The People Have Spoken: "We want Change AND We want the EU". Time To Move On.

owedtojoy

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While not a fan of some of Vox's positions, its good for political diversity and free speech that a Vox (a Francoist party from Spain) MEP has been elected chair of the European Parliament Agriculture Committee. I think Franco was a tyrant but that a Republican victory in the 1930s would have turned the Pyrenees into a second iron curtain in the west.
Franco's rehabilitation during the Cold War should not disguise the fact that at the moment he won the Spanish Civil War, the moment when he could each reconciled both Spanish factions, he unleashed the most savage reprisals on the Republican side. And he kept Spain a poverty-stricken, reactionary backwater for 35 years.

"Reconciliation" has not happened yer, and Spain has yet to come to terms with Franco's legacy. Franco was not worth it, and the misogynistic and racist Vox party should not be given some sort of retrospective free pass.

(See Vox's support for the rape gang known as the Wolf Pack. The shocking rape trial that galvanised Spain’s feminists – and the far right )
 


Dame_Enda

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EU Parliament rejects Ombudsman Emily O'Reillys request they publish office expenses.

The EP should have a vouched expenses system.

 

owedtojoy

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I thought the latest Eurobarometer was worth checking out.


Some questions (I abbreviated the questions and answers, so check them out for yourself). Change from last survey in brackets.

What are the most important issues facing your country?

Unemployment 21% (-2)
Prices/ Inflation 21% (=)
Health/ Social Security 21% (+1)
Environment/ Climate/ Energy 20% (+6)
Immigration 17% (-4)
Economy 15% (+1)

What are the most important issues facing the EU?

Immigration 34% (-6)
Climate 22% (+6)
Economy 18% (=)
Member States' Finances 18% (-1)
Terrorism 18% (-2)
Environment 13% (+4)

Do You Support a Common Policy on ... ?:

Free Movement of EU Citizens?
Yes 81% (-2)
No 13% (=)
DK 5% (-1)

Defence/ Security?
Yes 74% (-2)
No 18% (=)
DK 8% (+2)

Energy?
Yes 72% (-2)
No 18% (=)
DK 10% (+2)

Trade?
Yes 71% (-2)
No 19% (=)
DK 9% (+2)

Migration?
Yes 67% (-2)
No 24% (=)
DK 9% (+1)

So Migration is an important issue for European citizens at the EU level, but less at the national level. It suggests that they look to the EU for action, but (surprisingly) an EU Common Policy on Migration is not as well supported as Policy on Free Movement, Defence, Energy or Trade.

IN a separate question, respondents chose Free Movement of People and Peace Among Member States as the Top 2 Positive Results of the EU, also suggesting that citizens see the benefits of collective endeavour. For example, the question "How much do you trust the EU?" gets answered 44% Trust, 46% Mistrust, but for National Governments the same question gets answered 34% Trust, 61% Mistrust.
 
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Kevin Parlon

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I thought the latest Eurobarometer was worth checking out.
Strange, this new-found attention to the Euro Barometer. Sure, let's go through it...

So Migration is an important issue for European citizens at the EU level
Fell at the first fence. No. Migration is not "an important issue", it is the most important issue for Europeans and this is something that has been true for almost half a decade, only then taking over from something else which is itself a by-product of mass immigration: Terrorism.

, but less at the national level. It suggests that they look to the EU for action, but (surprisingly) an EU Common Policy on Migration is not as well supported as Policy on Free Movement, Defence, Energy or Trade.
No, it doesn't suggest that. It suggests that the big-picture issue is immigration. There is absolutely nothing... nothing surprising about no support for a "common policy on immigration" because the EU "common policy on immigration" that has been presented is essentially "Where should we provide residency, housing, education, healthcare and welfare at EU taxpayer expense for all these Afghan, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Iraqi and African military aged men who keep mysteriously appearing inside our borders that we don't enforce? Perhaps we should just divide them up equally and that will solve everything?"

IN a separate question, respondents chose Free Movement of People and Peace Among Member States as the Top 2 Positive Results of the EU, also suggesting that citizens see the benefits of collective endeavour. For example, the question "How much do you trust the EU?" gets answered 44% Trust, 46% Mistrust, but for National Governments the same question gets answered 34% Trust, 61% Mistrust.
A glowing endorsement. Meanwhile, despite your deranged take on the EU elections, the AFD almost tripled their vote in the most recent German elections whilst - shock-horror - the centre continues to bleed. People like you won't admit you have got this so pig-headedly wrong until there are actual fascists in government.
 

owedtojoy

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Strange, this new-found attention to the Euro Barometer. Sure, let's go through it...

etc
Weill closed minds can look at facts and see only what they want to see. Facts can't be refuted by a good, old-fashioned rant, with a few personal insults and a conspiracy theory thrown in.

