Skip to main content
Topic: Polawho? (Read 10159 times)

Re: Polawho?

Reply #25
Interesting. The French in France have not realised this, so what is it that makes the Wallons think differently?
Perhaps it helped that the French in Brussels is a foreign import. Picard and Walloon are suppressed by Francien as well. Brussels turned from a Dutch-speaking city into a French-speaking city within a generation, and it was Standard French from Paris, not real Picard or Walloon French from Belgium. But you're right, I should investigate the Belgian-French perspective sometime.

Anyway, here's a quick overview:

In 1840 there was the Flemish petition. This requested parliament to acknowledge Dutch as an official language besides French. This came to nothing, because only rich people could vote and all the rich people spoke sufficient French or had been turned. Also the thought of Dutch reminded them too much of the enlightened liberal Dutch tyrant William II.[1]

By 1856 the number of complaints about discrimination had increased so much that the government instituted a Grievance Commission. Its report in 1859 contained an complete plan to solve the problem. Simply put, Flanders was to become bilingual Dutch/French in administration, education and army. The government rejected this.

By 1870 the Catholic Church realized they could no longer ignore the needs of all the Flemish who were flocking to the evil socialists and liberals, so in 1873 they supported the proposal that suspects who couldn't speak French had a right to Dutch court proceedings. In 1878 it became possible to govern in Dutch, speak Dutch in the army, and by the 1880s also to educate in Dutch.

In 1898 parliament passed the Law of Equality, meaning that henceforth all government decisions would be published in both languages.

In the first three decades of the 20th century this was followed by trying to redutchify the University of Ghent. But ultimately, the real victory for Dutch was the common vote (for men only) in 1919.

French male universal suffrage from 1848 didn't have similar results for local languages like Occitan. Perhaps it's because they're not quite as clearly a different language, or for that matter a "proper language" in the nineteenth century sense. It's probably worth nothing that the Flemish tried to grow closer to Standard Dutch from the Netherlands until roughly the 1990s, and that this was partially a defensive move. The French said that Dutch in Belgium was just a bunch of unstandardized dialects, which had some degree of truth to it, whereas the Netherlands had a centuries-old standardized language of science and culture to rival French and English.
And the fewer than two decades of Dutch as a full language of governance under William II raised a generation that knew Dutch in full glory. The very generation that started the language struggle.

Re: Polawho?

Reply #26
Aha, I guess this is what string had in mind, but in true RJ fashion he failed to refer to the source: EU begins process that could see Poland stripped of voting rights

The issuing of a formal warning to Poland has been recommended to the member states under the first clause of the, until now, unused article 7 procedure. “It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to initiate Article 7.1”, Timmermans said. “But the facts leave us with no choice”.

Now, this is a serious blow to Poland as a member state of EU, but let's remember that such blows have been delivered previously in various ways.

- Diplomatic bullying against Austria when the people elected the wrong party into the government
- Financial bullying against Greece when they defaulted
- Name-calling against Hungary during the refugee crisis

It's the sort of stupid undemocratic EU we have. And it cannot be made more democratic, because it's incapable of reform. Whatever the eurokommissars have signed is as good as set in stone (not that it's followed to the letter by the big ones - it's ruthlessly enforced on the small ones, by the minority on the overwhelming majority).

And it also confirms that the power in the EU is in the hands of eurokommissars, by which I mean first and foremost the commissioners of course. The power is not in the hands of the prime ministers. Poland has a prime minister, but he can do nothing in this matter.

That's a funny spin you put on it. There are many requirements that need to be fulfilled to become a member of the EU, but once you are in there are no way to kick you out of the club. There hasn't been put much thought at all of membership duties, and membership management. Supposedly Article 50 was almost an UK-initiated afterthough, "there should be a mechanism to leave the EU", and no real analysis of its consequences was made. There is no corresponding article to expell an errant member, but there is one as-yet unused mechanism to suspend a member of the club, Article 7, provided "the existence of a serious and persistent breach by a Member State of the values referred to in Article 2 after inviting the Member State in question to submit its observations." 

Quote
Article 2: The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.
All members of the EU were more-or-less well-functioning liberal democracies at the time of joining. If one of them for instance turned into a military democracy or were "liberated" by an outside power, Crimea-style, the values in Article 2 wouldn't apply to this country. 

