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  #21  
Old 25.05.2012, 16:27
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

Switzerland joining the EU would be the end of direct democracy (or any democracy, for that matter).

One reason I became Swiss was so I would be able to do my part to keep Switzerland out of the undemocratic mess that is the EU!

Tom
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  #22  
Old 25.05.2012, 16:33
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

What happens next

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/i...t-happens-next
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  #23  
Old 25.05.2012, 17:07
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

Of course there are also practical benefits to independence from a continent-wide political monopoly. When errors in political calculation are made in that case, they are smaller in scope and easier to escape. Like the EU, the US is experiencing a coast-to-coast recession and banking crisis because the monetary system and economic policy is planned on a national basis, and the inevitable mistakes of the planners cannot be escaped without crossing the border into a system which is on a different leg of the cycle of correction.

Even leaving aside the monetary issue, if Switzerland were already a member of the EU and therefore subject to EC regulations on labor, capital, banking, business, and whatever else is to be centrally planned, the distinction in economic outcome for the Swiss people would be heavily muted compared to the present stark difference:

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/business...l?cid=32584024

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Youth unemployment is a major problem in Europe: in the European Union over 20 per cent of under-25s are affected, and in Spain and Greece it’s more than half. Yet in Switzerland it is just over three per cent.
But if the history of the other EU national accessions without referendum is any indicator, whatever the Swiss people think about joining the EU will not be a consideration for the political and business elite when it comes time for them to make their move towards Brussels. They are aware that mere thoughts and angry rhetoric of the populace can not impede the sale of a nation through a treaty agreement among the ruling classes.

As a "dumme Ausländer" Switzerland's independence from, and intolerance for, political empires is a most fundamentally important and attractive aspect from my own perspective.
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  #24  
Old 25.05.2012, 17:18
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

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I really don't understand the negativity towards the EU (the Euro yes).


people are against the EU because it is anti-democratic and has systematically taken away the political rights of people in their countries and has put in it's place a corrupt bureaucratic elite.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2...-campaign-over
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  #25  
Old 25.05.2012, 17:51
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

The EU has its problems and it has it's good things. My opinion, if it matters, is pretty simple. Coming from the US, it is amazing what a good overall life Switzerland affords most of its citizens and residents compared to where I came from. There is a reason why Switzerland is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live. Bern received the honor of being considered the safest metropolitan area in the world and is ranked in the top ten best places to live. Zurich and Geneva are in the top 5. Most people make a good wage, have time with their families and enjoy a good life. It is extraordinarily safe here and the economy and government are stable. The Swiss franc has risen because it is seen as such a safe haven for investors. The whole point I want to make is that we have it good here, so why take a chance. To me the gamble has way more potential problems than what small improvements we would make.
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  #26  
Old 26.05.2012, 00:12
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

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Switzerland joining the EU would be the end of direct democracy (or any democracy, for that matter).
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How come?


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One reason I became Swiss was so I would be able to do my part to keep Switzerland out of the undemocratic mess that is the EU!
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In the contrary to popular belief, Switzerland is no direct democracy, but a parlamentary/consensual one, with a few direct democratic elements. Not many, however, and mostly regarding insignificant and/or failed initiatives about quite trivial aspects of modern life (exception made for Schwarzenbach and a few others maybe). Apart from any discussion about how democratic a simple "YES" or "NO" for complex issues can be (remember the recent 20% second home question? I was not very convinced, voted "yes", but I knew it creates problems in small mountain villages, and now it turns out it's far more complicated than anybody - Weber included - depicted it up from the beginning. E.g., a "Partially YES with some modification" as a voting option would have been more democratic).

Member or not, Switzerland de facto is an EU subject and adapts to all its decisions, without any democratic participation however, as it is not an official full institutional part of it.

Which is quite sad as that attitude is nothing but a delegation of power towards others.


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people are against the EU because it is anti-democratic and has systematically taken away the political rights of people in their countries and has put in it's place a corrupt bureaucratic elite.
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Well, Switzerland itself lacks in transparent policies and institutions. Not to talk about corruption, "inciuci"/nepotism and horrifying conflicts of interests on all 3 levels. I wonder why so many persons from inside and outside don't see that or don't look at it neither.


