» Wednesday, July 21, 2004

EU Commissioner

Asked if the appointment of Britain’s new EU Commissioner needed to be announced before Parliament rose for the summer recess, the PMOS said that a decision had to be made before the end of this month. Put to him that a by-election ‘writ’ would have to be moved before the end of the current session were a sitting MP to be appointed, the PMOS observed that there were a number of assumptions contained in the question, none of which he had any intention of responding to. He thought it would be better for journalists to exercise a little patience and wait for an announcement to be made.

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  1. What is the point of this E.U. NATIONALISM is going to kill it sooner or later and that will be VERY messy.I see that Britain and Germany will be at war AGAIN soon this time over were the Financial centre of this new Europe is going to be.What would you think if your Son or Daughter were to bring there intended home to meet you and all they said was "What`s in this marriage for ME ME ME".Every time someone say`s E.U.I think of that program that used to be on T.V.it was called MISSION IMPOSSIBLE this UNION/mission will self destruct in ! you may not have to wait that long.They should have kept the E.U. as a trading block NOTHING MORE.

    Comment by george dutton — 3 Aug 2004 on 6:03 pm | Link
  2. For once I agree with you, George. Personally I hate the idea of the EU; the Common Market as was, fine, but the EU as a political beast? No thanks! Having said that, I’ve never been particularly worried that we will sign up to an EU superstate; it’s always been obvious that there are far too many difficulties and agreements to overcome. I can’t see it ever happening. Politicians should stick to what they do best (lying and looking after themselves) and leave thinking to people capable of it.

    Comment by PapaLazzzaru — 3 Aug 2004 on 7:18 pm | Link
  3. What is the point of this U.K. NATIONALISM is going to kill it sooner or later and that will be VERY messy.I see that England and Scotland will be at war AGAIN soon this time over were the Financial centre of this new United Kingdom is going to be.

    Its only been going 200 years, I suppose there’s time yet for the pessimists to be proved right!

    Comment by Uncarved Block — 3 Aug 2004 on 9:46 pm | Link
  4. No parallel with England/Scotland as such!.The scots have alway`s had the right to withdraw from the union as have the English.They also speak the same language and share the same religion (Christians)and had and have VERY similar way`s and outlook`s and have for the most part benefited from the union as have the English not much has gone wrong for them both. We have been dealing with an infinitely easier to handle situation.It may interest you to know that there are many predicting that the union may be coming to an end as independence in Scotland rear`s it`s ugly head.I as a scot can say that.What we have in Europe is a TOTALLY different situation.Countries that have there own language,there own way`s that are alien to each other,have outlook`s that are alien to each other.No doubt we could go on and on unlike the E.U.that will end in row`s and bitterness and probably violence when thing`s start to go wrong as one nation blames another for taking advantage off something or other or ganging up on it and there will alway`s be some that will be waiting to take advantage of any situation.It will all work while times are good and as soon they are bad BYE BYE E.U.

    Comment by george dutton — 3 Aug 2004 on 10:59 pm | Link
  5. People have a very, very bizarre, and in my opinion very wrong, opinion about what the EU does and doesn’t do. I don’t know if the government can correct that viewpoint – but anyone who looks into the actual frameworks on everything from privacy to spectrum usage can’t possibly say that this kind of levelling of the playing field can be anything other than good.

    Mind you, I was an insider, once. I guess I can be expected to have that opinion.

    Comment by Gregory Block — 4 Aug 2004 on 1:04 am | Link
  6. An EVER CLOSER coming together.That`s the word`s of so many politician`s in Europe,not my word`s there`s.Why have a European parliament!.No people have not got the wrong Idea about what`s going on.

    Comment by george dutton — 4 Aug 2004 on 1:25 am | Link
  7. George, for someone who loves facts you seem quite happy to ignore them. The comment about the UK was said with an element of tongue in cheek but your response shows a remarkable level of ignorance.

    "The scots have alway`s had the right to withdraw from the union" – how would they have gone about doing this? Even now there is a scottish parliament they have not even been given the right to raise taxes, never mind cede from the union! This is also irrelavent to the argument because I don’t remember anyone ever saying that we had no right to withdraw from the EU.

    "They also speak the same language" – no they don’t. Just because English is the dominant language doesn’t mean that scottish Gael doesn’t exist. At the time of the union most people in Scotland didn’t speak English as their first language. English is also the most commonly spoken language in the EU but I don’t see the relevance of this to the EUs future anyway.

    "share the same religion (Christians" – have you never heard of protestant and catholic or any of the other varieties of christianity? You may also be surprised to find out that they don’t all get on with each other very well. This is also an irrelavent point as the EU is a political body not a religeous one. Who cares what religeon people are?

