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E.U. Democratic Deficit ?

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  • 09-05-2017 11:22am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 116 ✭✭


    I have often heard of people talking about the EU having a Democratic deficit especially by Brexiteers, how can this be so when they have a parliament ?


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,768 ✭✭✭✭tomwaterford


    For 1 ireland is afaik the only country to have regular referendums on eu treaties


    IMO they should be held for all states....even if they are just a formality and it gives euro skeptic parties a platform to voice opionions and get their voice heard better/even begin to have a positive impact on the eu


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,121 ✭✭✭amcalester


    For 1 ireland is afaik the only country to have regular referendums on eu treaties


    IMO they should be held for all states....even if they are just a formality and it gives euro skeptic parties a platform to voice opionions and get their voice heard better/even begin to have a positive impact on the eu

    My understanding is that Ireland has to have a referendum on an EU Treaty due to our constitution, but there is nothing stopping other countries from holding similar referenda.

    They are just not constitutionally bound to do so.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,768 ✭✭✭✭tomwaterford


    amcalester wrote: »
    My understanding is that Ireland has to have a referendum on an EU Treaty due to our constitution, but there is nothing stopping other countries from holding similar referenda.

    They are just not constitutionally bound to do so.

    I think you are correct

    But you can understand where there's a sense of disconnect from the electorate...


    .tbh I would struggle to even name the munster MEP (s??) No mind all of Ireland's


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    katy39 wrote: »
    I have often heard of people talking about the EU having a Democratic deficit especially by Brexiteers, how can this be so when they have a parliament ?

    It's a side effect of the "everyone should have a vote on absolutely everything" mentality.

    There are three governing bodies in the EU: the Council, the Commission, and the Parliament. The Parliament is directly elected by the population of the Union. The Council consists of the elected heads of state or government of the member states. The Commission consists of people appointed by the elected governments of the member states.

    The usual target of the "democratic deficit" claim is the Commission, usually with the argument that the Commissioners should be directly elected - apparently only having two of the bodies consisting of elected representatives isn't enough.

    There are good reasons for the Commissioners not to be elected, chief among them the fact that their job is to represent the interests of the Union as a whole, rather than the interests of the member states that appointed them. If you're someone for whom there is no metric for "good" other than "elected" - which is pretty funny, considering how much people complain about politicians - and if having two thirds of the Union's institutions consist of elected representatives, then sure: by those unrealistic lights the EU has a "democratic deficit".

    Basically, the people who complain about democratic deficits are the people who either want a full-blown federal US of E, or the people who don't want an EU.


  • Registered Users Posts: 658 ✭✭✭johnp001


    amcalester wrote: »
    My understanding is that Ireland has to have a referendum on an EU Treaty due to our constitution, but there is nothing stopping other countries from holding similar referenda.

    They are just not constitutionally bound to do so.

    Lots of other countries have had referenda on EU treaties.
    Some are listed here


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    The EU parliament is not the major decision maker, the Council of Ministers is.
    On the face of it, that body seems democratic, because it is made up of the PMs or equivalent of each country.
    But in practice, watch how it works. German chancellor gets an idea, then takes it to the French President. The French insist on some minor change, just to show they have some power, then the proposal goes to Italy for another bilateral meeting. The Italians demand some extra money for whatever, and then at that stage its a done deal. The Council of Ministers is called to a meeting, but the likes of Enda Kenny and other minnows are only there to rubber stamp what has already been decided.
    Hence the democratic deficit.

    Ditto with the ECB in Frankfurt. Decisions involving inflation and interest rates are normally based on what is good for Germany.

    Merkel is delighted with the new guy on the block, Macron.
    A source close to the former banker said the exchange was "very warm" with the two pro-EU politicians having previously agreed on a future path for Europe which will see more power centralised in Brussels.
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/801641/Emmanuel-Macron-French-election-president-first-call-Angela-Merkel


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    recedite wrote: »
    But in practice, watch how it works. German chancellor gets an idea, then takes it to the French President. The French insist on some minor change, just to show they have some power, then the proposal goes to Italy for another bilateral meeting. The Italians demand some extra money for whatever, and then at that stage its a done deal. The Council of Ministers is called to a meeting, but the likes of Enda Kenny and other minnows are only there to rubber stamp what has already been decided.
    Hence the democratic deficit.

