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General EU discussion thread

  • 05-07-2019 11:01am
    #1
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,941 CMod ✭✭✭✭


    There are fewer more tedious and disingenuous political urban myths than the "Ireland voted on the Lisbon Treaty 'til we said 'yes'". In fact I think it's such a blatant myth and falsehood, IMO it should be red flagged as conspiracy theory. It's well documented the second vote came after Ireland secured a bunch of concessions, and voted on that revised form (plus, didn't the Dutch & French also reject one of the Lisbons?).

    But reality doesn't seem to deter those with an inherently anti-EU confirmation bias threading their thinking. Or possess any paranoia towards conspiracy, and that they are the keepers of "the truth", against all those "sheeple" that voted for Lisbon II. It's a broken record, disproven by facts, but hey ho.

    Should every referendum then be subject to this same bias? Presumably then the Abortion referendum can be considered hostile to democracy as we voted TWICE(!) on the same issue. The divorce amendment too perhaps.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,195 ✭✭✭MrMusician18


    pixelburp wrote: »
    There are fewer more tedious and disingenuous political urban myths than the "Ireland voted on the Lisbon Treaty 'til we said 'yes'". In fact I think it's such a blatant myth and falsehood, IMO it should be red flagged as conspiracy theory. It's well documented the second vote came after Ireland secured a bunch of concessions, and voted on that revised form (plus, didn't the Dutch & French also reject one of the Lisbons?).

    But reality doesn't seem to deter those with an inherently anti-EU confirmation bias threading their thinking. Or possess any paranoia towards conspiracy, and that they are the keepers of "the truth", against all those "sheeple" that voted for Lisbon II. It's a broken record, disproven by facts, but hey ho.

    Should every referendum then be subject to this same bias? Presumably then the Abortion referendum can be considered hostile to democracy as we voted TWICE(!) on the same issue. The divorce amendment too perhaps.

    To be fair, the concessions won by Ireland were fairly meaningless, and related to things that weren't in the treaty anyway. i.e. one confirming that abortion policy was a domestic competence. There was some other BS about neutrality too afaik.

    The only meaningful concession that was won was after Nice rejection, that every country got a commissioner. It was an easy sell since most countries were a little miffed by that lost opportunity for patronage, even if it did make the commission more workable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,921 ✭✭✭✭BonnieSituation


    nc6000 wrote: »
    Why are they so obsessed with fishing and fishing rights? My understanding is that the whole fishing industry is only a fraction of a percent of their GDP.

    The same way they are obsessed with the minutiae of "trade". It's just bizarre.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 25,254 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl


    To be fair, the concessions won by Ireland were fairly meaningless, and related to things that weren't in the treaty anyway. i.e. one confirming that abortion policy was a domestic competence. There was some other BS about neutrality too afaik.

    Meaningless in the context of the actual treaty perhaps, but they were, bizarrely, a large part of the reason the referendum failed the first time. Listening to people's concerns, addressing them and then asking for an updated opinion seems pretty bloody fair to me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,295 ✭✭✭✭jm08


    To be fair, the concessions won by Ireland were fairly meaningless, and related to things that weren't in the treaty anyway. i.e. one confirming that abortion policy was a domestic competence. There was some other BS about neutrality too afaik.

    The only meaningful concession that was won was after Nice rejection, that every country got a commissioner. It was an easy sell since most countries were a little miffed by that lost opportunity for patronage, even if it did make the commission more workable.


    As far as I recall the biggie was the assurances that tax was a domestic competence, particularly in light of some (like Sarkozy) wanting to trade it in for the bailout.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,442 ✭✭✭✭Kermit.de.frog


    Are people forgetting the French and Dutch said no and did not get another vote? The public couldn't be trusted to vote the right way.

    Again most likely in my view, unless the course is changed, the EU will end in separation, public disorder and economic pain.

    Brexit is the start but it really happens when a Euro member leaves. When one leaves (likely Italy in my opinion) the economic contagion to the other weak countries will be too hard for those countries to take.

    It doesn't have to be that way but that's where we are going unfortunately.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 4,850 ✭✭✭Stop moaning ffs


    Are people forgetting the French and Dutch said no and did not get another vote? The public couldn't be trusted to vote the right way.

    Again most likely in my view, unless the course is changed, the EU will end in separation, public disorder and economic pain.

    Brexit is the start but it really happens when a Euro member leaves. When one leaves (likely Italy in my opinion) the economic contagion to the other weak countries will be too hard for those countries to take.

