...it is not about 'we are rich, we don't need you' - being rich has nothing to do with this.

When Norway first voted 'no' to the EU, we were certainly not rich, so that argument does not hold. There are fundamental issues behind Norway's choice to stay outside the EU, not least her principles and values.    

It seems you have not taken in/listened to (or not understood?) much of what I have tried to explain - but you appear to construe dissent as an 'attack', and therefore you "counter-attack".

I have gained much detailed knowledge about the EU from ET discussions, and I feel I understand more. I find it strange that you do not seem to be interested in understanding the 'other side'.        

The main problem I have with today's EU is the power-bloc mentality. I dread all talk about a common EU foreign policy and army. And, as for the need for the EU to exist to "compete" globally - what's wrong with global cooperation, and why is the EU essential for that?

The EU "leaders" are not people I would trust...and from what you write, I get the impression that you don't trust them either.  The difference is maybe that you believe a future EU leadership is capable of  becoming 'trustworthy' and 'egalitarian'  - I see no chance of that. "Power corrupts"...and all that.  You may call that being cynical, I call it being realistic.  

by Solveig (link2ageataol.com) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2007 at 07:41:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]

There are fundamental issues behind Norway's choice to stay outside the EU, not least her principles and values.    

The EU is not incompatible with countries' values and principles. On most issues, it sets minimum pan-European standards, but never prevents countries from going further.

And you certainly have more influence from the inside than from the outside if you want these values to be protected


The main problem I have with today's EU is the power-bloc mentality. I dread all talk about a common EU foreign policy and army.

And I would say that the main problem is the lack of a power-bloc mentality. All talk of building up the political legitimacy of the EU (the only way that values will ever be promoted, as opposed to narrow economic interests) is being killed off by eurosceptics, whose (bad faith, or completely opposed to the values you think you want to defend) arguments you seem to believe fully.


as for the need for the EU to exist to "compete" globally - what's wrong with global cooperation, and why is the EU essential for that?

The EU is the only global entity able to set standards of behavior (technical standards, social standards, as well as, for countries that might become members, democratic/political standards) that do not go to the lowest common denominator. That comes from its economic clout and its willingness to use that economic power in a united way. Norway, or France, or Germany, would never have been able to impose standards like those embedded in REACH (the chemicals products directive).

So yes, the EU is essential for global cooperation, as the main entity able to enforce some discipline and willing to show a good example on many topics.


The difference is maybe that you believe a future EU leadership is capable of  becoming 'trustworthy' and 'egalitarian'  - I see no chance of that.

The only way to get a better leadership is to make it more accountable.? and the only way to do that is, oddly enough, to give more political power to Brussels, so that the political debate - and the checks and balances - happens in the right place. A weakened, discredited (by national leaders) EU machinery is worse than a powerful one under the spotlight. But it needs to be powerful to be in the spotlight.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2007 at 12:42:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome a Paris:
"We're richer and braver and smarter than the rest of you. We don't need you."

That is not what I meant, Jerome. I was thinking of our 'stubborness', or you could call it resilience...

We have fought hard and long for our independence - 400 years under Denmark, 100 years with Sweden, and the German occupation which is still within living memory.  Giving up this independence is not something we would do lightly.

Frankly, the majority of Norwegians see the present EU as a 'power' that would adversely affect our egalitarian values, and way of life.  Maybe we believe that by staying outside, but still participating earnestly (which we do! We sometimes introduce EU policy before the EU does...), we may have some small positive influence.

As for being rich, yes we are now, but at the time of the first referendum in 1972, we were not. (After WW2 we were the poorest country in Europe - it took Marshall help and a few decades hard work and innovative policies to get our economy moving.)

Arrogance, yes we may have a touch of that...but so do many other European countries...the French included, as you admit.  

Norwegian arrogance, as I see it, is about 'look at us, we have managed to share our country's wealth fairly evenly, what have you done'?          

       

by Solveig (link2ageataol.com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 06:47:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...and oil.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 06:13:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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