    That's a fine bit of caricature. Do you write for the Mail in your spare time?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,084 ✭✭✭oppenheimer1


    recedite wrote: »
    The EU parliament is not the major decision maker, the Council of Ministers is.
    On the face of it, that body seems democratic, because it is made up of the PMs or equivalent of each country.
    But in practice, watch how it works. German chancellor gets an idea, then takes it to the French President. The French insist on some minor change, just to show they have some power, then the proposal goes to Italy for another bilateral meeting. The Italians demand some extra money for whatever, and then at that stage its a done deal. The Council of Ministers is called to a meeting, but the likes of Enda Kenny and other minnows are only there to rubber stamp what has already been decided.
    Hence the democratic deficit.

    Ditto with the ECB in Frankfurt. Decisions involving inflation and interest rates are normally based on what is good for Germany.

    Merkel is delighted with the new guy on the block, Macron.http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/801641/Emmanuel-Macron-French-election-president-first-call-Angela-Merkel
    Well if it's in the express....


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    That's a fine bit of caricature. Do you write for the Mail in your spare time?
    Keep an eye out for the next Franco-German bilateral. Then watch as Merkel heads off to Italy a few days later.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,171 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007


    For 1 ireland is afaik the only country to have regular referendums on eu treaties

    Denmark and France have similar requirements, but it is not as strict as Ireland.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,342 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    recedite wrote: »
    The EU parliament is not the major decision maker, the Council of Ministers is.
    On the face of it, that body seems democratic, because it is made up of the PMs or equivalent of each country.
    But in practice, watch how it works. German chancellor gets an idea, then takes it to the French President. The French insist on some minor change, just to show they have some power, then the proposal goes to Italy for another bilateral meeting. The Italians demand some extra money for whatever, and then at that stage its a done deal. The Council of Ministers is called to a meeting, but the likes of Enda Kenny and other minnows are only there to rubber stamp what has already been decided . . .
    And this differs from how other functioning democratic institutions work how, exactly?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,533 ✭✭✭AnGaelach


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    It's a side effect of the "everyone should have a vote on absolutely everything" mentality.

    There are three governing bodies in the EU: the Council, the Commission, and the Parliament. The Parliament is directly elected by the population of the Union. The Council consists of the elected heads of state or government of the member states. The Commission consists of people appointed by the elected governments of the member states.

    The usual target of the "democratic deficit" claim is the Commission, usually with the argument that the Commissioners should be directly elected - apparently only having two of the bodies consisting of elected representatives isn't enough.

    There are good reasons for the Commissioners not to be elected, chief among them the fact that their job is to represent the interests of the Union as a whole, rather than the interests of the member states that appointed them. If you're someone for whom there is no metric for "good" other than "elected" - which is pretty funny, considering how much people complain about politicians - and if having two thirds of the Union's institutions consist of elected representatives, then sure: by those unrealistic lights the EU has a "democratic deficit".

    Basically, the people who complain about democratic deficits are the people who either want a full-blown federal US of E, or the people who don't want an EU.

    Well, the Parliament has no real power to do anything. It only recently got the power to appoint the Commission (Jean Claude Juncker being the first Spitzenkandidat). It can't legislate, nor can it really refuse to sign a law - it can merely offer its opinion on a piece of legislation that the Commission writes.

    I don't believe the Parliament to be something truly worthwhile pursuing anyway. If each Member is truly equal, it should have equal say at the negotiating table (as it does in the Council, not perfectly but definitely moreso than the Parliament). The Parliament is more "democratic" but that simply means the majority consists of the largest countries plus whatever tag-alongs they need to reach 50%. It entrenches power with simple size.

    If you also want to contend with the democratic deficit, you need to address the issue of Nice 1/2 and Lisbon 1/2 (and the ESM Treaty which they would have run again if we refused). Asking a country to vote on something and ignoring its vote is hardly democratic.

    There's also the highly secretive nature of TTIP and the way it was carried out. Trilogues are another issue that should be dealt with - there's an enormous number of redactions in each trilogue.