    It doesn't have to be that way but that's where we are going unfortunately.

    So we’re headed for an EU federal superstate or the EU is doomed to break up.

    Which is it?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 10,375 ✭✭✭✭kunst nugget


    Are people forgetting the French and Dutch said no and did not get another vote? The public couldn't be trusted to vote the right way.

    Again most likely in my view, unless the course is changed, the EU will end in separation, public disorder and economic pain.

    Brexit is the start but it really happens when a Euro member leaves. When one leaves (likely Italy in my opinion) the economic contagion to the other weak countries will be too hard for those countries to take.

    It doesn't have to be that way but that's where we are going unfortunately.


    They voted no against the Constitution, the constitution was scrapped. Why would they have to vote again for something that was already gone?

    Italy's support for the EU stands at over 70% currently. I sincerely doubt they are gong to leave anytime soon.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,271 ✭✭✭fash


    So we’re headed for an EU federal superstate or the EU is doomed to break up.

    Which is it?

    The enemy is both overwhelmingly powerful and at the same time brittle and weak.
    The fascist mantra.
    how to Id a fascist


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,442 ✭✭✭✭Kermit.de.frog


    They voted no against the Constitution, the constitution was scrapped. Why would they have to vote again for something that was already gone?

    Italy's support for the EU stands at over 70% currently. I sincerely doubt they are gong to leave anytime soon.

    You must not be aware of how the Italian government is disobeying the budgetary rules of the Commission and threatening the ECB.

    Even if Italy left in 20 years the result is still the same - the PIIGS countries are stuck in an economic prison that suits German exports - we can't devalue our currency or have normal access to Central Bank tools.

    This is a disaster. We will forever be the debtor countries. The Germans will NEVER sign up to fiscal transfers for the feckless countries.

    That is why this is doomed in the medium term.

    Ignoring it is like ignoring the existence of gravity.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 25,254 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl


    Are people forgetting the French and Dutch said no and did not get another vote? The public couldn't be trusted to vote the right way.

    They voted against the EU Constitution - the EU does not now have a constitution.

    The Lisbon Treaty was mostly passed without referendums. That is because that is the job of governments to do as you so nicely put it yourself
    Of course even if views were not ignored most people are not diplomats so presenting them with 100's of pages of diplomatic text is never right.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,695 ✭✭✭CelticRambler


    unless the course is changed, the EU will end in separation, public disorder and economic pain.

    Given that Brexit is already effecting (sic) that scenario in the UK as we speak, you seem to be saying that any country that stays in the EU will suffer the same fate as if it were to leave. So, in fact, EU membership has no significant impact on the sovereignty or socio-economic status of any particular country. :confused:

    Or is the break-up of the UK one of your measures of success?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,915 ✭✭✭PeadarCo


    This is a disaster. We will forever be the debtor countries. The Germans will NEVER sign up to fiscal transfers for the feckless countries.

    So what you are saying here is that there will never be a European super state and its not something anyone should worry about. Fiscal transfers between rich and poor area's are a key part of any state.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,442 ✭✭✭✭Kermit.de.frog


    Podge_irl wrote: »
    They voted against the EU Constitution - the EU does not now have a constitution.

    ALL the features of the constitution remained and were enacted.

    Calling it something else changes nothing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,695 ✭✭✭CelticRambler


    You must not be aware of how the Italian government is disobeying the budgetary rules of the Commission and threatening the ECB.

    France has disobeyed the EEC/EC/EU's budgetary rules for decades, and now they've got one of their own nominated to head the ECB ... :rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,442 ✭✭✭✭Kermit.de.frog


    PeadarCo wrote: »
    So what you are saying here is that there will never be a European super state and its not something anyone should worry about. Fiscal transfers between rich and poor area's are a key part of any state.

    Not at all.

    There will be a super state, at least that's the end goal, that will suit Germany. Not France btw. The Germans allow France to pretend it's a power but the real power lies with the EU and that lies with Germany.

    Why would we or any other peripheral country think that is in our interest?

    This is why countries would leave. The economic and societal impacts are too great.

    We are stuck in an economic prison which allows us ONLY devalue through our budgets. Meanwhile Germany has the full backing of the ECB!...how is this in any of our interests?


