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#1 Oben

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 12:43 PM

As you might know, the European Parliament is elected next month.

With Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon the Parliament has amassed power on the level of the comission and the council, which effectively puts it on par with all national governments, yet it is still vastly ignored by the people (these morons >.>), and the election is only used for national themes.

Hugely debated is necissity of the EU, it‘s power and it‘s future.
What will grow out of the financial problems?
What will come from the right-wing populists?
More or less European Union?

I personally am a huge fan of the European idea. Let‘s turn the whole thing into one big federal (but decentralised) state and abandon the small national states and the borders that lost their meaning with Schengen anyway.
The EU has already integrated it's states in low as well as even in high politics, so any step back would only hurt.
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#2 Clyde

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 12:56 PM

It was a good but at the same time, very bad idea.


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#3 Oben

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 01:04 PM

Elaborate? I mean, you can now pay with the same money in Portugal, Finland and Zypria, work and live where you want and won‘t have to stop at borders when travelling around… sure, the crisis was expensive, but that was a problem of application rather than a problem of the EU itself as an idea.
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#4 Clyde

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 01:30 PM

Elaborate? I mean, you can now pay with the same money in Portugal, Finland and Zypria, work and live where you want and won‘t have to stop at borders when travelling around… sure, the crisis was expensive, but that was a problem of application rather than a problem of the EU itself as an idea.

The common money a great asset for everyday life here but  te European Dream is crumbling and the Union becomes a burden in the grand scheme of things in crisis period. 

 

I'll stay simple, it is already hard for two countries to agree on solutions and measures when confronting economic difficulties. Take that times 27, soon 28.


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#5 Oben

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 01:35 PM

The common money a great asset for everyday life here but te European Dream is crumbling and the Union becomes a burden in the grand scheme of things in crisis period.

I'll stay simple, it is already hard for two countries to agree on solutions and measures when confronting economic difficulties. Take that times 27, soon 28.


28 since January already.

Anyway, that‘s the reason why we need more EU. If it stays interlateral, it‘s indeed hard - but in a unified EU, there will be one government and no need for interlateral solution finding anymore.

#6 Clyde

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 01:45 PM

28 since January already.

Anyway, that‘s the reason why we need more EU. If it stays interlateral, it‘s indeed hard - but in a unified EU, there will be one government and no need for interlateral solution finding anymore.

No, they'll only be officially counted as one of the members of the Union everywhere in June or something like that.

 

What do you mean we need more EU ? What's an unified EU ?


Edited by Clyde, 11 April 2014 - 01:45 PM.

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#7 Oben

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 01:52 PM

No, they'll only be officially counted as one of the members of the Union everywhere in June or something like that.

What do you mean we need more EU ? What's an unified EU ?


No? Croatia joined already as number 28.

Like I said in the opening post - abondon the national states, and get the United States of Europe, basically.

#8 Nyanko

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 02:15 PM

@Oben, it will ether turn out like that, or WWIII.

The question must be, do the governments of Europe have the political will to abandon their sovereignty to the European Union? At the moment, I think not; the popular backlash would be too much. 


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#9 Clyde

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 02:18 PM

No? Croatia joined already as number 28.

Like I said in the opening post - abondon the national states, and get the United States of Europe, basically.

Ah nah, I confused it with another thing, never mind.

 

It's not possible. It's giving up almost all of your sovereignty for an assembly that will make laws that will apply to all the countries members of the Union and obviously , it will benefit some without benefitting others. A common ground won't be found.

 

And no strong country will give up on their freedom to make their own laws anyway.


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#10 Oben

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 02:48 PM

@Oben, it will ether turn out like that, or WWIII.
The question must be, do the governments of Europe have the political will to abandon their sovereignty to the European Union? At the moment, I think not; the popular backlash would be too much.

Ah nah, I confused it with another thing, never mind.

It's not possible. It's giving up almost all of your sovereignty for an assembly that will make laws that will apply to all the countries members of the Union and obviously , it will benefit some without benefitting others. A common ground won't be found.

And no strong country will give up on their freedom to make their own laws anyway.


Applies for both of you:
It‘s already happening, slowly but steady. With every treaty, the governments give away sovereignity - the EU does even foreign politics already, see Ashton. Nobody even deemed that remotely possible 50 years ago. De Gaulle for example had withstood all tries to integrate even a bit beyond economy in the 60s (you know, the Empty Chair). See what still happened.
Furthermore, the support of the EU amongst the elites is extremely high through all countries.

