Monday, 10 February 2014

EU: To be or not to be ...

I have long bounced between sitting outside the EU like Norway or inside like Denmark. If you stack up the positive and negatives:
  • Input to EU policy development / fiscal policy vs still paying a large chunk to Brussels to be part of EFTA.
  • The potential of a strong 'Merk' vs the Euro or pound Sterling (reduced competiveness in our main English / EU markets).
  • The reality of being in the EFTA - you still have to meet and conform to all the EU's directives
  • The Euro is all but the Old German Mark now (except in name) vs the EU's rabbit in the head lights stance over the failure of neo-liberalism
  • Within the EU we will be a member of a Northern European block of nations who seek to balance wealth creation and stability with decent, fundamental human rights vs Scotland on our ownsome ...
  • A future EU European Defence force vs a nuclear NATO dominated by the US
The EU just has it for me: 
  • Yes, it is over bureaucratic and less than accountable to our eyes.
  • Yes, some member Government's have not been exactly straight over drawing down EU funding and suffer from having sticky fingers or buying off the Mafia.
  • Yes, there are member states who make David Cameron look completely sane and almost a socialist
But .... and it is an important but.

The EU has been largely successful in its main aim and purpose - to ensure the wars that had blighted Europe since the mid 1700's, killed millions of Europeans, destroyed countries, cities and infrastructure came to a halt by creating agreement over inter-dependency, mutual understanding and a way of resolving differences with out resorting to invading Belgium. The EU even brought the Serbs and Bosnians to agreement (eventually - but not necessarily amicably) and prevented the situation in Macedonia from getting out too far out of hand.

The EU is not perfect - no human organisation is ever thus - but it is far better than the Europe which went before and maybe an independent Scotland, renowned for its innovation, social thinking and internationalist view point can do its bit to make the future EU just that bit better, bit fairer, bit more just; rather than carping from the sideline as the UK does at present.

I think there are far more benefits, worth far more to Scotland and Europe, to be gained being a member of the EU, greater than the loss of a couple of million Euro into the wrong back pocket.

1 comment:

  1. I am basically in agreement with what you say; I am mildly in favour of EU membership while having some doubts about the EU. In particular, I would prefer it to be more democratic, with more power in the hands of the (directly elected) Parliament. One additional point in favour of the EU is that any state which wishes to leave can do so by giving two years notice, although this can be varied by mutual agreement. I have never seen any suggestion that the EU might seek to prevent a member state from holding a referendum on withdrawal from the EU. In other words, leaving the EU, if we choose to do so, is likely to be much easier than leaving the UK will become if we do not get a Yes vote in the coming referendum.