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The EU and Europe that I want The EU and Europe that I want
by Christos Mouzeviris
2012-11-18 11:45:02
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It is noticeable that this blog is so called "pro-EU" or "pro-European." Does this mean that I personally support everything that comes from the current effort for European integration? Definitely not.
 
I do not believe that the current EU represents the interests of the ordinary people. That is obvious. But we have to remember that the "European project" started as a trade organization and it remained so until the '90s. Is the best choice we have to scrap or oppose the EU?
 
I think not. Even when we accept the fact that the EU is good for business and businessmen, there have been many beneficial projects initiated by the EU over the years. The Erasmus program is only one of them.
 
The option we have in my opinion is to get involved and be vigilant. Use our vote wisely. Right now Europe is in its majority conservative. Most European governments are center-right or right-wing. And in result, the European Parliament is also dominated by the Right. The EPP is the most popular and powerful political party in it, taking almost 2/3 of the seats.
 
So is it any wonder that Europe is dominated by conservative, austerity and anti-social security policies? But who gave those certain parties power and placed them in power? We did, we voted for them. So how can we change this situation? Simply by voting for the right parties, that will respect and represent our interests.
 
If we start voting for socialist or left wing parties, then the EU and Europe will be more socialist and protective of the worker's rights. In that way, perhaps we will achieve a more equal European society on a national or even pan-European level.
 
To me, all European states should become EU member states and sit around the European Parliament's seats. From Iceland to Ukraine and Malta to Norway. Independently if the country is poor or rich, EU membership should not be about wealth and status only. But sharing common interests, working and cooperating to create a stable, prosperous European community for all Europeans.
 
We should end the monopolies of the rich elites, of the rich countries in Europe an the World! Turn the EU from a lobby to a political union and forum for the citizens, not the representatives of the rich elites. Make the EU more democratic, proceed with redistribution of wealth in Europe. Not just a few countries should gather all industrial and economic power and activity in our continent.
 
But if you want a stable Europe invest in all countries, promote growth and jobs not austerity, create new industries, jobs and education to give our youth jobs. But do not give all these new industries to the hands of the few rich elites of the rich nations again. Let each nation or region create these new industries with the support of a newly set pan-European growth stimulus fund.
 
Each country should exploit its own natural resources for the benefit of its own people first, then share them with the inhabitants of the whole continent of Europe. Make it fair, make it right. Stability and wealth for all Europe, means growth and competitiveness for all the continent against other, newly emerging regions of the world. We do not want any more bail outs, thus more debt being thrown on our countries. We want jobs! And a more socialist Europe.
 
But how can we achieve that while having to deal with multinational companies and the ever lasting search for investment? They are not loyal to any nation, they are constantly seeking for more profit and new investments in order to achieve that. Today they are investing in your country, but when their interests shift they leave and they may never come back.
 
So as soon as they invest in your country and you get money out of them, or create new jobs and better the living standards of your citizens, don't rely on them; invest this money to create jobs of your own  in your country, or educate your youth. Invest in education and innovation. So when they decide to leave and move on, you at least have used the opportunity wisely.
 
Most of our leaders of course do not do that. The bow to their demands and waste the money in perpetuating their power, in numerous scandals. And in the end we end up with these multinationals owning our nations. By using lobbing they make sure that the policies that our governments pursue are always in their favor.
 
We should also manage the banks, create a pan-European Banking Union. Perhaps even nationalize a number of them, merge them, limit their power. The Banks should be there to assist people and states in their development and of course make profit in the process. But not to stand in their way by becoming ruling dominating powers themselves. We have our governments to do that!
 
As for the Markets? Well we could start by establishing European rating agencies. Right now we only have American agencies, promoting their own interests and monopolizing the Markets. We need more diversity and competition in this sphere too, European and other rating agencies to break the monopoly of the USA. Under what criteria those American based rating companies are rating different countries?
 
To conclude, I definitely do not support THIS EU that we have at the moment. But instead of scraping it, I see the potential that we can achieve, if we all get a bit more serious and responsible in our involvement. If we make it a union of nations, not of businesses. If we keep in check our politicians and leading elites. If the EU becomes what it was really meant to be and was envisioned by its founding fathers. We need an EU for an equal, prosperous Europe.
 