    I feel that we should do away with the Parliament entirely, and leave the power in the hands of National Governments. Not only is the Parliament a distraction from the real powerbrokers and a nuisance, it's an enormous waste of money. You had people like Farage or Schulz (both gone, thankfully) doing nothing but acting as a mouthpiece whilst suckling their income from the taxpayer.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    AnGaelach wrote: »
    I don't believe the Parliament to be something truly worthwhile pursuing anyway. If each Member is truly equal, it should have equal say at the negotiating table (as it does in the Council, not perfectly but definitely moreso than the Parliament). The Parliament is more "democratic" but that simply means the majority consists of the largest countries plus whatever tag-alongs they need to reach 50%. It entrenches power with simple size.
    I have to admit: the idea that the directly-elected institution is the least democratic one is a new one on me.
    If you also want to contend with the democratic deficit, you need to address the issue of Nice 1/2 and Lisbon 1/2 (and the ESM Treaty which they would have run again if we refused). Asking a country to vote on something and ignoring its vote is hardly democratic.
    Go on, throw in some straight banana regulations while you're at it.

    Firstly, we weren't asked (by the EU) to vote on Nice or Lisbon. It's the job of the Oireachtas to ratify treaties, but for reasons that have more to do with a sense of entitlement than anything else, the government feels it politically necessary to amend the Constitution before ratifying EU treaties. The EU doesn't care whether or not we hold a referendum.

    Secondly, the outcome of a referendum has never been ignored. In the case of the Nice 1 and Lisbon 1 votes, the referendum asked whether the Constitution should be amended; after the "no" results, the Constitution wasn't amended. The government, still wanting to ratify the treaties that it had negotiated on behalf of the people, got some stupid "no, seriously: this treaty won't force you to have an abortion" protocols tacked on to those treaties, and asked again for permission to amend the Constitution.

    The narrative of "the nasty EU forced us to re-run a referendum because it didn't like the result" plays well to people who don't know or care how the EU works, but it has the unfortunate flaw of being completely and utterly fabricated. And yes: I get that some people think the truth is whatever it suits them to believe, but that's not true either.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,171 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007


    AnGaelach wrote: »
    If you also want to contend with the democratic deficit, you need to address the issue of Nice 1/2 and Lisbon 1/2 (and the ESM Treaty which they would have run again if we refused). Asking a country to vote on something and ignoring its vote is hardly democratic.

    You really need to get your head around how things actually work!!! Do you understand the concept of negotiations??? Negotiations involves offers and counter offers etc... There is no obligation on the parties to just consider one offer, reject it and leave it at that.

    Now you may not like it, but you are going to have to deal with it. Because with 27 states now involved in the negotiations, 38 state and regional parliaments involved the ratification and between one and three state referenda required, you can be fairly sure that multiple referenda will become a feature of the democratic process.

    On each of the two occasions that Ireland rejected the first offer, as second was made and the electorate is fully entitled to accept or reject the offers as they please.

    If you can show line for line that the treaty documents are 100% the same in each case, you'd have a point other wise it is just hot air.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,533 ✭✭✭AnGaelach


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    I have to admit: the idea that the directly-elected institution is the least democratic one is a new one on me. Go on, throw in some straight banana regulations while you're at it.

    You've argued about tyranny of the majority before yourself iirc.
    oscarBravo wrote: »
    Firstly, we weren't asked (by the EU) to vote on Nice or Lisbon. It's the job of the Oireachtas to ratify treaties, but for reasons that have more to do with a sense of entitlement than anything else, the government feels it politically necessary to amend the Constitution before ratifying EU treaties. The EU doesn't care whether or not we hold a referendum.

    Well, you're entirely wrong on that front. We need to have a referendum on these issues because Bunreacht na hÉireann explicitly states that the people of Ireland are sovereign - which is a break from most other countries. Germany and Britain, for instance, have a sovereign parliament. We do not. Any attempt to shift sovereignty away from the people of Ireland requires their explicit approval.

    It's not a "sense of entitlement", it's a Constitutional requirement. The only way an international treaty can have domestic effect is if it isn't repugnant to the Constitution - which requires a transfer of sovereignty.

    If you can find a commentator on Constitutional law to back up your claim that the Lisbon/Nice referenda were run out of a "sense of entitlement" I'd be surprised.
    oscarBravo wrote: »
    Secondly, the outcome of a referendum has never been ignored. In the case of the Nice 1 and Lisbon 1 votes, the referendum asked whether the Constitution should be amended; after the "no" results, the Constitution wasn't amended. The government, still wanting to ratify the treaties that it had negotiated on behalf of the people, got some stupid "no, seriously: this treaty won't force you to have an abortion" protocols tacked on to those treaties, and asked again for permission to amend the Constitution.

