What Don't I Understand About The Eu?

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Hypognosis | 14:27 Fri 13th May 2016 | News
8 Answers
The thought occurred to me that, when a club takes in new members, its net income increases so, in theory, it could/should either:-
a) do more things (whatever the club is generally about)
b) reduce the net contribution of all members but keep doing about the same amount of stuff as it did before. Cheaper subscriptions serve to attract yet more members.

So I googled to see how the enlargement countries have boosted the EU pot. Instead, I found this pre-enlargement document. I cannot take it all in but the last few pages touch on the internal blocking coalitions and their motivations. Very interesting and my understanding has suddenly increased

The Context

Structural Budget deficits are a feature of the members of the eurozone core. This has put the Stability and Growth Pact of EMU under great pressure, and while many think this pact is theoretically unnecessary, it is crucial for EMU credibility. This pact declares that each country should aim for the budget balance in medium term and the budget deficit should not exceed the 3% of the GDP. France and Germany are both above those strict criteria of deficit levels and Italy is struggling to remain within them against a background of weak growth. Even for those eurozone members not in structural deficit the need to aim for budget balance under the Pact forces them to look for revenue (or cut expenditure) where they can. As a result EU members are effectively short of tax revenue. And when it comes to reducing deficits the EU budget is politically a free hit.

**Net recipients from the Budget effectively tax foreigners and foreigners cannot vote and thus have no impact on domestic politics. ** Equally the net payers to the Budget look to cut their net contributions. This, above all, is German strategy but interestingly now even the Netherlands, once seen as a champion of Communitaire policies and an opponent of juste retour, tries to do the same. Dutch ministers sound exactly like Margaret Thatcher at the beginning of the 1980s, they want their money back, as do German ministers. The existing net recipients obviously look to sustain their position. The Spanish, the Greeks, the Portuguese, the Irish and even the Germans, for their new Länder in the East, all want to hold onto their structural funds money still. And France threatens the veto in defence of its receipts from the Common Agricultural Policy.

** = my emphasis

This document is only/mainly about agriculture and goes on to describe the farms in enlargement countries as "barely subsistence level" or not much better. So they are not net food exporters, nor profit-turners.

And that was before we started draining their farm labourers away to better pay & conditions (even under gangmasters!!???), on highly profitable farmland in countries like ours.

Is it any wonder that mass migration happened? Why did they not forsee this?

Enlargement countries cannot grow their economies *except* at our expense. Maybe, one day, they will buy a car, and a houseful of consumer goods but, aside from luxury brands, what consumer goods do we still manufacture which might appeal? (Note: goods outsourced to the Far East don't count.

If you read this far, I thank you.


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It's not a club like that, it's one where some contribute and the others get handouts from what is collected.

All are supposed to feel secure then. The gainers being right happy about the aid, the contributors trying to convince themselves that a stable region means less possibility of conflict from the less well off. Problem is that the contributors get fed up of being a meal ticket. Especially if they have no power.

The is going to be no net contribution reduction.

Aims/goals are all very well but unless they are reasonable they either have to be abandoned, and scorn passed around for failure, or they cause penalties and more dissatisfaction with the club.

It's basically a flawed plan, but tries to carry on by taking no notice of the public's discomfort and protest at what goes on to achieve that.
Question Author
I am most gratified for you taking the trouble to look at this, O_G.

Snuck in, somewhere in the closing pages (shortly before the conclusions paragraph) was a small, yet slightly alarming reference to mandated increases in defence spending, post enlargement. Almost unnoticeable because of an adjacent remark about mandated increased in R&D spending, to make Europe a powerhouse. Did you see that?

Internal borders down, external border bolstered. That after the remark about "subsistence", "highly agricultural" lands. Sounds almost like they intend it for expendable battle terrain: its not profitable agriculture. A buffer zone, against you know who!


I didn't. Apologies but as I get older I tend to lack the concentration I once had and skim more than I should. Sometimes it shows in my replies, but not too often I hope. I may reskim it again later ;-)
Question Author
No worries. I skim-read it too, because I was looking specifically for what the enlargement countries were bringing to the party, to stretch the analogy. If even Germany gripe about their net contribution then the new members are labelled as moochers… OR they are expressly there as a defence buffer, which is sinister.

Does it promote peace, or does is rile Russia? Save for the placement of armies, we'd be better off having left them as a financial burden on the Warsaw Pact.

Also, I thought the Brexiters would be lapping up this analysis, prescient as it is.

Question Author
I worked hard, to get my tl;dr replies and this is what I get? (shrug)

NJ's favourite topic too.

Question Author
Come on you Brexiters - this document supports your case. I thought this thread would make you happy.

Too wordy?

At a quarter to one in the morning it's far too long to contemplate, ask me later.
Question Author

Concentrate on a speedy recovery, instead. Get that postal/proxy vote thing sorted out, maybe?

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What Don't I Understand About The Eu?

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