Article 7 is pretty toothless, in part due to the unanimity requirement (which would also render it useless in a "liberation" scenario, if two countries were in breach they could mutually block the other's suspension). Which leaves the question, if you are toothless, why try to bite? Article 7 is a "may" clause, not a "must" clause. After all, in Poland the rule of law is being subverted, not removed. And a few of the new members have less than stellar rule of law and separation of powers. Romania at the time of entry was worse than Poland is today. However Romania has overall improved, while Poland has regressed. 

The EU members, the European nation states, are not toothless, some with much shaper teeth than others. Which leads to your other complaints. 

You will not be free if you have debts you cannot serve. That applies to a country as much as to a person. Greece had built up massive debts, debts the creditors wanted back with interest. Hiding the extent of those debts and then revealing them in the midst of a massive financial crisis didn't help their case. Many international organisations were involved, including the IMF and EU, they were not bystanders. But the driver was an unravelling of debt in the middle of a financial crisis, one that posed a serious threat to sharp-toothed countries. Did those countries handle the situation well? No, they didn't, but they certainly would not be nicer to Greece without the EU.


- Name-calling against Hungary during the refugee crisis
Seriously?

Re: Polawho?

Reply #27
That's a funny spin you put on it. There are many requirements that need to be fulfilled to become a member of the EU, but once you are in there are no way to kick you out of the club.
But your funny spin is as if the EU wanted to kick anyone out of the club. Against all reason, they did not do it to Greece when the country defaulted and it turned out that it had lied to get into eurozone (the lie was actually known beforehand). They also did not do it to UK, even though the UK, the country with the biggest number of exceptions - and most substantial exceptions at that - constantly, and I mean constantly, whined for more and more exceptions, continuously undermining the very idea of a union. Luckily UK kicked itself out, because the EU just would not do it.

What if the EU want to play a club of supposed equals where some are more equal than others, so that there is occasional "difference of opinion" (i.e. bullying) that as per rules should always end in reconciliation, as if accomplishing something important and substantial? Because this is the game they play.

Article 7 is pretty toothless, in part due to the unanimity requirement (which would also render it useless in a "liberation" scenario, if two countries were in breach they could mutually block the other's suspension). Which leaves the question, if you are toothless, why try to bite?
Because it's the stupid game the EU plays with itself.

You are right about one thing. Article 7 is toothless. Probably an afterthought. Try to read it and answer the pertinent questions: What events or circumstances could lead to invoke the article? What are the consequences? What is the procedure? It's meaningless waffle like most EU legislation.

Article 7 - http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:12012M007&from=EN

Re: Polawho?

Reply #28
It is a response to your cry for democracy, though more democracy is the last thing we should want in the EU.  Unfortunately more democracy is what we are getting, and with that the very extra layer of governance you also were decrying. 

With Britain out of the way, there are those who might like to see Poland go (they can't be kicked out, but they can leave voluntarily). They are poor, they are many, and they are still fairly agricultural. That's three deadly sins in the EU. Other countries are even poorer, but they are small, so they matter less. However, those "those" are not in power. Fortunately, as the EU is stronger with Poland in it.

While PiS is wrong to undermine the independence of the judiciary, it is better to find more effective means of countering that. If it won't work, don't do it, no matter how "moral" the grandstanding might be. Find more efficient means instead. 

Article 7 is toothless, but far from meaningless. Neither is it waffle. It's a staging post.

The EU is not a "club of supposed equals", just like Europe never was. The Big 3 eat first, then the smaller dogs. Remove the EU and the smaller dogs get bitten more often. Strengthen the EU and the EU itself becomes the top dog, but the smaller dogs will never beat the bigger dogs. They can grow, become richer or more influential, but there will be a ranking in the pack.

Re: Polawho?

Reply #29
It is a response to your cry for democracy...
I merely noted the lack of democracy. It was an objective statement. I want something different, what I also stated: I want an EU under the spell of self-importance, casting an image of collegial consensus over the world, while really being a hollow shell inside. And it pretty much is like that.

The EU is not a "club of supposed equals", just like Europe never was. The Big 3 eat first, then the smaller dogs.
So it's a club of dogs where members bite each other. A baboon pack would be more descriptive.

