Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Boring Miracle of the EU

That is how Der Spiegel characterized the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome that would ultimately lead to the current European Union. Der Spiegel writes,

[The EU] is a huge, not-always-transparent, somewhat humdrum bureaucracy. Difficult to love. Hard to celebrate. But it's blandness is exactly what makes it the most shockingly successful alliance in Europe's history.
Looking to the future, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for the EU to move toward what she called a, "common European army," and the European Rapid Reaction Force (or whatever it is now--maybe EU Battlegroups?) is supposed to be battle-ready this year. The EU sent its first combined force to Congo in 2006 to help guarante security for the elections there.

But EU still lacks a clear vision, and suffers from fatigue and complexity. The messy proposed EU constitution was torpedoed in 2005 by France (and others), so Merkel and Prodi are pressing for a revised document to be submitted for ratification in 2009. But as Merkel noted this week,
Even in another 50 years there won't be a federal Europe. We will maintain the current diversity of nation states.
A few of The Citizens have expertise in the area of EU politics. How is the state of the EU these days? What will be the future of the EU? And how will that affect the US in years to come?


Anonymous said...

It amazes me sometimes how wrong Europeans can be about the EU. The conventional wisdom is that the EU is some enormous and bloated bureaucracy. The reality is that it has almost no adminsitrative capacity at all. Although it can pass regulations (and over half the laws in Europe are passed at the behest of the EU rather than national authorities), it is almost completely dependent upon the member states to implement those laws.

The Commission (the symbol of the EU for it's critics) has fewer civil servants than even one of the smallest EU member states and yet is responsible (theoretically) for the administration of population of around 400 million.

How is the EU doing? Marvelously. It has accomplished it's most important and minimal goals - the increase of trade and elimination of military tensions in most of Europe.

Will it become a state? In many respects it already is (legislative for exampmle). Does it have an army? No but then neither does Costa Rica. Think of the EU as the ultimate political entity for the Globalized world.


Anonymous said...

How will the EU affect the US? Hard to say. The way the EU makes decisions is based on unanimous agreement (or nearly unanimous). So long as what the US government wants is within the range of what the various EU governments want, it will be impossible for the EU to agree that they should oppose us.

Indeed, the EU benefits greatly from most US policies around the world. They will probably continue to free ride on the tradition power issues like military stuff.

As for the global economy, the EU is a major trading partner and EU companies compete with US companies around the world. Increasingly, US companies are buying up EU subsidiaries (Ford owns several European auto companies) and EU companies are doing the same in the US (Daimler-Chrysler ring any bells?). In a globalized economy such national distinctions are increasingly meaningless.

The US and EU will probably continue to have more in common with each other than with anyone else for generations to come.