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Big challenges cannot be addressed at a tiny level.

Admittedly, the EU has performed appallingly of late (as it has been captured by austerianism), but I don't see that this is a battle that was being lost in every country. Greece seems to be the only one to really push back.

On the other hand, if you want to address a far bigger issue (yes, I know 60% youth unemployment is shocking and actually does wake me up at night -still, I stand by far bigger) such as sustainability and averting catastrophic climate change, then you need very strong integration. And, until 2008, the EU was indeed a strong hope for the world and the only superpower that was making any sort of noise in the right direction.

Remove that and you have the guarantee that the fate of the world will be decided between Washington and Beijing - nice beacons of hope.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 09:49:48 AM EST
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On that note...
The plan looks harmless at a glance. Laws in Europe should be "better", said Frans Timmermans, first Vice-President of the European Commission. Therefore "more transparency and control" are needed in the future when the EU adopts new laws, vows the Commissioner. The European Parliament and the Council of EU governments should also commit contractually to subdue all legislative changes to a "rigorous" examination before voting on them, demands Timmermans, who presented a contract draft.

...

Gradually, Europe gets deeper and deeper into the "post-democracy" state against which the British political scientist Colin Crouch warned us ten years ago. As legislation has moved to a transnational sphere that escapes public control, democracy loses its substance and citizens turn away. "People who actually only reject the current EU policy are forced to turn against the EU system as a whole," says European expert and political consultant Ulrike Guérot - a circumstance that increasingly takes them to vote for parties relapsing into nationalism, like France's Front National.

If the EU parliament or at least its pro-European majority take themselves seriously, they should reject Timmermans' plan altogether and call for the exact opposite, a reform facilitating European citizens' initiatives and finally allowing referendums. The EU needs more democracy, not less. Otherwise its days are numbered.



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 Jun 2nd, 2015 at 10:12:32 AM EST
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I fully agree that the EU looks like post-democracy.

But so do both the country I currently live in (the UK - which is not bound by Maastricht) and the one in which I was born (France, who at some point gave all levels of power except the EP to an allegedly leftist party, only to get right-wing economics if, admittedly and that was welcome, left-wing social policies).

Post-democracy seems to be a feature of our times, one which we must fight, but not, I think, one limited to the EU. International trade agreements apparently among the major culprits.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 10:48:06 AM EST
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Not to mention our 800-pound adolescent across the pond, where our supposedly socialist president is busy pushing a trans-pacific trade deal that is being kept secret even from the legislators who are expected to approve it, not to mention the population who will have to live with it.

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?
by budr on Thu Jun 4th, 2015 at 01:40:06 PM EST
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sounds undecided:

http://www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu/newsroom/better-regulation-should-not-be-excuse-deregulation

"There needs to be more clarity on the Commission's idea to have both a Regulatory Scrutiny Board and independent panel. These impact assessments should be comprehensive and not just look at the costs imposed on businesses, but also the cost to health services, consumers, workers' rights and the environment of not regulating."  

by IM on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 07:32:16 AM EST
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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 Jun 3rd, 2015 at 08:23:28 AM EST
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Integration, big issue governing cuts both ways... Look at what market regulators, environment protection agencies protect now...

I was a rather indifferent (or even passively skeptical) towards the EU integration. Appreciated it as a beneficiary.

Having less hassle with currency, travel, employment was nice... but what were the true motivations for the institutions? Was there a real chance for a hoped progressive performance? What about the EU now being exactly where it is supposed to be?

by das monde on Tue Jun 2nd, 2015 at 10:51:04 PM EST
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real-existing EU, and not the one we idealise and which a certain generation of french elites dreamed up.

And, that real-existing EU has not been a force for good, for longer than since 2008.

And the fate of the world is indeed currently being decided in Washington and Beijing, and that might be a good thing, as I'm not sure having François Hollande and Angela Merkel have much of a say is a good idea.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 05:52:52 AM EST
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It started going downhill right after Maastricht, with the ill-fated (and uninspiring) Santer Commission. The Prodi Commission was a respite of sorts, but 10 years of Barroso just about killed it. And Barroso was reappointed in 2009, just so there wouldn't be a Commission counterweight to German "leadership" on crisis management.

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 Jun 3rd, 2015 at 06:08:25 AM EST
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redstar:
the fate of the world is indeed currently being decided in Washington and Beijing, and that might be a good thing

Irrespective of how bad the EU is, the world under Washington and Beijing is increasingly free-trade authoritarian liberal, and that might not be a good thing at all.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 06:35:39 AM EST
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liberal over german authoritarian conservatism à la wolfgang shauble any day of the week.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 06:37:12 AM EST
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How much difference is there? What the free-trade agreements currently imposed by the Washington-sponsored corporate world will lead us to is an authoritarian pro-business set-up. In fact the EU, weakened by individual member-state contention and infiltrated by lobbies, is falling apart to be simply replaced by that set-up.  
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 06:46:38 AM EST
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by more than member-state contention and the inevitable lobbies which set up wherever power centres are created.

EU weakness is at its core, starting with the Euro construction, and given that construction, continuing on through the German conservatism which is dominating the aftermath.

And that conservatism is far less dynamic, allows for far less social mobility, than the alternatives.

It is, in a word, conservative.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 06:52:17 AM EST
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Agreed, it's not just member-state contention and lobbies, and the euro is a millstone round the EU's neck. But I'm not expecting much in the way of social mobility (unless that means a handful of lucky duckies who make it to the 1%) from the broader global free-trade agreements that are being undemocratically "negotiated".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 07:02:49 AM EST
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Schäuble, the TTIP enemy. Now I have seen anything.
by IM on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 07:25:38 AM EST
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