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  #21  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2006, 7:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazepa
The question is, do people of EU member countries are ready to put their Europeanunion identity over their national one?
Me never ! Flemish & Belgian thats what counts for me.

I don't care what is going on in other so called European countries
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  #22  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2006, 9:49 PM
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To inform you, Michael Bagdasaryan, a founder of a discussion group on the Armenian Genocide, died in Eastern Turkey during his vacations there.
Even if it was very hard to believe, and we're trying very hard to find out it's wrong... for now it isn't. I hope it's just a jerk making a very bad prank...

The reasons of the death aren't known either, if it is an accident or something else. I don't want to jump on conclusions.

I just hope it's a fucking prank from some child.
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  #23  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2006, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazepa
That's absolutely irrelevent here. American states are like regions within any and every country in Europe. For instance Bavaria, in Germany, would be like your Texas in U.S.
The laws in American states differ more then the laws between EU members states. In that respect your analogy is totally off.
I also would say that there is as much an European culture as there is an American culture.
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  #24  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2006, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Swede
here are many levels to identity and culture, in the end MY identity is up to ME and when two cultures are two seperate cultures or merely sub-cultures is a matter of perspective and opinion. Even the "nation" concept is a social construct.
Exactly.

I'm sure as hell that my mindset has more in common with an average urban young university student from most European countries than an average redneck from northeastern Finland.


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Me never ! Flemish & Belgian thats what counts for me.
What exactly does it mean being Flemish? Are Limburgians of Belgium the same as the Limburgians on the Netherlands? If I take a walk down the Via Regia road and cross the Albertkanaal are the people in Veldwezelt extremely different there than in Maastricht, for example?

To find out that some people in Central Europe, a place where you can drive in three different nations in less than 40 minutes, harbour extremely regionalistic attitudes - many stronger than what I've come across in Northern Europe - was a big surprise to me. You would expect it to be the complete opposite. As I see it, there aren't really any borders at all here. It's so unique compared to any other part of the world and everyone here should understand to take full advantage of this special thing.

We're all Europeans and whatever we do also affects the rest of us and people elsewhere on this continent, be it better or for worse.

Last edited by Oberleutnant; Sep 24, 2006 at 11:17 PM.
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  #25  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2006, 1:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazepa
That's absolutely irrelevent here. American states are like regions within any and every country in Europe. For instance Bavaria, in Germany, would be like your Texas in U.S.
Yes they are regions now, but before they joined some were sovereign republics, kingdoms, or states. I see Europe now as the United States was before we drafted the Constitution. Each state had a different currencies, military institutions, and laws before the constitution. Even today laws, culture, income taxes, language, and government vary greatly from state to state.

I know European countries will never be like our states but a united Europe has it advantages. Because of the EU, the Euro is stronger and used more than the Dollar. The EU has become the de facto global policeman for regulating agricultural, industrial, and financial products, and the EU is now the largest common market. Also, European anti-trust laws can make or break a merger.

Is the term Generation E used commonly in Europe today? Or was it exaggerated by the author?
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  #26  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2006, 1:56 AM
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I'm been in U.S. from northernmost point bordering Canada in New-York state, down to Florida and in every state in between. I haven't observed any significant difference, in fact, besides the weather change as you go south, there's really no difference. Which is not the case in Europe. Romania and Norway, where to begin listing the differences?

It would make more sense to then speak of United Countries of North America, which would include Mexico and Canada.

There's just too much cultural differences between every European country. It's not the same as comparing immigrant groups of various backgrounds in U.S., because in America these groups sooner or later assimilate into what is called an American. There will never be such thing as simply "European", even if EU one day will include entire Europe.

As to economical advantages, they are there and I'm all for it. But it doesn't have to include any further political and state integration.

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  #27  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2006, 7:34 AM
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The EU is more than an economic union already. And it is, indeed, trying to achieve further integration, one day political if God is with Europe. Otherwise, why did European lawyers and politicians worked so hard all these years to craft the incredible European Constitution, that I admire so much and that would have changed Europe significantly and would have precipitated it to much further integration had it not been rejected.

In my opinion, the rejection of the EU Constitution was by far the worst thing to happen to the continent of Europe since World War II. Personally, I don't see a way for it to be revived at this point. Some suggest to change it and subject it to a vote again... I don't think that would work, that Constitution was rejected by people who hadn't even read it, to people who, in their attempt to send a messege of dissatisfation to their own government, took the rest of Europe down with them. The only way I see this Constitution revived is if it just got subjected to referendums again 10 years or so from now when, hopefully, attitudes across certain parts of the Union will have changed. Changing the Constitution is not an option, it is already a genious piece of legislation as it is.