Edited by Oben, 11 April 2014 - 02:49 PM.


#11 Nyanko

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 02:54 PM

Furthermore, the support of the EU amongst the elites is extremely high through all countries


If only they could shove it down the throats of the plebeians. They need to change public opinion significantly if they go for a European Federation

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#12 Oben

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 03:02 PM

If only they could shove it down the throats of the plebeians. They need to change public opinion significantly if they go for a European Federation


Questionable choice of words, but yeah. Public opion needs to change, it‘s way too ignorant atm. I really fear that a strong anti-european block will enter the EP.

#13 Rifle

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 03:14 PM

The EU is basically europe joining together so they can Then implode together all at once. While taking orders from brussels instead of having their own gov decide what goes on. And of course signing on to uber debt to end up in austerity and paying their masters. EU was a huge mistake. Staying separate was far better. 



#14 Clyde

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 03:47 PM

Applies for both of you:
It‘s already happening, slowly but steady. With every treaty, the governments give away sovereignity - the EU does even foreign politics already, see Ashton. Nobody even deemed that remotely possible 50 years ago. De Gaulle for example had withstood all tries to integrate even a bit beyond economy in the 60s (you know, the Empty Chair). See what still happened.
Furthermore, the support of the EU amongst the elites is extremely high through all countries.

Yes, but that was in the 60's. Everybody thought and was for the creation of the EU. Of course, they are willing to give up some of their authority to maintain the EU integrity and, reinforce its power but being a federal "super" nation ? That's not possible and out of question. 

 

The idea of EU is getting crusehd everyday more and more. To the point where England made or was going to make a referendum about staying in the EU or nah;

 

the major problem of the EU is pretty basic but is the root of the lack of significant decisions by the assembly : the interests of some are not same as others and as long as each country thinks of their interst first before others (which is normal), the problem will remain and no solution will be found.


Edited by Clyde, 11 April 2014 - 03:48 PM.

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#15 sleepah chi

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 08:25 PM

In concept, the EU is the closest thing to a Utopia. There are many obstacles  and some misexcuted fundamental issues that still needs fixing before it can be called a utopia though, especially in the financial and ecomnomic department.



#16 azer_moli

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 09:15 AM

It's indeed both a very good and a very bad idea. 

 

I doubt EU will get close to anything like a real federation anytime soon. Each country's history is way too old, especially for the stronger countries of EU. I doubt we'll live to see a real European government with something like a governor in each country, just like in the US. Some countries are still parliamentary monarchies… would they give up on that? (certainly not the UK) Which language would be selected for the EU? What kind of government?

You can't ignore the traditions of a country when it comes to a continent as old as ours. And traditions will always prevent things to work properly in EU. It's already hard enough to deal with traditions in one country. 

 

And that's just for politics. With economy, it's even worse. More often than not, European laws complicate people's jobs (especially the farmers'). Also, the Euro is not flawless: Germany and France are the ones to contribute the most in Europe, and it costs them a lot, while other countries barely contribute because they need help. For EU to be effective, we'd need harmony: it's not normal than the same object is awfully expensive in Sweden, and incredibly cheap in Greece. As long as such huge differences exist, I doubt we can have the Europe we dream about. 

 

However, I'd be almost 100% for a European army. The whole EU would be one whole block when it comes to defence or attack, just like the US army. Not only it would benefit every country on an economic level, but it would prevent stupid presidents to go and make their own war wherever they want to (of course I'm talking of François Hollande). And if one country is attacked, it would be impossible for the other ones to simply ignore it. What's more, it would give EU a real power on a world scale beside the US, China or Russia.

Of course it would mean the end of national armies in Europe.

 

I'd be in favour of a European driving license too, so that you also pay a fine if you drive too fast in another European country...

 

Honestly, when it merely comes to politics, I'm very doubtful about Europe, because I don't want France to lose its identity as a country. No matter how much I like the idea of the European Union, I'm French first and foremost. But it's also true we need the EU, good old Europe needs unity to face the other big countries. We need a balance between Europe and the different European cultures. 

 

To make things work, we probably need to start in schools, to give students a European identity. I don't really like the idea of English as some kind of official language, because I'd rather have a language different than the US… but it's not as if any other one could be used (certainly not esperanto or Latin). 

 

As for the right-wing populists, they stand no chance. They bark loudly but they don't bite. I don't think it will really be a problem… No matter how much advertisement they manage to get, they still represent only a minority.