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The EU has its problems and it has it's good things. My opinion, if it matters, is pretty simple. Coming from the US, it is amazing what a good overall life Switzerland affords most of its citizens and residents compared to where I came from.
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Well actually in Western Europe this is not so uncommon but quite standard.


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Bern received the honor of being considered the safest metropolitan area in the world and is ranked in the top ten best places to live.
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I don't want to be mean, but comparing a village (Bern metropolitan ) to the megacities' banlieues in terms of safety matters does not seem very fair to me.


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The Swiss franc has risen because it is seen as such a safe haven for investors.
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... what is generally considered a problem for Switzerland.


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To me the gamble has way more potential problems than what small improvements we would make.
Life is quite impossible without risks. And staying out of EU is risky, too. And, again, not everything in CH is working fine.

But even if it were, measures from yesterday may not be the right answer for today's or tomorrow's problems.

Last edited by Bucentaure; 26.05.2012 at 00:26.
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  #27  
Old 26.05.2012, 11:15
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

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I really don't understand the negativity towards the EU (the Euro yes). Most (if not every) country in the EU has benefited from it in some way or another. Now I admit that not every country would but that I guess is a reason for not joining in the first place. Have to weigh the pro's and the cons.

There is a lot of negativity towards the Eu at the moment and that is normal with the catastrophe that the Euro has become. I acknowledge that some people have reservations about how it is run but that's par for the course with any large organisation.


Would you care to expand on this and explain your reasoning. I'm honestly curious what it is about the EU that made it preferable to live elsewhere.


I don't know but who wouldn't want access to a market with 700 million people. I'm sure there are plenty of countries who would still love to join (and I guess will) once things settle down again. While I'm confident the EU (and the Euro) will survive, what shape it's in by the end I'm guessing will be different than what it is now. Just my opinion however and I have nothing to back it up with.


The thing about democracy is that people can just keep saying no and then vote in another crowd during the next elections who don't ask the question. If they no longer ask however and just go ahead and do to it as you seem to be insinuating then indeed the EU has a major problem.

What advantages are there for the Euro to fall apart for the countries who have adopted it. The Euro in principle is a great idea it's just the implementation which left a lot to be desired in my opinion.

In regards to the EU and dictating rather than negotiating I don't see the problem (well in general). The EU attempts to look after its own citizens and interests as a priority over others, what country or similar organisations don't? To me it just makes sense.


For the record (in case you haven't guessed by now ) I'm very much pro EU however I don't say that everything the EU does is good. It has its flaws but its the job of it's citizens to try to rectify that just as in any other country.
> negativity ? No, it is just that nobody would like to join the EU right NOW the question asked is not whether to join the EU is bad as such but whether people want to join right now !

> the Euro is one of the best things ever started in Europe, but was badly managed and became the VICTIM of mistakes done by the E.U., like allowing Greece to join the EU, apparently out of that pro-Hellenic sentiment still prevalent in Western Europe

> Switzerland cannot join the EU as its agricultural sector could not survive it. The agricultural sector makes up less than 10% of the economy both in regard to finance and workforce but is still relevant in quite many respects. THIS was the reason why the Federal government was in favour of the EEA (European Economic Area) which would have combined EU and EFTA in many areas, and which would have been the best solution for Switzerland, and would have kept EFTA in decent shape.

>> access to the market ? Switzerland DOES have full access to the markets of
> E.U.
> EFTA
> Mediterranean Partnership

>> AND Switzerland is full member of EU organisations like ECAC (civil aviation) and others ---- all part of the Bilaterals.







First of all, it looks as if the Leftist Party (the Greek socialists are only leftist by name) will get some 30% and become the largest party in parliament in Greece. Their leader however is strongly pro EU and pro Euro and so will look out for the quadratisation of the circle and try to combine social issues with EU things. You second can easily say that he will fail but the man starts to impress me and I hope for the best, best for him and best for everybody.

Third, his real problem will be that he as a determined leftist will have to privatise a heavily state owned national economy.

