The EU: a threat to democracy?


In the 1980s, the prospect of EU access for Greece, Spain and Portugal helped to pave the way to democracy. Today, EU economic policies contribute to the dismantling of these democracies.

All the three countries mentioned above are experimenting a long-term recession. The future of Southern Europe looks grim with prospects of long-term instability and unrest. Popular reactions to the harsh economic policies have taken various forms:

In Spain, break-up regional forces have been reinforced. In the Basque country, moderate and extreme nationalists were the winners of the October elections while state parties (PP – Conservatives and PSOE – socialdemocrats) collapsed. The same is expected to happen in Catalonia later this year.

Deligitimazation of the regime brought a high popular vote for the extreme right in the Greek June 2012 elections (while current polls credit Golden Dawn, the main extreme right-wing force with 14 per cent of the vote).

Recently, the Portuguese government could not pass measures due to high popular resistance. In all three countries, protests, street unrest and clashes with the police have become daily events.

Every day, a political drama unfolds in the South of Europe as governments struggle to survive. Democratic regimes are under tremendous pressure.

What is more severe though is the social drama: people lose their jobs, young people migrate for a better future, an increasing amount of homeless people start to appear in the streets, patients can no longer afford to buy their medicines. Cuts in education, welfare and health have brought the populations of Southern Europe down to their knees.

No one objects to cuts in bureaucratic and unnecessary state instruments. Deficit needs to be reduced but this cannot happen overnight. The imposition of a Merkel inspired narrow-minded logic is not a viable policy.

A sincere reflection on what went wrong in the South and the periphery of Europe needs to be sought. Policy failure did not only affect Greece but also hit the EU’s best students – Spain and Ireland who have long ago adopted the EU neo-liberal acquis.

Rather than boosting the importance of neo-liberal orthodoxies, EU officials should wake up to reality. A loosening of the current harsh budget rules, an extension of debt payment for the heavily indebted EU countries and considerable EU investment in job creating sectors (e.g. green investment) should be part of a new beginning.

  1. #1 by Bastian on October 27, 2012 - 6:44 pm

    The EU as an association of independent and self-responsible states (network union, a union of fatherlands) was a good idea. Unfortunately, the biased €uro zone and other wrong policies let the EU being kidnapped by powerful players in the financial markets. Connected with this is that the EU-establishment uses every crisis (mostly self-induced) to impose more and more centralisation on its member states. All this and more damages democracy. Since the Nineties the EU is resembling more and more the former Soviet Union and particularly China. It can well be that the post Maastricht EU experiment will damage Europe more than any of its previous wars.
    In fact, several economic situations in the EU resemble to what happens only in wars. For example, like occupied France in WWII the tax payers of todays Germany are expected to pay for the exports of German companies to the countries of Southern Europe (see Target 2 balance, ESM etc.). In the short range this might be fine for the companies but immediately bad for the people as tax payers. Like in war this can only happen in an autocratic/authoritarian poltical system, not in a democracy.

  2. #2 by wieck wildeboer on October 28, 2012 - 9:32 am

    Introducing the Euro without proper instruments for a common monetairy and fiscal policy and the lack of coordinated supervision allowed the powerfull financial players to use the system to their own advantage, without any consideration for the consequences. These omissions are now being repaired. This is quite a different issue from the perceived drive for centralization by the EU establishment. Further centralization will only be possible with consent of national governments and is not in the hands of the civil servants in Brussels. Unfortunately most governments do not have a clue on where they want to move with the EU. Read my blog,
    Oslo, here we come, on http://www.droptheball.eu.

  3. #3 by Cor on October 28, 2012 - 11:09 am

    A fortune is being spent on just establishing short term financial equilibrium. Underlying problems need even more to be addressed: lack of competitiveness, structural economic inadequacies, visionless political class. Spain and Portugal are shaping up rapidly and will be out of the woods in a few years. Ten years of moderate inflation will take care of the remaining debt after that.
    Telling other Europeans they pose a threat to Greek democracy shows some Greeks at least are still in denial and lack basic understanding of the causality of things. Shape up or ship out.

  4. #4 by Victor on October 28, 2012 - 10:48 pm

    The Greeks should ask the Argentinians what happens when you are shut down of world financial markets. Of course Iceland got away with Icesave, but that issue is more complex.

