Mudcat Café message #3884428 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162903   Message #3884428
Posted By: Teribus
25-Oct-17 - 03:43 AM
Thread Name: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
Subject: RE: BS: Catalonia: pros and cons of separation
"The EU does not "control" regions." - Odd that 30% to 35% of it's budget goes to controlling regions then isn't it Shaw.


It is the absence at the level of the European Union of anything like the underlying national solidarity which binds Europe's Nation States together that makes the EU project, and especially the euro-currency scheme, so problematic and therefore unlikely to endure. The EU is a creation of powerful political, economic and bureaucratic elites, without popular legitimacy and authority, and is therefore fundamentally undemocratic. There is no European "demos," no European people, bound together by solidarities like those that bind nations and Nation States. Rather, the EU is made up of Western Europe's several nations and peoples. Every Nation State is both a monetary union and fiscal union. As a monetary union it has its own currency, and with that the capacity to control interest rates and the exchange rate. As a fiscal union it has its own taxation, social service and public spending system. By virtue of citizens paying common taxes to a common government in order to finance common public spending programmes throughout the territory of a State, there are automatic transfers from the richer regions and social classes of each country to the poorer regions and classes. This sustains and is sustained by a shared national solidarity. By contrast, the euro-currency project (EMU/Economic and Monetary Union) means a monetary union but not a fiscal union. Never in history has there been a lasting monetary union that was not also a fiscal union and political union, in other words a fully-fledged State, deriving its legitimacy from a common government and shared national solidarity, which in turn underpinned a common fiscal transfer system. The euro-currency scheme deprives the less developed EU States and the weaker EU economies of the right to maintain their competitiveness or to compensate for their lower productivity or poorer resource endowment, by adopting an exchange rate or interest rate that suits their special circumstances. But it does not compensate them for this loss by the automatic transfer of resources entailed by membership of a fiscal union. Compensatory fiscal transfers at EU level to the extent required to make a monetary union viable in the long run are impossible, in view of the amount of resources required and the unwillingness of the richer countries to provide them to the poorer because of the absence of shared national solidarity that would impel that. At present expenditure by Brussels in any one year amounts to less than 1.3% of the EU's annual Gross Domestic Product, a tiny relative figure, whereas Nation State expenditure on public transfers is normally between 35-50% of annual national products. In other words, the solidarity that would sustain an EU fiscal union and an EU Multinational State does not and cannot exist. Democratising the EU without a European "demos" is impossible. The EU's adoption of such traditional symbols of national statehood as an EU flag, EU anthem, EU passport, EU car number plates, EU Olympic games, EU youth orchestra, EU history books, EU citizenship etc, are so many doomed attempts to manufacture a European "demos" artificially, and with it a bogus EU "nation" and supranational "national consciousness." They leave the real peoples of Europe indifferent, whose allegiance remains with their own countries and Nation States. The more European integration is pushed ahead and the more the national democracy of the EU Member States is undermined, the more the EU loses legitimacy and authority. Consequently the greater and more inevitable the popular reaction against it will be. To align oneself with such a misguided, inevitably doomed project is to be out of tune with history. It is to side with a supranational elite against the democracy of one's own people, to spurn genuine internationalism for the intoxication of building a Superpower.


Concepts of "shared sovereignty," "pooled sovereignty" and "joint national sovereignties" are covers for having one's laws and policies decided by European Union bodies one does not elect, which are not responsible to one's own people and which can have significantly different interests from them. In the EU it is impossible for a single country or people to make or change a single European law. In practice countries and peoples which surrender their sovereignty to the EU become ever more subject to laws and policies that serve the interests of the bigger EU States. The claim that if a nation or State surrenders its sovereignty to the EU, it merely exchanges the sovereignty of a small State for participation in decision-making in a bigger supranational EU, is simply untrue. The reality is different. The EU continually reduces the influence of smaller States in decision-making by limiting or abolishing national veto powers. Even if bigger States similarly divest themselves of formal veto power, their political and economic weight ensures they can get their way in matters that are decisive to them. Equally false is the statement that membership of new States in the European Union and their surrender of sovereignty to the EU would increase their sovereignty in practice. The nation which gives up its sovereignty or is deprived of it, ceases to be an independent subject of international politics. It is no longer able to decide even its own domestic affairs. It literally puts its existence at the mercy of those who have taken its sovereignty into their hands and who decide the policies of the larger body. In the European Union the Big States, in particular Germany and France acting together, decide fundamental policy. Judicially the EU project is an attempt to undo the democratic heritage of the French Revolution, the right of nations and peoples to self-determination. It is an historically doomed project because of its fundamentally undemocratic character.