"Gerhard Chirac" - "Jacques Schröder" - chance or threat?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by SnorreSturluson, Oct 19, 2003.

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  1. SnorreSturluson Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2003
    star 4
    Well, for those who missed that historical event: Gerhard Schröder had a critical vote in the German parliament and couldn´t go to the EU summit, so he asked Jacques Chirac (the conservative French president) to represent him there (and he did that).
    In the past months IMO both have become a bit arrogant when it comes to EU politics. France and Germany hold their own summits and decide (at least they think so) for the rest.
    While Spain, UK and Italy could have more power, neither of them seeks for leadership as France and Germany do.
    Though one could think that´s a good thing for the EU having a strong Franco-Teutonic leadership I don´t think so: The EU consists of 15 countries - not just two.
  2. Sam_Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 4

    I really have no idea about any of this. shows my knowledge of world affairs 8-}
  3. Darth Mulacki Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 1999
    star 5
    France and Germany are the largest countries in Europe, 120 million people, thas a fifth of the entire populatiion in Europe, and GB is more like a 51st American state. Get a Britain leader that is more focused on Europe and doesn't jump at the slightest wink from George Bush then GB will play a bigger role.

    It's true that teh EU is made of 15 coutries (25 in a couple of months). Denmark, where I live, is trying to play a bigger role, but there is only five million danes.

    Italy has a corrupt leader, there is noway that I would ever accept if he was more in control. I am thankfull that two leaders like Chirac and Schröder doesn't listen to him that much.


    -Mulacki
  4. alpha_red Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2003
    star 5
    Every time you say "EU" I just think of SW EU.
  5. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1998
    star 7
    I definetly think it will be interesting to see how they solve the problem with the new constitution. It's really as if Germany and France are teaming up against the rest of the members, and soon to be members.
  6. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    The proposed EU constitution has 'BAD IDEA' written all over it. I'm in favour of a constitution, but the proposed document merely extends and confuses the current inadequacies and beauracracy and confusion of seperation of powers that constrains the current political entity.
  7. TripleB Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 4
    From my point of view (and since I hate it when Foreigners try to dictate what the US should be doing, so I should grant them the same measure) but I personally think a European Confederation would work better, where each nation/state has its own autonomy but then have their 'congress' to deal with issues that address them as a whole.
  8. foofaspoon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 1999
    star 2
    In the past months IMO both have become a bit arrogant when it comes to EU politics. France and Germany hold their own summits and decide (at least they think so) for the rest.
    While Spain, UK and Italy could have more power, neither of them seeks for leadership as France and Germany do.
    Though one could think that´s a good thing for the EU having a strong Franco-Teutonic leadership I don´t think so: The EU consists of 15 countries - not just two.


    France and Germany are panicing a bit because they've just woken up to the fact that when the EU enlarges it will mean it is much more difficult for them to use it to disproportionately further their own political and economic ends. Hence the co-operation now in order to try and get momentum going for when they are having to deal with more members.

    France and Germany are the largest countries in Europe, 120 million people, thas a fifth of the entire populatiion in Europe,

    So? The EU was set up to equally benefit all the countries that join it - not as a vehicle to support French policy and prop up ailing and inefficient economies to the detriment of everyone else.

    Get a Britain leader that is more focused on Europe and doesn't jump at the slightest wink from George Bush then GB will play a bigger role.

    Oh, what? A leader that jumps when Chirac speaks rather than when Bush speaks? Hardly an improvement! I don't understand why France in particular gets such a free ride. It flouts the EU when it is in its interests to do so - while insisting on compliance from other counties if that would disproportionately benefit France. It conducts a vigorous and independent foreign policy without reference to the EU or anyone else, and would only accept a 'common' foreign policy that benefited French goals. And it treats the smaller/newer EU states as little more than vassals. Hardly the actions of a 'great European country'.

    Italy has a corrupt leader,

    Yes, obviously so. So why isn't the EU bringing any pressure to bear like it did against Austria when they elected an extremist?

    The proposed EU constitution has 'BAD IDEA' written all over it. I'm in favour of a constitution, but the proposed document merely extends and confuses the current inadequacies and beauracracy and confusion of seperation of powers that constrains the current political entity.

    Oh, Red, you've got it all wrong, this is just a 'tidying up exercise', which will have no major ramifications. Tsk, how could you not believe Tont Blair ;). Obviously, us not being allowed a referendum has nothing to do with the fact that the UK would reject it for the undemocratic, unwieldy, monstrosity that it is [face_plain].