    The only ones undermining democracy in these countries are their own peoples by failing to develop a new leadership that recognizes the depth of the problems and has solutions that are coherent. The Greeks are also responsible for having dragged out the swallowing of the bitter austerity pill. The most unpalatable reforms should have come first, instead some of them are still being discussed. The EU can´t give complete dispensations to the Greeks after they have made the Eastern Europeans twice thoroughly reform in less time than has gone since Greece´s return to democracy. Greece is Europe´s worst case of political economic mismanagement (Italy would probably be second). It was no news that a 100%+ debt level was a bomb waiting to explode and it didn´t develop in a decade (unlike Ireland).

    The EU has nothing to do with the boom-bust cycle that is inherent in capitalism. Sometimes the boom is big and the ensuing bust is great. Spain in particular had a big bubble that nobody cared about till it exploded.

    Europeans should be happy that the EU is trying to develop a system to lessen the boom/bust cycle by creating supervision and solidarity mechanisms.

    If you look across the Atlantic, the US is doing much better than the Eurozone, even with higher deficits, because its institutional setup spread the impact of the banking crisis across the 50 states, instead of concentrating it in the states with the biggest housing bubbles.

    Greek whining is as bad as German arrogance.

  5. #5 by Bastian on October 28, 2012 - 11:52 pm

    @Victor
    “The EU has nothing to do with the boom-bust cycle that is inherent in capitalism.”

    It is not boom and bust which makes people in Greece, Spain and elsewhere in the €urozone now suffer but the false construction of this project, for which the EU establishment is responsible.

    If this mistake is not corrected, and the current measures (ESM, ECB) go into a wrong direction, the crisis will not go away. There is even a great likelyhood that it will reach Germany and other still competitive economies of the EU – the whole EU project will be in danger.

    To rearrange the composition of the €uro zone cannot be avoided. At the end we will have to go back to square 1 (1999) and follow the strict economic rules. The €uro as a political currency has already failed.

  6. #6 by Wim Roffel on October 29, 2012 - 10:55 am

    @Wieck Wildeboer
    “Introducing the Euro without proper instruments for a common monetairy and fiscal policy and the lack of coordinated supervision”

    The EU has for every problem the same solution: more power to Brussels. Sometimes they deliberately set up things to fail in order to be able to make later yet another power grab.

    The crisis with the Icelandic banks was a first example. The EU construction that the country of origin is responsible for the control of banks that operated cross-national was doomed to end in disaster. If it hadn’t been Iceland (300,000 inhabitants) it would have been Malta or one of the Baltics.

    In the case of the euro it goes a bit different but essentially the same. To keep a currency zone together you should encourage counter-cyclical economic policies. Allowing boom and busts will cause a lot of friction. Instead the EU encouraged the boom in Spain and Ireland – and now it can’t handle the inevitable bust. Common policies have very little to do with that.

    Greece is another example. Sure, they cooked the books. But things happen and we should be able to solve them. Instead we have seen a lot of half-measures that were enough to keep the crisis from exploding, but not enough to solve them.

  7. #7 by ASF on October 30, 2012 - 11:26 am

    The EU is not a threat to democracy: the EU is formed by 27 independent nations that agreed that the EU should be built in such way, with limited powers and control over States members in matters such economic performance. Spain, from where I come from, is a good example, traditionally Spain solved it´s economic problems trough devaluation, impoverishing it´s own people though lower salaries and inflation, when we agreed join the Euro, we knew we could not use that system anymore. At the same time Euro was adopted, the Lisbon Strategy was adopted, to build the jobs of the future (the current jobs) investing in R&D and education. Spain did it? no, it chose “the brick and concrete” and speculation, and now the EU is the scape goat of professional politicians and the people of those countries that never wanted to deal with their hot potato of their own decisions. To sum up, you cannot have been 30 or 40 years limiting the powers of the EU, and then criticize it when cannot do anything to solve the problem.

    • #8 by Marc on November 9, 2012 - 1:17 am

      The EU’s goal is the destruction of national democracy and the constituting of a Eurosoviet Union where no important office is held by anyone directly answerable to any electorate.

