If the European Union wants to make British people angry, it’s doing a stellar job. In October, after revising how they calculate gross domestic product, EU officials determined that Britain was wealthier than they thought. They abruptly handed Britain an unexpected bill for $2.7 billion, including back payment, for the EU budget. Then other EU leaders publicly castigated London for noncompliance with the EU’s liberal immigration policies. And in November, Jean-Claude Juncker—a man who openly spurns democratic norms, saying, for example, in 2011, “I am for secret, dark debates”—was appointed president of the European Commission.
Britain’s simmering resentment of the EU boiled over.
Ever since Britain joined up with Europe in 1973, it has experienced rhetorical fights, political impasses and financial catastrophes. Rather than cohering and melding into Europe, its closeness with the Continent has only caused friction. Yet it has remained steadfastly part of the EU.
But signs are increasing that this relationship is at an impasse. These days, major problems with Europe seem to come every few months, each sparking a reaction more impassioned than the last. And in 2014, the British electorate sent a strong message that it is ready to end the status quo. Continue reading
… And then the dominant nations made plans to whittle down, to say, ten nations or so — with all roads leading to Berlin.
The 17-member eurozone could soon get its own parliament with power over nations’ taxation, spending and economic policy, under plans being drawn up by Europe’s four presidents, German paper Handelsblatt reported September 6.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker presented an initial report on their proposals for the future of the eurozone in June. They’re due to present their final proposal at a summit beginning October 18, with a final report and road map due to be adopted by EU leaders at a summit on December 13.
The new eurozone parliament would be made up of both members of the European Parliament (meps) and representatives from national parliaments.
Their other proposals include giving the European Commission the power to veto national budgets.
The radical reforms go beyond any other proposals for political union so far, and would require changes to EU treaties. Several meps have already spoken out against them.
Separately, Barroso called for the EU to take on more power in social, labor and education policy, as Europe struggles with high unemployment. “We need to aim for an integrated EU policy approach and better coordination of employment and social policy at national and EU level,” he said in a speech at the Employment Policy Conference, September 6. “Not only employment and social policy, but also education policy ….
Full article: EU Leaders Draft Plans for a Superstate (The Trumpet)