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The European Union


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#21 diezdragon

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 04:19 PM

But it is true that geopolitics in Europe has lost some of its importance since the EU has come to be. And many sociologists predict that individual states will lose much more of their importance as we enter an era of private corporations and huge unions...

 

Still, I'd say the "United States of Europe" are at least 150 years in the future, realistically speaking.


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#22 Milareppa

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 06:05 PM

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 think it's just worked out that way over time - they're the three most widely used languages in the EU. Wherever you go, there's a good chance someone will have knowledge of at least one of them. Not that I'm supporting the loss of cultural or linguistic identity. I'm Welsh, I know all about fighting for your cultural identity.
 

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.


And elements within countries, too. In the UK, we don't just have Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland fighting for their identities, the Cornish and Kentish people have issues, too. That's excluding regional variations within those areas (for example, north versus south Walian, issues between the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, the Orkneys, the Shetlands, and so on).

I know France will have similar regional issues as well, as does Spain, and that's only the tip of the iceberg where Europe is concerned.

There's a lot at stake with regards to cultural identity.
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#23 DarkNemesis

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 07:52 AM

Is uniting under one banner (EU = The United States of Europe) really the equivalent of eradicating all cultures in Europe? Well eradicating is too strong a word.

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#24 azer_moli

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 01:21 PM

@Neder I agree the EU grew too fast. It's one huge thing no one really knows how to handle anymore. 

 

As for the armies, it would be way better once it's under Europe's control. 

Part of it would protect the European frontiers. 

Each country can be specialized in one area too, and we'd learn much from each other anyways. As long as we can really cooperate. 

It's true it can lead to some problems regarding business, but it's linked to European economy as a whole, which is a total mess anyways. And every country can be specialized in some things. It doesn't matter where one thing is thought and made, as long as the military actions are under the European flag. 

 

Honestly, no country should be able to go and make their war somewhere as they please. I'll always loathe François Hollande for that. It was not France's business to go in Mali and other parts of Africa. It was UN's business. All wars should be UN's business. Europe needs protection of course, but an European army shouldn't go and attack out of the blue. That will only end up leading to some other big wars… But that might be me being an idealist-pacifist there. 


 

I think it's just worked out that way over time - they're the three most widely used languages in the EU. Wherever you go, there's a good chance someone will have knowledge of at least one of them. Not that I'm supporting the loss of cultural or linguistic identity. I'm Welsh, I know all about fighting for your cultural identity.
 

And elements within countries, too. In the UK, we don't just have Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland fighting for their identities, the Cornish and Kentish people have issues, too. That's excluding regional variations within those areas (for example, north versus south Walian, issues between the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, the Orkneys, the Shetlands, and so on).

I know France will have similar regional issues as well, as does Spain, and that's only the tip of the iceberg where Europe is concerned.

There's a lot at stake with regards to cultural identity.

 

Well, Spanish too. But English, German and French are commonly used in business, so I guess it's legitimated. 

 

And indeed. I've spent a year in Cornwall, and I'd never have guessed before how proud they were of their region. And we indeed have the same thing in France in some places. Well, lately, almost everywhere because they want to change the region and no one really appreciate to see their region disappear… 

 

I had that in mind as well when I was talking about culture; looking at how difficult it is on a country's scale, I can't see how we can make it on the European scale. 


 

Is uniting under one banner (EU = The United States of Europe) really the equivalent of eradicating all cultures in Europe? Well eradicating is too strong a word.

 

Eradicating is too strong indeed. 

 

But to make EU work, we'll need a European culture, we'll need to stop focusing mainly on national cultures. And of course that means we'll reduce a lot everything about national culture. And some languages can disappear too. If there's a common language, we'll all need to learn it, and it would be outdated to speak the former language of the country. 

 

It was not even that easy to unite countries in a "young" continent for the United States to be born as they are, because of all the tensions there was. Imagine what it can be with a continent as old as Europe. 



#25 DarkNemesis

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 01:34 PM


Honestly, no country should be able to go and make their war somewhere as they please. I'll always loathe François Hollande for that. It was not France's business to go in Mali and other parts of Africa. It was UN's business. All wars should be UN's business.

