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Old 05-25-2004, 06:17 PM   #1
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Europe

Well here in Britain its only a year until the referendum on the european constitution, so what are your views on Europe if any?

personally I know that governments only have referendums when they think they can win them so if I am 18 by the time the referendum comes round(bit unlikely - end of june) I'll be voting No, Europe has been in the works for years, with devolution being a factor of it - In brussels a poster could be seen with England divided into 8 parts a decade ago. They will get a united states of Europe no matter what, with tweaks and changes eventually. Also this country has not been successfully invaded since 1066. Europe is partly about uniting to prevent wars which is good for those countrys affected badly by WW2 but Britain doesnt need Europe and will always be an outsider even when its in europe - just look at our votes in the eurovision lol, anyway its a contriversial subject over here and my mind can be changed.
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Old 05-25-2004, 06:24 PM   #2
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I am against Europe uniting. I think it will lead to more problems than it ever solves. Every country should be sovereign and independent. If I were a European in any country, I would hate the idea of having my currency and economy joined with everyone else's. If one goes down it could hurt the ones who are doing okay. Besides some people who believe there will be one world gov't toward the end of the world say the European community is a sign this is underway and the end is near!
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Old 05-25-2004, 07:19 PM   #3
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I really don't know what to think of this. But yesterday, my niece, who was born in Italy, turned 18. She now has to pick between U.S. and Italian citizenship. She's coming here this summer to spend some time with us and she'll be talking about the EU and what it means to her. I think she's going to pick Italian, and thus European, citizenship. I'll be interested in her POV for sure!
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Old 05-25-2004, 08:19 PM   #4
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I had a cousin who was born in France because her Dad was in the army there, but she was raised in the US. The chose US citizenship, but it's cool to get to pick! Was your neice raised in the US? If so what would be the advantages of Italian citizenship over US?
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Old 05-25-2004, 09:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten
I had a cousin who was born in France because her Dad was in the army there, but she was raised in the US. The chose US citizenship, but it's cool to get to pick! Was your neice raised in the US? If so what would be the advantages of Italian citizenship over US?
She was raised in Italy, and her mother (my brother's ex-wife) is a native Italian, which is why I think she will pick Italian citizenship. However, she is interested in going to school in New York City, which she loves, and has family there, of course, my two sisters. Culturally she is an Italian; Italy is home to her, she's more familiar with it, and she's like the rest of us, she likes familiarity. Italian is her first language although her English is excellent. She can have permanent residency status in the U.S. and live here for awhile if she wants while keeping her Italian citizenship. I really don't know this, though, it's her choice. I'm a bit jealous, I'd love to have that kind of choice to make with my life. I wouldn't want to change my citizenship for anything, but having a choice between two countries to live in would be awfully enjoyable for me. If I were allowed to have dual citizenship I would love it!
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Old 05-26-2004, 01:57 AM   #6
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Originally posted by U2Kitten
If I were a European in any country, I would hate the idea of having my currency and economy joined with everyone else's.
I wouldn't know why really
economies are closely tied anyway, so the biggest change would probably be that we'd have to try to get countries who do not do well now to strengthen their economy because it would be beneficial to all of us

it will probably only be an economic unity, I don't think anyone is interested for any european country to give up on it's own identity
so england will still be able to give ireland 12 points in eurovision no matter how mediocre the song and how bad the singer
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Old 05-26-2004, 03:31 AM   #7
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Sorry, but what is the referedum in Britain actually for? For Britain to get the Euro and become more closely integrated into the EU, or for Europe to become its own nation? I think it's the former, but from everyone else's posts, I'm a bit confused now!

Anyway, I'm not particularly opposed to either situation, although I would think generally it's best for the individual nations to remain separate. I like the idea of European nations united but still allowed to retain their own language, customs, etc. To be honest I think it's fine as it is. I can't understand Britain's viewpoint though - clearly France, Germany, Italy and the rest haven't lost anything of their national culture by adopting the euro, and their certainly doesn't seem to have been any indication of the conspiracy theories about European unification that Britain has been worried about (straightening bananas, for example).