As well as from the Eurobarometer data, which I invite anyone to read, Your assertions are bring refuted from examples from all over the EU.
  • In the UK, for example, Immigration is now hardly mentioned at all in the context of Brexit, though it was a major issue in the Referendum, and migrants are still being arrested in the English Channel. Much more is heard about "Freedom to make our own Trade Deals" than "Control of our Borders"
  • In Italy, Matteo Salvini, one of the big European hardliners on Immigration, appears to be losing office, with little public protest, despite Salvini's calls on his followers to take to the street (contrast that with the response to Johnson's coup in the UK).
  • In the recent Greek elections, Immigration was only one of a number of issues that swung it - other being the Economy, Northern Macedonia, and the Mati wildfire. Refugee arrivals in Greece have decreased significantly, though the issue is really about returning migrants as per the EU/Turkey agreement*. But no way am I arguing it is not a major problem - only that Immigration is not the Overarching One Big Issue Driving European Politics that you claim. Five things that swung the Greek election
  • In Germany, indeed the AfD gained but fell short on his home turf - the old East Germany, of which Saxony and Brandenburg are part. Even there, the German Economic slowdown and Climate Change Denial seemed to play and equal role. Some see this as a symptom of a re-dividing Germany with the old East becoming more authoritarian, as the younger generation emigrates to the West. 5 takeaways from Germany’s regional elections
To advocate fascist policies in case fascism takes power is a contradiction. If you implement fascist policies, then you are the fascist. Or the voters might decide that if you are going to be a fake fascist, then they might as well have the real thing.

* You could at least give the EU credit for stemming the flow of migrants from Syria by paying 3.5 bn Euros to Turkey to maintain these in their country, and "encourage" them to return home. EU-Turkey deal: What has its impact been?

 

owedtojoy

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Eurobarometer1_zpskmn1ooav.png

Eurobarometer2_zpsdvwtljk0.png


These charts from the Eurobarometer are consistent with the view that Immigration is not the major concern is was a few years ago in 2015 - 2016, while it is still an important issue that cannot be ignored.
 

Pyewacket

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Wish it was the old days when no one gave a monkeys for the EU except a few poisonous headbangers who wanted to leave.
 

owedtojoy

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Wish it was the old days when no one gave a monkeys for the EU except a few poisonous headbangers who wanted to leave.
Some of the Eurobarometer results make for surprsing reading.

For example, the results for the question "Does the EU conjure up a for you a Totally Positive, Neutral or Totally Negative Image" has these results for some countries


Totally PositiveNeutralTotally Negative
Italy364020
Hungary523711
UK382831
Ireland632610
Germany513612
France363924

Even in the UK, with the highest "Totally Negative" percentage, there are more people who feel "Totally Positive". Maybe capturing the deep division in the country due to Brexit.

It contradicts the media & right wing narrative that there are hordes of people clamouring to leave the EU. Yes, there are many, and that is a concern, but there seems to be a "silent majority" who feel directly opposed to that, or are indifferent.

PS The Hungary result surprised me, until I recalled that Hungary is the second-largest receiver of EU grants and investments, though Victor Orban has been accused of diverting them to his cronies.
 

Apple in Eden

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Weill closed minds can look at facts and see only what they want to see. Facts can't be refuted by a good, old-fashioned rant, with a few personal insults and a conspiracy theory thrown in.

As well as from the Eurobarometer data, which I invite anyone to read, Your assertions are bring refuted from examples from all over the EU.
  • In the UK, for example, Immigration is now hardly mentioned at all in the context of Brexit, though it was a major issue in the Referendum, and migrants are still being arrested in the English Channel. Much more is heard about "Freedom to make our own Trade Deals" than "Control of our Borders"
  • In Italy, Matteo Salvini, one of the big European hardliners on Immigration, appears to be losing office, with little public protest, despite Salvini's calls on his followers to take to the street (contrast that with the response to Johnson's coup in the UK).
  • In the recent Greek elections, Immigration was only one of a number of issues that swung it - other being the Economy, Northern Macedonia, and the Mati wildfire. Refugee arrivals in Greece have decreased significantly, though the issue is really about returning migrants as per the EU/Turkey agreement*. But no way am I arguing it is not a major problem - only that Immigration is not the Overarching One Big Issue Driving European Politics that you claim. Five things that swung the Greek election
  • In Germany, indeed the AfD gained but fell short on his home turf - the old East Germany, of which Saxony and Brandenburg are part. Even there, the German Economic slowdown and Climate Change Denial seemed to play and equal role. Some see this as a symptom of a re-dividing Germany with the old East becoming more authoritarian, as the younger generation emigrates to the West. 5 takeaways from Germany’s regional elections
To advocate fascist policies in case fascism takes power is a contradiction. If you implement fascist policies, then you are the fascist. Or the voters might decide that if you are going to be a fake fascist, then they might as well have the real thing.