Remove the EU and the smaller dogs get bitten more often.
But, apart from EU, I don't see my country as a dog. Nor do I see others as a club of dogs or a baboon pack. There is a bear, wolf, lion, elephant, ostrich, all sorts of interesting individual animals. Yes, some bite or even eat some others, but at least there is no pretension of being a club.

Re: Polawho?

Reply #30
The use of the term "dog" was but a device to get the point across, which was that the smaller nations have to bow to the larger nations, however elaborate that bow may be.

Does anyone think there is a move to reform the EU and if so in what direction? It could go the federal route, or revert to the mutual trade route. I suspect the federalist have the momentum at the moment.

I would have thought that an agreed approach was overdue. It was the drive to federalism, with its trappings, which drove the UK away.

Come to think of it, trappings is maybe the right word. Is the EU a trap?



Re: Polawho?

Reply #33
The nation state has reached its zenith, but that is a global phenomena, and the nation state isn't quite dead yet, or anytime soon.

Nation states, and nation states only, are members of the European Union. The nation states have taken power over the EU. There was a period, particularly under Delors, when the EU as an institution pushed the envelope, but the nation states have since pulled that envelope back. That includes Ersi's hated "eurokommissars", commissioners. Picked by the national governments. The European Commission, providing quality bureaucrats, is in any case in a subservient role. Power lies in the Council of the European Union and the European Council, both representing national governments. Claiming these institutions to be "undemocratic" is disingenuous. All member states are democracies, their national governments are democratically elected.

Of course, unlike the European Parliament, they are not directly elected. That is a feature. All this (that parliament excepted) strengthen the nation state within the EU. 



Re: Polawho?

Reply #34
The nation state has reached its zenith, but that is a global phenomena, and the nation state isn't quite dead yet, or anytime soon.

Nation states, and nation states only, are members of the European Union. The nation states have taken power over the EU. There was a period, particularly under Delors, when the EU as an institution pushed the envelope, but the nation states have since pulled that envelope back. That includes Ersi's hated "eurokommissars", commissioners. Picked by the national governments. The European Commission, providing quality bureaucrats, is in any case in a subservient role. Power lies in the Council of the European Union and the European Council, both representing national governments. Claiming these institutions to be "undemocratic" is disingenuous. All member states are democracies, their national governments are democratically elected.

Of course, unlike the European Parliament, they are not directly elected. That is a feature. All this (that parliament excepted) strengthen the nation state within the EU.

At the time of the EU referendum that is pretty much the same as I argued.

But it has flaws in the way in which EU laws bypass National Parliaments. The number of laws far exceeds those generated by national parliaments. Correction - they do in the UK so I am assuming it is true elsewhere.

Laws are basically written by the EU Executive and in principle commented upon by the EU parliament, and essentially rubber stamped by the Council. So democracy has a role but the guiding hand is not that of accountable politicians. The other real problem is that the European Parliament is not representative of National Parliaments. They become vehicle for protest voting.

I start to loose interest of course but I'd  like to see the European Parliament abolished or perhaps better since that would leave a law writing vacuum having it's EMPs  made up from nominated MPs from the national parliaments and become responsible for iniating all laws, leaving the Executive responsible for the typing. That would enable attendance statue EP to match the political flavour of national Governments rather than a maverick group.

Re: Polawho?

Reply #35
But it has flaws in the way in which EU laws bypass National Parliaments. The number of laws far exceeds those generated by national parliaments. Correction - they do in the UK so I am assuming it is true elsewhere.

Laws are basically written by the EU Executive and in principle commented upon by the EU parliament, and essentially rubber stamped by the Council. So democracy has a role but the guiding hand is not that of accountable politicians.
It's so by design. And it cannot be altered, except by abolishing the union.

The other real problem is that the European Parliament is not representative of National Parliaments. They become vehicle for protest voting.
This is also by design. And any attempt to change it would only make it worse.

Does anyone think there is a move to reform the EU and if so in what direction? It could go the federal route, or revert to the mutual trade route. I suspect the federalist have the momentum at the moment.
If you are still under the illusion that the EU has to make some moves to become federal, then I understand your frustration. It's just a cultural taboo to not call the EU a federated state. It's good culture to follow the taboos, but even better to be realistic about the real situation.

Re: Polawho?

Reply #36
Well I am glad that we will control our own laws, parliamentary stuff and so on and away from an organisation like the EU that cannot get it's books balanced and okayed annually. Disgraceful.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

Re: Polawho?