      Of course, there is also the fact that there is no ‘European people’ and therefore by definition there is no such thing as European democracy. Period.

      Centralization of power is bad, not good. Did you learn nothing from the Soviet Union? Central planning always fails in the end.

      The only jobs the EU (Eurosoviet Union) is interested in is its own income tax exempt jobs. The EU is the problem, not the solution. To support the EU is to oppose democracy.

      • #9 by Clarissa on November 11, 2012 - 10:26 am

        To compare the E.U. to the Soviet Union doesn’t make sense at all. There is no such thing as centralization in Europe. You rather can compare the E.U. to the U.S. — and the noise you’re making to those Republicans who fiercely defend state rights against the federal authority. In America “We the People” haven’t been asked either when the Constitution was battled out by the founding fathers. As it were a bunch of independent states that came together as well. The people in those states weren’t asked.
        “The EU’s goal is the destruction of national democracy…” That flat-out is a falsehood. It sounds like you’re on some weird crusade and your propaganda paroles sound awfully put on. If we want to fight corporate greed in Europe, we all have to stand together. A threat to Democracy is disinterest and unconcern in the majority of European citizens. Corporations are taking on us on a transnational level and the progressive movements have to cooperate on a transnational level. We’re not living in the 19the century anymore, Marc. You sound like calling for going backward and that’s wrong.

  8. #10 by Roger Cole on November 1, 2012 - 10:37 am

    “the EU is formed by 27 independent nations that agreed that the EU should be built in such a way”
    Not really true. The people in the EU states had little to do with it, it was the political elite’s that agreed to it. When the Irish people voted no to the Nice and Lisbon referendums they were just forced to vote again. When they did vote in the second Lisbon referendum, the Irish political elite just shut down the Irish Forum on Europe which had facilitated a democratic debate in the first one and spend €million on the yes campaign. They want a centralised, militarised neo-liberal Superstate and the destruction of national democracy. All the EU offers is perpetual austerity at home and perpetual war abroad via their Battle Groups.

    • #11 by ASF on November 2, 2012 - 10:07 am

      Check it again, the EU was, is and will be an International Organization, and is keep in such way because is build by the different EU nations in such way, countries that fear the EU and attacks it because the “lack of democracy” would never tolerate that people could vote and elect, for example, the position of VRP or Barroso, (the visible head of the EU, split in two, again to divide power and don´t allow to have a “high profile” figure there) because then would be a great trouble give to such legitimacy to a EU representative. Irish people voted twice yes, but after France and Netherlands voted against the “European Constitution” that formally was in fact an international treaty with a fancy name, but because one cannot have a EU without treaties, and despite is an International Organization, here “one simply can not don´t endorse Kyoto but keep being member of UN” so better ask a second time, then “yes” won and by a higher margin, period. Centralized? I think coordinated is better definition of what the EU want to achieve. Militarized? really? that is why perhaps in general the EU National Govs have cut military expending across the EU? Do you seriously believe that the wet dream of Barroso is to have the “red button” of the nuclear weapons of France and UK? don´t think so. Neo-liberal? Well with a central bank that chooses the interest rates instead the free market, the EU deciding thousands of rules about commerce, consumer safety and environment protection, how that fix into the neo- liberal scheme? the EU rescued banks? no National Govs that guarantee the accounts did that, perhaps because National Govs at the end they like more the crony capitalism that the Keynesian system creates than the neo-liberalism.

      • #12 by Marc on November 9, 2012 - 1:20 am

        Do you know the difference between intergovernmental and supranational? Or the definition of ‘democracy’?

        The EU has zero democratic legitimacy.

        Central planning will fail in the Eurosoviet as it did in the old Soviet Union. And the Euro is already dead, politicians still flogging the dead horse trying to pretend all is well. Millions into poverty and unemployment and they declare it to be a success, the despicable sociopaths they are.

  9. #13 by Olav Bergo on November 8, 2012 - 11:00 am

    The spectre of the Weimar republic is haunting Europe. Greece seems to be unable to solve its own problems, even with massive assistance from IMF and EU. The ability to solve problems, discuss political options and take desicions within a democratic framework, seems to be on the verge of a breakdown. Portugal, Ireland, Spain and even France, may be next, if Greece collapses.

