How European do you feel?

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by ~Elladan~, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    ^ Obviously a question aimed at European TFF members :)

    With the EU going full steam ahead, partly because of currency-union necessity partly because of the overarching ambition of the EU to be become a nation of federal states, towards ever closer union I thought I'd pose the thread title question. It seems that the political elite in all 27 (soon to be 28) countries are on the bandwagon and hell bent on avoiding any sort of referendum which would endorse or repudiate the direction of travel so are they right? Do you agree with the ultimate end goal of an USofE? Do you feel European or British, Dutch, Polish, Greek...?

    My own position is perhaps already known from forum posts/opinions over the years but I'll reiterate it ~

    I feel absolutely zero % European (beyond the obvious fact that the UK is in Europe), the EU anthem/flag means nothing to me nor do I associate myself with the aims of the EU or its leadership & parliament. I'm all for close, friendly ties between European nations and in favour of cooperation on areas of common interest such as policing & free trade. I'm totally against such backward looking policies as the CAP and the EU getting involved/having the last say in almost every aspect of our lives. We have national elections to hold elected MPs to account but they're now largely puppets of an unelected EU, EU dictate/laws or overriden by the EU parliament. With the UK (& similarly other EU nations) having just 8.3% of the votes our national priorites will always come secondary to whatever vested interest the EU wants to pursue so voting at all in national elections is increasingly pointless. So in summary anti EU but certainly not anti-european peoples.

    Final interesting quote, particularly when you look at Greece's recent & ongoing troubles...

    "The finance of a country is ultimately associated with the liberties of the country.... if the House of Commons by any possibility lose the power of the grants of public money, depend upon it, your very liberty will be worth very little by comparison" William Gladstone 1891 (4 times UK PM)


    Interested in your views & to see whether British reserve towards the EU is mirrored or not on the continent :)
     
  2. TheSleepingSorcerer

    TheSleepingSorcerer Duke Of Shadows

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    Well since my English is probably not good enough to give you a long and a well thought trough answer, I'll give you the short one instead:)
    No I don't feel at all like a "european", but I'm also all for friendly ties and free trade and such things. Here in Finland though it seams that most people are EU Friendly although they might not view themselves as "europeans" exactly, so most people here are all for EU, I don't think I am one of them though.
     
  3. Reece56364

    Reece56364 Guest

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    I couldnt give a monkeys about the state of Europe. Just gonna put it out there...
     
  4. Oddrun

    Oddrun I speak languages.

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    I feel very European - but I don't mean European Union, I mean the good old continent. I've been traveling quite a lot through Europe, have friends from different countries. What's more, even though I feel Polish, I don't exactly think I'm a typical Pole (since it often includes quite a lot of alcohol and catholicism), which makes me search for a broader group to identify with. Also, since I've been living in Latin America for a year now I can tell you that Europeans have much more in common then you probably think, compared to other cultures.
     
  5. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    ^ Your're probably right Oddrun, we share a lot in common. Perhaps in the case of the UK though we have an even stronger cultural link, beyond just language, to Canada/US, Australia/NZ than that we share with other Europeans (other than Ireland). But even acknowledging what we share does that mean we want to effectively merge as a 'European' people which is what EU aspires to and what the free movement of people will deliver over the long term? Do we want to be homogenised by EU design in this way? ;)
     
  6. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    I give no crap... and I'd love to live in US, Canada or Ausieland instead anyway...
     
  7. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    I think I would incorrectly express myself if I would say I feel myself merely Dutch. The fact of the matter is that The Netherlands is quite small. Not a day passes by when I don't meet other Europeans, both from within and outside the EU. I think I cross borders within the EU some 30-60 times a year. Maybe one must realise that The Netherlands in itself is quite small. There is not much space to actually be Dutch in. And then to realise there's already 17mln of us occupying it. I feel that the notion of nationality is ever becoming more vague - especially considering globalisation is still slowly going its course.

    Where to go here, though, with Project Europe, is kind of hard to say. I strongly feel the monetary union implies we should seek closer cooperation, since I am strongly against disbanding the Euro. I feel it is possible to give the ECB more power in monetary decisiveness, without surrendering to a European federation. I think that a European federation is something we are leading up to - but that might take another 50-100 years. It will take a disaster for the EU to become a federation...

    Now, I am pretty sure that England (not too sure about the UK) doesn't feel too close to Brussels for a couple of reasons. First, and foremost, you can't cross any significant borders too regularly. Similarly, although not uncommon, I suspect there's a lot less other EU citizens about England beyond holiday making. Secondly, there's the language barrier. The English have a hard time coping with those not able to speak English properly, whilst this is a bit different in the rest of Europe. Spain, Italy and France are catching up quickly, England is staying behind. And lastly, I think that England is still a bit alien to the idea that the center of the world - of their world - is not London. Of course, it's quite arbitrary that it is, but it has been for so long that anything else might feel completely wrong.

    I also feel that the sentiment is not shared as strongly with the other major nationalities within the British isles. Maybe, but maybe not so much, that might have something to do with the crumbling of the United Kingdom. You tell me.


