"It (the introduction of the euro) is not economic at all. It is a completely political step. The historical significance of the euro is to construct a bipolar economy in the world. The two poles are the dollar and the euro. This is the political meaning of the single European currency. It is a step beyond which there will be others. The euro is just an antipasto."
~Commission President Romano Prodi, interview on CNN, 1 January 2002 ~

Turkey Knocking on Europe's Door

So Turkey is knocking again at Europe’s door, though this time it is not about to break it down with a battering ram. As things stand today, the odds look in favour of the door being opened to it, though negotiations are bound to be arduous and a protracted transition period may be imposed on the free movement of people. More »
02-09-03 | 22:02 |

America, Britain and the European Union

The European Union means different things to different people. To some Europeans it signifies an opportunity for economic expansion and increased trade with neighboring countries. The European Union is seen by some as an economic mechanism for breaking the dominance of the U.S. dollar. To others it signifies a threat to local control and sovereignty. More »
02-09-03 | 22:00 |

The Sins of the Fathers and the Sins of the Sons: Economic Consequences of a United States of Europe

The grandfathers and the fathers of the current generation of Europeans helped bring about two catastrophic wars in the last century. Even the two decades of peace in between (1919-1939) were not idyllic, graced as they were with the rise to power of Nazism (1933-1945) and the “real existing” socialism of the Soviet Union (1917-1990). The sons were forever marked by these dark memories. The sins of the fathers were being visited upon them and they were determined not to commit the same sins which, in their turn, would be visited upon their sons. “Never that again”! Much of what is happening in today’s Europe is driven by the subconscious dread of “that” and the will to make sure it does not happen again. It is in wanting to make sure of this that the sons risk committing new kinds of sins. More »
02-09-03 | 21:57 |

A JOURNEY TO THE ROTTEN HEART OF EUROPE

How I do wish you were here. Glamorous though our jet-setting lives are supposed to be, I am always deeply dispirited as my colleagues and I, at vast cost, gather there every fourth week, supposedly in the service of democracy. Whilst there, I grow still more dispirited as I am asked to vote on literally hundreds upon hundreds of amendments to the directives and regulations which drive the EU “project”. Every last – and every least – one of these may drive a hardworking and honest man or woman out of business, may break up a family, may even cost someone his life. More »
02-09-03 | 21:55 |

Don't throw away freedom to a Euro-superstate

So here they come, those bits of paper adorned with fictional bridges (what a splendid reminder of the roads and bridges from nowhere to nowhere on which EU taxpayers’ money is so shamefully and shamelessly wasted). You’d better not try to forge them, for that would be a federal offence, and come 2004 the eurocops will come and get you, literally, and there would be nothing the Irish courts could do to protect you: no habeas corpus, no presumption of innocence, no evidence required before you are whisked off to the Continent for unlimited “investigative detention”, no trial by jury. More »
02-09-03 | 21:55 |

European Global Governance

Globalisation is usually seen as the expansion of the global market and particularly an expansion of the reach of large multi-national corporations. Many politicians and pressure groups argue that it is essential that global governance structures be expanded to ensure that these companies — and the market in general — don’t get out of control harming human rights, democratic stability, culture, the environment, and global health. More »
02-09-03 | 21:53 |

The New Europe Looks a Little Like '1984'

This week Europe paid homage to George Orwell, whose 100th birthday fell on June 25. Europe tipped its hat to Orwell in a different way as well. Orwell, of course, is famous for his writings about the rise of the totalitarian state in the name of a utopian ideal. Well, this week Europeans got a taste of that when the Financial Times uncovered a secret directive dreamed up by the European Commission’s Social Affairs Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou. More »
02-09-03 | 21:50 |

The Euro Menace: The USE Vs The USA

Of all the remarkable consequences of the war against Saddam Hussein, one stands out for its sheer unlikeliness: The subject of Europe has become interesting to Americans again. In the run-up to the war, France and Germany revealed an unprecedented hostility toward the Bush administration’s foreign policy. Americans noticed. France, in particular, orchestrated a global campaign to prevent the United States from deposing its former client, Saddam. More »
02-09-03 | 21:44 |

Bust a CAP

The average person in sub-Saharan Africa earns less than $1 a day. The average cow in Europe — thanks to government subsidies — earns about $2 a day. And therein lies a tale of the power of European farm interests, and the weakness of African economies. The EU’s policy has spawned subsidies and tariffs that have richly rewarded European farms and swollen European food output, while depressing world food prices and undercutting African exports. More »
02-09-03 | 21:44 |

New Europe's EUphoria

Those interested in the development of the European Union and its effects on economic conditions — free trade, redistribution of property and regulation of economic activities — are finding new food for thought as the bloc’s historic enlargement approaches. More »
02-09-03 | 21:40 |