    The narrative of "the nasty EU forced us to re-run a referendum because it didn't like the result" plays well to people who don't know or care how the EU works, but it has the unfortunate flaw of being completely and utterly fabricated. And yes: I get that some people think the truth is whatever it suits them to believe, but that's not true either.

    That's all very well and good, but it's not entirely true either. A Treaty must be approved unanimously by the Member States in order to come into force. They ran a referendum in France on the European Constitution (which was essentially proto-Lisbon), the referendum was defeated so it was instead run through the French parliament rather than consulting the people.

    The Government hasn't a pair of bollocks about it, but saying that the EU wasn't putting pressure on the Government to re-run it is a tremendously stupid opinion to hold.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    And this differs from how other functioning democratic institutions work how, exactly?
    In this arrangement, which is more aristocracy than democracy, the German and French political elite are the aristocrats of Europe.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,171 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007


    AnGaelach wrote: »
    The Government hasn't a pair of bollocks about it, but saying that the EU wasn't putting pressure on the Government to re-run it is a tremendously stupid opinion to hold.

    Still waiting on you to prove that the treaty proposals were the same in each case...... When you do, we can get back to this.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    AnGaelach wrote: »
    You've argued about tyranny of the majority before yourself iirc.
    Sure, but then I'm a skeptic about democracy in general. I think democracy is like any powerful force: best applied very judiciously. You'll mostly find me arguing against the simplistic idea that "more democratic" is always a synonym for "better".
    Well, you're entirely wrong on that front. We need to have a referendum on these issues because Bunreacht na hÉireann explicitly states that the people of Ireland are sovereign - which is a break from most other countries. Germany and Britain, for instance, have a sovereign parliament. We do not. Any attempt to shift sovereignty away from the people of Ireland requires their explicit approval.
    True, but only part of the story. Yes, we need to amend the constitution if we're shifting sovereignty - but no, not every treaty the government negotiates is a shift in sovereignty.

    While you have your copy of the Constitution open, have a gander at Article 29, sections 4-6. Negotiating and ratifying treaties is the job of the Oireachtas.

    While you're there, take a moment to admire the utter shambles that 29.4 has become as a result of shoehorning treaty ratifications into the Constitution, where they don't belong.
    It's not a "sense of entitlement", it's a Constitutional requirement. The only way an international treaty can have domestic effect is if it isn't repugnant to the Constitution - which requires a transfer of sovereignty.
    Not true. Can you point to the constitutional amendment that allowed us to ratify the Ottawa Treaty?
    If you can find a commentator on Constitutional law to back up your claim that the Lisbon/Nice referenda were run out of a "sense of entitlement" I'd be surprised.
    http://www.iiea.com/documents/a-road-less-travelled---reflections-on-the-supreme-court-rulings-in-crotty-coughlan-and-mckenna-no2 - well worth a read.
    They ran a referendum in France on the European Constitution (which was essentially proto-Lisbon), the referendum was defeated so it was instead run through the French parliament rather than consulting the people.
    Firstly, the Lisbon Treaty and the European Constitution were different documents. There's no "instead" about it. France made a decision to hold a referendum on one, and not on the other.
    The Government hasn't a pair of bollocks about it, but saying that the EU wasn't putting pressure on the Government to re-run it is a tremendously stupid opinion to hold.
    I don't recall anyone expressing that opinion, but sure: there was pressure on the Irish government to ratify the treaty it had helped to negotiate.

    If you think the EU should have just abandoned a treaty which all its member state governments (including Ireland's) had agreed it needed, just because the Irish electorate wanted assurances about nonsense that wasn't even in the treaty, well, there's no shortage of stupid opinions out there. ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    recedite wrote: »
    Keep an eye out for the next Franco-German bilateral. Then watch as Merkel heads off to Italy a few days later.
    Even with all 3 on board it wouldn't be a qualified majority if the rest of the EU voted against. You're talking nonsense.

    Germany is exceptionally benign given how much it contributes financially to the EU.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    murphaph wrote: »
    Even with all 3 on board it wouldn't be a qualified majority if the rest of the EU voted against. You're talking nonsense.
    Of course 3 is not a majority. What I am saying is the proposal is generally then presented to the other minnows as a fait accompli and normally they simply cow-tow to the aristocrats, in the hope that they will subsequently be treated in a benign way.

