"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Monday, 23 August 2010

What Has Europe Done For Us?

Green MEP Ulrike Lunacek wants to lower the threshold for citizens' initiatives. She is 'demanding' a review of initiatives if "at least 7 people from 3 different member states" support it. She goes on to say that the current threshold of 300,000 signatures is a "mockery" and insists the instrument should not become a tool for governments and lobbyists. Right, and pigs are flying overhead.  You can read more about the Austrian loony chick here.

Europe is missing out on a potentially large number of high-skilled workers by provisionally not allowing the spouses of migrant workers to join their partners and also seek employment in the EU according to Kathleen van der Wilk-Carlton, a board member at the Permits Foundation.  Another snappy quango name.

Standards of justice vary greatly from one EU state to another and fundamental rights don't receive the same respect in every member state. Unfortunately, this reality has largely been ignored in the push for ever greater mutual recognition and cross-border cooperation. Defence rights have been sidelined, not strengthened, in the name of greater cooperation.  However, new legislation is being brought in by the EU to give basic defence rights far more priority in the criminal justice agenda.  Whoopi-doo.

Italy has said it intends to expel citizens from other EU states if they are not able to support themselves, in a move apparently inspired by France's current crackdown on Roma.  Interior Minister Roberto Maroni told daily newspaper Corriere della Sera on Saturday (21 August) that Sarkozy - whose recent actions include closing down Roma camps and deporting around 200 Roma to date - is "right."   Somehow, I don't know why, I can't see it catching on in Britain.

The Irish government must change the way it handles the public finances and accept greater EU surveillance of its policies in order for Ireland to be a successful member of the euro zone.  A study by the Irish National Economic and Social Council warns that "Ireland's approach to fiscal policy, prices, costs and financial regulation were not sufficiently adapted to the disciplines of the single currency".

Moody's could downgrade the credit ratings of the UK, USA, France & Germany according to El Pais.  I think that's what you call a turn up for the books.

"Making sure that our flag shines when we are abroad helping people in need is something that I find incredibly important".  So speaks the EU Aid Commissioner (who-he?) on revealing that the EU has given 70m euros to alleviate the distress in Pakistan.  The Commissioner's statement tells me that he/she thinks it isn't the doing that's important but the seen to be doing.  I wonder if Pakistan will be fined for not flying the EU flag on EU aid.

Citzalia under fire.  I'll forgive them for leaving Calling England off the list of critical blogs.

De Standaard has critised EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton's statement congratulating Rwanda for its last presidential elections, noting that "the EU didn't send any observers to Rwanda, but seems in hindsight perfectly capable apparently to evaluate the election".

Open Europe
EU Observer: EAW
EU Observer: Italy
The Irish Times

I'll be back later with a 'Laughing Your Socks Off' spot.  Make sure you've locked away the whisky and the revolver.


  1. I have no idea why the U.K. is so tied to the E.U.
    I also wonder why anyone deals with the U.N.

  2. Hi Trestin, we're tied to the EU because we were lied to and misled. Since 1972 no-one has had a say on something which presented itself as a trading area but has grown into a political, self-serving machine.

    As for the UN and links with the Lucis Trust - few seem to care. People are kept busy finding work that gives a living wage for themselves and their families.

    UN/EU - it's all a bit like Topsy - it just grew!


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