3-B) save and invest, support social programs and slim down the "state", draw investments into Greece and organise the whole thing decently...... indeed not an easy task
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  #28  
Old 26.05.2012, 12:31
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

It would be interesting to see how much this argument would be shifted if the EU was thriving and the PIIGS where not such a hot button right now. It's like a person deciding to spend a ton on money on season tickets for a sports team. When the team sucks, it's easy to say "hell no". Ask the same person after they have won a championship and their feelings may be very different.
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  #29  
Old 26.05.2012, 12:38
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

A governing body's power, be it a government or a corporation, is measured by it's inability and reluctance to deal with individuals.

This is one of the reasons why I like Switzerland. O.k I accept that the Swiss don't have complete control over all aspects of their life. But having cantons which each are given what is a pretty decent amount of freedom over how they run their show is good. Same goes for Switzerland as a whole compared to EU member states. Added to this is self governance with regular votes.

The EU, USA and other states of comparable size however IMHO do not possess governing bodies which cater for the individual. Their size has grown so large that they possess budgets which allow them to use propoganda to influence the masses so that they basicaly can do whatever pleases them to do as the number of votes they recieve from these masses gives them a majority vote. Furthermore in many states the political parties decide who they will govern with to ensure a majority come election time. The reality is the parties decide who gets in not the people.

So having Cantons which don't agree with each other is healthy. It does not always result in a productive result but it keeps each member on a leash. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. So the greater the power the greater the corruption. Human nature.

Of course the unfortunate thing is there are armies which are ruled by screwballs around the world so unfortunately there is a need for armed defence which in turn requires a decent size governing body to rule efficiently. Otherwise there is probably no need for such large govt's and corporations.

Never ending debate though.
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  #30  
Old 26.05.2012, 12:59
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

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It would be interesting to see how much this argument would be shifted if the EU was thriving and the PIIGS where not such a hot button right now. It's like a person deciding to spend a ton on money on season tickets for a sports team. When the team sucks, it's easy to say "hell no". Ask the same person after they have won a championship and their feelings may be very different.
Exactly ! Once the EU has overcome the problems about Greece (and Italy and Turkey ?) the mood may change.

Many Europeans underestimate the importance of Greece as the developments there are followed up by countries like Russia, Armania, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Once the E.U. has shown to be able to solve the Greece problem, those others may realize that also THEIR problems are solveable.
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  #31  
Old 26.05.2012, 13:33
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

Greece isn't the problem and it's neither part of the problem.

The problem is Germany and, as a consequence of its selfish nationalist financial policies, a shift from Brussel's low level of cooperation and coordination power (call it centralist power, if you want) towards Berlin.

A lack of institutionalism in general financial and economic issues of EU.

No institutions, no real guarantees for the members' economies, no trust from investors, high interest rates or no fresh capital for the "PIGS".


Regarding Greece cheating on Euro-entrance - well besides that everyone cheated, Germany included - what would have been the alternative of Greece not being a Euro or even EU member? Another member like Bulgaria, Romania, the Baltic states or a state like Macedonia or Albania? I don't know if this would really have been the easier and cheaper solution ...



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A governing body's power, be it a government or a corporation, is measured by it's inability and reluctance to deal with individuals.

This is one of the reasons why I like Switzerland. O.k I accept that the Swiss don't have complete control over all aspects of their life. But having cantons which each are given what is a pretty decent amount of freedom over how they run their show is good. Same goes for Switzerland as a whole compared to EU member states. Added to this is self governance with regular votes.
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I don't see your point. Why would Swiss institutions be more "personalized" or "individual" (or are we talking corruption?).



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The EU, USA and other states of comparable size however IMHO do not possess governing bodies which cater for the individual. Their size has grown so large that they possess budgets which allow them to use propoganda to influence the masses so that they basicaly can do whatever pleases them to do as the number of votes they recieve from these masses gives them a majority vote. Furthermore in many states the political parties decide who they will govern with to ensure a majority come election time. The reality is the parties decide who gets in not the people.
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Why would that be different in Switzerland?



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So having Cantons which don't agree with each other is healthy. It does not always result in a productive result but it keeps each member on a leash.
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It depends on the single argument. I don't think that poor mountain cantons would agree on your statement.