 

IMHO, I think European countries going into Africa and intervening is part of a .... ongoing issue with the lasting results and effects of colonialism. Granted I'm not here to debate whether they should or not, but that seems to be large reason why the European countries tend to intervene.


 

 

 


Eradicating is too strong indeed.


Indeed.

But to make EU work, we'll need a European culture, we'll need to stop focusing mainly on national cultures. And of course that means we'll reduce a lot everything about national culture. And some languages can disappear too. If there's a common language, we'll all need to learn it, and it would be outdated to speak the former language of the country.


Wait now. This sounds like certain path towards eradication to me!

 

Personally, I think the "reducing" of national culture isn't really necessary. The next generation and the one after that will just create a new culture. In the same way, that many in Europe tend to be multilingual, I would expect that many will be multi-cultural as well. And as far as languages go, though you did say you were against it, I think Europe should embrace Esperanto. It's neutral, it's something that everyone on the continent can learn, and it certainly gets rid of worrying who's language will be picked to be the national European. Because the answer is "none of them". New language for a new age for a new generation of Europeans.
 

 

It was not even that easy to unite countries in a "young" continent for the United States to be born as they are, because of all the tensions there was. Imagine what it can be with a continent as old as Europe.

 

I completely agree. I feel for you all in that sense. Especially with the backlash against Africans and Middle Easterners you have going on there. And yes, I understand there are specific grievances you have with immigrants coming to Europe.


Edited by DarkNemesis, 14 April 2014 - 01:34 PM.

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#26 azer_moli

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 01:52 PM

IMHO, I think European countries going into Africa and intervening is part of a .... ongoing issue with the lasting results and effects of colonialism. Granted I'm not here to debate whether they should or not, but that seems to be large reason why the European countries tend to intervene.

 

Of course it is. But colonialism is supposed to be over. 

Therefore it shouldn't be one country's business. It should be the world's business. 

France going there is like "oh? you can't take care of yourself without us? It's alright, I'm coming to give you a hand, I'll always be there for you, I'm your big sister, you know" I find it awful. It's looking down on African countries. 

Well, that's how I see it. I didn't dare discussing it with any of my African friends who came to France to study… I don't think it would be a good idea to discuss about that xD

 

Speaking of that, I don't like how Germany and France feel like they're the kings of Europe, a foot above the other countries… They have good reasons too, but still, I don't like it. 


 

Wait now. This sounds like certain path towards eradication to me!
 
Personally, I think the "reducing" of national culture isn't really necessary. The next generation and the one after that will just create a new culture. In the same way, that many in Europe tend to be multilingual, I would expect that many will be multi-cultural as well. And as far as languages go, though you did say you were against it, I think Europe should embrace Esperanto. It's neutral, it's something that everyone on the continent can learn, and it certainly gets rid of worrying who's language will be picked to be the national European. Because the answer is "none of them". New language for a new age for a new generation of Europeans.


It's not necessary, but it will happen. That's a given. 

Let me give you an example: in France, there's one region named "Champagne-Ardenne", that's where Champagne is made btw; this region has a wonderful history in the middle ages. Hugues de Payns, the founder of the Knights Templar, was from there for example. Yet, in this region, students don't learn anything specific to the region. They learn about France in general. And almost no one ever heard the name of Hugues de Payns… 

Anyways, the same thing will happen in Europe: people will learn about Europe history. Not about one specific country. That's the only way to get a real union. 

 

It won't be an eradication, because it will be possible to study that in universities, and maybe countries will manage to talk a bit more of their own country than the others, but culture will without a doubt be reduced. 

 

I told Milareppa why I think Esperanto is a bad idea. A language has a history and gives a specific way of thinking. It's obvious when you speak several languages. A language lives, evolves, it can't be created out of nowhere. I can't see it succeeding. 
 

I completely agree. I feel for you all in that sense. Especially with the backlash against Africans and Middle Easterners you have going on there. And yes, I understand there are specific grievances you have with immigrants coming to Europe.