    The Weimar republic collapsed because the democratic basis for the regime was to weak and didn’t have a sufficient support among ordinary people. Too many were falling for the Nazi propaganda, bullied into silence, sent to KZ camps or killed.

    The history of Europe is a history of war and conflict, until the Winston Churchill, Robert Schumann and others came up with the revolutionary ideas about European cooperation, in order to prevent future wars. The visions for Europe, was followed up by the establishment of the Coal and Steel Union and the European Common Market, leading to a great number of institutions and agreements. EU and the Eurozone are the most important. But there are lots of others.

    The founding fathers of Europe (yes, only men, to my knowledge) realised that real solidarity between the peoples of Europe, had to be built little by little. I believe the solidarity between north and south, east and west is stronger today, than in 1948. But is it strong enough to carry Europe through the present challenges? Thats up to us, actually. So how do we go from here?

    • #14 by Marc on November 9, 2012 - 1:20 am

      Abolishing the Eurosoviet Union and disbanding the wealth-destroying Euro would be a good start.

  10. #15 by Andrea on November 8, 2012 - 2:10 pm

    I am not entirely sure that budget cuts are justified at all. Several economists (and definitely not the most stupid, take Krugman as an example) point to the fact that public debt in Southern Europe (with the partial exception of Greece) has not been caused by the public sector, but by the PRIVATE sector (that is, banks). Cuts in public spending thus do not remove the causes of the crisis, which goes on, as we see every day.

    • #16 by Marc on November 9, 2012 - 1:22 am

      The causes are the Eurosoviet Unions thievery, the wealth-destroying Euro and hordes of leeching bureaucrats who produce absolutely nothing.

      The Eurosoviet Union is our enemy.

      • #17 by Andrea on November 9, 2012 - 10:52 am

        I am not sure I understand what’s meant by “Eurosoviet”. And I am not actually sure I am interested in knowing. Europe definitely has a huge democracy problem, and as usual that’s the fundamental problem. Euro currency is a huge source of problems, 100% agree. Still I would not go for any such easy slogan.

      • #18 by Clarissa on November 10, 2012 - 11:06 pm

        The enemy is corporate greed, above all the ‘banksters’. They have ruined the U.S. housing market, tried to buy off the American democracy during the 2012 election (which thanks God failed!) and now I’m very much afraid, they might take on Europe even harder. The answer is NOT to go to the right! We need to gather progressive minds, to educate all the people in Europe.
        ‘Banksters’ are traitors, even ready to sell out their own country. In the U.S. one of these vultures, Mitt Romney, just failed. France also found the right answer by going the progressive way. And next year there’s gonna be the chance to rid Germany of Merkel…..
        European Democracy is here to find on this wonderful blog! The U.S. has a huge political scene of highly engaged discussion culture ongoing and sadly in Europe this is rare. But I’d call this blog a good start…..
        @Marc Your tag “Eurosoviet” in a bunch of malarkey.

  11. #19 by Frederik on November 9, 2012 - 10:58 am

    @ all the harsh critics here, even comparing the EU to the Soviet regime #wtf.. the EU is the greatest accomplishment of peaceful cohabitation between countries that used to cut each others throats not too long ago. Bashing Greek, Germans or anyone else for that matter does not do a thing, but support those who praise nationalism and propagate the ultimate step back from cultural and civil integration and liberalisation. No doubt the EU with all its institutions is facing problems in terms of democratic legitimization and does have to sort out its outdated structures. BUT the answer cannot be a step back, but must rather be a call for strengthening the EU and its institutions. Comparing the EU to any state does not add up either way, as it is unique in structure and composed of nation states. What we need is a stronger parliament, a EU government and integrated politics (economic, social, etc.). Plus solidarity for each other (no one is forced out of the EU) and a new generation that believes in the EU’s future and is willing to fight for it and against self proclaimed saviours of the nation states that will eventually only lead us to despair!!

