04 July 2007

A United Europe - the Future?

GUEST POST BY ROMAN CUNIK - PRAGUE STUDENT

Like most pro-Europeans I believe that strength in unity is particularly important in today's multipolar world. We argue that a united and independent Europe has become increasingly necessary, while a politically divided one would bring disadvantages in many areas, including economic, cultural, political, social, scientific, diplomatic and military. A major argument is the relative small size and importance of the individual European countries with respect to the current and rising powers on the world scale. The individual countries have limited geopolitical influence and are unable to represent their own interests effectively. On the other hand, a united Europe, with a population and an economy larger than that of the United States, would make a viable partner, or competitor, whose opinion and interests would be taken into account on the world stage. Let us be clear - a United Europe can stand up to America - even by force of arms if needed, but hopefully it will not come to that!

I would like as well to refer to the benefits of the EU to its member states. Citizens enjoy benefits such as the right to free movement across the EEA and social benefits such as employment rights, and consumers benefit from greater choice and guaranteed standards. Such 'cost / benefit' assessments are not the most important however. We also feel that we belong to a community of people with common bonds. Further European Integration and cooperation is a peacemaking force. This is so important I feel no single member state can stand in the way, and if it s needed the European army can enforce reluctant countries to integrate in the name of their own people - that is the United European people.

I hope you agree me and Dominic in this idea for a collective Europe - please let us know.

If you are OK to invite me to visit you in London, please let me know,soonest as I make my summer holiday plans.

Update May 2010 - this post was written by Robert Chambers aka Mutley the Dog to wind up the serious politicos who tended to visit this blog.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

You have just lost one ,who will never be a European , you talk about force of arms to enable relutant countries to intergrate ,forget get it ,I will be one who will be on the barricades against any EU army ,we are not united and we never will be ,we may be friends but business will always get in the way,as far as America is concerned the British will never go to war with America ,they may have bad management but we have more in common with America than we with Europe , I'd rather be a State in America than a piece of nothing run by undemocratic gang of civil servants that run the EU, dream on,one day Britain may get a referendum and we may get a vote to get out of this unholy EU ,I will certainly be voting no.

Ed said...

if it s needed the European army can enforce reluctant countries to integrate in the name of their own people

WHAT? The German and French armies to unite to complete the job which Napolean and Hitler failed?

I realise you are joking, but you have to be careful about making jokes like that!

On a more serious level, why do think Europe needs to "stand up to America"?

bgprior said...

This is a wind-up, right? It's a good spoof - almost believable, but you'd have to be in Paris to really pull it off. But just in case:

1. Why do you want your community to be exclusive rather than inclusive?

2. All the arguments you make for a United Europe could have been made equally for the Soviet Bloc. I'm sure I don't need to tell you, of all people, how badly that sort of argument can be abused.

3. So you need to be big to be successful, do you? What about Switzerland? What about Singapore?

4. What kind of paranoia is it that thinks we might need to stand up to America by force of arms? Those horrible people who, in the course of the twentieth century, bailed us out of our own insanity twice and protected us (well, a lot of us) from further oppression. Those brutes who make us produce products to sell to them and force us to buy theirs in return. God protect us from the evil Americans. Or if not God, perhaps that nice Osama or charming Vladimir will do it.

5. The thing about the European army keeping renegades in line - that just gives the game away. Only a complete lunatic or someone who likes winding up Eurosceptics could come up with a line like that. The trouble is, in some parts of Europe, it is just about believable that someone would say that. It tells you about the times we live in (and the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of much of the European intelligentsia) that it is possible to conceive that this is serious.

Ordovicius said...

You seem to be avoiding the fact that the EU is not run democratically. It is, in fact, run by an oligarchy. The elimination of borders for both trade and individuals are the EU's only merits, but this elimination of borders should be a global phenomenum. Likewise when you compare the EU to the US, you forget that the size of the EU brings little by way of improving the contents of the average individuals' wallets and only seems to line the pockets of the EU in-crowd. As for military strength against the US, which I of course don't take seriously, I fail to see what the armies of France, the Benelux countries and the Bundeswehr could ever offer by way of a military deterant to anyone.

Ed said...

Those evil American lags spent a huge amount of national effort and time undermining the USSR when it was oppressing huge numbers of people in Europe while Western Europe stood on the sidelines wringing its hands. Now Europe is "free" it spends its time attacking America on every issue. America will no doubt step in to save Europe from itself yet again when it becomes necessary. If I was American I might start to wonder whether it was worth it.

i spy strangers said...

Does Dominic know that you've named him as a supporter of your plans "for a collective Europe"? I should be very surprised (not to say horrified) if he agreed with you.

Or is this a complete wind-up by the great PT himself ...?

Ed said...

I have to assume that Mr PT and Roman have hatched an amusing plan to bring out the red mist in the readership. Or do some people here actually want a pan-European nation?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Wind up or not, I agree with bgprior and ed (unsurprisingly).

Anonymous said...

This has to be a very poor joke, I hope there is no uk journo's prowling the blogoshpere beacause if they came upon this so called essay,it would hit the headlines ,PT I think your mad.

Steve_Roberts said...

Could hardly disagree more. Firstly, you seem to be muddled between 'Europe' the geographical entity and 'European Union' the political entity.

