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Goodbye "15", Hello "25"!
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KiTaSuMbA
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2002 3:11 pm    Post subject: Goodbye "15", Hello "25"! Reply with quote

The EU has accepted 10 more states in the "big family" as of yesterday... :)
The european parliament is going to be a bit overcrowded... 8O
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sisyphus
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2002 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm.

A few observations:

More European MPs to sit around not really doing anything. Joy.

The EU really needed to sort out the lack of democratic (as opposed to Beureaucratic) accountability before expanding. We elect EMPs so that they can have very little power to do much beyond rubber stamp the proposals of the European Commission (unelected officials, appointed by the member governments - usually failed politicians).

Beyond that, CAP (the common agricultural policy - protector of inefficient European farms) should have been reformed properly before growing the EU. The CAP after all helps ensure that farmers in the developing world cannot sell their food to customers in the EU (driving them out of business and keeping the worlds poor in penury). At the same time, it ensures that consumers in the EU pay well over the odds for their food.

It's now going to be even more diffifcult to reform the EU and make it the democratic and effective organisation that it should be.

The bottom line is that the EU is becomming increasingly unpopular among member state populaces, largely because it appears undemocratic and bloated. I am actualy a fan of the EU and believe that enlargement is "A Good Thing". If we're not careful though, the few people who vote in European elections will stop voting and it'll become even more of a talking shop for politicians than it already is.

:x
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f.kater
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2002 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sisyphus wrote:
undemocratic and bloated


bloated yes (like mozilla) - but now it's getting more obvious that there is a need to make it lean (like phoenix) ;)
I am not sure if e.g. germany and france would agree in anything if there was a two-state EU. The US of America are 51 (?)... Madison argued in the 1790es when they were 13 (?) that more states would lead to more stability. I think that while in a economical view 25 is more democratic than 15 I agree that this doesn't mean that there is more internal integration. That's what we have to work on!
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sisyphus
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2002 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The US of America are 51 (?)... Madison argued in the 1790es when they were 13 (?) that more states would lead to more stability.


Good point and probably true. Sadly however, greater numbers does not make the EU inherantly any more democratic.

The comparison with the US is stark. There, the voters directly elect a President, Congress and Senate (head of state and two houses). These bodies then form the federal (there's that word :)) government.

The difference between the States and the EU (beyond the obvious difference in the amounts of power vested in the Federal Government and the European Commision) is that the people who hold the power are elected. In the EU sadly, this is not the case. The European commission are appointed by the member governments, forming a bureaucracy.

I hope you're right and the new entrants provide a greater push towards reform - as a pessimist though, I wonder whether they will simply find it in their immediate interests (all have large agricultural sectors) to protect the status quo.

Here's for a democratic, open, pluralist and effective EU.
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pizen
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2002 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

f.kater wrote:
The US of America are 51 (?)

50. Puerto Rico gets one seat in the House of Representatives but that person does not get a vote.
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KiTaSuMbA
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2002 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bloated? Yes
Undemocratic? Not really... Let's just say that I can get a petition all by myself, compile it on a web page, submit it, pass it through a commitee and then even get an IRC session with those people in the european parliament. Have you ever chatted with a senator?
The diplomatic and interests boiling that took place the last days in Denmark leading essentially to an all-almost-happy shows that the EU has will to avoid turning its processes into a schoolyard where the big bullies have the say.
There is constant work in progress to bring in the very european constitution and thus strengthen the EU as a political entity. Remember, we are still independent states... a lot closer than a mere economico-political alliance still away from a federation of states.
For the CAP: agriculture is one of the production fields where pure, strict capitalism doesn't "pay justice": a flood is no reason to call someone inefficient and drive him off the commerce. If there was no state help the only ones probable to survive would be big agencies having fields in very large and decentralized areas (so that the company never finds itself with no products for a year or so). Does that sound fair and/or democratic to you?
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