Wednesday, July 10, 2013


The question is, who has the EU benefited so far? One student in my Summer 2013  INTL 5400 class has provided some promising statistics for the Eastern European countries, but that is not the whole story.
I was born in the UK, and go back there often. The media consensus there is the following. The EU:
1) Created a layer of EU politicians and members of the EU Parliament  who are making decisions unilaterally in Belgium, home of the EU parliament (and living high off the hog in Brussels!) Political integration has not followed economic integration.
2) The British don't want to adopt the Euro  and are confused by European measurements. Dealing with two different measurements...the lb (pound) and the kilo...has created a huge headache for retailers.
3) French cheese has flooded the British market, undercutting British cheese producers - applies to other products as well. Upset occurs when British food products are said not to achieve EU standards.
4) Floods of Romanian gypsies have arrived in Britain, begging on the streets. Britain's welfare programs have attracted many impoverished Eastern Europeans.
On the upside:
1) Cheap labor from Eastern Europe in  British restaurants, shops etc. Of course that's not great for the workers, and British workers' pay is being undercut.
2) Another human rights court (the  European Court of Human Rights) that supersedes British human rights courts (which some might think is not an advantage).
In countries like Italy and Spain, there is huge resentment against Germany, which is basically managing the Euro. If Turkey does join the Euro, ironically one would see the old WWI alliance of Turkey and Germany, BTW. Germany, being the strongest country in the EU, effectively runs it, and has imposed strict austerity measures on countries like Greece and Cyprus. This in turn triggered mass deprivations and then protests.

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