* You could at least give the EU credit for stemming the flow of migrants from Syria by paying 3.5 bn Euros to Turkey to maintain these in their country, and "encourage" them to return home. EU-Turkey deal: What has its impact been?

The problem for the EU is that despite your observations above there is now a movement of people within the member countries which has reached the critical mass level and stand ready to strike against future moves towards centralised power and open border policies. The Brexit obsession four years old now if one includes the run up period to 2016 Referendum has taken the spotlight off the slow and gradual movement towards a federal Europe. For this to happen the full implementation of Economic and Monetary union would be a necessary precondition. The attainment or attempted attainment of this objective is fraught with difficulties for the central authorities. They no longer have a free run towards an open goal. This is reinforced by dubious external foreign policy objectives and the belief in certain quarters that an EU Army is an intrinsic part of such a process. There are a lot of people waiting in the long grass now and I don't think the 12 Star Movement, particularly given the lack of talent among those who spearhead the organisation, has the necessary economic, social and political impetus and nous to accomplish these aims.
 

owedtojoy

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The problem for the EU is that despite your observations above there is now a movement of people within the member countries which has reached the critical mass level and stand ready to strike against future moves towards centralised power and open border policies. The Brexit obsession four years old now if one includes the run up period to 2016 Referendum has taken the spotlight off the slow and gradual movement towards a federal Europe. For this to happen the full implementation of Economic and Monetary union would be a necessary precondition. The attainment or attempted attainment of this objective is fraught with difficulties for the central authorities. They no longer have a free run towards an open goal. This is reinforced by dubious external foreign policy objectives and the belief in certain quarters that an EU Army is an intrinsic part of such a process. There are a lot of people waiting in the long grass now and I don't think the 12 Star Movement, particularly given the lack of talent among those who spearhead the organisation, has the necessary economic, social and political impetus and nous to accomplish these aims.
An EU Army is off the table for the foreseeable future, though if Trump continues to weaken NATO, another form of defense alliance may have to be looked at.

It is pretty clear that the EU needs a united policy because of its extensive land borders (Russia, Turkey) and sea (the Mediterranean). The EU needs to be able to have enough influence beyond those borders to deter aggression, and to nip trouble in the bud e.g. instability in the Sahara and the Sahel that is generating an outflow of migrants.

Meanwhile, strengthening the internal market (especially the digital sector) and some form of Banking Union should be the priorities.
 

parentheses

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Franco's rehabilitation during the Cold War should not disguise the fact that at the moment he won the Spanish Civil War, the moment when he could each reconciled both Spanish factions, he unleashed the most savage reprisals on the Republican side. And he kept Spain a poverty-stricken, reactionary backwater for 35 years.

"Reconciliation" has not happened yer, and Spain has yet to come to terms with Franco's legacy. Franco was not worth it, and the misogynistic and racist Vox party should not be given some sort of retrospective free pass.

(See Vox's support for the rape gang known as the Wolf Pack. The shocking rape trial that galvanised Spain’s feminists – and the far right )
Spain actually had very high economic growth in the 1960s.
 

Apple in Eden

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An EU Army is off the table for the foreseeable future, though if Trump continues to weaken NATO, another form of defense alliance may have to be looked at.

It is pretty clear that the EU needs a united policy because of its extensive land borders (Russia, Turkey) and sea (the Mediterranean). The EU needs to be able to have enough influence beyond those borders to deter aggression, and to nip trouble in the bud e.g. instability in the Sahara and the Sahel that is generating an outflow of migrants.

Meanwhile, strengthening the internal market (especially the digital sector) and some form of Banking Union should be the priorities.
Not sure that Trump has set out to weaken NATO but rather has asked for greater financial commitment from certain members and has met a reluctant response.Not certain the EU army is fully off the table as such and will be an interesting one to watch. The priorities mentioned seem reasonable but any Banking Union is likely to be highly controversial if handled in the wrong way and could easily be blamed for any volatility in the monetary system one assumes it would be designed to iron out.
 

Kevin Parlon

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To advocate fascist policies in case fascism takes power is a contradiction.
On the road so a full reply will take a while, but I just want to point out that implementing the law as it stands is not fascism.
 

NYCKY

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An EU Army is off the table for the foreseeable future, though if Trump continues to weaken NATO, another form of defense alliance may have to be looked at.

