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  • Let’s rejoice in the formation of an anti-European alliance!

    3 February 2014  19:16, by Joe Arillo

    If these parties of radical-right form their “European Alliance for Freedom”, that will be great for us on the federalist side. UKIP, arguably the most irritating, obstructive anti-federalist party, loses its power in the Euro Parl and relegated to the NI back benches where they will be forced to sit alongside their so dear friends, BNP, Jobbik and Golden Dawn.

    Also, this “EAF” becomes no different to the Tea Party of America, a laughing stock of a federation-wide movement that serves to draw normal, sane, mainstream people together against it. The Tea Party is still less popular than the US President is at the moment, despite his bout of recent scandals and mistakes. We can use the EAF to deflect euro-hatred, if we make the European people hate the EAF and their EU shutdown more than their misguided hate for a free federal Europe.

  • Europe, don’t kill my vibe. The view from Romania.

    2 February 2014  14:30, by Iwantout

    The GDP ($) per capita by purchasing power parity for some EU nations. (2012 Figures) Romania $11,443, Bulgaria $12,177, Greece $20,921, France $29,819, UK $32,722, Germany $34,765, Netherlands $36,599.

    It is rational from an individual perspective for people who can, to move from a poor area to a rich one. Even if they are only able to secure a relatively poorly paid job in a rich area they will be better off than if they remained in a highly paid job in a poor area.

    E.g. the Colegiel Medicilor (professional organisation for doctors in Romania) reported that in 2012 the average salary for a doctor in that country was 300 euros per month. The UK minimum wage is £6.31 per hour (7.69 euro as of 02/02/14) or 307.60 euros per 40 hour week. So a person on the lowest wage in the UK is earning about four times that of a doctor in Romania. The cost of living is also higher but assorted tax credits, housing benefits etc. help and the minimum wage is a national figure so you do not have to live in the expensive areas to achieve it.

    The consequence is that the Colegiel Medicilor reports 1605 doctors left Romania in 2012. Most of the doctors leaving were specialists, anaesthetists, surgeons, urologists, orthopaedic specialists and paediatricians. The favoured destinations for these highly skilled people were unsurprisingly France, Germany and the UK. So by the end of 2012 there were 1.95 doctors per 1000 people in Romania against an EU average of 3.18.

    I assume that lower status jobs in Romania pay lower rates than doctors; the argument becomes even more powerful. As the higher skilled, articulate and most dynamic individuals leave, those that remain are sentenced to an increasingly bleak outlook. Undoubtedly the regions that suffer will then seek financial support from the central government or EU.

    The impact on the receiving countries has tended to centre entirely on the cost / benefit in relation to benefits claimed against taxes paid. On this level there is certainly a case to be made that migrants are beneficial to the host country, at least whilst they are young and active. This is particularly true for the employing companies. Such discussions however ignore the infrastructure and social cohesion costs which are born by the state and the local community. Once these are factored in the positive result for the host country as a whole is entirely less certain.

    Unfettered movement is indeed central to the EU, for the individuals who use make use of it, it is undoubtedly almost entirely positive. For societies as a whole the case is much more ambiguous and can result in extremely serious social issues and costs.

    As a closing fact, despite the authors report of a booming Romanian economy I would remind him that the country has shown a net emigration every single year since at least 2000 and that this has continued and increased since 2007

  • Goodbye Spain, Hello Europe?

    19 January 2014  13:39, by Klaus

    United States of Europe? Same role as Massachusetts? Is this serious?

  • Are the European Commission’s new powers legitimate?

    18 January 2014 16:00, by Artus Galiay

    Bonjour Magali, Merci pour ton commentaire. Le TSCG aura bel et bien un impact sur les pays sous EDP, principalement au niveau de la coordination des politiques économiques: “the TSCG sets stones for a reinforced surveillance and coordination of economic policies, with ex ante coordination of debt issuance plans among Contracting Parties and economic partnership programmes for Member States in EDP, which detail the structural reforms needed for an effective and durable correction of their excessive deficit.”

    Je ne nie pas la légitimité du Parlement Européen, et ne considère par que sur chaque question il faille consulter tous les Parlements Nationaux. Ce que je critique, c’est la logique profondément diplomatique et intergouvernementale de ces choix, alors que ce sont des choix politiques considérables qui doivent être débattus publiquement et faire partie d’un projet plus vaste.

    Un exemple simple illustre très bien mon propos: en Novembre 2011, le Premier Ministre grec Papandréou avait proposé de faire un référendum sur le plan d’austérité proposé par l’UE. Angela Merkel et Nicolas Sarkozy s’y étaient immédiatement opposés, en indiquant que s’il y avait un référendum à faire, ce serait sur la participation de la Grèce à l’euro, car le plan d’austérité ne représente que le coût de rester au sein de la monnaie unique, dont les grecs savent très bien que sans elle, leur économie s’effondrerait. De même, faire un référendum sur un potentiel droit de veto de la Commission Européenne sur les budgets nationaux serait profondément erroné car il ne se focaliserait que sur le coût politique d’un vaste projet, et non ses avantages. Il ne s’agit pas d’envisager uniquement les référendums que l’on pense gagner, mais de formuler la question honnêtement, pour que celle-ci soit explicite quant aux coûts et aux avantages d’un projet, qui doivent naturellement être débattus publiquement.

    Artus

  • Let’s rejoice in the formation of an anti-European alliance!