I'm more interested in what's going to happen to the new EU members, mainly because in July I will be heading over to Slovakia for a year. And no one seems to know anything about whether the situation is going to change at all there, or whether it's just a symbolic thing at this stage.
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Old 05-26-2004, 04:41 AM   #8
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Re: Europe

Quote:
Originally posted by bugo
personally I know that governments only have referendums when they think they can win them so if I am 18 by the time the referendum comes round(bit unlikely - end of june) I'll be voting No
I have to say that this is a very naive (and hard-headed) way of looking at it. Just because the government proposes something you have to vote no? OK, so the government does not always take care of what's good for its people, but to me that's no reason to say no to everything they propose.

Quote:
. Also this country has not been successfully invaded since 1066. Europe is partly about uniting to prevent wars which is good for those countrys affected badly by WW2
Although that was the original idea of the ECCS (European Community of Coal & Steel), to decrease the risk of war by tightening economic bonds between its member states, I think the 'prevent war' part has now totally disappeared. Instead, the focus is more on just the economic advantages (no/less currency exchange costs, free movement of persons/goods/capital, more uniform economic policy/regulations, etc.). The goal is a more political union, where there will be a unified European voice. This is the most controversial point though, as it will mean that the member states give up some of their sovereignity. On the other hand, it is needed so that Europe can be a balance against the US. * On foreign/military policy etc. there isn't a European (i.e. unified) response to world events yet, just a myriad of opposing and converging voices. This has decreased the influence Europe may and can have.

Quote:
but Britain doesnt need Europe and will always be an outsider even when its in europe
I disagree with the UK not needing Europe. Apart from being a huge market to sell your goods to the political force of the EU is too big for the UK to counter it alone.
I do think that the UK (like Ireland) is an outsider. This has to do a lot with geography, since both are islands at the edge of Europe. And the UK has a bigger focus to the other side of the Atlantic (i.e. the US) than most other EU countries, including those in Western Europe.

C ya!

Marty

* I stated that EU needs to become a counter balance against the US. This has nothing to do with anti-US feelings. Currently, the US is the sole superpower in the world (Russia stopped to play a role in the early Nineties and India/China are still too weak economically). I think it's best for the balance of power if there's at least one other superpower, to prevent one country to have too much influence in the whole world.
Compare it to a democratic country. There you also prefer to have at least 2 powerful parties instead of 1 (yes, even in a democracy).
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Old 05-26-2004, 07:18 AM   #9
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So joining will only strengthen an already strong pound (once converted to euro)?
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Old 05-26-2004, 07:53 AM   #10
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I'm no economist, but I wonder if the pound can keep its strenght when the EU's internal economy gets in top gear. The pound's ok for now but I don't think that in the long-run, countries like the UK and Norway can afford not to join the EU. Both politically and economically.
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Old 05-26-2004, 08:02 AM   #11
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Phew, I typed that and thought it sounded like a dumb question so thank you for understanding lol.
I guess for it to get to the referendum stage, all this has been carefully weighed up and has the benefits already mentioned.
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Old 05-26-2004, 08:21 AM   #12
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I guess it has, but I think people's decisions aren't going to be based on the economy but more on nationalism and on "who's going to be in charge". A lot of people in the UK seem to be affraid that 'the continent' is going to decide for them.
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Old 05-26-2004, 09:39 AM   #13
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I think Europe is the only for these countries if they (France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy etc.) want to have international influence and success.
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Old 05-27-2004, 03:49 AM   #14
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Re: Europe

Quote:
Originally posted by bugo
...and my mind can be changed.
Well?
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Old 05-30-2004, 10:36 AM   #15
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i guess at this stage im thinking wait and see. The Euro doesnt seem as good as the pound because companies will take advantage of the exchange rate. prices down south in ireland were a bit worse than here in northern ireland last time i went although that was just after the euro was implemented. the free trade thing should be good though and perhaps having a european holiday will be easier, just language barriers. However the worst thing is that even now half of all our value added tax goes to europe(brussels) and if we werent a part of europe then britain would keep that money and at the end of the day i started off saying britain doesnt need europe and its because of that reason that i think britain would be stronger without europe - more money for hospitals and education perhaps? still im learning about politcs more everyday and still dont have a full opinion. i probably wont know what i think until a years time when the actual referendum comes around!
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