Is the European union bad or good?
I can not believe the number of Americans that have skepticism about the EU. I even had one of my friends say, who knows in the future the US could have an armed conflict with the EU. Right, I can see British troops landing in Boston. People say the EU is socialist or a dictatorship or it is not a country so who cares. There are so many fears and closed minds about the European Union. It makes me ashamed sometimes to be an American. Some Americans are so into conspiracy theories, rather than look objectively at issues. Therefore, I thought I would write a post to set the facts straight. I am an American and EU citizen. If you love America you will love the EU because the ideal are the same, democracy and freedom and promotion of the common good.
Why the EU is good
- Peaceful – When nations trade together they make peace not war. Think about European and world history. Think about the armed conflict where so many people have suffered. The history of the European Union was started out of the a cooperation of the steel and coal industries in Europe in the 1950s between France and Germany with the specific purpose of preventing war by cooperation. Is there any thing bad about this?
- The European Union donates money to charity – The EU give more money than any other organization or nation to charity. Think about Haiti, an US neighbor, the EU gave many times more.
- Free movement of labor – Imagine the USA where residents of Connecticut could not work in New York without a work visa? What a ridiculous mess and extension of bureaucracy this would be. As an EU citizen you can work anywhere and both entrepreneurs benefit as well as workers. If I am an entrepreneur, I have a greater selection of talented workers to choose from as a business owner or more companies to choose from.
- Free movement of capital – Trade barriers and tariffs and restrictions to opening businesses are not good for anyone. If you want to know what works for people to become rich and happy, reduce the restrictions of government trade. The EU is a large free and open market.
- Rich European countries help the poor – Is there anything wrong about this? Many of the Eastern European countries that had communism holding them back and did not benefit from the Marshall plan, now can have a fair chance to develop. I see new trams, educational projects, art funding many nice things coming to countries that really suffered under communism.
- EU promotes good ethical values – It promotes culture, helps the poor, protects the environment. It promotes humanistic value, while respecting religions.
- The EU is fun – With an EU citizenship you can live and travel anywhere. I could vacation in Sweden or spend the winter in Greece. I think a free exchange of culture and tourist makes people happy. Don’t you like to travel without visa restrictions and applications and fees? I do.
- EU accepts many languages – In the USA there are people that feel that English should be the official language. Why? What if someday 90% of the people are Spanish. A democracy represents the people not empowers a status quo. I like hearing different languages, it is fun, hearing just English all the time get boring.
Why the EU is bad?
- It might become too powerful – It could grow to be too big and become like the USA or Ancient Rome, a huge centralized bureaucracy. Right now it is more a confederation. However, so could any company, country or organization that does not mean people should participate in a community. It is expanding even outside of Europe, but it would not be bad to have the EU as a large government. It is a peaceful, free organization.
- The EU is socialist – I am basically a libertarian. I believe small government is the best government. But the EU is not socialist. It is a parliamentary lose government that tries to help poor regions of Europe develop just like the USA does or any nation does that cares about its citizens. Offering free education to its citizens is not exactly socialist, the USA does this to 18 so what is wrong with extending this to 21?
- The EU is anti-religion – I am religious, I live in the EU and I do see their focus on humanistic values and it does not promote the Christian religion, but the same is in the USA.
How the USA and the EU are different
- In the USA there is a greater emphasis on individual liberty, in the EU there is a greater emphasis on the common good.
- The USA has a strong president, a mini king so to speak, effective for war and fast changes. Europe is parliamentary, more power is in the hands of the elected representatives, effective for minority opinions.
- The USA is a country, the EU is not a country but an agreement between countries. Why does that matter? What matters is that a government whether a national government or a governing body ensure peace and promotes good.
You can see that from my post I am very pro EU. If you think about all the war and hurt that was in Europe in the past 100 years I think citizens of the world would be very wise to support a community that represents democracy, free trade and labor movement and gives an inordinate amount to charity and development of poor regions.
31 thoughts on “Is the EU bad?”
Unity is strength. I think it is better for countries to come closer so that they can get the mutual benefits.
I agree, and this is why the EU is good. Peaceful and unity is better than division and hard feelings.
The EU is a not right, pointless waste of time that only succeeds in stealing billions of our taxes. The sooner we destroy this ridiculous mono-state of Europe the better!