It is pretty clear that the EU needs a united policy because of its extensive land borders (Russia, Turkey) and sea (the Mediterranean). The EU needs to be able to have enough influence beyond those borders to deter aggression, and to nip trouble in the bud e.g. instability in the Sahara and the Sahel that is generating an outflow of migrants.

Meanwhile, strengthening the internal market (especially the digital sector) and some form of Banking Union should be the priorities.
How long do you think Ireland could stay out of that and what would it do to the 63% number who view the EU as "totally positive"?
 

NYCKY

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Not sure that Trump has set out to weaken NATO but rather has asked for greater financial commitment from certain members and has met a reluctant response.Not certain the EU army is fully off the table as such and will be an interesting one to watch. The priorities mentioned seem reasonable but any Banking Union is likely to be highly controversial if handled in the wrong way and could easily be blamed for any volatility in the monetary system one assumes it would be designed to iron out.
NATO members are only being asked to contribute what they themselves agreed to. A handful of countries already do but most don't. It's not an unreasonable request.
 

owedtojoy

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NATO members are only being asked to contribute what they themselves agreed to. A handful of countries already do but most don't. It's not an unreasonable request.
Absolutely, and the same request has been made by every American President, probably all the way back to Truman.

And NATO has been a support to the US in wars like Korea and Afghanistan. Most of all, NATO fulfilled its mission of checking Soviet expansion in Europe.

Trump brings something different - calling the longest lasting and most successful military alliance in history a "bad deal", even to the extent of hinting that the US would not come to the aid of a member attacked by an aggressor.
 

jimbohane

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An EU Army is off the table for the foreseeable future, though if Trump continues to weaken NATO, another form of defense alliance may have to be looked at.

It is pretty clear that the EU needs a united policy because of its extensive land borders (Russia, Turkey) and sea (the Mediterranean). The EU needs to be able to have enough influence beyond those borders to deter aggression, and to nip trouble in the bud e.g. instability in the Sahara and the Sahel that is generating an outflow of migrants.

Meanwhile, strengthening the internal market (especially the digital sector) and some form of Banking Union should be the priorities.
Russia poses very little threat if any to the EU something which cannot be said for Turkey with the loose cannon Erdogan threatening that if he doesn't get more money that he will let loose the dogs of war ie Islamic Jihadists currently getting shelter there amongst the millions of refugees. The world would be a lot safer if this guy was told that to open his borders would only mean that these refugees would be trapped in no mans land and that countries like Greece would shoot on sight any attempt by these refugees/migrants to enter their country. His Muslim brothers would soon return to his shores knowing that to leave would mean death or imprisonment. Time to call his bluff but as the mad cow has shown weakness more than once on the immigration issue he knows that he will get what he wants as long as she remains in power.
 

owedtojoy

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How long do you think Ireland could stay out of that and what would it do to the 63% number who view the EU as "totally positive"?
We are in a changing world where old assumptions do not hold.

The Trump Administration in Washington and the Tory Government in London are actively pursuing policies that are not in Ireland's interests. Mike Pence's main concern in Dublin yesterday was for "UK national sovereignty", with lip service to the Good Friday Agreement. US media did not seem to pick this up.

Prolonged Tory Government, a very hard Brexit, and Trump's re-election, with a new Cold War following of US vs China + Russia, will totally up-end the international landscape.

Renewed violence in Northern Ireland is probable, and it is clear the Tories love the DUP's 10 votes, not Northern Ireland. In a probable break-up of the UK, Northern Ireland could just be cast adrift by London. It could be as bad as the break-up of Yugoslavia.

I expect Ireland will follow the rest of Europe, not the UK or the US, meaning that we will have to consider what is our best defence policy in the event of a NATO break-up. We are already in the NATO Partnership for Peace. "Neutrality" will be a meaningless concept.
 
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owedtojoy

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Russia poses very little threat if any to the EU something which cannot be said for Turkey with the loose cannon Erdogan threatening that if he doesn't get more money that he will let loose the dogs of war ie Islamic Jihadists currently getting shelter there amongst the millions of refugees. The world would be a lot safer if this guy was told that to open his borders would only mean that these refugees would be trapped in no mans land and that countries like Greece would shoot on sight any attempt by these refugees/migrants to enter their country. His Muslim brothers would soon return to his shores knowing that to leave would mean death or imprisonment. Time to call his bluff but as the mad cow has shown weakness more than once on the immigration issue he knows that he will get what he wants as long as she remains in power.
Both Russia and Turkey have taken more threatening postures, but I think Turkey is more focused on Syria than on its European borders. It is part of the EU Customs Union, and (for now, anyway) part of NATO. A major break with the EU would not be in its economic interests.

Russia on the other hand does threaten the countries on its western border, and they are very much aware of the threat. The Baltic States would not agree with you.
 


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