 

So, all in all, I guess we'll eventually have a real EU, but it needs some time… and much care. And probably a figure (some European president) behind which people could gather. A parliament is too abstract, and I don't even know which country has the presidency of Europe right now… 


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#17 Milareppa

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 05:56 PM

The idea of EU is getting crusehd everyday more and more. To the point where England made or was going to make a referendum about staying in the EU or nah;


Cameron isn't offering a referendum because of the issues over Europe. His party is Euro-sceptic and he doesn't have enough authority to ignore his backbenchers. He has to offer the referendum to retain nominal control over his party.

The terms of offering the referendum is this: if the Tories win the 2015 election, they'll seek to renegotiate UK membership of the EU. If the UK's membership within the EU is renegotiated, the government will conduct an in/out referendum on EU membership.
 
Note the parts in bold. Cameron has a huge 'get out' clause here. Not only does it depend on them winning the next election, it also depends on them being able to renegotiate the terms with which the UK is a member of the EU. The chance of them winning the next election is, of course, unknown. The chance of them being able to renegotiate the terms of membership is very slim, especially since he's listed the seven points he wants to renegotiate, and they're frankly daft (see behind spoiler space).
 
Spoiler

 
So, even if the Tories do win the next election, the renegotiated membership isn't going to succeed, and Cameron won't explain what he'll do if the renegotiation attempt fails since a referendum is dependent on it succeeding.
 
A lot of the EU's issues at the moment relate to the Euro, and that issue exists because attempting to impose a single currency on countries with diverse economies is a huge problem - even conceptually. Most EU legislation has effectively protected the different economic needs of various countries. Even bringing in the Euro was not done by unifying economies. As long as every country as a different economy, every country has different needs, different priorities and therefore different interests.
 
That is not, however, insurmountable, although trying to enforce a single currency without first addressing this factor does make problems worse than they need to be.
 

Which language would be selected for the EU? What kind of government?


Well, language and government are already existing issues. There are 24 official languages of the EU (note this is less than the number of member states that exist). EU governance will accept any of the 24 languages, but in reality conducts most of its affairs in two languages (English and French).

The European Commission uses three languages (English, French and German). The European Parliament conducts its business in all 24 official languages. This actually functions fairly well, although it is expensive (the linguistic needs are 1% of the budget). The EU's policy is to support members being as multilingual as possible, and to encourage countries to develop national language programmes that improve multilingualism within the countries - however, the EU law is that member states should retain control over their linguistic needs. That doesn't change the fact that, in practice, EU governance tends to boil down to two languages - English and French. (German's not far behind though.)

In terms of lingua franca, however, when the subject does crop up, the possible language discussed is usually Esperanto.

A government would probably form out of the already existing EU parliament and councils.
 

However, I'd be almost 100% for a European army. The whole EU would be one whole block when it comes to defence or attack, just like the US army. Not only it would benefit every country on an economic level, but it would prevent stupid presidents to go and make their own war wherever they want to (of course I'm talking of François Hollande). And if one country is attacked, it would be impossible for the other ones to simply ignore it. What's more, it would give EU a real power on a world scale beside the US, China or Russia.
Of course it would mean the end of national armies in Europe.


That's not the only way to create an army. The other is for existing national armies to be under the command of the EU rather than individual governments. One of the reasons for the slow pace in the development of an EU army is precisely this sticking point - no national armies, or national armies under EU command.
 

I'd be in favour of a European driving license too, so that you also pay a fine if you drive too fast in another European country...


Most of that framework is in place. A lot of legal legwork was done in the 90s, but has taken a long time to implement. Data sharing between countries to identify car owners who have committed driving offences in one country have been in force since 2011. I think the issue is different countries recognising the same driving offences.
 

So, all in all, I guess we'll eventually have a real EU, but it needs some time… and much care. And probably a figure (some European president) behind which people could gather. A parliament is too abstract, and I don't even know which country has the presidency of Europe right now…


That depends which presidency you're talking about. Currently, its:

Presidency of the European Council is held by van Rompuy (Belgian).
Presidency of the European Commission is held by Barroso (Portguese).
Presidency of the Council of European Union is held by Greece (Antonis Samaras).
Presidency of the European Parliament is held by Schulz (German).

I'm assuming you're talking about the one held by Greece, as that's the one the media likes to focus on (it rotates every six months, with Italy taking over on the 1st July).