But not just in economics and finances: in art, culture, education, innovation, employment and human rights too. We do not need a trade only forum for businessmen that we have no voice in it, we need a strong European Parliament with all the powers that a parliament needs to have to be effective. That will make Europe federal, of some sort. We should not be afraid of that. If I had to scrap an EU body, that would definitely not be the EP, rather the EU Council. To end the "intergovernmental-ism" that plagues the EU.
 
Right now I do not blame any "euro-sceptic" person, as long as the criticism is constructive and not rooted in nationalism and narrow-mindedness. We need this constructive criticism, to evaluate where we are going with this project and have a variety of opinions. Though I am a staunch pro-European, I can see that the EU is in danger of following the wrong path. But negative thinking and mistrust is as destructive as blinded rose-tinted EU cheering.

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Christos Mouzeviris is the writer of the blog: The Eblana European Democratic Movement 

 


     
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Emanuel Paparella2012-11-18 14:31:16
“…we need a strong European Parliament with all the powers that a parliament needs to have to be effective. That will make Europe federal, of some sort. We should not be afraid of that.”

Food for thought. As the title itself of the above posting implies, there are aspirations, as numerous as there are people who aspire in a political union, which in a way can be described as a “wish lists” if not outright dreams. Nothing wrong beginning with “I have a dream” but at a certain point of an historical process, the aspirations need to come to grips with the hard historical realities and a choice has to be made. In any democracy worthy of its name, the final choice belongs to the majority of the people and election over it is final when it comes to choosing the form of government the people would like to live under or the leaders they wish to have; at least until the next election. There aspirations to not count. For example, if the majority of Norwegians do not wish to be part of the EU, to impose anybody’s aspiration on them in that regard, be it even that of a Napoleon (who also had a beautiful dream about Europe which turned into a nightmare…) would be equivalent to the weakening of the democratic fabric on which the EU is built and the beginning of a tirrany.

Come to think of it, US history could perhaps be instructive here. First there was the dream of a new free nation based on democratic principles belonging to all the people, then came the reality that a long and arduous war needed to be fought to made that dream a reality. Then there was a declaration of Independence which put in writing the grievances why the war needed to be fought. Eventually there was a constitution. But before the constitution, which is a truly inspiriting document, not a mere commercial treaty, there was something else which many, including many Americans, simply ignore or miss. I refer to the Federalist Papers written by three of the founding fathers of the Republic: Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay.

Philosophically, some consider them at the level of Plato’s Republic or Aristotle’s Politics, and I dare say that no other set of essays compares as an education in the founding of a modern polity. It is applied political philosophy on a grand scale. These men fully understood that things that have never been done cannot be done save by methods never tried. They were fully aware that historically republics have always failed but went ahead nonethless and put on paper their dream of confederation which, despite a civil war less than one hundred years later, still survives.

I have a modest proposal. Before imposing any dream or aspiration on any people we should ponder carefully those articles of confederation thus learning what is best about the Democracy called the United States while avoiding its more obvious mistakes, such as that of supporting dictators in the name of a Cold War. Mr. Mouzeviris has it right on target: Europeans should not be afraid of the idea of a federal Europe. It is perhaps the safest way to insure that what begins with a dream does not ultimately become a nightmare.


Emanuel Paparella2012-11-18 16:01:12
A follow-up to the above comment. Consider this statement:

“…by the favor of universal Enlightenment, it might become possible to dream, for the great European family, of going the way of the American Congress…what an outlook then of power, of glory, of well being, of prosperity! What a great and magnificent spectacle!”

If any reader thinks that the above dream was envisioned by a EU founding father, think again. It was proffered by none other than Napoleon Bonaparte. So, it is not the dream that is the problem but by what means it is implemented.


Christos Mouzeviris2012-11-19 02:48:24
I agree Mr Paparella with your comments. The above article as it clearly states are my personal "visions" or wish. As you said they can never come into reality unless the majority of the European population share the same vision. I am trying to inspire others to see what I can see for the future. They may disagree.. Fine... Then this dream will fade away. But sometime back a man dreamed to land on the moon.. Many thought it was impossible.. It did come true... ;o)


Emanuel Paparella2012-11-19 11:55:55
Indeed, Mr. Mouzeviris, I for one would never advice a visionary to get rid of his dreams; to do that is to invalidate one's own dreams, ideals and aspirations, but at the same time, in order to make that dream possible and practical, I would continue to advise him/her to read and ponder carefully the Federalist Papers by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay.


Christos Mouzeviris2012-11-19 19:39:18
Thank you for the advice!!! ;o)


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