I am against a super state, but I am for free movement of labor and capital. Free markets always work best for peace and prosperity. It would be like one part of England having a restriction of work and trade against another part of the UK. It would not make sense.
I think it is very fair that Europe together tries to help each other out as European history really was largely about war and imperialism. Some nations got wealthy with Empires. Having an ideal that we are all equal and will give everyone in Europe a fair chance will make everyone better off. This is why I think the EU is not a bad idea. In fact it is a good idea.
Germany and UK having extortionate taxes forced upon the middle and upper classes to bail Greece’s irresponsible government out when we get nothing from it does not seem like a good idea. How many financial benefits for UK actually are there? (Feel free to answer.) As far as I know, UK just loses money. There are two sides of the EU. One side is the “giver” side; the other the “receiver” side. Spain and Greece (to name just a few) do absolutely nothing for Germany or UK, and here we are building their roads and paying higher tax. Of course, this seems FAIR and is a GOOD IDEA (note the hint of sarcasm!)
Sorry if I sound a bit aggressive; don’t take it personally. I kind of get into these debates quite whole-heartedly!
Yeah, I agree with all anti-EUs. About the donations. Yeah, they donate money to places, but that is the tax payers money not theirs. I believe it is called legalized mugging. Why do taxpayers have to pay for people to slouch at home, doing nothing. I know plenty of people from around the world who apply to British Taxi businesses and have jobs as receptionists at hotels. There’s no excuse. If a foreigner with no degrees in anything can get a job, why can’t a Briton? (Rhetorical question.)
I’m sorry, I love UK, but you can’t say that EU are thief while you get billions thanks to the Common Agricultural Policy. Besides, London City take a really good benefit from EU commercial exchange and thanks to Schengen. UK just want the commerical aspects of the EU, and it’s really sad because it shadows all the other goals of this wonderful organisation, the social and political ones which contribute to a better world.
And they get taxes because they need money to function, to be able to do things, and they get taxes only because the different countries agreed to, so the representatives of the nations are the ones to be blame. But you can’t since you elected them. EU is also based on democracy.
I respect your comment, but why should the taxpayer bail out an inconsiderate and irresponsible Greek government for the second, maybe even third time? When the taxpayer works hard to earb money and often 40% of that is taken from some, it hardly seems fair that our money goes to fund Greek’s government to waste it again. Please reply, because I like to hear other people’s opinions on these political matters. (Also, the country didn’t agree to EU’s terms; one prime minister did. And they deliberately changed their leaving policies so that a referendum was needed.)
Obama is a part of the Bilderberg Group like Blair, Sarkozy, Merkel etc. The Bilderberg group, if you haven’t heard of, is a secret organization like the Trilateral Commission which is shielded by the press and public. These organizations were set up by International Banking groups. These organizations are politicians, leaders and financiers, all gather in secret and supposedly run politics behind the throne with the help of financiers and corporations.
EU knows about this organization as do others. It is nothing. It is conspiracy theory, like the millions of other theories out there. The EU has free markets and democracy and there is no secret powers pulling the strings.
Its a bit more complex than that. Bilberberg is not a conspiracy theory but a real meeting of real, powerful people behind closed doors. It is not covered enough in mainstream media that’s why few people know about it. The unelected EU president Van Rompuy attended a secret unofficial meeting with top level Bilderbergers shortly before becoming president, for example. It is not conspiracy theory but simply corruption. The EU started out as a good idea but it has grown beyond its purpose. Free trade is great but it really is growing into a centralized, socialist, corrupt burocracy that nobody needs except the hoardes of burocrats and corrupt lobbyists. It is a huge waste of taxpayer money and beyond true democratic control.
Mark, check out the speech videos of EU MP Nigel Farage on youtube.
The Euro is different from the EU. I think you are more opposed to the Euro more than the EU. The EU with free movement of labor and capital is one thing, but a central controlled money supply is the main problem. However, the Euro and the EU does have some socialist tendencies but this is not socialism. For the most part it is capitalism with governments that have gotten too big.
I would say that many Europe countries have much less debt than the USA if you consider state and federal debt in relation to GDP. I think both the USA and the EU have the same issues.