As I said, that was the biggest setback the EU had ever encountered as it ultimately thwarted a fundamental step toward creating a country, be it a federation, a confederation, a union, a nation or whatever you may choose to call it - drafting and approving its own constitution. Just imagine if the 13 colonies had issues like that when they individually voted on the U.S. Constitution. It would have presented such a huge issue that we might even ponder whether or not the U.S. would have been able to win the Revolutionary War... The importance of a Constitution is tremendous.

And as far as comparing the U.S. to the EU goes... Well, I'd say if Europe had a Texas, it is France.
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  #28  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2006, 8:09 AM
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@HoustonRush- "Generation E" is something I don't think I've ever heard before.

@SHiRO - I think it's sad that so few people realize that US laws differ more from state to state than laws differ in the EU from state to state. One particular area this is true is the open borders for trade! Thanks to the EU's inception as a common market that area has been opened up to the point where it is more of a common market (regulations-wise) than the US...


@Yankee - God? Europe is the godless continent if you please
Personally I think the constitution should be broken up into a few smaller bits. That way there'd be a more focused debate for each part instead of the "OMG! they're forcing a USE on us and trying to destroy our way of life/culture/wipe out our people/nation!!!!" that some still feel it was all about (especially in the UK and the Nordic countries). In fact many of the issues critics have with the EU would have been adressed to a fair extent in the now failed constitution e.g., the democracy defecit would have been lessend by power being moved from the Council of Ministers to the European Parliament as well as more issues being done by qualified majority rather than consensus in the CoM.

@Mazepa - I never left NYC when I was in the US, but I noticed quite a lot of cultural diffrences. I lived in a cheap hotel at the edge of Chinatown, and going just 2-3 blocks ment either all the signs in English (with Italian names) to all the signs in Chinese. Even the streetlife was of a whole different character.
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Last edited by Swede; Sep 25, 2006 at 8:17 AM.
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  #29  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2006, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazepa
I'm been in U.S. from northernmost point bordering Canada in New-York state, down to Florida and in every state in between. I haven't observed any significant difference, in fact, besides the weather change as you go south, there's really no difference. Which is not the case in Europe. Romania and Norway, where to begin listing the differences?

It would make more sense to then speak of United Countries of North America, which would include Mexico and Canada.

There's just too much cultural differences between every European country. It's not the same as comparing immigrant groups of various backgrounds in U.S., because in America these groups sooner or later assimilate into what is called an American. There will never be such thing as simply "European", even if EU one day will include entire Europe.

As to economical advantages, they are there and I'm all for it. But it doesn't have to include any further political and state integration.

This is a very valid point, but also keep in mind that many Nations in Europe have great cultural differences within the single country.

Belgium is split between the Flanders and Walloons. Spain is split between the Main Spanish core and the basque region and Catalonia (with people wanting to split from the main country), Switzerland is split three ways itself. The UK has large divisions between Scotland, Wales and England etc etc.

This is not only seen in Europe. Canada is clearly split into two very different cultural regions.

Culture and language itself is not a defining point for nationhood. In fact, what really is?
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  #30  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2006, 11:19 AM
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I'm not going to say anything without first reading the book (If I manage to get my hands on it), but i would just like to remind, that the EU has already surpassed the USoA in many areas, predominantly the abundance of welfare, taxes, regulation, and so forth. So all the socialists of all shapes and forms (including individuals who claim, that paying larger (and large) taxes is in fact better for you, because you will get more out of them, than if you had the money in your pocket) needn't fear. The future is bright. For them.
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  #31  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2006, 12:01 PM
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Does anybody have a source for that laws claim?
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  #32  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2006, 12:10 PM
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Maybe I'm a communist, but the disabled homeless I gave 30€ in Budapest in 2004 (missing an arm, two legs and one eye) made a better use of them than my pocket.
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  #33  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2006, 12:53 PM
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@Yankee

The Constitution wasn't even a constitution in the way the US constitution is. Over 2/3ds was simply a redrafting of the existing treaties, to simplify and make clearer the current way of working.

Only 1/3 contained bew reforms to the existing EU structures as in more power for the European Parliament, holding Council of Minister votes in public, allowing citizen intiative bills.

If anything the constitution was a much more balanced document than any of the preceeding treaties.

@Downtown, who do you think is going to pay for the record US budget deficit? That's right you in the form of higher taxes, I bet those tax cuts don't seem so good now do they?

But anyway, tax rates vary wildly from EU member state to member state. Sweden has some of the highest taxes in the EU, but has a great economy, low unemployment, good growth, low inflation, low interest rates and some of the world's best known companies. So if I were you I wouldn't believe everything you think about European economies. Sweden shows you can combine social justice and economic growth.
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  #34  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2006, 1:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazepa
I'm been in U.S. from northernmost point bordering Canada in New-York state, down to Florida and in every state in between. I haven't observed any significant difference, in fact, besides the weather change as you go south, there's really no difference. Which is not the case in Europe. Romania and Norway, where to begin listing the differences?
I couldn't agree less.
I just got back from a 3 week roadtrip from NYC to Miami and you are trying to tell me someone from NY isn't as different from someone from rural Georgia as for example a Fin is from a Spaniard?
If you ask me someone from southern Europe has very much more in common with someone from northern Europe as a New Yorker has with a Georgian or an Alaskan with a Texan.