  12. #20 by Roger Cole on November 9, 2012 - 1:48 pm

    ASF must live in a different universe than I do. The EU cannot be compared to an international organisation. In treaty after treaty more and more power has been transferred away from the democratic states of Europe to the EU and its institutions. Because Ireland was part of a Union, the British Union, and fought a national war of Independence against it, we have a Constitution which ensures that when the Irish people’s power is being transferred to the EU institutions, there has to be a referendum. Even when we vote no, we are just forced to vote again and again until we vote yes. The people in the other EU states have no such right. Even when they did get that right over the EU Constitution and voted no as they did in France & Holland, the elite just change the name to the Lisbon Treaty and pass it without a referendum. Whatever the EU is, it is not a democracy.
    Now that the neo-liberal economic policies it pursued is causing massive and growing poverty as well as its foreign policy of total support for Israel and sanctions against Iran that are denying health care to the children of Iran as it prepares for yet another war, let me assure ASF that the continued survival of the EU is not guaranteed. We need a new Europe, a partnership of independent democratic states without a military dimension.

    • #21 by ASF on November 14, 2012 - 3:53 pm

      Or perhaps in a different dimension, perhaps We are better with Ryanair doing what it wants when applies to Irish laws in the rest of Europe: In the Schengen area children just need to flight the family book, but the company says that does not apply the Schengen area rules voted by National elected Govs but Irish laws, to all citizens of all other Schengen area countries, that is neo-liberalism. Irish laws, to any other National of another country. I want EU laws and rules, voted by the EU Parliament elected by EU citizens or decide by the Council, where is my elected national PM, not by a company that can apply over me the Irish or Toga’s laws and regulations because is there because pays less taxes. BTW, Schengen treaty negotiated by nations out of the EU framework, later incorporated to the EU legislation, that shows how “no independent” are our poor national states.

  13. #22 by Kapitał on November 9, 2012 - 7:06 pm

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  14. #23 by Juan Pablo on November 10, 2012 - 2:08 pm

    I think that Dr Vasilis is missing one important fact, many EU countries have internal ‘separatist” forces, Spain has the Catalan, and Basque, the UK have a pending referendum for Scottish independence, Belgium may be living its last moments as a nation, and the list may go on with France and Corse issue..
    But in almost all case these separatist forces consider that their future is not outside of the EU.. More on the contrary, one of the first entries for the European Citizens Initiative was about defining the status of the of the new state, in the case of a secession of a member state. Unfortunately this eventuality is not foreseen on the actual treaties.
    http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/documents/599

  15. #24 by Clarissa on November 11, 2012 - 12:01 am

    The vocabulary “liberal” is problematic in Europe, because of its differing meanings. In the political scene of the U.S. I define myself as LIBERAL indeed, which over there is nothing but a lefty. I’m right back from Wikipedia, where I looked up the meaning in the U.K.: “Centre-left Liberal Democrats….. social liberalism”, this pretty much seems to sound like in America. Personally I prefer the term libertarian to characterize the extremist free market ideology.
    In order to be effective in the fight, we have to find definitions any European citizen cannot misunderstand. During the Obama campaign fight I used to call myself a “liberal progressive” (since I had met some young Ron Paul libertarians who defined themselves libertarian progressives, which is weird). Here I tend to call myself a “progressive” — in case it’ll be necessary to explain to libertarians, I might say “left-wing progressive” or “lefty”.

  16. #25 by Clarissa on November 11, 2012 - 11:05 am

    Marc :
    Do you know the difference between intergovernmental and supranational? Or the definition of ‘democracy’?
    The EU has zero democratic legitimacy.
    Central planning will fail in the Eurosoviet as it did in the old Soviet Union. And the Euro is already dead, politicians still flogging the dead horse trying to pretend all is well. Millions into poverty and unemployment and they declare it to be a success, the despicable sociopaths they are.

    Marc, if you challenge the Democratic legitimacy of single European nations, you get into deep trouble as well. In several nations Democracy was kind of prescribed like medicine against pre-existing fascism. There’re lots of critics out there, who constantly remind us European nations aren’t direct Democracies. And they aren’t. So how can a bunch of not really democratic nations create a union that is a 100% democratic? Try to be a little more just and honest, Marc.

    The reason why Democracies don’t progress to optimally direct Democracies is lack and unconcern of the majority, sadly. We have to change that on E.U. level as well. By the way, labor unions also have to work much more on supranational level, since they’re dealing with supranational corporations.