Lets look at the EU first, I do not know how to reply to this. Because on one level I agree that the EU is a big money transfer and it leans towards socialism. However, I live in the EU and see how the market system works and the EU is not a big bad evil galactic empire. It is a nice place to live. Maybe it is more like the Old republic in Star Wars ,I the Phantom menace, that is it works mostly but subject to problems like all human systems are.
I am a free market libertarian basically and American and EU citizen. However, I see both sides, the US spend an inordinate amount of money and energy on the industrial military complex. The EU spends a fraction on this, but channels more energy into social and environmental programs. I do not think this is such a bad thing. The EU is more humanistic. The EU is positive and good.
The Bildersburgers are real and the meetings are real and closed door. But I do not think they have any real power.
How do they or can they affect me personally? I do not business and run my life. Maybe they are connected to central banks. Even if this is true, it is about the business cycle and government monetization of the government spending. But it still does not destroy the free market. I mean the US has operated under a central bank for many years now.
However, about Nigel Farage he is a Euro skeptic, the Euro is different than the EU. I think that the Euro is a good idea because it makes life simple, like the US dollars which help trade across states. But the reality is Without central bankers, the Euro and the US dollar the world would be better off.
Nigel Farage is like the Ron Paul of Europe. I like Ron Paul. I need to know more about Nigel Farage before I can say I support his ideas. I know only a little. But if he is against bailouts and for free money, than I like is monetary ideas.
A gold standard and no central bank would be good, free money would be better. That is a money supply that responds to market forces with supply and demand than an artificial construct.
The E.U can be bad, and probably will, once a country that’s apart of them, they’ll abandon them, specifically Eastern Europe because the large countries that are the founding members did so in both World Wars and numerous other wars. They also abandoned them during the Cold War, and as a matter of fact, they sold some countries in Eastern Europe ( Poland ) to the U.S.S.R, which is wrong because they already had their own government after World War II.
The European Union will just dump Eastern Europe again.
Eastern Europe is where the growth and new ideas is coming from. Did you know Poland had no crisis. When the rest of Europe is crying and protesting and in panic, Poland has been growing steady.
You are right that after WWII the Western Allies traded Poland, the first ally to the Soviets, but that was 70 years ago, soon it will be 100 years ago. Europe needs to look to the future and it is moving in the right direction with free movement of labor and capital.
Recently, Eastern Europe was dumped on again twice by the U.S.
First, the U.S plans on putting a Missile Defense Facility in Poland, then Russia complains, and then Obama gets elected and dumps Eastern Europe. Then, Obama sends a letter to Dimitry Alexander saying the U.S will give up their protection of Poland and the Czech. Republic if Russia helps with the problem in Iran. Russia refuses, and publicizes the letter. Then, the President is conveniently killed over Russia, and the bodies were looted by O.M.O.N ( Russian Secret Service ), they took N.A.T.O codes off the body of the President, and spent over 15,000 Euros on the credit card of a historian that died in the crash. Then, when the plane crashes, the Russian O.M.O.N destroys the black box, and destroys all evidence that it was them. The U.S dumped Eastern Europe, and now the Polish President is dead from the hands of Russia.
Video supporting theory of Russian Assassination:
From all my studies that I have done on Europe i would draw the conclusion that the EU is a bad thing. It looks like it is trying to get rid of the unique cultures of each counrty by untiing all of Europe into one state. It also is bad economically for the seperate countries beacuse if a country gets into financial trouble like Ireland and Greece did the EU just bails them out and if it does that what is to stop those countries and many others in Europe from getting in to trouble financially when they know the EU will just bail them out again. The EU should be done away with because it takes away freedom, individuality, and responsibilty.
The European Union is just bad. It just serves the really big companies. The Pharma industry is one of the biggest profiteurs. If you are not somebody will millions in your bank account you will belong to the loosers, sooner or later.
They tell you, oh, the Euro let you realise prices of hardware in other countries, no need anymore to re-calculate in your home currency. Wow… Great. Really?
And you can live and work in the EU wherever you want. Wow.. Great??
