Saturday, May 01, 2004

This is a test.


Hmmmmm. That does NOT look like a Polish MiG.

Btw, dunno if you noticed it but the enlarged EU of 25 member states is now a fact. Here is a comparison USA/EU:

USA: GDP 11,188 billion euros, military expenses 357 billion euros, population 291 million, 10,656 nuclear arms

EU (25-member): GDP 11,076 billion euros, military expenses 179 billion euros, population 451 million, nuclear arms 535

The EU has come a long way since the early fifties, when 7 Founding Fathers laid the foundations of the future supranational body as we know it today. They were:

* Robert Schuman, drafted the plan for the ECCS(European Community of Coal and Steel), the purely economic nucleus of the EU
* Jean Monnet, first President of the ECCS, founded in 1955 the Action Committee for the United States of Europe (!)
* Konrad Adenauer, first West-German Chancellor, restored firm ties with Charles de Gaulles' France
* Paul-Henri Spaak, Belgian leading advocate of the EEC (European Economic Community)
* Jan Willem Beyen, Dutch banker and top-notch financial official, launched the Plan-Beyen for a customs community without internal tariff limits
*Joseph Bech, smart Luxembourgian politician who placed his tiny country on the map and managed to get the EU's Court of Justice and the European Investment Bank to Luxembourg
*Alcide de Gasperi, fiery advocate of a federation of democratic European states

Well, in the very beginning of my presence on this panel I posted several articles on how the EU as we know it today came into being (but I'm too lazy now to provide the links). Suffice to say that anno 2004 the EU has become an Economic Giant, a modest Political Player and a Military Dwarf. Let's say the USE is in its adolescence.

As mentioned before, I am convinced that the basic rationale behind the EU is sane. We European Nations needed to unite instead of degenerating into a powerless conglomerate of small countries each with its own petty politics. It is my great hope that in 30 years or so the process towards a truly unified United States of Europe will have been completed and that by then, in the world's radically changed power balances, USA and USE will discover they are brothers-in-arms rather than adversaries.

You are worried about Frances influence in the EU. Well, first of all you should then be elated about the enlargement because Frances role is inevitably diluted. Secondly, you will remember that China's Hu Jintao visited France this winter and that France, worldwide acclaimed Human Rights Champion par excellence, was very eager to lift the EU's arms embargo, instituted after the brutal and bloody suppression of Chinese students at Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Well, this should be proof that France cannot push its will through just like that. The European Parliament vetoed it. That is not to say that they won't get authorization sometime in the future. But the European Parliament is now able to impose stricter conditions and ask for proof of their observance.

P.S.: and really, don't worry too much if it gets through. Rafales are no match for Raptors.

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