    Again : this blog here cannot be praised enough! What I’m missing in Europe are supranational radio stations that would discuss European matters in English. Where are the European Thom Hartmanns, Stephanie Millers, Ed Schultzs? On my internet radio I’ve been searching them all over, but they don’t seem to exist. I don’t want to listen to Chicago’s Progressive Talk all the time. I want at least one European Progressive station that would take on corporate greed in Europe. And in case there are some sociopathic E.U. politicians they would take on those as well…..

    The solutions is NOT to go backwards and do nothing, Marc. The solution is going forward, by strengthening the European progressive movement.

  17. #26 by Al on November 12, 2012 - 8:26 am

    Clarissa :
    To compare the E.U. to the Soviet Union doesn’t make sense at all. There is no such thing as centralization in Europe. You rather can compare the E.U. to the U.S. — and the noise you’re making to those Republicans who fiercely defend state rights against the federal authority. In America “We the People” haven’t been asked either when the Constitution was battled out by the founding fathers. As it were a bunch of independent states that came together as well. The people in those states weren’t asked.
    “The EU’s goal is the destruction of national democracy…” That flat-out is a falsehood. It sounds like you’re on some weird crusade and your propaganda paroles sound awfully put on. If we want to fight corporate greed in Europe, we all have to stand together. A threat to Democracy is disinterest and unconcern in the majority of European citizens. Corporations are taking on us on a transnational level and the progressive movements have to cooperate on a transnational level. We’re not living in the 19the century anymore, Marc. You sound like calling for going backward and that’s wrong.

    No less a luminary than Vladimir Bukovsky compared the European Union to the USSR. Specifically, he labeled the European Commission as the Politburo and the unicameral European Parliament as the Supreme Soviet.

    If you’re claiming that the EU’s goal is not centralization, then you are not paying attention. With all due respect.

  18. #27 by Clarissa on November 12, 2012 - 5:19 pm

    “Vladimir Bukovsky”

    Yeah, he’s raving against “political correctness” and that’s bunch of hooey. In the U.S. I was taught, you don’t insult your African American fellow American with the n-word. What’s wrong with that kind of political correctness?? How about living in the wild? There’s no political correctness…

    Just because Mr. Bukovsky suffered in the Soviet Union he’s a wise man now, or kinda saint, or what?
    I tell ya what, Al: Even in NYC a police officer might pull ya over just to meet the quote — in Florida it’s even worse. You have no clue how lucky you’re here in the E.U.!

    Maybe you rather wanna live in Russia, because it’s so free and Democratic…..
    Say, are you a libertarian by any chance? Is Ayn Rand your favorite author? I think I’m used to that stuff, since I’m coming out of the Obama campaign, still having those whining Republicans in my ear: “Bohoohoo, they’re taking away our free speech by disproving us!” Political correctness hurts so much, if you have no arguments against it.

    This trying to sovietunionize the E.U. is extreme and just weird.

  19. #28 by Clarissa on November 12, 2012 - 5:50 pm

    I just read more weird stuff on Mr. “Mukovsky and political correctness”.

    Well….. this guy fairly much shares those problems, Ayn Rand caused to write and utter crazy things already in the 30s. There will always be people who claim absurd things.

    The united Europe is the result of almost countless wars over many-many centuries. Europeans suffered a lot during those times and in old books and letters you can read, how much they yearned for a peaceful, united Europe. You read again and again like, “But aren’t we actually brothers and sisters?!” Today we have fixed that problem, but there will always be people who aren’t happy.

    What’s actually YOUR problem Al? Speak it right out, hear is no Tscheka police….