    From my point of view (and since I hate it when Foreigners try to dictate what the US should be doing, so I should grant them the same measure)

    I don't know, bloody foreigners always trying to tell us what to do, arriving late for every war <grumble> ;)

    I personally think a European Confederation would work better, where each nation/state has its own autonomy but then have their 'congress' to deal with issues that address them as a whole.

    I think that's the general idea. Unfortunately, the 'congress' as it were is composed of unelected, largely unaccountable, undemocratic bueorocrats (erk - spelling???), with a weak and somewhat ineffectual parliament as the only democratic institution. Though in fairness, this is partly the fault of those who mistrust the EU, who ironically avoid making it too democratic in order to avoid it becoming 'more legitimate' than national governments. This is, I think, a foolish position.
  9. SnorreSturluson Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2003
    star 4
    One point that weakens the EU IMO is the duality of commission (government) and counsil (effectively decides) . As far as I know the new constitution proposes a non-alternating stronger cousil president. And why does one need a commission president. Somehow weird.
    But IMO the greatest threat to the EU is trying to imitate the USA but becoming the soviEt Union.
    Like in the Soviet Union or pre-WWII Yugoslavia the dominance of Russians/Serbians a Franco-German leadership could lead to major problems. That´s the case with the new EU constitution. Smaller countries could become second class members ( no commission member or one without right to vote).
    Back to France and Germany. I think both countries (and especially Franse) see the EU as their project (and property) and by leading it they´d become (via the EU) major global players.
    And that ´s a point that´s also important for the USA. How should does the EU see its relations to the USA? Close (and quite cooperative) friend or competitor?
    E.g. France plans to form an EU army (maybe as alternative to the NATO)
  10. foofaspoon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 1999
    star 2
    But IMO the greatest threat to the EU is trying to imitate the USA but becoming the soviEt Union.
    Like in the Soviet Union or pre-WWII Yugoslavia the dominance of Russians/Serbians a Franco-German leadership could lead to major problems. That´s the case with the new EU constitution. Smaller countries could become second class members


    I think, for all its problems, the EU is far removed from these sort of problems, and though it is nowhere near as democratic as it should be, it is much more so than the USSR - the smaller countries would still have input into how the EU was run. And I don't think the vast majority of even the most Gaulist frenchmen envisage the kind of ethnic dominance that afflicted the USSR. I think they want to be the leaders of Europe, but not the masters. Again, for all it's faults, the EU has played a positive role in helping the Eastern Europeans transition to democracy, and their economic revival. It is hardly trying to 'keep them down' as the Russians did to the other ethnic groups in the USSR.
  11. Pelranius Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2003
    star 5
    It'll be interesting to see how the EU runs a country by Committee (the Directory tried at the end of the French Revolution, and look at what happened to them)
  12. The Gatherer Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 1999
    star 6
    I really can't understand the fickle nature of EU politics, traditions, culture over the past century.

    A) France and Germany go to war against each other TWICE!

    B) USA Liberates France, and rescues Germany from a tyrannical regime.

    C) Bitter rivals France and Germany team up, and are against the one country that saved them both.

    It does not make sense!

    Just makes you wonder about the moral ineptitude of the French and Germans, how fickle their loyalty really is!
  13. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Italy has a corrupt leader, there is noway that I would ever accept if he was more in control. I am thankfull that two leaders like Chirac and Schröder doesn't listen to him that much.

    But what about Alain Juppe?

    If Berlusconi is unfit for wider influence because he shows Italian favoritism, why does this same standard not apply to Chriac?

    In fact, corruption almost seems to be a requirement to hold any office in the EU, least we forget Jacques Santer, who was forced to resign as well.
  14. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    In defense of that poster, Burlesconi takes the level of corruption off the scale...and onto the "Italian Politics Scale"! // rimshot
  15. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Well, your comment does illustrate the fact that Italian politics doesn't involve corruption, but simply patronage, and everyone needs friends...

    However, to suggest that Berlusconi should be faulted for possibly putting regional interests above EU policy procedures, is kind of like condemning Michael Jordan for playing basketball too well.
  16. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Berluscconi is the Michael Jordan of corruption, while Chirac is merely Magic Johnson.

  17. foofaspoon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 1999
    star 2
    It's not just that he's corrupt, but is actively trying to smash large sections of Italian democracy thats the most worrying thing.

    In fact, corruption almost seems to be a requirement to hold any office in the EU, least we forget Jacques Santer, who was forced to resign as well.


    Quite true, unfortunately. Its not just individuals, but the whole ediface. The budget didn't pass the auditors again this year - I think something like 80% of it couldn't be traced properly.