    The only time it hasn't worked was when Merkel and Hollande developed a mandatory migrant policy in 2016, but were quite surprised at the level of opposition from the countries in the east of the EU. A new power bloc, The Visegrad Group, was formed, which seems to have successfully defeated the measures.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    recedite wrote: »
    Of course 3 is not a majority. What I am saying is the proposal is generally then presented to the other minnows as a fait accompli and normally they simply cow-tow to the aristocrats, in the hope that they will subsequently be treated in a benign way.

    The only time it hasn't worked was when Merkel and Hollande developed a mandatory migrant policy in 2016, but were quite surprised at the level of opposition from the countries in the east of the EU. A new power bloc, The Visegrad Group, was formed, which seems to have successfully defeated the measures.
    So there is a counterweight to the "evil" Franco-German axis that can prevent stuff it's opposed to from being forced upon them. What's your point again?

    This "minnows" thing is another red herring. The country with the most voting rights per capita in the union? Malta. The country with the least voting rights per capita? Germany.

    It's right and proper that Germany can outvote Malta but per capita the smaller nations have more voting weight than the big ones.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,872 ✭✭✭View


    katy39 wrote: »
    I have often heard of people talking about the EU having a Democratic deficit especially by Brexiteers, how can this be so when they have a parliament ?

    It is just a stick for them to beat the EU with as you can be absolutely certain that had the other nations in the EU said at any time "Right, we'll have a democratic vote on a mandatory law that all member states must immediately/asap adopt the Euro and accede to Schengen" that they would have been screaming their heads off about the mere suggestion. And, no they wouldn't have cared if the democratic vote was a parliamentary (EP + CoM) one or even a single EU wide referendum since they'd reject both out of hand.

    As for the phrase itself, it actually was originally a Federalist criticism made back in the early/mid 70s about the then European Communities. In reponse to it, the member states agreed on the initial direct European Parliamentary elections in 79. That in turn has led to the subsequent slow but considerable upgrading of the powers of the EP which now has co-equal status with the Council of Ministers in virtually all legislative matters.

    That though won't ever satisfy people who believe solely in the nation state (and never mind that, in the case of Brexiters, very many of them argue against Scottish independence using the same arguments that they reject in the case of the UK's EU membership).


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,872 ✭✭✭View


    AnGaelach wrote: »
    but saying that the EU wasn't putting pressure on the Government to re-run it is a tremendously stupid opinion to hold.

    If the EU was "putting pressure on the government" about holding referenda then, logically, it should put pressure on them, either, before we hold our first referenda on the various EU treaties (thus reducing the possibility of second referenda), or, it should do so to get us to introduce a simpler mechanism (eg parliamentary in all or most cases) for ratifying EU treaties.

    The fact that none of those have happened in the thirty years since the Crotty judgments would seem to indicate that either the pressure is non-existent or that the government doesn't have any issue with resisting it in which case the whole issue is a bit moot.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    murphaph wrote: »
    So there is a counterweight to the "evil" Franco-German axis that can prevent stuff it's opposed to from being forced upon them. What's your point again?
    Only very recently formed though. And if it ends up in the future with the Franco-German bloc making the rules, but with the Visegrad Bloc just vetoing anything they don't like before it reaches the Council of Ministers, that is still not a huge improvement.
    It means power shifting eastwards, and combined with Brexit, it means a small island off the western fringes of Europe has no say in anything. Even in the treatment of its own borders with the UK, as we are finding out now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,567 ✭✭✭✭Sand


    recedite wrote: »
    It means power shifting eastwards, and combined with Brexit, it means a small island off the western fringes of Europe has no say in anything. Even in the treatment of its own borders with the UK, as we are finding out now.

    As regards Brexit, Ireland has managed to get its Brexit issues recognised by the rest of the EU as being key concerns of the EU negotiating team. Ireland is a small state. It has only a little influence inside the EU. It has zero influence outside it. The EU is a very good thing for Ireland.
    oscarBravo wrote: »
    Basically, the people who complain about democratic deficits are the people who either want a full-blown federal US of E, or the people who don't want an EU.

    Agreed. Most EU federalists would love to grant the EU institutions more authority and an even greater electoral mandate. However the EU institutions only have the power granted to them by the elected EU member states. Almost all of the democratic deficit lies within the remit of the member states, not the institutions themselves. There is nothing stopping the member state governments putting their choice of commissioner to a national election if that is what they want. Of course, the national governments do not want to offer this democratic choice to their people but that is not the EU's fault.