    18 January 2014 15:25, by Artus Galiay

    Dear Iwantout,

    I do apologise for the fact that we haven’t published comments in English for a while, we have had internal website issues, but do not worry, they are now solved and you can continue commenting the articles! You are right to point out that this article does not mention UKIP, but there are plenty of other TNF articles which do, and we will surely be covering the evolution of UKIP’s position towards the new anti-European alliance. All the best, Artus

  • Are the European Commission’s new powers legitimate?

    15 January 2014  13:35, by Magali Pernin

    Bonjour, Plusieurs éléments ont retenu mon attention:
    - Vous indiquez que le TSCG a défini la procédure de déficit excessif: cette procédure a été institué en 1997 avec le Pacte de stabilité et de croissance et réformée en 2011 avec le “Six-Pack”. Elle n’a pas été impactée par le TSCG.
    - Le TSCG n’institue pas le pouvoir de sanction par la CJUE en cas de non respect des critères de stabilité. Il s’agit “uniquement” de sanctionner les Etats n’ayant pas adopté la règle d’or en droit national.
    - Je suis un peu surprise par votre critique de la légitimité démocratique de la réforme de la gouvernance économique. En effet, les réformes des “Six-Pack” et “Two-Pack” ont largement intégré le Parlement européen qui a pu infléchir certaines dispositions. Pensez-vous qu’il faille intégrer les Parlements nationaux, voire les citoyens, dans ces réformes? Si oui, comment? Si je vous suis, cette question aurait du être intégrée dans une réforme des Traités ? Dommage que votre ambition démocratique trouve sa limite dans la construction d’un projet que vous pensez pouvoir être accepté par les électeurs... Vous excluez l’idée de consulter les citoyens sur le point précis du contrôle des budgets nationaux car ce serait un “suicide”. N’envisagez-vous que les référendums que vous pensez gagner ?

  • Let’s rejoice in the formation of an anti-European alliance!

    10 January 2014  20:05, by socrates

    I hope we will soon see really pan-European parties and ideas get the space they deserve, since I believe they are currently underrepresented in media, whereas dividing movements tend to get much more attention. But in the end it might be two sides of the same coin. We all need to talk much more directly to each other, instead of being limited due to a recurrent national(istic) bias.

    Thank you very much for your positive view!

    http://eurocitizens.net

  • Let’s rejoice in the formation of an anti-European alliance!

    9 January 2014  17:07, by Iwantout

    An article entitled “Let’s rejoice in the formation of an anti-European alliance!” with a photo-shopped picture of Union Flag hovering in the open hand of a person wearing a suit. Clearly we are intended to think that in some way this item will discuss the situation in the UK. The picture then appears on the German, French and Italian pages of your site, although one assume that the majority of readers there will only see the picture and are unlikely to read the full article.

    The article itself talks mainly about the FN and France but does also mention Belgium, Austria and the Netherlands. There is no mention of UKIP, nor the fact that UKIP has stated that it will decline any form of deal with FN and PVV let alone the Austrian Freedom Party or the VB in Belgium. A case I think we can all agree of precisely the sort of misleading journalism than the pro EU camp are always accusing anyone who is eurosceptic of.

    Given you have refused to publish any English responses for 78 days I will not hold my breath that this will appear any time soon, but the suppression of debate by yourselves must be of interest to your readers across the Continent.

  • Best wishes from The New Federalist!

    4 January 2014  17:13, by Iwantout

    Democracy - with an example from 1933 we are told that “it is in the European Union’s DNA to be weary of democracy”. I would contest the view that anyone in Europe is tired of democracy because of Hitler’s rise. Democracies do not as a matter of course have such things as the Enabling Act 1933, Article 48 Weimar Constitution, or storm troopers all of which were essential for his rise to power.

    Any weariness with democracy in the minds of ordinary citizens is due to the contempt shown by the federalist elite to the wishes of the electorate expressed in elections / referenda and the way individual votes in different countries for the European Parliament or QMV are so hugely unbalanced. IF there is a significant rise in eurosceptic parties in May it will in part be because the people have come to more fully understand the EU and are rejecting it.

    The economy – You are right that in some areas the last quarter shows improvement in GDP, Ireland, Spain and Greece are all finally showing some growth, France shows decline and Italy, contrary to your comment, is still in recession, -0.3% last quarter. But looking at annualised figures (basing commentary on a single quarter is notoriously speculative) Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Finland, Cyprus, Netherlands etc still have contracting economies. (The EZ as a whole is showing -0.4% growth.) This compares with 4.9% growth for Iceland, the country hit hardest by the financial crash.

    Youth unemployment continues to climb in Italy (41.2%), Portugal (36.5%) and Spain (57.4%), in the EZ the last quarter saw youth unemployment hit 24.4% another record. We can only hope your optimistic predictions are accurate. (All figures above from Eurostat or national statistical bodies.)

    As you say the position in France and Italy is bleak, remember they represent nearly 40% of the EZ population. The situation is a long way from being resolved and it is still entirely possible that the EU (particularly the EZ) will be presiding over a jobless recovery.

    1914 – Without doubt war is a catastrophe; the First World War was at least in part caused by the ruling elite deciding that they knew what was best for them and their peoples and acting accordingly. In this respect I sometimes I think little has changed. We can be grateful that up to the present the social issues arising from the ‘European Project’ have not manifested themselves in terms of wide scale extreme violence, simply riots and peaceful protests. The UN ILO ‘World of Work Report 2013’ (June 2013) makes disturbing reading in this context, as do the warnings of Bekele Geleta (Secretary-General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’s May 2013).

    World Cup – It would be churlish to harp on about the unrest in Brazil caused by the expenditure on stadia which the country cannot afford. With regards to the play itself, the less said about England’s prospects the better

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