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Absolute power corrupts absolutely. So the greater the power the greater the corruption. Human nature.
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Acton could be right,

but the problem is that you don't really know where the real power is. And due to low levels of transparency in Switzerland it's rather uncontroled. I don't see that as an advantage.
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  #32  
Old 26.05.2012, 14:03
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

well i think this really boils down to what the EU is about. if they really want a union and fiscal integration then the rich countries will need to be happy to greatly increase the fiscal transfers, i.e. richer countries such as Germany will have to give money to poorer ones such as Greece.
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  #33  
Old 26.05.2012, 14:07
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

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people are against the EU because it is anti-democratic and has systematically taken away the political rights of people in their countries and has put in it's place a corrupt bureaucratic elite.
Well, that is a more than valid concern. But isn't that mixing up two questions:
- is the EU as a concept of a united peaceful Europe a bad thing?
- is the current implementation not exactly great?

You can very well be pro-European while not agreeing to the current EU set-up. I am one of those. I love the idea of a truly united Europe - mainly because my grandfather and pretty much every generation before him at some time in his life was forced to fight in a war... but I do not like the bureaucratic monster the politicians created. But you do not have to throw away the entire concept just because the idiots implemented it with a flawed veto right or undemocratic details - one has to fix it, that's all.

The key is IMHO a completely different problem: In Germany it is the norm to send burned or failed politicians to Brussels. That is an easy way to get rid of them as they will have some job, get good money but are far enough away to not cause any immediate harm or trouble... as long as we treat the EU like a dump for bad politicians - we cannot really complain that the result will be bad policies...

My personal pet hate proofs my point: This guy is a commisoner, one of the highest jobs in the EU.



He was voted out of his former office, head of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, after he failed on transport and energy politics. What resort did he get in the EU after the voters showed him that they did not approve his proximity to the nuclear power lobby and politics to keep outdated power plants alive? He is the commisioner for energy now...

Just one example, but there is a long list of losers working in Brussels. If you did not succed on a national level, how could you possibly get it right in Europe? If the EU was ever supposed to work, we would need the absolute best talent there, not the left-overs...

Last edited by Treverus; 26.05.2012 at 14:19.
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  #34  
Old 26.05.2012, 14:19
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

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- is the EU as a concept of a united peaceful Europe a bad thing?
i take issue with this point. the EU is not the only way to have a united peaceful Europe and I would say the EU is not the way to achieve it - if anything, the whole EU project and the Euro saga in particular is more likely to prompt a European war than had we kept to a basic customs/free trade zone and implemented europe wide law on the basis of unanimity.

so, yes, a peaceful Europe is a good thing, which is why we should dismantle the EU. the EU have put out a lot of propaganda which equates EU to peaceful europe and many have swallowed this.
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  #35  
Old 26.05.2012, 14:34
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

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But isn't that mixing up two questions:
- is the EU as a concept of a united peaceful Europe a bad thing?
- is the current implementation not exactly great?
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Might be, but the point is that nobody knows what would have happened to Europe (and Switzerland) without the EU. I think that most people at least agree on stating it would not be better.



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... but I do not like the bureaucratic monster the politicians created.
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Imo this is misleading. The Roman Empire did not perish due to its heavy bureaucracy, but rather as a result of lacking in it.

Brussels does not suffer from too many bureaucratic puppet players or too strong administration, but from a lack in power, as a result of nationalist governments of strong egoistic members like Germany.


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The key is IMHO a completely different problem: In Germany it is the norm to send burned or failed politicians to Brussels. That is an easy way to get rid of them as they will have some job, get good money but are far enough away to not cause any immediate harm or trouble... as long as we treat the EU like a dump for bad politicians - we cannot really complain that the result will be bad policies...

My personal pet hate proofs my point: This guy is a commisoner, one of the highest jobs in the EU.
...
The problem is lack in power delegation, not that his English is poor (mine is, too, but who cares?; true however that it's ridiculous that it was Oettinger himself to blame youngsters not to be fluent in English - OK a faux-pas, but without reference to any performance in Brussels at all).