 

Mhm? I don't really see the link with what I said. Immigration is another problem (if I might say) altogether. In France, it's quite complicated… On one part you have the Roms who are hated because people see them begging all the time and say they are stealing; and on the other hand you have Arabs who managed, I don't know how, to scare the "pure white french people" (as if anyone was purely french…) because they appeared like "invaders" --that's one weird thing, believe me. As for black people, as far as I can see, as long as they can speak a good french, there's no trouble. Not in any of the areas I've lived in at least. 

 

The main problem with immigration in Europe is that it happens that locals think the immigrants are stealing their jobs from them (though there was no one to do the job before) or then they are living freely on state financial helps (as if the non-immigrants were not doing that).



#27 DarkNemesis

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:23 PM


I told Milareppa why I think Esperanto is a bad idea. A language has a history and gives a specific way of thinking. It's obvious when you speak several languages. A language lives, evolves, it can't be created out of nowhere. I can't see it succeeding.

 

All languages come from nowhere, at some point. They certainly aren't the results of someone building a tower too high. The point is that once a language is spoken that people will bend it, break it, reshape it, etc, as they see fit. It may seem a too young and sterile because there's really no history behind it. I believe it's only 100 - 125 years old. However, there are native speakers of Esperanto. And even as young as that language is, the people have already created dialects of Esperanto based on whatever second language they also speak. Remember, there are dialects of Japanese and Spanish as well. Those languages mold to the cultures and regions of the people speaking there. The same will happen with Esperanto as with any other language. I mean, look what we Americans did with English :lol:

 

 

EDIT: I hope no one quoted me before I made that change...

 

EDIT: Well. That hope has been dashed...


Edited by DarkNemesis, 14 April 2014 - 03:33 PM.

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#28 Clyde

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:26 PM

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).
 

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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.
 

 

 

Imposing a single currency with so many different countries having more or less economic issues and weaknesses was.. Problematic. It feels rushed just for the sake of achieving the dream of an union.

 

Bolded :  why ?

 

I kinda get the UK business thing but it doesn't change my point. The European identity amongst individuals, not only is it low, but the idea of the Union is getting rejected more and more everyday. Mainly because of people not wanting to take major measures to change the European economic, cultural and politic current extremely flawed structure. 

 

Ugh.. Seems like I'll have to save the world again.


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#29 azer_moli

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:28 PM

All languages come from nowhere, at some point. They certainly aren't the results of someone building a tower too high. The point is that once a language is spoken that people will bend it, break it, reshape it, etc, as they see fit. It may seem a too nubile and sterile because there's really no history behind it. I believe it's only 100 - 125 years old. However, there are native speakers of Esperanto. And even as young as that language is, the people have already created dialects of Esperanto based on whatever second language they also speak. Remember, there are dialects of Japanese and Spanish as well. Those languages mold to the cultures and regions of the people speaking there. The same will happen with Esperanto as with any other language. I mean, look what we Americans did with English :lol:

 

There are native speakers of Esperanto? What? Seriously? Who even speak Esperanto? 

 

Languages were only guttural sounds or something at first. But they evolved and became languages indeed. And a language is always evolving, indeed. That's what is awesome about languages. 

And that's what disturbs me with a prefabricated language. 

But sure, after a while, Esperanto can be spoken and modified… the dialect depending on people's first language probably. 



#30 Funktastic

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:32 PM

Reading through the posts there has been a lot of talk of a few of the negatives and difficulties in making a "United States of Europe". But what are the benefits of expanding the influence of the EU from where we stand today to that idealistic point engulfing all of Europe? Would one want to stop with simply a completely unified EU, or would the goal be to spread down to Africa, to then spread across Asia, to finally include the Americas? If not, what benefits exist from just stopping with the EU and not further expanding?

These are tough questions to answer, but nevertheless relevant if one advocates a unified EU country.


Edited by Funktastic, 14 April 2014 - 03:52 PM.


#31 DarkNemesis

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:36 PM

There are native speakers of Esperanto? What? Seriously? Who even speak Esperanto?

 
The magic of Wikipedia. :)

Edited by DarkNemesis, 14 April 2014 - 03:36 PM.