Quote:
There's just too much cultural differences between every European country. It's not the same as comparing immigrant groups of various backgrounds in U.S., because in America these groups sooner or later assimilate into what is called an American. There will never be such thing as simply "European", even if EU one day will include entire Europe.
What a narrow minded view. We watch the same tv, the same sports, eat the same foods, share the same politics, the same currency, lifestyles, largely share the same values and most importantly share the same history and culture. There will never be such a thing as European? Speak for yourself!
It's already a reality, perhaps one you don't recognise yet, but still very much so.
Maybe you should travel more, I never feel more European when abroad in a non European country surrounded by non Europeans and Europeans visiting there alike. It's like you somehow know what's going on with the other Europeans because you share so much with them already.
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  #35  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2006, 1:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankee
The EU is more than an economic union already. And it is, indeed, trying to achieve further integration, one day political if God is with Europe. Otherwise, why did European lawyers and politicians worked so hard all these years to craft the incredible European Constitution, that I admire so much and that would have changed Europe significantly and would have precipitated it to much further integration had it not been rejected.

In my opinion, the rejection of the EU Constitution was by far the worst thing to happen to the continent of Europe since World War II. Personally, I don't see a way for it to be revived at this point. Some suggest to change it and subject it to a vote again... I don't think that would work, that Constitution was rejected by people who hadn't even read it, to people who, in their attempt to send a messege of dissatisfation to their own government, took the rest of Europe down with them. The only way I see this Constitution revived is if it just got subjected to referendums again 10 years or so from now when, hopefully, attitudes across certain parts of the Union will have changed. Changing the Constitution is not an option, it is already a genious piece of legislation as it is.
I agree. But all is not lost, this simply means that integration is going to take a longer time then necessary. Good observation about the rejection by people who haven't even read (never mind understand) the treaty.



Quote:
As I said, that was the biggest setback the EU had ever encountered as it ultimately thwarted a fundamental step toward creating a country, be it a federation, a confederation, a union, a nation or whatever you may choose to call it - drafting and approving its own constitution. Just imagine if the 13 colonies had issues like that when they individually voted on the U.S. Constitution. It would have presented such a huge issue that we might even ponder whether or not the U.S. would have been able to win the Revolutionary War... The importance of a Constitution is tremendous.
The constitution was important, but don't forget it was just another treaty, it was not something fundamental to the existance of the EU or the further intergration of Europe. It just would have made things so much more easier and transparent, not to mention democratic. When people start to vote against more democracy, you know something isn't right...



Quote:
And as far as comparing the U.S. to the EU goes... Well, I'd say if Europe had a Texas, it is France.
Nah, it's Poland...
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  #36  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2006, 1:52 PM
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I don't know what he means by comparing France to Texas. If he talks about land he's right. But about politic Poland is indeed Texas' twin separated at birth.
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  #37  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2006, 2:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazepa
It would make more sense to then speak of United Countries of North America, which would include Mexico and Canada.


No. That would certainly not be popular in Canada. I don't think there is the
need to give a blanket name, especially one with "United" and "America" in it, which is just too similar to the "United States of America".
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  #38  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2006, 3:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exarchus
Maybe I'm a communist, but the disabled homeless I gave 30€ in Budapest in 2004 (missing an arm, two legs and one eye) made a better use of them than my pocket.
Good for you. Really. But too bad, you don't distinguish between voluntary charity, and extortion-like high taxes. Social technocrats, in general, tend to treat people like statistical phenomena. I.e.: if you give 30€ to someone disabled it is good. If you give 30 milion to a government organization helping the disabled, it is a milion times better. I, OTOH, treat people like unique individuals. Whether a 30€ will help someone, or not, is a dillema to solve by the owner of this 30€. Besides, you cannot give something, that doesn't belong to you.
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  #39  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2006, 3:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exarchus
[...] But about politic Poland is indeed Texas' twin separated at birth.
This one blew my mind. I'm really eager to hear your rationale behind it.
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  #40  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2006, 4:02 PM
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Actually Swede Canada consists of several distinct nations: Ontario (multi-cultural, liberal, progressive, urban), Quebec (French), Maritimes, Prairies, Alberta (similar culture to Texas) and BC (similiar culture to Cali and Washington State. These states are now actually moving towards a looser confederation because the federal government consistently ignores their yearnings in its quest for a powerful centralized government that gives power hungry politicians a big boner.

Bigger is not better in this case - hold on to your national identities Europe!
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