Edited by Milareppa, 12 April 2014 - 06:00 PM.

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#18 waleuska

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 12:00 AM

It's indeed both a very good and a very bad idea. 

 

I doubt EU will get close to anything like a real federation anytime soon. Each country's history is way too old, especially for the stronger countries of EU. I doubt we'll live to see a real European government with something like a governor in each country, just like in the US. Some countries are still parliamentary monarchies… would they give up on that? (certainly not the UK) Which language would be selected for the EU? What kind of government?

You can't ignore the traditions of a country when it comes to a continent as old as ours. And traditions will always prevent things to work properly in EU. It's already hard enough to deal with traditions in one country. 

 

And that's just for politics. With economy, it's even worse. More often than not, European laws complicate people's jobs (especially the farmers'). Also, the Euro is not flawless: Germany and France are the ones to contribute the most in Europe, and it costs them a lot, while other countries barely contribute because they need help. For EU to be effective, we'd need harmony: it's not normal than the same object is awfully expensive in Sweden, and incredibly cheap in Greece. As long as such huge differences exist, I doubt we can have the Europe we dream about. 

 

However, I'd be almost 100% for a European army. The whole EU would be one whole block when it comes to defence or attack, just like the US army. Not only it would benefit every country on an economic level, but it would prevent stupid presidents to go and make their own war wherever they want to (of course I'm talking of François Hollande). And if one country is attacked, it would be impossible for the other ones to simply ignore it. What's more, it would give EU a real power on a world scale beside the US, China or Russia.

Of course it would mean the end of national armies in Europe.

 

I'd be in favour of a European driving license too, so that you also pay a fine if you drive too fast in another European country...

 

Honestly, when it merely comes to politics, I'm very doubtful about Europe, because I don't want France to lose its identity as a country. No matter how much I like the idea of the European Union, I'm French first and foremost. But it's also true we need the EU, good old Europe needs unity to face the other big countries. We need a balance between Europe and the different European cultures. 

 

To make things work, we probably need to start in schools, to give students a European identity. I don't really like the idea of English as some kind of official language, because I'd rather have a language different than the US… but it's not as if any other one could be used (certainly not esperanto or Latin). 

 

As for the right-wing populists, they stand no chance. They bark loudly but they don't bite. I don't think it will really be a problem… No matter how much advertisement they manage to get, they still represent only a minority.

 

So, all in all, I guess we'll eventually have a real EU, but it needs some time… and much care. And probably a figure (some European president) behind which people could gather. A parliament is too abstract, and I don't even know which country has the presidency of Europe right now… 

I think this way of thinking needs to go. 

 

We are humans it does not matter where we live we all are born on the planet earth. A big reason why we go to war all of the time is because we notice the difference between each other than stuff that is the same. 


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#19 azer_moli

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 04:07 AM

Well, language and government are already existing issues. There are 24 official languages of the EU (note this is less than the number of member states that exist). EU governance will accept any of the 24 languages, but in reality conducts most of its affairs in two languages (English and French).

The European Commission uses three languages (English, French and German). The European Parliament conducts its business in all 24 official languages. This actually functions fairly well, although it is expensive (the linguistic needs are 1% of the budget). The EU's policy is to support members being as multilingual as possible, and to encourage countries to develop national language programmes that improve multilingualism within the countries - however, the EU law is that member states should retain control over their linguistic needs. That doesn't change the fact that, in practice, EU governance tends to boil down to two languages - English and French. (German's not far behind though.)

In terms of lingua franca, however, when the subject does crop up, the possible language discussed is usually Esperanto.

A government would probably form out of the already existing EU parliament and councils.

 

No wonder it's expensive. I find it extremely unfair to choose two or three languages over the other ones, but it will have to be done if we want EU to function better, that's a given. 

I also understand why they think of Esperanto, but I'm completely against it. You can not simply create a language out of nowhere (though it's created with the existing languages, alright) because a language is not only about grammar, it's also about the mind. Depending on which language you use, you don't think the same way at all, the logic is not the same one, the view on things is different. It's impossible to merge 24 languages into one, 24 ways of thinking into one. 
 

That's not the only way to create an army. The other is for existing national armies to be under the command of the EU rather than individual governments. One of the reasons for the slow pace in the development of an EU army is precisely this sticking point - no national armies, or national armies under EU command.

 

One or the other is fine with me, but indeed, I understand what a problem it can be for individual countries. 
 