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#32 Oben

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:36 PM

Reading through the posts there has been a lot of talk of a few of the negatives and difficulties in making a "United States of Europe". But what are the benefits of expanding the EU from where we are today to that point? Would one want to stop with just a completely unified EU or would the goal be to spread down to Africa, to then spread across Asia to finally include the Americas? If not, what benefits exist from just stopping with the EU?

These are tough questions to answer, but nevertheless relevant if one advocates a unified EU country.


Is this a support for the EU or are you saying it will force itself upon others in an imperialist manner later on?

#33 DarkNemesis

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:37 PM

Would one want to stop with just a completely unified EU or would the goal be to spread down to Africa, to then spread across Asia to finally include the Americas? If not, what benefits exist from just stopping with the EU?


Wait. Are you saying that you want Neo-colonialism????

Edited by DarkNemesis, 14 April 2014 - 03:38 PM.

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#34 Milareppa

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:39 PM

Is uniting under one banner (EU = The United States of Europe) really the equivalent of eradicating all cultures in Europe? Well eradicating is too strong a word.


We're not really talking about that. We're talking about what would happen if a single language was enforced which is an extreme we don't think would work in Europe. However, it's hard to overestimate the connection between language and cultural identity. Learning another language doesn't simply mean learning new words but often a new way of thinking or looking at the world as well. It's not a coincidence that one of the first things conquering nations do is make it illegal for the defeated culture to speak their own language.

This is a significant issue because there are so many areas of Europe where there are living examples of cultures that have only managed to come back from the brink of extinction by virtue of stabilising and, in some cases, improving the the status of their native language after a history of repression. The areas I mentioned in my previous post (UK - Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Cornwall; France - Brittany (and I'm sure some Alsatians would weigh in on this as well); Spain - the Basque, Catalonia, Galicia) have that kind of history (and they're not the only ones).

For such distinct cultures to come under one umbrella, a decision has to made on whether it's more like a trade zone or a unified country. The latter would require much greater economic cohesion which is where the issue of cultural identity would occur. A trading federation, not so much, and probably would be built on what already currently exists.

Edited by Milareppa, 14 April 2014 - 03:40 PM.

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#35 Funktastic

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:41 PM

Is this a support for the EU or are you saying it will force itself upon others in an imperialist manner later on?

 

No, I'm asking those who support a complete expansion of the EU why, and where would they stop :)

 

Wait. Are you saying that you want Neo-colonialism????

 

I haven't stated anything. Just posing questions I'd like to hear people pro-EU answer :)

 

edit: I thought my post was pretty clear :/ . But hopefully clarified it in case of misunderstandings


Edited by Funktastic, 14 April 2014 - 03:44 PM.


#36 Oben

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:44 PM

United EU doesn‘t imply unification of language.
Switzerland is running well on four languages - sure, 24 is a bunch more, but running administration in 3-4 is no problem. English is the language of business and science already, there is no problem to use it for administration as well imo.

#37 Milareppa

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:47 PM

Speaking of that, I don't like how Germany and France feel like they're the kings of Europe, a foot above the other countries… They have good reasons too, but still, I don't like it.


Don't worry. On this side of the Channel we know you guys are just experiencing a bout of delusions of grandeur. :whistle:

 

 

:P


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#38 Oben

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:48 PM

No, I'm asking those who support a complete expansion of the EU why, and where would they stop :)


Why would it? :mellow:
It‘s foremost a geographically restricted area, and it‘s based on western democratic values. Both doesn‘t point to expansion into other regions.

#39 azer_moli

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:53 PM

No, I'm asking those who support a complete expansion of the EU why, and where would they stop :)

 

 

I haven't stated anything. Just posing questions I'd like to hear people pro-EU answer :)

 

edit: I thought my post was pretty clear :/ . But hopefully clarified it in case of misunderstandings

 

EU is European Union… As Oben said, it will remain a restricted area. 

 

As if we'd consider as Europeans people who are not Europeans.  ^^



#40 DarkNemesis

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 03:56 PM

EU is European Union… As Oben said, it will remain a restricted area. 
 
As if we'd consider as Europeans people who are not Europeans.  ^^


You accepted Turkey didn't you....

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