Reply #37
Power lies in the Council of the European Union and the European Council, both representing national governments. Claiming these institutions to be "undemocratic" is disingenuous. All member states are democracies, their national governments are democratically elected.
Nah, it's disingenuous to fail to acknowledge how responsibility works and where loyalties lie. Democratically elected governments (which they are only with a caveat, because national parliaments are a buffer between the people and the government) should be accountable to whoever elected them - the people. But when politicians get together in an international club that has a life of its own, then are we still in the same realm of loyalties?

Would you call G3/7 democratic bodies? How about Bilderberg Group? They all consist of elite politicians, pretty much all of them elected - just not elected into that body. With regard to that body, they have been hand-picked.

Re: Polawho?

Reply #38
But it has flaws in the way in which EU laws bypass National Parliaments. The number of laws far exceeds those generated by national parliaments. Correction - they do in the UK so I am assuming it is true elsewhere.

Laws are basically written by the EU Executive and in principle commented upon by the EU parliament, and essentially rubber stamped by the Council. So democracy has a role but the guiding hand is not that of accountable politicians. The other real problem is that the European Parliament is not representative of National Parliaments. They become vehicle for protest voting.

I start to loose interest of course but I'd  like to see the European Parliament abolished or perhaps better since that would leave a law writing vacuum having it's EMPs  made up from nominated MPs from the national parliaments and become responsible for iniating all laws, leaving the Executive responsible for the typing. That would enable attendance statue EP to match the political flavour of national Governments rather than a maverick group.

You could argue that the EU membership is a power transfer from the national parliaments to national government, as the former has no representation and the latter wield European power. For the most part, in parliamentary systems (that can fire a government), it doesn't matter that much, but it has constitutional impact.

The Council(s) are not "rubber-stamping", but the real decision-making power in the EU. The Commission drove changes during Delors, but that was also because it was a time when the national powers wanted smoother progress.  

However, with 28 democratic members, you can expect some new national election about every month. Governments come not only with a origin, but also with an ideology, and it will be in constant flux. The Commission will be more long-term consistent.


We agree that the European Parliament should be weaker, or better yet abolished, but that is a lost cause. People are wedded to the idea of democracy, though democracy performs better at scales smaller than half a billion people. Better at scales smaller than 66 million people too, for that matter.

Re: Polawho?

Reply #39
We agree that the European Parliament should be weaker, or better yet abolished, but that is a lost cause. People are wedded to the idea of democracy, though democracy performs better at scales smaller than half a billion people. Better at scales smaller than 66 million people too, for that matter.
Anything that involves altering a basic treaty is a lost cause. Nobody in EU dares to do it. That's why the UK belongs outside. If basic treaties begin changing, the EU itself would become a lost cause. Nobody needs an unstable union. 

Re: Polawho?

Reply #40
Europe has no option but to resist against USA, Russia and China.
That's why Germany and France dominates the others, the others accept with no option, and the rest is blá blá blá.

No one needs the UK in Europe. The America's fifth column has finally occupied it's place at sunlight, they fool no one anymore.
A matter of attitude.

Re: Polawho?

Reply #41
Decades ago we joined a purely trading block and look what the damn thing morphed into but an un-democratic farce. Cannot even clear it's own books every year, dictating from a mob wanting a US of Europe well they can get simply stuffed or happily without us.  Plenty of palaver going on in this discussion while ignoring those obvious things a a would-be open, liberal minded farce! The strong men - like Germany couldn't control Europe in two other ways in history but cleverly their third attempt has got them a goodly political smile of control freakery. The 4th reich is successful! I am quite happy for them to trade with us and vice-versa but that is all. We are taking our democracy back from a control freak and terrible organisation. Fine for the controllers and the poor States who are either not capable or clever enough to run their thing without a begging bowl. Palaver away friends but we are still getting out.  :hat:
"Quit you like men:be strong"

Re: Polawho?

Reply #42
Europe is under attack by way of civilizational collapse; the barbarians wants to occupy the place of the Lords.
It happened with Rome, it happens with Europe.
How symptomatic to watch the Britannic to join the attackers. It happened in Rome with the fake Emperors.
A matter of attitude.

Re: Polawho?

Reply #43
Well we are not fakers dear man.

