"The euro was not just a bankers' decision or a technical decision. It was a decision which completely changed the nature of the nation states. The pillars of the nation state are the sword and the currency, and we changed that. The euro decision changed the concept of the nation state and we have to go beyond that."
~EU Commission President Romano Prodi, Financial Times interview, 9 April 1999 ~

How sovereignty is key to Ireland's tiger success

THERE is broad agreement among econo-mists about what gave rise to the spectacular rate of growth of the Irish economy since 1987. This saw Ireland overtake both the UK and the OECD average in terms of real GDP per head. This success is down to six major influences over the past 40 years, for the origins of the story are to be found in events as far back as 1959. The Irish economy was then in a dreadful condition, the result of 25 years of high tariffs and restrictions on inward investment. While the Cosgrave government elected in June 1922 had maintained a large measure of free trade, Eamonn de Valera’s government from 1932 was highly protectionist. More »
04-12-03 | 12:46 |

Down with EU

For the most European mainstream politicians and intellectuals (i.e. left and right social democrats) the European Union (EU) represents a sacrosanct idol. You cannot look at it, you cannot touch it, you cannot criticize it. The only thing permitted is to worship it, worship it. This is not an accident. More »
02-12-03 | 12:42 |

Criminal Justice and the draft Constitution

So what do we have here? We have a draft which establishes a general principle – the approximation of criminal laws. We have a draft which specifically entitles and commends the judges in the various Member States to achieve that effect without the help of their legislatures. We have a draft which allows and, indeed, compels the central legislature to pass new European laws that achieve the general principle of approximating the criminal law by setting procedures, defining crimes, defining sentences, and defining witnesses’ rights and victims’ rights, in relation to almost any serious crime. More »
29-11-03 | 13:20 |

Will Blair really stick to his guns?

No more messing on this constitution business, says Tony Blair. Or at least, that’s what his spokesman says that he says. Either climb down on EU powers over tax, foreign and defence policy or we pull the plug on the whole show. No concessions, no constitution. Got it? More »
27-11-03 | 10:06 |

When a reality TV show attracts more votes than an election, democracy is in trouble

In the UK, 11 million votes were cast in the 1999 European election, while 23 million were cast in the third series of Big Brother in 2002. One British eurosceptic wrote, with an acid pen, that the ungrateful people had voted for “the wrong Big Brother”. More »
27-11-03 | 09:57 |

Subsidiarity and the Illusion of Democratic Control

It is time to stop and to reverse the ratchet whereby the United Kingdom is drifting towards a European State. There is a noble alternative – to develop the European Union as a partnership of free trading, outward looking nation states, which co-operate with each other when it is necessary and compete with each other when it is not. To fashion such an arrangement will require vision, courage and leadership. Such qualities have not been displayed in abundance in the first three decades of our EU membership. Make no mistake. We need them now. More »
26-11-03 | 12:57 |

EU auditors blast budget failings

The European Union is failing to keep track of huge annual subsidies, and 91 per cent of its budget is riddled with errors or cannot be verified, a financial watchdog said yesterday. “it is almost impossible to track funds once they had been handed over to member states, which administer 80 per cent of the budget. Money also disappears into Russia, Central Asia, the Balkans and developing countries.” x- Continue
25-11-03 | 12:27 |

Constitutional Crisis

The European Union needs to focus more on creating a free market than on creating additional bureaucracy. The current European Constitution project is a relic of socialism, in the guise of the so-called “social market economy”. A better solution would be a natural development toward a common free-market instead of an artificial political integration. The bureaucratic management that would be imposed by the Constitution project should be rejected. Economists say the European economy loses billions of euro in potential income because of its anti-market regulations. More »
20-11-03 | 16:34 |

"Europe is dying"; Europeans are worse than cockroaches

Europe is dying. As I’ve pointed out here before, it can’t square rising welfare costs, a collapsed birthrate and a manpower dependent on the world’s least skilled, least assimilable immigrants. In 20 years’ time, as those Dutch Muslim teenagers are entering the voting booths, European countries, unlike parts of Nigeria, will not be living under Sharia, but they will be reaching their accommodations with their radicalised Islamic compatriots, who like many intolerant types are expert at exploiting the ‘tolerance’ of pluralist societies. More »
19-11-03 | 10:54 | 1 comment

Bush Boom, Euro Bust

the problem is a prolonged bout of Euro-sclerosis — Europe’s inability to shake off its problems of mass unemployment, low economic growth, and soaring budget deficits. Europe’s answer to this problem is an attempt at industrial politics on an unprecedented scale. By spending €220 billion over the next decade on research and development and the construction of bridges and railway lines, the policy makers hope to kick-start Europe’s sluggish economies. More »
13-11-03 | 10:57 |