Most of that framework is in place. A lot of legal legwork was done in the 90s, but has taken a long time to implement. Data sharing between countries to identify car owners who have committed driving offences in one country have been in force since 2011. I think the issue is different countries recognising the same driving offences.

 

On the paper, yes, it has been done for the offences. But it doesn't prevent drivers to do as they please since it costs way too much money to find the culprit when he's from another country. 

We'd need some kind of European database for that. For many things actually, it was only an example.
 

That depends which presidency you're talking about. Currently, its:

Presidency of the European Council is held by van Rompuy (Belgian).
Presidency of the European Commission is held by Barroso (Portguese).
Presidency of the Council of European Union is held by Greece (Antonis Samaras).
Presidency of the European Parliament is held by Schulz (German).

I'm assuming you're talking about the one held by Greece, as that's the one the media likes to focus on (it rotates every six months, with Italy taking over on the 1st July).

 

Thank you :3
 

I think this way of thinking needs to go. 
 
We are humans it does not matter where we live we all are born on the planet earth. A big reason why we go to war all of the time is because we notice the difference between each other than stuff that is the same.

 

I'm always sitting between two chairs with this question. 

 

On one part, EU is wonderful, and merging all the countries into one union is something I really like. 

 

On the other part, I don't want to lose my culture. And I don't want any culture to be lost. 

 

The danger of an union is that you really merge everything: for it to be successful, we'll need common things. I think it begins in school. 

But teaching literature in Europe would be one huge thing, and people would lose much about their own country's literature. I love French literature way too much to accept that. It would be the same thing about history. Anything related to culture would get way too big to be taught correctly. And how could you even study the culture of all 28 countries or equally for all the other 27 ones? It's impossible. 

 

That's why I was saying everything will take time and will need much care. A way will have to be found to secure countries' identity and culture while also giving them an European identity and culture. Balance won't be easy to find. And some countries are probably prouder of their history and culture than others. 

 

That's why I'm totally for Europe when it comes to economy, finances, politics, defence, etc. However, I'm scared of it ("scared" really is the word) when it comes to culture, history, identity, language. 


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#20 Neder

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 03:54 PM

Like I said in the opening post - abondon the national states, and get the United States of Europe, basically.

 

The idea is certainly desirable, but imo rather idealistic. azermoli nailed one main issue with the identity. You can ask people as what they consider themselves. I would be surprised if many would answer they consider themselves as European and not French/German/Italian/whatever. It hasn't been that long that as example Czech and Slovakia rather wanted each a state for themselves and let's not even begin with former Yugoslavia. If even "recently" they didn't want to live together in one state, how should that now work in a much bigger frame?

Also as you said, many people aren't aware of the European institutions at all and still mainly only looking a the national governments. Tbh I myself also don't spend too much thought on them as I have the impression my country rather sends people to Brussels that aren't needed in the own government, the "remains", so I am not myself that convinced how my government looks at this. The only institution that actually interests me is the ECJ.

 

As azermoli pointed out there is the issue of common/different traditions, history, language etc. To be really unified a common language is imo necessary. English could take that spot, since it's certainly more and more influencing the younger generations everywhere, others like French and German are rather regional. That's however rather a long-termed development and who knows. Something like Esperanto :lolxg: can't do it, that's not how it works.

 

Personally I think the EU is a good thing, however it grew too fast. So fast that it might have missed it's original purpose. That applies especially for the Euro expansion.

 

That's not the only way to create an army. The other is for existing national armies to be under the command of the EU rather than individual governments. One of the reasons for the slow pace in the development of an EU army is precisely this sticking point - no national armies, or national armies under EU command.

 

The topic EU army is a good example how complex such a heavy project within Europe is in fact. I am not that sure how well it would work if national armies serve under EU command. Take Germany as example; the German constitution pretty much takes care that a German army is only used for German defence or case of alliance (due to WWII issues). That would need changes in law and I don't think that would work that easy in most countries.

 

A pure EU army would have the problem that one army serves many interests. To put it simply, the Baltic states would be concerned because of Russia, Poland too, Greece and Cyprus might be wary of Turkey, Germany rather relies on logistics and would give no approval for combat operations, France has some interests in North Africa, and so on. That army would be pretty incapable of action with the veto of national governments. The identity issue also comes here up again. Also the topic of nuclear weapons (France) or the national companies that earn pretty well in military business and employ many people. That's a lot.






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