  20. #29 by Crystal Ball on November 12, 2012 - 8:36 pm

    I am awe struck by the naivety displayed by some of the posters here.
    @Clarissa…..Is your world coloured the same pretty pink as your bedroom?
    My God, do you really think a fluffy comfy United Europe has been achieved? Yesterday when I looked, each country was squabbling with another. Barroso’s EU was looking for over 9 billion because they had overspent and can’t pay their bills for 2012 and 8 major countries told the EU where to go with their demand for a 6.8% increase in next years budget!
    Hmmmmm……Sounds very united to me!
    As for democracy, well we all know how they hid the power grabbing details within hundreds of unreadable pages of the Lisbon Treaty. Then just to make doubly sure it remained unreadable, published hundreds more Annex pages. When the Danes requested all Treaty pages be formed into a single document, the EU Commission promptly refused and forbade anybody else to do it!……I wonder why Clarissa?.
    You have no idea about the threat the EU poses to world stability and growth. You don’t have a clue that your world changed with the signing of a Treaty that placed absolute irrevocable power into the hands of the publicly unelected EU leaders on the 13th December 2007! Within a year, the world crashed into financial meltdown! It remains in a state of dangerous uncertainty because the EU works at a snails pace. Why? Because there are 27 individual nations and all have there own individual agendas! Many of us know how hard it can be to reach agreement with our partners at home. Imagine trying it with 27! It does not and will not ever be made to work in a democracy. It will however, work under a dictatorship…..and there is the clue Clarissa!
    Barroso describes the EU as an Empire….and presumably he is the Emperor! If it is allowed to continue it will bring down the entire continent and rock the world on its axis!
    If I and other anti EU supporters are wrong, the EU will still be here in the future for you to champion.
    If you and other Europhiles are wrong, half a billion Europeans will be condemned to live as modern slaves in a vassal EU Empire……and the word sorry just won’t do!

    • #30 by Clarissa on November 12, 2012 - 10:32 pm

      Sorry, there is no European unity, Crystal. Not yet. And you actually have the ability to talk all that down what European generations have already achieved…. until nothing will be left anymore. Not only you, Crystal — if the majority of European citizens want that, it’s gonna be our future.

      Europe pretty much sounds like around that old tower of Babylon : too many languages prevent us from coming together to call out E.U. politicians and set their pants on fire. This is our job as European citizens, pal!!

      We need progressive radio, like in the U.S. — in English, PERIOD! I’m actually a European citizen, but really am used to that. Just listen to Chicago’s Progressive Talk Radio on the internet. To Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller, Bill Press ect./ect. ….. It’s a scandal we medially (in things media) are so speechless. We have no voice and should all get started. All of us. And we won’t be slaves, if really decidedly ready to go progressive. It’s all in our hands. If we won’t fight for our rights, corporate greed is already standing by to take them away. Being just part of a nation is no protection at all.

      This blog here is a wonderful start. I said it before, but you cannot over-appreciate it.

  21. #31 by Clarissa on November 13, 2012 - 9:22 am

    Crystal Ball :

    If you and other Europhiles are wrong, half a billion Europeans will be condemned to live as modern slaves in a vassal EU Empire……and the word sorry just won’t do!

    National governments are a threat to our freedom as well. The so-called ‘neo-liberalism’ (should correctly be called “libertarianism”) is a threat on all single national levels as well. Vote in lefties on all levels people! We already have entirely too many slaves, working for peanuts and not just because of the E.U.

  22. #32 by Crystal Ball on November 13, 2012 - 5:57 pm

    #30 by Clarissa
    National governments are a threat to our freedom as well.
    ———————————————–
    Yes Clarissa, but with one enormous difference!
    If we are dissatisfied with them we can vote them out!

    It’s called Democracy.

  23. #33 by Clarissa on November 13, 2012 - 11:35 pm

    The voter has only INDIRECT influence on national governments. Isn’t that the case on E.U. level as well? A progressive majority in the European Parliament could send Barroso home….

    Furthermore I have some hope, after the French conservative bastion fell, the Germans might kick frau Merkel out next year. And THIS would be verrrrry interesting. Oh yeah, I’d find it fairly exciting to see Barroso a little more challenged……
    No-no, the majority of the voters are able to coin their nations, and they can do the same on E.U. level.

    Well, actually you hear your kind of complaints within national systems too: People complaining about not being able to really change something in politics — calling for a more direct Democracy (which won’t work as long as the indifferent majority doesn’t change to political junkies).

    By the way, to put another level (E.U. level) on top of national Democracies actually created MORE checks & balances — it’s downright more plurality. ;)

  24. #34 by Clarissa on November 14, 2012 - 10:41 am

    Okay, let’s be specific in things threatening national governments:

    Germany and Austria are corrupting the right of free speech of all their citizens. Whoever exercises their right of free speech on private blogs, by expressing whatever opinion, is required to even publish their private addresses of their private apartments.

