Category Archives: EU
January 27, 2018Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Mainly for the benefit of my children, I should like to point out that German reunification refers to that of 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall,which led to Tag der Deutschen Einheit. This is not the same as Bismarck’s German Unification of 1850 to 1871 nor is it the 1938 Anschluss. Read more of this post
January 20, 2018Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Having began the year on the topic of the EU I was attracted to an article published in Europe’s Journal of Psychology (EJOP) — Vol 1, No 4 (2005) with the title ‘The French Vision of Europe from Victor Hugo’s United States of Europe to the No to the Constitution’ from which this week’s extracts have been taken. The EJOP contribution by Michel Viegnes offers an insight into the French psyche and the influence that Victor Hugo continues to have on it.
This EJOP article is rather long, which I have made it more readable by breaking down the paragraphs, some editorial arrangements and adding a number of links. However, despite these modifications, the paper is still intended to represent the views as written by the author. Should you wish to read the published article in EJOP, a link to it is also included below. Read more of this post
January 19, 2018Posted by on
Finally, the French NO at the 2005 referendum that was a serious drawback for the construction of a real political Europe, if not a lethal strike. It brought together distinct political forces and even conflicting ones, in the shared fear that the identity of Europe (from the French perspective) would be subsumed in a world that is always growing more and more globalised. For those who said NO, whether they came from the right or the left, the constitutional model led to an American globalisation that is simultaneously fascinating and detested, religious and mercantile it is seen as the driving force of this internationalism. One where historical identities seem to be brought into a global culture that is consumerist and technological and in which, former powers of the old continent can no longer play a major role by themselves. Read more of this post
January 18, 2018Posted by on
It is startling to see that Hugo has a rather singular view on the European issue when compared with great authors and intellectuals of the 19th century. It is not until the next century and primarily not until the great catastrophe of the 1914/18 war that one could hear in France important figures giving their opinion on the European idea. Whether we should regret it or not, the perspectives on this are very dissimilar. Read more of this post
January 17, 2018Posted by on
For Hugo, the single guarantee of inviolable peace was the normal state of work, that is the exchange, the offer and the demand, the production and the consumption, the vast common effort, the attraction of industries, the circulation of ideas, the human flux and reflux. Indeed, this confidence in the rationality of the market, in what Adam Smith called the invisible hand, this certainty that economic freedom engenders or consolidates civic freedoms are typically Anglo-Saxon. They are not part of the French tradition, although France had its own brilliant defenders, especially in the encyclopaedic movement of the 18th century with Quesnay and Turgot. But we should remember that the Former Regime was extremely directive: today, each time the French State launches great initiatives in order to stimulate the economy, we speak of Colbertism. Read more of this post
January 16, 2018Posted by on
We can notice these days, following the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, that Hugo primarily justifies the idea of a Union of European states by the need to preserve peace, as the ONU Charter did in 1946; Europe should first be a space without war, its genius should imagine nonviolent solutions for unavoidable litigation. Read more of this post
January 15, 2018Posted by on
This great idea of Europe, Hugo publicly expressed for the first time in the opening discourse at the first Peace Congress, held in Paris, 21st of August 1849. These Peace Congresses were a privileged context for Hugo’s reflection on Europe; he will have the occasion to come back to this theme in his speeches for the Peace Congress of Lausanne (1869) and that of Lugano (1872). Read more of this post
April 2, 2017Posted by on
A review of the UK’s Brexit options with the help of seven international databases
Michael Burrage, March 2017
The image of the EU’s Single Market as an economically successful project, membership of which is vital to the interests of the UK, has rested on the hopes and repeated assurances of politicians rather than any credible evidence.
No UK government has ever sought to monitor its impact until the rushed analysis, now widely held to be unreliable and untrustworthy, produced by the Treasury just before the referendum. There is, therefore, no authoritative evidence against which to assess the economic consequences of the Government’s decision to leave the Single Market and, potentially, trade with the EU under World Trade Organization rules.
In this new study, Michael Burrage uses seven international databases to assess the benefits of the Single Market for the UK, comparing its performance with that of other EU members, and with non-members who have traded with the EU. The data shows that the Single Market has not delivered the export growth it was expected to.
Michael Burrage also shows how other supposed benefits of the Single Market are largely imaginary. There is no evidence that Single Market membership has had a positive impact on UK GDP or productivity growth. The idea that the Single Market has been good for jobs is belied by the astonishing employment record of its members compared with other developed economies.
The benefits of Single Market membership have been illusory, while its costs are real, onerous, and unacceptable to a majority of the British people. Theresa May’s decision to withdraw the UK from the Single Market has been criticised by some for jeopardising the economy. But, as she and her ministers embark on negotiations over the UK’s future relationship with the EU, Michael Burrage shows that it is quite OK to walk away.
November 5, 2016Posted by on
This week on Facebook: It would seem that the people of Wallonia determined what it was that made the world go around. At least for the EU, Canada, and a free trade deal. It was enlightening to see how the result of a democratic process that is not (necessarily) shared in other democracies could send the media into such a spin. When I wrote Free Trade — not so transparent I concluded that, Perhaps the lack of transparency in these Free Trade Agreements means very little if we assume the continuation of any discretionary income we may have, our ability to spend it where we will and its value of exchange is to our advantage. Read more of this post