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If the EU was ever supposed to work, we would need the absolute best talent there, not the left-overs...
No, you don't need Superman for it but just normal people; what however you do need are valid institutions with real power. But delegation in power matters needs willing and able members that agree on solidarity, cooperation and coordination in the first place, at least as a condition for creating those institutions. Europe unfortunately is still lacking in that.
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  #36  
Old 26.05.2012, 14:42
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

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... implemented europe wide law on the basis of unanimity.
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How you wanna do that without an org like the EU?
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  #37  
Old 27.05.2012, 12:59
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

I do like the idea with EU and the origin idea was that trading countries with good relationship don't go to war with each other (doh), so something like EFTA would have been enough...

but it is now an uncontrollable monster which has grown way too fast...these are the main reasons why it fails:

1. Criterias for joining EMU were more or less skipped
2. The control is close to zero => everybody is cheating
3. It grew too fast (too many new countries too fast)
4. Too much focus on minor things

I believe that the EMU was the biggest mistake...
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Old 27.05.2012, 13:06
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

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Well, that is a more than valid concern. But isn't that mixing up two questions:
- is the EU as a concept of a united peaceful Europe a bad thing?
- is the current implementation not exactly great?

You can very well be pro-European while not agreeing to the current EU set-up. I am one of those. I love the idea of a truly united Europe - mainly because my grandfather and pretty much every generation before him at some time in his life was forced to fight in a war... but I do not like the bureaucratic monster the politicians created. But you do not have to throw away the entire concept just because the idiots implemented it with a flawed veto right or undemocratic details - one has to fix it, that's all.

The key is IMHO a completely different problem: In Germany it is the norm to send burned or failed politicians to Brussels. That is an easy way to get rid of them as they will have some job, get good money but are far enough away to not cause any immediate harm or trouble... as long as we treat the EU like a dump for bad politicians - we cannot really complain that the result will be bad policies...

My personal pet hate proofs my point: This guy is a commisoner, one of the highest jobs in the EU.

He was voted out of his former office, head of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, after he failed on transport and energy politics. What resort did he get in the EU after the voters showed him that they did not approve his proximity to the nuclear power lobby and politics to keep outdated power plants alive? He is the commisioner for energy now...

Just one example, but there is a long list of losers working in Brussels. If you did not succed on a national level, how could you possibly get it right in Europe? If the EU was ever supposed to work, we would need the absolute best talent there, not the left-overs...
He did not lose "personal" elections but his party lost out in parliamentary elections. It does not necessarily mean that people thought he was a bad B-W prime-minister. Switzerland is not a member of the E.U. but a full member of the Council of Europe, and also has a tradition of "Sendet den Opa nach Europa"

Very often, European organisations, due to national party politics, in reality even get the better politicians than the "home countries"

A practical example ? Italy sent good folks to Brussels and RE-elected a clear crook. They should have sent the crook (also known as "Cavaliere") to Brussels and taken back the others

PS: Just deleted that piece of "Stuttgarter-English" which is comparable to what is in Switzerland the (in-) famous "Français-Fédéral"
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Old 27.05.2012, 13:12
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

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How you wanna do that without an org like the EU?
wow. it is scary that you see the EU as the only way to acheive such a thing. how about good old fashioned treaties?
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Old 27.05.2012, 13:39
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Re: 'Blessing' not to be in EU: Swiss poll

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wow. it is scary that you see the EU as the only way to acheive such a thing. how about good old fashioned treaties?
The treaties are a complicated way to achieve it. Switzerland has gone that way after the multilateral approach was drowned by the Blocherites. It costs a lot, and in case of Switzerland needed a dozen Federal votes, generally WON against the Blocherite resistance. Do not forget that each single treaty not only was done with the E.U. but with every single EU member country

This means that Switzerland now (2008 to 2015) is implementing what could have been done back in 1995. So that Switzerland lost two decades and a few billions of CHF . Imagine that Lego in 1992 planned to move its centre into Switzerland but dropped out after the 1992 vote. Hundreds of "trans-border" projects either were not pursued or dropped. Switzerland now is in the position it could have been 20 years ago, and still, the Blocherites try to torpedo the Bilaterals continuously.

Why do I nevertheless support the Bilaterals ? Not least because the EU due to the French influence is clearly too centralist. I therefore for decades supported EFTA, whose concept is far less centralist. But that organisation with only Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein as members no longer is a viable option.

Which means that the E.U. is THE option to go
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