We have experienced many vicious and harmful attempts to unify Europe in one polity from the Caesars to Louis XIV, Napoleon, and their 20th century successors.

A Europe containing a diversity of political units, each with its own style of government and politics, suited to its culture and history, allows for the inhabitants of each to be aware that there are viable alternatives to the local orthodoxy, and allows them to reshape their institutions to emulate the best. In addition, wealth grows by increasing specialisation, and specialisation depends on differences, so that an imposed uniformity impedes or prevent economic progress.

A country does not have to be big, or to be part of a big empire, in order to be successful. It amazes me that inhabitants of countries which have suffered so much during the years of Soviet occupation, and which have benefited enormously from regaining their independence, seem so ready to again cede their independence.

Geopolitical influence, the world stage, representing our interests against the US and others - these are all mirages, albeit useful ones for careerists who aspire to use politics as the means to enjoy luxury and riches. We can see that the US ascent to being the sole superpower has brought them into seemingly interminable wars at massive financial and human cost.

My model for European countries is Switzerland. Its military posture is defensive, but so effective as to maintain its territorial integrity by its own efforts since the end of the Napoleonic wars. It threatens no-one and is highly respected worldwide, very successful in trade and very rich, despite lacking great natural resources or access to the sea. It has a national government but most actual government is local.

Your suggestion that a 'European army' should impose integration by force in the name of peacekeeping is beyond ludicrous - you are Devil's Kitchen doing a wind-up and I claim my five pounds.

Praguetory said...

I cannot answer all the points made here -it is too much for me - I can only say some responses.

1.I did not mean collective Europe like "collectivist"- I meant something people do together not some kind of communism. I have known many persons who were victims of communism and it is far from my ideals. Anonymous said about manning some barricades - against communism I join you. Ed says about Hitler and Bonaparte as European trying somehow to unite Europe by arms. Also bringing great tragedy and horrors! It is not OK and again I am in those barricades against this idea,OK? bgprior says I make a spoof ,I think not. Also I am painfully aware that my English is not always the best. Please try to see my meanings not my mistakes. Somehow you are afraid that the USE can also be a superpower like USA? OK, not for a war with America for sure,but to stand for our collective defense? Why not? Europe cannot be a kind of Switzerland or a kind mass of Switzerlands -there is not room in the world for so much chocolates and cuckoo clocks. OK,so it is a joke, but you see my meaning?

I never said one bad word on America or even the foriegn policy of America,only that Europe is not America. It is a kind of "straw man" to attack something I did not say in this angry way.

So think of USA and maybe Florida wants a war with Mexico? Can this happen? So maybe Federal power can be used then in such cases not to allow it? -it is all I am saying. No more Falklands wars and so. What is Devils Kitchen? I do not cook you some satanic meal but maybe it is hard to swallow?

OK I say one more point about Europe. Maybe if you take on new born baby from Prague to London, and swap him in a London family and one from London to Prague. So these new borns grow up in "foriegn" cities, eating those foods,and reading newspapers,and going to school with their "foreign" school mates , and watching TVs. And they learn those traditions and ideas from their adoptive motherlands, and say in their hearts and know in their minds they belong. Then which is which? I say one thing - both boys are Europeans part of one people and can belong anywhere in a United Europe...

Ed said...

Sorry Roman you said that EUrope should be united by force. You can't go back and say you didn't!

Anonymous said...

Roman as the annonymong ,I did say I will man a barricade against any EU army ,you say European army can enforce reluctant countries to integrate in the name of their own people,what if the people,just like a lot of British people say no ,you want send an army in to force us ,to me that's communism,we don't belong to a community with common bonds ,we belong to a number of states that have battled with each other for a thousand years or more,Britain has more of an affinity with its ex colonies ,now countries in their own right ,most Brits have more relatives in countries like the USA,Canada,Australia ,New Zealand,when it comes to Europe we have very few,we can live in peace and have people living and travelling to each others countries,without a living in an EU state,the EU state at the moment produces cost on top of more cost, stupid laws more cost,everything translated ,will you I suppose force us to speak one language,for the sake the "community" and if we don't you will send in an EU army.

bgprior said...

Roman, Could you get PT to post to confirm that you are real? It is a frightening thought that people in Europe might have views such as yours. There is nothing wrong with your language - you express yourself very well in English - it is your ideas that have us worried.

What surprises me, assuming you are Czech, is that I thought we had a closer understanding with our Czech, Polish and other Central-European friends of the perils of collectivisation and the importance of national sovereignty, than we do with our older European "partners". Your distinction between communist collectivism and "something people do together" is spurious. If it is something people do voluntarily together, why do we need institutional integration, and why might that need to be imposed by force? If you really believe this, you need to go back and study some history.

I do not think yours is a typical Czech view, or is it? For example, I do not imagine that either your current or your previous presidents would agree with you. I have always believed (contrary to the sometimes superior British attitude that "it couldn't happen here") that tyranny can gain a foothold anywhere if we are not vigilant, but if this is a common Czech view, after all you have been through, then perhaps there really are some countries that are more cut-out for abuse than others.

You haven't addressed any of my points adequately, but in particular you have completely ignored points 1 and 3. Do you want to have a go at them?

Anonymous said...

bow wow

Alan said...

Hmmmm... United Europe, so they can waste more of our taxes? I'll take a break and move to the US.