Those countries who once entered the EU lost their souveranity. They goverments are not the bosses anymore as this are now commissars in Brussel. This people can’t be occupied or released by an election. The EU-Parliament is not more than debate club. But they let you think, they are the one who create the laws? Ha, ha, ha.. What a lovely joke, the next one pls…
There ais a little number of European countries who are still non-EU members. Like Croatia…
If anybody from Croatia reads this:
Pls!!! Keep your country out of this monster EU, if you want to remain your own boss in your country. If you want to be the one who decide any financial matter for Croatia. Don’t become member of the EU. Don’t give this away to the ECB!!
If you decide to be member of the EU all your soldiers who fight for independency during the 1990s, they died for nothing!! Because then the new Yugoslawia will be the EU and you are just a region somewhere ein Europe once again.
Also, if you have a weak economy, the stronger countries drive you into the ground. More poverty will that cause and the wiser people have to move to the richer countries. Again! Unfortunately German or even French people are not really happy about all the east european immegrants. So you won’t recieve a very warm welcome there as well. Many of the East-Europeans work for a lower salary than we do or used to do. So it causes also a higher unemploymency also in these countries. This is again the caution for harrasment against foreigners…
And anything for you to research:
The European Union is the second try of a first one, who just went wrong in 1945! The idea of 1 commen law and 1 commen currency is much older.
Here I give you a link to study:
Most of the advantages mentioned above are not directly related to the EU itself. For instance, free travelling is guaranteed by the Schengen Agreement. The fact that you can work and settle down in any of the EU countries is due to the EFTA (European Free Trade Association).
I’m afraid the EU brings much more harm than good. Here are the reasons:
-The number of idiotic, totally unnecessary laws that are introduced every year (i.e. the polish highlanders for centuries could produce cheese according to their recipe; after joining the EU they can’t do that anymore without permissions, etc.)
-Outrageously high taxes imposed on citizens (for example, taxes in the price of petrol in Poland represents about 60% of its price). All this kills small enterpreneurship
-Overgrown european bureaucracy (in addition to the national bureaucracies) that cost a lot and wastes huge amounts of money transferring it from one source (tax payers) to the others (which are more difficult to identify)
-As a Pole I would prefer that my country be developing as other Western countries have done, and not with various kinds of subsidies. Subsidies have not worked anywhere (example: billions of german mark pumped to the East Germany with little results).
There are many other reasons against EU, which I will not bring up so I do not bore you.
I am free market small government myself. And I do understand your points, however, the idea of a unified economy is no different than the United States of Europe. Maybe it is a little different but I like the idea of one large open market. The regulation I could do without.
Unfortunately some humans cannot be trusted to sell safe products and not rob us blind; regulation is there to protect our citizens. Without it companies could pollute as much as they like, be fraudulent and rip off the consumer (they still do, but it’s much less nowadays)
I think the EU is much better than the Russian system, that is a country that negotiates trade and labor agreements on a case by case basis, which is usually about oligarchs not the middle class.
The EU is something like the USA of Europe. What is so wrong with this?
The EU is bad cause it steals all our taxes.
The EU also subsidises areas around the EU too. In the UK, we enjoy a rather nice rebate to make our agricultural sector more competitive with our EU partners. We put in and we get out. Just like when you pay your taxes to your government, you pay but then you enjoy things like education and healthcare – these things don’t appear from thin air.
The history of Europe is bloody and complex; as a UK citizen, I believe the EU benefits me for the following reasons:
1) A free movement of people – please do not confuse this with the Schengen Agreement, which allows Non-EU citizens to travel (essentially a visa) to 26 states of the EU (excluding UK and Ireland), the Schengen Agreement doesn’t affect the rights of EU nationals. I can work and live in any EU country and am automatically afforded the same rights as the people in the host country.
2) the EU promotes individual culture and minority groups. It’s a farce when people say that the EU destroys sovereignties and cultures. Please look at Spain during its fascist regime under Franco, now Spain is diverse and many regional languages which are now taught in schools and used freely, all banned under Franco. Another fact to note here is the UK; the UK has been in union since 1707, have the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish lost their cultural identities through this Union? I can tell you, those from England do not feel any less English than before the Union.
3) The EU promotes equality and religious freedom. There is a lot of nonsense of Eurabia and Islam invading Europe. Absolute rubbish. We, in Europe, have a complex and diverse population because we invaded the world, raped and pillaged and moved people’s across the globe without a thought. Islam isn’t taking over Europe, I won’t convert to Islam, just like many of my fellow citizens. However, they do have the right to practice their religion and shouldn’t be discriminated against for being Muslim.
