Sunday, March 25, 2007


(please disregard the growing pains)


Well today N and I took off to the Brandenburg Gate to get a little feel for how the EU is celebrating its 50th Birthday. You know, it doesn't seem that it could be 50. I mean, I don't remember studying the grand dream to combine the "major" countries in history class. It happened not long after WWII, and 50 years later some of that pipe dream has actually come true. The countries are trading across borders, there is a common currency in many member states (but what about Great Britain... hmm?), and as designed in the original agreement, the block of member states keeps growing.

Those original six countries, (Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Italy) have increased to twenty-seven. This process must be regarded as one of the greatest examples of peaceful and voluntary spread of freedom and democracy in the world. In fifty years we have seen southern European fascist rule break up and eastern and central European communist regimes dissolve. The Union has spread wealth and prosperity to underdeveloped areas. We have created a single market, a common currency and shared policies. Most importantly, European integration has made another European war unthinkable.

But what is the EU actually? Is it simply a bunch of bureaucracy set in a winding group of buildings in Brussels? Do they really need to consider and reconsider then eventually regulate the size and shape of the perfect imported European banana? Didn't it all start out as a way to get some kind of economic cooperation to be able to prevent wars?

Remember 2005 when the French and Dutch voters turned down the proposed European Constitution? 50 years after the initial treaty, and they still don't have a single document they can all agree on. Really I understand to a degree... the French don't want anyone telling them what they can and can't do... let alone a red-tape monster like Brussels. The Dutch used it as a way to show that they weren't very happy with their current government, and were going to vote down anything proposed by that government.

So today Germany's leader, Angela Merkel has finally done what she has been threatening to do since her administration was set, and she got the rotating EU Presidency into her hands... She has officially brought back the idea of again trying to ratify the EU Constitution. No one has really talked about it since the French/Dutch debacle.

Personally I think that if anyone can do it... Angie can
You Go Girl!

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