    Most of the anti-EU rhetoric is better directed at the national governments of the member states. The Brexit criticism of the EU as undemocratic is ironic given they are a monarchy, with a first past the post electoral system which consistently disenfranchises the majority of voters (In 2015 UKIP got 13% of the votes, 0.2% of the seats), and government of ministers that are appointed rather than facing election for the role. The UK is arguably more undemocratic than the EU.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,872 ✭✭✭View


    recedite wrote: »
    The only time it hasn't worked was when Merkel and Hollande developed a mandatory migrant policy in 2016, but were quite surprised at the level of opposition from the countries in the east of the EU. A new power bloc, The Visegrad Group, was formed, which seems to have successfully defeated the measures.


    There are a number of points wrong about this.

    First up, the mandatory migratory policy was passed. Second it wasn't developed by Merkel & Hollande. Third it secured overwhelming majority support in the both the EP & the CoM (including support from some of the Visegrad states if I recall correctly).

    Lastly, Visegrad group is not a new group. It was set up in 1991 well before the countries concerned joined the EU. It continued on after they joined the EU and is one of a number of informal blocs that meet to discuss common voting positions on issues.

    As such you are being completely contradictory. When Germany & France are the ones trying to find common positions, you roundly criticise them. But when the Visegrad states do the exact same thing, you laud them. That's akin to criticising FG for having the temerity to hold parliamentary party meetings while praising FF for doing so.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    View wrote: »
    First up, the mandatory migratory policy was passed. Second it wasn't developed by Merkel & Hollande.
    The mandatory migrant policy was developed by Merkel and Hollande to "share the burden" after they had stupidly ordered the borders of the EU to be left wide open, and then become swamped with migrants from all over Eurasia and Africa themselves.
    Germany and France are to draft common proposals on immigration and security to deal with the worsening emergency. On Monday, Merkel said they could include building new registration centres in Greece and Italy to be run and staffed by the EU as a whole by the end of the year.
    She said: ?Time is running out. EU member states must share costs relating to this action.?
    The Visegrad Group which had been dwindling in relevance since the members joined the EU was reignited and revitalised, and successfully prevented the Merkel/Hollande bloc from implementing their plan. Which is why there are no mandatory migrant quotas in the EU today.
    Instead, we are now paying Erdogan to make them disappear in Turkey, before they can reach Greece.

    I do not laud the rise of Visegrad within the EU as an independent power bloc, nor do I laud the exit of the UK. These are simply the natural reactions of countries who resent being lorded over by the Germany/France power bloc. It would have been far better for all the EU countries to have developed policies together, by consensus. Instead of just these two countries developing them, and then arranging via various diplomatic machinations to obtain a majority vote in which the others are seen to "agree".


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 38,184 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha


    recedite wrote: »
    I do not laud the rise of Visegrad within the EU as an independent power bloc, nor do I laud the exit of the UK. These are simply the natural reactions of countries who resent being lorded over by the Germany/France power bloc. It would have been far better for all the EU countries to have developed policies together, by consensus. Instead of just these two countries developing them, and then arranging via various diplomatic machinations to obtain a majority vote in which the others are seen to "agree".

    Sorry but that doesn't wash. In the UK we've had a right-wing press blame the EU for anything and everything bad. The government has been free to preside over hundreds of thousands of people needing food banks to live while lavishly frittering away taxpayers' money on foreign wars and nuclear weapons. If they were being lorded over, they wouldn't have been able to hold a ridiculous referendum conducted with lies and empty promises to leave the club.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith



  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    Some of us also think migrant quotas for EU member states was a good idea. It would have been far more orderly to agree to spread the burden like that. Just because that pillar of human rights Saudi Arabia doesn't want to help gassed Syrian children doesn't mean we should follow suit in the EU.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,533 ✭✭✭AnGaelach


    Sorry but that doesn't wash. In the UK we've had a right-wing press blame the EU for anything and everything bad. The government has been free to preside over hundreds of thousands of people needing food banks to live while lavishly frittering away taxpayers' money on foreign wars and nuclear weapons. If they were being lorded over, they wouldn't have been able to hold a ridiculous referendum conducted with lies and empty promises to leave the club.

    What on earth does that have to do with anything?


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