    Just makes you wonder about the moral ineptitude of the French and Germans, how fickle their loyalty really is!

    Is there some right-wing college somewhere that indoctrinates people to say stuff like this? Or do people actually believe this?

    while Chirac is merely Magic Johnson.


    Ah, good old Magic, eh.

    Who?
  18. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    It's not just that he's corrupt, but is actively trying to smash large sections of Italian democracy thats the most worrying thing.

    Pffft, you're just saying that because he owns 3 TV stations and controls the other three... ;)

    His muzzle on the press is certainly cause enough for concern, but it's the self-hagiography that's most alarming. The way he talks about himself reminds me of another famous Italian leader...

    Is there some right-wing college somewhere that indoctrinates people to say stuff like this? Or do people actually believe this?

    The latter, sadly, in this case. [face_plain]

    E_S
  19. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    His muzzle on the press is certainly cause enough for concern, but it's the self-hagiography that's most alarming. The way he talks about himself reminds me of another famous Italian leader...

    [face_laugh] Classic Ender, at his finest!

    The question is, are the newspapers always out on time?

    Although, I still see plenty of parallels to another current EUish leader, who has all but elevated "I have understood you" to an artform.

    Is there some right-wing college somewhere that indoctrinates people to say stuff like this? Or do people actually believe this?

    The latter, sadly, in this case.


    At least you can't blame the states for this, has the NP and LP jointly established the Hobart political college?
  20. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    The question is, are the newspapers always out on time?

    [face_laugh] Who knows? Maybe his are... ;)

    At least you can't blame the states for this

    This though seems to transcend national boundaries, but I'd hardly blame the US for it! ;)

    E_S
  21. foofaspoon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 1999
    star 2
    Pffft, you're just saying that because he owns 3 TV stations and controls the other three...

    Pft! Such a trifel I was worried over :D

    His muzzle on the press is certainly cause enough for concern, but it's the self-hagiography that's most alarming.

    Stop using big words!

    The way he talks about himself reminds me of another famous Italian leader...


    I laughed at this...

    Then I remembered he's been defending good ol' Benito recently...

    The latter, sadly, in this case.

    What joy

    The question is, are the newspapers always out on time?


    [face_laugh]

    At least you can't blame the states for this, has the NP and LP jointly established the Hobart political college?

    err, was that directed at Ender, 'cos I don't know what you mean...
  22. The Gatherer Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 1999
    star 6
    Can anyone provide some commentary on the relationship flux between France and Germany?
  23. Darth_Doug Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2002
    star 1
    Some see the recent "approchement" to be a result of a concerted effort at the end of WWII to incorporate Germany back into (Western) Europe. The idea was to avoid the half-way measures that followed Versailles in 1919. In fact, the EU can trace its roots to the Franco-German cooperation on matters of coal and steel.

    However, it is somewhat a surprise to see the extent that things have taken since German reunification (which was bitterly opposed by Mitterand and Thatcher). However, as the economic ties have become closer, so have the political ties. As has been mentioned, together they do have an impressive population (for Europe). This has given them quite a bit of sway in EU affairs (especially since the UK has been reluctant on some issues). The reaction to the impending US war with Iraq was actually a very interesting scenario where both France and Germany flexed political muscle. This is of course nothing new for France, but Germany usually keeps its concerned somewhat more muted.

    Much of the influence of Germany and France could be changed once the new members of the EU are incorporated into "the club". Rumsfeld's notorious phrase regarding old and new Europe could have some truth to it. We shall have to see.

    Regarding the future, as long as the economic situation doesn't drastically decrease I think that we can expect to continue to see close Franco-German cooperation in financial and political issue areas. However, should things become more tight economically, we could see a chilling of the relations. As long as there's plenty to go around, resources aren't as fought over. Another potential for change is if one or both leaders end up being voted out of office. This doesn't seem overly likely in the immediate future, but parlimentary systems can be touchy.

    Just my thoughts on the subject...
  24. Hans-Olo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2003
    star 5
    i don't know where the problem is: Germany and France are the largest members of the European Union, we the most pupolation. So I think it's fair that they have little bit more influence than other little countries.

    BTW It is not bad to have opposite position towards the US, and if we are old Europe, than we should be proud of it [face_mischief].
  25. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Schroder just announced that he will be stepping down as chairman of the Social Democratic party.

    He will still remain on as Chancellor, of course, but because of low poll numbers, he will be turning over the head of his political party.

    Interesting turn of events for Germany. The powerful unions will gain that much more power, and I can see competition within Europe heating up as a result.
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