Originally Posted by djpbarry
The last number of decades have brought unprecedented peace and prosperity to Europe, but you think the EU isn't working?
That's an interesting perspective. There was me thinking it was gross incompetence on the part of successive Irish governments.
Well maybe I'm looking at it a bit more selfishly in terms of what has it done for Ireland. After all if Germany, France, Spain etc use the EU as means to further their own national agenda, why not us?
Sure we got a lot of investment and we've given a lot back too (fishing rights and so on) and we got a few - as it turns out - pretty poorly built motorways with tolls on them, but really the big benefit to Ireland was "cheap" money/credit.
Yes of course our own shower of parochial gombeens jumped on this for all it was worth and we (and our children) will be dealing with the legacy of those decisions for decades... but let's not forget that it takes two to tango. Where did this money come from? We didn't just fire up the printing presses after all.
My point is that as long as individual members continue to put national - or even constituency - interests ahead of what's good for the EU as a whole (not just the "chosen few") then we will continue to have a situation where counties such as ourselves and Greece etc will be at the "mercy" of whatever fallout comes out of those decisions.
EDIT: I also think that BECAUSE each member state is so different industrially, politically and socially that we may NEVER get to a situation where we see ourselves as EU citizens first, Irish/German/whatever next which in my opinion is exactly what's needed if we ever are to make this work.
Personally, I think we should have never joined the Euro as it's caused us more problems than it solved. We should have instead have remained as a trading partner but retained control of our own affairs as it's surely been proven that the "one size fits all" approach hasn't worked - neither in the "good times" nor the bad