    Also:

    Very true; +1
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  8. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    We have a European Union anthem?
     
  9. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Ode an die Freude? Ludwig van Beethoven?

    Pretty sure that's the one...
     
  10. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    I think you've made a few assumptions too many about England/UK there Tur. The UK is very cosmopolitan, London more than any other city. There are millions of Europeans who have made the UK their home and many Brits who live/work/travel frequently in Europe. Multi-linguistic skills are not a collective strength though I'll grant you that. I myself have an Irish mother and my wife's family originated from Holland and Cyprus.

    Few think London is the centre of the universe/world as you suggest, although it's certainly preferable to Brussels, nor is eurosceptism confined to England's borders. The UK as far as I'm aware hasn't crumbled although a minority of Scots would like to go it alone. Indeed the potential for breaking into smaller units is not confined to the UK in Europe or globally and runs against the current of a move to a Europe superstate (ie smaller rather than bigger is better).

    It's interesting to read others views on Europism & the EU ~ I'm not presuming to know how other nationalities feel and I'd hope in turn that ill-informed assumptions aren't made about British views :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  11. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Actually I think the heart of Europe beats in Berlin and Luxemburg.
     
  12. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Well, it wasn't really my intention to set aside the English. There is, however, a profound difference between what is going on there and on the mainland. And I don't feel stating anti-EU sentiment quite covers what's happening. So if you feel there's a logical explanation why matters are so different in England, then please do enlighten me. Because as to that, I am very curious indeed.


    Jean-Claude Juncker has been replaced by Jeroen Dijsselbloem ;)

    To be honest, Berlin is probably the most powerful country within the EU for several reasons. But I don't think that it will be as powerful as it is now within a year...
     
  13. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    The Germans are preparing again...
     
  14. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    It may not have been your intention Tur but you chose to repeat it :)

    Why is the UK less keen (seemingly) about the EU than the rest of Europe? I suppose it started with the 1970s referendum on joining when the Brits were sold a lie by our own politicians. The European project has always been about greater integration but it was sold as a single market (only). The British people have not given their consent to ever closer union or for the EU to set 75%+ of our laws, and have been denied a vote by all major parties ever since. A fair dose of the anti-EU feeling can be put firmly at the door of our own politicians. Perhaps if we had been told the truth and/or been given an opportunity to vote and voted positively we would be more willing as a nation to throw ourselves into the thick of things. I still don't think we would have signed up to the concept of an USofE though.

    As a result of the 1970s vote the UK chose to turn it's back on its Commonwealth and join the EU.... the fact that growth in & size of the former is fast outstripping the latter now and for only 1 out of 40 years that the UK has been in the EU has the trade balance with the EU been positive for the UK perhaps reinforce the view of many that we backed the wrong horse. Historically the UK has always been a global trading nation but we chose to look inwards at Europe rather than outwards globally and now as an EU member we're not even allowed to make our own trade deals. Added to that feelings that we're paying in billions only to drown and become less competitive under EU regulations and perhaps you can see why we're getting a bit grumpy. If you were to ask Brits 'do you want to swap deeper integration with the EU for a half-decent trade deal and get out' I have no doubt we'd exit the EU tomorrow.

    But that's just my view and a British perspective... you're suggesting that the people of the rest of Europe are all 100% united and don't also have misgivings? Haven't most referendums on the EU been lost and pretty much all european polls suggest that eurosceptism is growing and is not confined to the UK? Are these inconvenient truths for the European dream?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  15. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    No.

    The Germans are tired of Angela Merkel being so soft and patient and spending with - let's say - the southern half of Europe. There will be elections this year, iirc. And she'll lose big time. Whoever will take over, will be quite short on European matters, which will mean Germany will likely lose support.

    I expect François Hollande to jump into the void her absence creates. I suppose it's not all that bad for Greece ;)

    Interesting perspective.

    I suppose most Europeans aren't as pro-EU as I am, I'll grant you that one - even here in The Netherlands, where the benefits of EU cooperation are quite palpable. Here, too, there is resistance against what comes from Brussels, although it is arguably closer to what the Dutch would do regardless. The economic growth and stability far outweighs what Brussels can throw at us, however. And I think about 60-70% is convinced the balance is still tipping in our advantage.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  16. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    I was joking of course that the Germans are preparing again.They wouldn't start a World War by themselves.
     
  17. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    I feel European mainly because I travel a lot from Belgium to Scotland for several years now. They're both my home. That's why I don't feel either Belgian or Scottish. Although ironically I talk a lot more English, rather than Dutch. Ninety percent of the time I would say for multiple reason. One is the internet where of course English is used as a main language like on forums such as TFF. Second is my wife, who I spend most of my time with and last is my presence in the UK, sometimes overlapping the time I'm in Belgium in a year.
     
  18. Padmé

    Padmé Mrs Cascador

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    I feel European, for sure. And I think everyone living in Europe should embrace that.

    I was born in Scotland, met and married a Belgian (some of you might know him lol), and now live in Belgium and travel around Europe frequently.

    People are just people no matter where you go. I see myself as an 'Earthling' as well, if that counts? :)