Friday, March 6, 2009

The Last Post

This really is the Last Post on the BrugesGroupBlog as far as I am concerned. As of now I shall cease to post here and concentrate on EUReferendum and whatever other blog I may decide to start. It is possible that this blog will be continued by somebody else at some later stage but I cannot tell who or when. Not all experiments work out.


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Lighthouse said...

Well, as known, the answer required was eventually obtained in that referendum here in Ireland.

Unfortunately, little attention was given to the Treaty itself, and how the EU could or should work
Efficient European Cooperation
Introduction: How the EU works.. or doesn't
Alternative ABC guide to the EU
2-speed Europe: A Satellite Solution
Reforming the current EU:
A Smaller and More Effective Parliament
The End of the European Commission
The New Axis, European Parliament-Council of Ministers | European Senate
The Head of the European Government
European Budget Efficiency and Local Democracy
An Irish Bedtime Story for all Nice Children and not so Maastricht Adults...

For example:

2-Speed Europe: A Satellite Solution

Whenever EU development is perceived to be too slow, there is a predictable call for a "2-speed Europe", with a core of (mainly) original members who go ahead with faster integration than the outlying newer member states.
Equally predictable are the howls of anguish from government politicians of other member states at such a prospect.

In fact, in my view that is a very good alternative solution:
If a more democratic and efficient EU, similar to the one outlined on the website, can't be agreed on, then a Core and Satellite EU is better than the current mess, for all parties.


The Commission system will be criticized later, but it should be noted that it was designed in the first place for the fewer original members, building directly on the "High Authority" forerunner, and is more workable and democratic in such a set up, with easier and closer decision making and fewer involved participants, also in the making of appointments to the Commission and committees.

Meanwhile, outlying states could have a more balanced relationship to such a European Union, or indeed the existing EU. Britain and Ireland anyway have Commonwealth and USA ties, Spain and Portugal have Latin American ties, and East European states have a history of previous internal trading, as do Scandinavian countries.
Scandinavia including Finland and non-EU Norway is an interesting example of how smaller regional cooperation can retain mutual advantages (Swedish and Finnish industry, Danish agriculture, Norwegian energy resources).
These advantages are much more easily and speedily develped in such a regionally deepened relationship, similar to that for core EU of founder members (Scandinavian internal trade and the free movement of citizens for work, education and welfare etc largely pre-dated such overall EU development anyway).

While basic EFTA-like trade agreements would continue within the present EU, adopting (or keeping) other EU measures would be up to each state as they saw fit. Of course satellite members no longer partake, or are taken into consideration, in EU decisions (say on interest rates) by core state institutions.
But take Britain and Ireland as examples:
A small state like Ireland has minimal influence on such decisions anyway, while a larger state like Britain has enough of an internal market to make its own independent and viable decisions, as already seen today.

There is some sort of notion that bigger is always better.
Try telling that to former Soviet Union (or Yugoslav) states. As seen with the Soviet Union (with which, as will be seen, the current EU has many unfortunate similarities), dissolving unions can also be seen as advantageous for citizens.
The EU was formed on a more voluntary basis, but the Union today is different from when many joined, and likely to be yet more different in the future.

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