4) The EU makes individual countries comply to what is fair to all Europeans. This is VERY important with regard to human rights issues and also consumer protection. As a homofriendshipual, the EU doesn’t discriminate against me and has forced change within the UK law to ensure that I am seen as equal to others – if you’re a white heterofriendshipual male then this point is less important, but not all of us are in the same boat.
5) The EU allows for free trade across the Union. It is correct that some countries have benefited more than others, but as standards across Europe rise and the wealth gap is closed, we will all have a better standard of life. The comparison to the USA is more important in this point, there are many areas in the US that suffer from poverty, unemployment, lack of infrastructure and investment (akin to some of our “poorer” nations here in Europe) however money earn in richer US states (usually Democrat) subsidize the poorer states (usually Republican) to close the gap and improve the economy as a whole.
6) together we are stronger. We negotiate as a Union, we support each other as a Union (during natural disasters), as a Union we support others in need and as a Union we promote our values of democracy and equality across the world. We work as 27 together and we are 27 more times effective as such.
I believe EU is bad because it takes away freedom. Without freedom there’s no prosperity. It’s destined for doom – the sooner, the better.
I also believe Britain was taken into the EU illegally. Last referendum in Croatia was illegal too because less than 50% of citizens voted.
A”huge centralized bureaucracy” ? Marseilles, France has more bureaucrats, and so does London. Only 150 000 people work in this huge bureaucracy. In France we have 5 millions bureaucrats.
EU is against the freedom.
“Free movement of labor” – not realeted with European Union. Free movement of labor depends on Schengen Agreement.
EU is a terrible thing, globalization and taking away sovereignty. Not to mention the internal banks in EURO all corrupted. The people will be a slave to the union. Stick with your cultures and your countries economic sovereignty!
EU is good for large corporations. If they are selling, they can easily expand anywhere in eu they like. They can replace all the smaller retailers and businesses. If they are manufacturing, they can stay where they are to tap cheap labor without having to move their plants to where cheaper labour are residing. EU is good for bureaucrats who get paid very well by creating politics. EU is good for local politicians as they can blame EU for everything bad decision they made.
EU is bad for the workers. Workers have to travel to another country to find work sometimes more than 2000km. They have to endure a lot of hardships and be far away from their families. As these workers moved elsewhere, services such as medical and education from these less rich countries are also affected as there are not enough taxpayers. Doctors, nurses and teachers from these countries also have to go somewhere. A vicious cycle. Workers in rich countries are replaced by workers from less rich countries.
In conclusion, EU is good for the rich and bad for the poor and middle class.
With regards to your advantages, I have the following remarks.
1) Peaceful – there are other treaties – NATO, UN to ensure peacekeeping. The Ukraine episode means it may not be that peaceful.
2) The European Union donates money to charity – teaching someone in need how to fish is better than just to give that person a fish.
3) Free movement of labor – labour that complements not replacing the original workforce should allow to move. nothing is free. someone paid this price.
4) Free movement of capital – certain types of capital are dangerous.
5) EU is a large free and open market – nothing is free.
6Rich European countries help the poor – Is there anything wrong about this? Many of the Eastern European countries that had communism holding them back and did not benefit from the Marshall plan, now can have a fair chance to develop. I see new trams, educational projects, art funding many nice things coming to countries that really suffered under communism.
EU promotes good ethical values – It promotes culture, helps the poor, protects the environment. It promotes humanistic value, while respecting religions.
The EU is fun – With an EU citizenship you can live and travel anywhere. I could vacation in Sweden or spend the winter in Greece. I think a free exchange of culture and tourist makes people happy. Don’t you like to travel without visa restrictions and applications and fees? I do.
EU accepts many languages – In the USA there are people that feel that English should be the official language. Why? What if someday 90% of the people are Spanish. A democracy represents the people not empowers a status quo. I like hearing different languages, it is fun, hearing just English all the time get boring.
I got as far as the bit about the EU being for democracy. Whoever penned this piece has obviously not done their research. Ask the Irish or the Dutch about referendums and EU democracy. The EU will repeat any referendum which does not go its way, until it gets the “correct” result.
The EU is not just undemocratic – it is anti democratic.