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,442 ✭✭✭✭Kermit.de.frog


    France has disobeyed the EEC/EC/EU's budgetary rules for decades, and now they've got one of their own nominated to head the ECB ... :rolleyes:

    France isn't introducing parallel currency! That is a precursor to leaving the Euro and a direct challenge to the legitimacy of the ECB.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,129 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha


    Ok, this warrants a thread IMO. I can amend the title if it becomes necessary.

    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: 5,510 ✭✭✭Wheety


    SNIP. Do not just paste tweets here please.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,915 ✭✭✭PeadarCo


    We are stuck in an economic prison which allows us ONLY devalue through our budgets. Meanwhile Germany has the full backing of the ECB!...how is this in any of our interests?

    Germany doesn't have the full backing of the ECB. The most recent appointment to the head of the ECB Draghi was not a German appointment and many of the measures he took were not exactly in line with German's views. The ECB is not a German conspiracy.

    Also in Ireland case pre EU the punt was pegged to the sterling and a punt nua would end up being pegged to the euro/dollar/sterling (that's when ever the currency got to the point of actually being meaningful tender) none of whose central banks or governments Ireland would have any influence over. Ireland has a voice at the ECB which is far far greater than it had at the bank of England before breaking the link with sterling and moving towards the euro.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 25,254 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl


    France isn't introducing parallel currency! That is a precursor to leaving the Euro and a direct challenge to the legitimacy of the ECB.

    Neither is anyone else.

    Ultimately the EU is not some kind of overlord and it makes no sense to talk of it in that fashion. We are the EU, and ultimately any decisions about moving towards a superstate will be the decision of the member states (not that I expect it to happen anyway).

    It's not Skynet.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭Bit cynical


    Podge_irl wrote: »
    Ultimately the EU is not some kind of overlord and it makes no sense to talk of it in that fashion. We are the EU, and ultimately any decisions about moving towards a superstate will be the decision of the member states (not that I expect it to happen anyway.
    Of course it depends on how you define "we". What happens, for example, when the general population doesn't care much for the EU as it is presently constituted but their politicians are happy with it? Who is the "we" in this case? This might be considered the situation prior to the Brexit referendum in the UK.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 25,254 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl


    Of course it depends on how you define "we". What happens, for example, when the general population doesn't care much for the EU as it is presently constituted but their politicians are happy with it? Who is the "we" in this case? This might be considered the situation prior to the Brexit referendum in the UK.

    It does depend somewhat but ultimately it’s no different from any other decision our elected representatives make.

    The point really is that the EU doesn’t really exist as a stand-alone body. It is not a overseer or overload and even an entity with its own agency really.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭Bit cynical


    Podge_irl wrote: »
    It does depend somewhat but ultimately it’s no different from any other decision our elected representatives make.

    The point really is that the EU doesn’t really exist as a stand-alone body. It is not a overseer or overload and even an entity with its own agency really.
    Accountability does not seem to work in the same way though. With a democratic nation state, the electorate have a reasonable say in the overall direction of that state. For example, whether a state becomes more socialist or more capitalist is broadly down to the wishes of the electorate. They exercise these wishes by voting in parties that hold these views. If a party fails to respect the wishes of the electorate they lose respect and are no longer in power.

    It's hard to see an equivalent at the EU level. Even if the electorate were against further integration politicians could still push for it since decision making is obscured in horse trading.

    For example, during the recent parliamentary elections, EU Presidential debates were held on television. In Germany spitzenkandidats (lead candidates) were on election posters. After making their decision to elect MEPs, partial consideration for these lead candidates would have informed their voting decision. Then, somewhere in the cloud the decision was made to appoint someone that did not take part in the debates and was not a lead candidate. The electorate was simply told to put up with it.

    There is no equivalent to this carry on at the level of the nation state.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,695 ✭✭✭CelticRambler


    There is no equivalent to this carry on at the level of the nation state.

    The appointment of "senior civil servants" is pretty much the same. These are the people who wheel and deal in the background of every nation's government, tell politicians what is and isn't feasible and/or desireable, and set in motion changes that those same politicians and the electorate cannot subsequently undo.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,791 ✭✭✭fly_agaric


    For example, during the recent parliamentary elections, EU Presidential debates were held on television. In Germany spitzenkandidats (lead candidates) were on election posters. After making their decision to elect MEPs, partial consideration for these lead candidates would have informed their voting decision. Then, somewhere in the cloud the decision was made to appoint someone that did not take part in the debates and was not a lead candidate. The electorate was simply told to put up with it.