    Now, sometimes it can be dangerous to express your opinion in public — for example if you take on problems with neo-nazis within your community. This is hardly an issue for businesses, but it can be a horrible issue for private people who after all might end up being threatened. It must be possible for private persons, to express themselves, without totally exposing and endangering themselves! To me it looks like, Germany and Austria are suppressing their citizens, by silencing them online, like China does too.

    Above all this is a huge threat for all minorities who need to address their grievances. In American politics I very much advocated the rights of racial and LGBT minorities. Especially these people have to be protected, if they need to address their grievances, which usually are about discrimination anyway. As these minorities now have to expose their private addresses, they even have to put themselves at extremely high risks : harassment, stalking, violence ect./ect. ….

    If find all this shocking and outrageous. National governments threatening freedom in Europe! This should be a reason to expose and criticize them within the European Parliament. And this COULD be a field for European progressive talk radio, as I know it in the U.S.
    Or why not convince American radio hosts to take on that…..

    To come back to “Vladimir Bukovsky”: The points I make here are about “political correctness”. If you don’t like “political correctness, you’re not my political friend, Mr. Bukovsky. Considering minorities, your country is way worse than Germany and Austria. Your job should be to address THAT and keep out of our businesses.

    European progressive talkradio: I would go on air for a few hours per week unpaid. Who else would like to do that? We need to start — fair but not balanced — progressives/lefties taking grievances and violation of human rights, and by the way, also on austerity. I know studios in my area, you can switch and connect those, the only question is: Does Europe rather wanna sleep on? Which would be a bad-bad prognosis in things Democracy…..

  25. #35 by Clarissa on November 14, 2012 - 10:58 am

    Clarissa :
    …. We need to start — fair but not balanced — progressives/lefties taking grievances and violation of human rights, and by the way, also on austerity. ….

    Yikes! It should be: “…. progressives/lefties taking ON grievances and….”

  26. #36 by Clarissa on November 14, 2012 - 11:36 am

    Furthermore, I start teaching English for free — and I start that right today. It’s nice, everybody has a right to use their native languages within the E.U. system. But it’s not enough. We need one language the European majority can optimally cooperate in, and that’s English.

    Now, there are lots of English courses. I just wanna create a political one and I want to add a lot of fun. From Stephanie Miller and Her Sexy Liberals I learned politics can downright make people almost laugh themselves to death. We have very funny things/people in European politics as well. I am going to add this typical Steph fun-take to my political English book — mainly containing entertaining debate speaking roles for two and more people….

    English For European Sexy Progressives, plus CD to train correct pronunciation. I do that now and it won’t cost anybody anything. I do that for Europe and out of the pure progressive love out of my heart.

  27. #37 by wg on November 16, 2012 - 8:05 am

    And there Clarissa you have the problem.

    I would hate to see your idea in #36 – I love the other countries of Europe for their different languages and cultures.

    You, like the EU, seem to want an homogenised mess.

    • #38 by Clarissa on November 17, 2012 - 3:31 pm

      The term “Eurosoviet Union” is idiotic. But maybe I’m going to abuse it a little to warn my European fellow citizens…. Since I see a threat indeed, as long as the E.U. is like Babylon, in case the motto should be “keep divided and rule”.

      I am not a native English speaker, but today consider English my first language. I find the national view rather dull, to me this is history. I more and more see the narrow-mindedness of my country. And I’m going to teach English in my city for free (and then maybe go on in other regions…).

      I’m NOT dreaming about just English as the only language all over Europe. But I want English to be second official language in all E.U. states. Like for instance Latin had been in our history. There got to be one language that is official all over Europe.

      And I wanna discuss, right now especially with my Greek and Spanish fellow citizens, austerity. As we have the E.U. (and I don’t think it will go away) we the people have to get involved. We have to fight corporate greed on transnational level anyhow, because it’s attacking us from there. And we got to address our grievances as Europeans as well. Europe is NOT supposed to be Barroso’s property, dear fellow Europeans!