Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The EU has no power of taxation. The only thing Europe has been allowed to do in the taxation area is harmonization of the Value-Added Tax (a sales tax), which is paid to the Member States, not to the EU.

About the "stupid regulations" I am not so sure either. Often these are stories propagated by the press with little basis in reality, or the member states add them to EU directives when they transpose them into national legislation. But there are stupid regulations, such as the liquids ban on airplanes.

There is one data point in these polls which I found interesting: of the people who are interested in national politics, 30% are not interested in European politics.

As for the Spanish sentiment, the one glaring omission in the CIS polls is the question of ranking regional, national and european sentiment. This means that they either ask people about their regional vs. national identification, or their national vs. european identification. So the 60% of people who identify primarily as Spanish includes those who identify equally with Spain and their region above Europe.

According to the Eurobarometer, 95% of those polled have seen the EU flag, and 54% identify with it [including 68% of Italians]. It should be noted that the flag is originally the flag of the Council of Europe, a human rights organization, which includes all European countries except Belarus including Turkey, Russia and the ex-soviet Caucasian republics. As for attachment, 91% feel attached to their country, 86% to their city/town/village, and 53% to the EU. Spain and Italy are both at 62%. Interestingly, the ones who feel most attached are people from Macedonia, which isn't even a Member State. For those living in a different EU country than that which they are born in or born of foreign parents, attachment is higher at 65%.

If you want to argue that the EU and a European Identity have a long way to go, I don't think anyone will disagree with you. But if you want to argue 1) it's not happening; 2) it can't happen; 3) it's hopeless; I think you're wrong.

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

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2007 at 04:25:34 AM EST
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