Our economy is up employment the highest for years and still growing and finance doing well. You unfortunate folks have to wring hands as the EU dish out box is vital! Bring back the kings and I will volunteer to be Monarch!
"Quit you like men:be strong"

Re: Polawho?

Reply #44
The EU is the biggest political organization and the most advanced alliance ever created in the world.
Again, Europeans leads civilizational evolution. Good to see GB out.

The only reason I accept, at this moment, the German-French axis it's because the dangers Europe faces, someone has to lead. Besides Italy, I see no other war industries but French and German. We need a common army, sooner or later it will enter in action.
War is not an extinct species.


A matter of attitude.

Re: Polawho?

Reply #45
Utter nonsense about the EU being so brilliant.  Of course it suits you lot on the Iberia Peninsular as you are so incapable about an economy or doing much and instead are in it with the damn begging bowl of bigger economies (like mine). Great Britain's economy is doing well as is trade and more people arw working than ever in the past. So you really have a nerve. Oh and there are political messes in your EU club and with being invaded by people few of whom are genuine refugees and so on. Political problems too and I wonder if maybe you have been drinking too much. With the big money you are going to lose when we get out the face all the EU countries will pay more in membership fees. You will never solve all your economic problems nor employment so the begging bowl is head shaking. I would also remind that many places in the EU farce depend on trading with us so they better not get too nippy.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

Re: Polawho?

Reply #46
Of course it suits you lot on the Iberia Peninsular as you are so incapable about an economy
Sorry to disappoint you, we are now the best ones. Read the economics. So it is Greece. Fantastic.
From one day to the other the worst becomes the best.

And idiots still believe they live in a real world,,,
A matter of attitude.

Re: Polawho?

Reply #47
Best? Come on now. We know that Greece is in a state of disaster but let us be honest re your own nation. Unemployment especially youth) and financial things are hardly A1 belfrager
"Quit you like men:be strong"

Re: Polawho?

Reply #48
Poland and Ukraine stopped getting along and it is entirely the EU's doing. The EU's wrong decision to unban Ukraine's grain makes sense if the goal of eurokommissars is to save Putin and treat Russia as a more important member of the EU than the actual members of the EU.

Ukraine can de-escalate a bit by shutting down its case against Poland in WTO. But more importantly, the EU (and Nato) should forcefully open up the Black Sea routes for Ukrainian grain regardless whether there is a deal with Putin or not. Deals with Putin cannot hold. But of course, since the correct decision would require a sense of geopolitics and treating Putin according to his value, it is decidedly avoided. The guiding principles of the EU are geopolitical moronicity and treating Russia as a privileged uebermember.

There is no excuse of "democratic process" here. Many things in the EU, and this one definitely, is up to the diktat of eurokommissars. After all, eurokommissars dictated member states to fall in line with the wrong decision. Just a suggestion: When you dictate (and evidently you cannot help yourself), please dictate correct decisions.

The EU (and Nato) no longer want victory against aggression. They have started to think that Russia's strategy — another frozen conflict in addition to the many pre-existing ones — is good and can be lived with. And that those who disagree can be bought out with Snickers.

Ukraine and Moldova have been betrayed. Every candidate country has been betrayed. Also every member state who is neighbouring Russia/Belarus has been betrayed by the EU. The EU's face can no longer be saved.

Re: Polawho?

Reply #49
And of course Poland and Germany don't get along. Poland has allegedly been liberally issuing Schengen visas so asylum-seekers can easily go to Germany. Scholz says, "I don't want people from Poland to simply be waved through, and then have a discussion about our asylum policy afterwards."

It's yet another problem with the EU: There has never been a coherent asylum policy. Any and all EU initiatives in the matter have been idiotic. The EU in turns:
- Denies there is a problem (as at Poland's border with Belarus when Belarus let loose immigrants from Asia)
- Fails to address the problem (as at Spain's border with Africa)
- Disallows local solutions (as with the citizenship policy in the Baltic countries)
- Comes up with counterproductive solutions, such as corrupting Tunisia with money in return of its withholding waves of immigrants to Lampedusa, but then the waves of immigrants arrive anyway.

The mindset in the EU is that Poland is bad and must be crushed, and Germany needs help in crushing Poland. Thus the EU ignores bigger issues, such as the war in Ukraine where we need to unite forces, if the EU is to survive. The EU prefers Franco-German hegemony over equality of members.