    "and have VERY similar way`s and outlook`s" – only in the same way that people in western europe have very similar ways and outlooks.

    I agree that the situation in Europe is more complex because we are dealing with more nation states but the principle is still the same. If we are better off together than we are apart then we should be together.

    Comment by Uncarved Block — 4 Aug 2004 on 1:28 pm | Link
  8. Okay, here’s the basics on day to day EU policy.

    First and foremost: EU policy is almost always, almost universally, about what you can get out of the mass of nations; i.e., it’s generally Lowest Common Denominator. Most times, when an EU framework is released, it’s supporting existing laws across 99% of all areas it’s touching. If it made huge new demands that were against the wishes of individual governments, it wouldn’t get through – not due to any veto, but because of the basic tenets of the diplomatic process that spell out, quite simply, that pushing through things against the will of powerful nations loses their backing on things you don’t want passed yourself. Rare, very rare, is the EU framework that provides for stronger protection than the nation you’re currently living in.

    At it’s simplest, lowest level, the EU is about two things: commonality of basic human rights and social policy *coordination*; note that word. That’s the first. Encode a bunch of basic human rights, and apply those rights across the whole of the EU. This ensures two things: That the other side of things doesn’t create an environment that companies can abuse on the labor force, or create an environment which provides unfair competition through, for example, slave labor. Slave labor in one country would unbalance the economic interests of the EU. It’s a stark example, but it’s an easy one.

    On the other side are EU harmonization frameworks. These frameworks unify and codify basic practice in member nations across things like the selling and bidding process for frequency spectrum (kicked off after 3G went so wild in the first couple of countries). It does two things: Provides a lowest common denominator legal framework that all countries adhere to, and ensures that individual countries’ laws can’t unfairly protect the market against other EU companies, so that, for example, other countries’ companies get an opportunity to bid for that spectrum, instead of, like in France, the process being slanted towards French companies, or like in the UK, the whole process losing transparency and reaching insane values for basic access to spectrum.

    The one hand ensures that a level playing field isn’t so low as to degrade the quality of the lives of those who live in the country; the other ensures that individual countries’ laws are similar enough that no one company gets an unfair advantage over another just because of its nationality.

    That’s fundamentally it. There’s lots of window dressing that people like to throw on it, but that’s really all it is. A cooperation/competition framework, and assurances that governments won’t tilt the balance in their favor by stepping on the rights of their citizens.

    Comment by Gregory Block — 4 Aug 2004 on 9:57 pm | Link
  9. Dear Uncarved Block,Well were do I begin.You say I show a remarkable level of ignorance we shall see.Firstly the Scot`s could have withdrawn from the union at any time WHO WAS GOING TO STOP THEM if they had wanted to.The English had proved they could not be conquered.They sold there independence because Scotland was all but bankrupted and many knew it made sense to join into a union with England.Thirdly English was the most common tongue in Scotland at the time.It was used by virtually all the Scot`s who lived in the lowland`s of Scotland the Protestant majority along with gael a dying language at the time of the union. Gael was spoken by the highland people`s the Catholics.It is to this day not knowing by that many people that the Battle of Culloden was fought by Scot against Scot.You would have been hard pressed to find an Englishman at the Battle of Culloden that battle was about who ruled Scotland the Protestants or the Catholics.THAT IS A FACT.Fourthly Protestant/Catholic comes under the term CHRISTIAN.You cherry pick what you want to believe and don`t find out your fact`s first.Why don`t you enrol in a history class at your local collage!.

    Comment by george dutton — 5 Aug 2004 on 3:26 pm | Link
  10. To add to the above post.Scotland was the only country that the Roman`s took on and they could not even conquer it.That is a fact as well.

    Comment by george dutton — 5 Aug 2004 on 4:04 pm | Link
  11. But all this distracts from the fact that at this moment in time countries across Europe are putting themselves into block`s to fight each other that`s a fact.Some in Scotland (S.N.P.) are working to get Scotland into the block of countries knowing as the small countries of the E.U.as an independent Scotland.There are a lot of block`s in this new Europe before it is even up and running in it`s finished state.In the end it will be only one block that count`s for anything in this new Europe and that will be the Britain/German block.The Frence think they will have a big say in this new Europe well thay will be in for a shock.It will end up as a Britain/German run Europe.Some will not stomach that and bit by bit they will get out if they can.I say if they can as blackmail will play a big part in keeping this new Europe together economic blackmail!.I will say this to anyone that say`s it won`t happen.TIME WILL TELL.

    Comment by george dutton — 5 Aug 2004 on 4:25 pm | Link
  12. We should have been saying Gaelic and not Gael.Small point but important that it is corrected.

    Comment by george dutton — 5 Aug 2004 on 4:48 pm | Link

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