    There is no equivalent to this carry on at the level of the nation state.

    As far as I understand it, that happened because of politicking among the member states (due to inconclusive results of the EU elections).

    Seems to be a lengthy write up about it here:
    https://www.rte.ie/news/analysis-and-comment/2019/0705/1060461-tony-connelly-eu-backroom-deal/

    The leaders of the member states, through EU council hold alot of power in the EU and are "in the cloud" calling the shots. So that mess is more of a function of the weakness of the super-national "EU" as an entity itself and the sway of the member states within it.

    The Eurosceptic/anti-EU heroes in Hungary and Poland were in the thick of things trying to block these "lead candidates" put up by the European parties because they did not like the cut of their jibs!

    Of course, "the (undemocratic) EU" gets the blame for the whole thing anyway.

    Edit: I think you can also see similar things emerging from the fog of smoke filled rooms at the national level when an election throws up an awkward result and coalitions come into being, there is horse trading over manifestos and top jobs etc


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,259 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    You must not be aware of how the Italian government is disobeying the budgetary rules of the Commission and threatening the ECB.
    And then backed down when they were told they would be fined for it and lowered the amount they would be overspending; i.e. they folded their hand when EU said put up or shut up and follow the rules and this is the country that's suppose to lead the charge after UK to leave? The problems in Italy etc. is not related to the ECB or the euro as much as their own failure to sort out their own markets and laws; they all had plenty of issues long before the euro as well but it's the latest boggie bear to blame for the problems. For example if we take Spain; reason for the high unemployement rate for young people is that once you go past 1 year you're very hard to get rid of; hence companies hire people for a year minus a day consistently leaving them without a secure position. Or we can talk Greece and bribes; estimated that your average person has to spend a third or more of their monthly salary on bribes at hospitals, government agencies etc.? Or how about Italy and the legislation for companies making it close to impossible to run a successful enterprise? None of those are related to the euro; all it's done is to stop the government to have a cheesy way to try to bring the unemployment figures down by making their citizens poorer rather than actually having to fix the real problems.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,625 ✭✭✭eire4


    IMHO the EU has been a success. It has given us peace in Europe and that in of itself is a very laudable achievement. I cannot speak to the whole EU economically but it seems to me Ireland has overall done well out of EU membership economically. So for me while an imperfect organization I think overall the EU has been and is a good thing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,118 ✭✭✭Melanchthon


    eire4 wrote: »
    IMHO the EU has been a success. It has given us peace in Europe and that in of itself is a very laudable achievement. I cannot speak to the whole EU economically but it seems to me Ireland has overall done well out of EU membership economically. So for me while an imperfect organization I think overall the EU has been and is a good thing.

    Peace is to do with NATO and the USA vs USSR rivalry.

    My question is, has the EU been a success when compared to the EC that preceded it till 1993, I am not sure that can be said, there was extended prosperity til 2008 but after that point its a pretty mixed record. The USA pulled out of the debt crises much faster than EU, countries like Italy and Greece never really recovered and particularly if you look at Italy vs Germany pre 1993 compared to within the EU its clear that there has been a significant lopsidedness happening.

    This is one of the problems with Brexit, the UK pressing the nuclear button has obscured some very real issues that need to be dealt with in a less destructive way


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,625 ✭✭✭eire4


    Peace is to do with NATO and the USA vs USSR rivalry.

    My question is, has the EU been a success when compared to the EC that preceded it till 1993, I am not sure that can be said, there was extended prosperity til 2008 but after that point its a pretty mixed record. The USA pulled out of the debt crises much faster than EU, countries like Italy and Greece never really recovered and particularly if you look at Italy vs Germany pre 1993 compared to within the EU its clear that there has been a significant lopsidedness happening.

    This is one of the problems with Brexit, the UK pressing the nuclear button has obscured some very real issues that need to be dealt with in a less destructive way



    I was not talking about peace with outside countries or Russia I was talking about peace between the EU countries. The EU has made the idea of for example France and Germany going to war laughable and that is a tremendous accomplishment considering the wars those 2 have fought prior.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭Bit cynical


    eire4 wrote: »
    I was not talking about peace with outside countries or Russia I was talking about peace between the EU countries. The EU has made the idea of for example France and Germany going to war laughable and that is a tremendous accomplishment considering the wars those 2 have fought prior.
    In fairness, while there are still unfortunately plenty of armed conflicts, major all-out war between states is very rare these days.


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