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 Lisbon and Neutrality

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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Sat May 10, 2008 3:20 pm

Kate P wrote:
They are only our EU partners in a coalition of the willing in so far as we make it possible for such a coalition to be set up by EU partners as opposed to individual states acting outside of the EU's remit.

Grahnlaw's argument makes perfect logical sense but it leaves out the ethics: enhanced co-operation under an EU banner has the approval of every member state who has ratified the Treaty of Lisbon.

Are our (Irish) hands clean regarding Britain's role in Iraq, ibis? I mean apart from that scandal in Shannon.

No, they aren't. We are in economic and political partnership with Britain in the EU. We can't say "oh, but its not a military relationship, you know". That, I believe, is a cop-out.

If we are in a partnership with the UK, and they are going to do such things, we should either be able to explicitly oppose them, or explicitly allow them - not stand there with our hands in our pockets pretending its nothing to do with us.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Sat May 10, 2008 5:38 pm

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No, they aren't. We are in economic and political partnership with Britain in the EU. We can't say "oh, but its not a military relationship, you know". That, I believe, is a cop-out.

If we are in a partnership with the UK, and they are going to do such things, we should either be able to explicitly oppose them, or explicitly allow them - not stand there with our hands in our pockets pretending its nothing to do with us.

We are in a partnership of one sort or another with virtually every nation on earth, ibis and for that reason we stand with our hands in our pockets saying every crime against humanity has nothing to do with us.

However, there is a considerable difference between hypocritically supporting a Treaty which actively facilitates the formation of military alliances under the banner of the EU and sharing membership of the EU as it stands at the moment.

And it would be even more hypocritical to suggest that we could vote yes to Lisbon and then expect our representatives to say no to such an agreement since we've tacitly voiced our support in principle. And for our government to veto the formation of an alliance would be exactly the kind of hypocrisy you condemn when you say we would be standing there with our hands in our pockets. That's just what we'd be doing.

Saying yes to enhanced co-operation is a way of saying that we are prepared to stand over military actions taken by other countries specificially under the EU banner. I think that having the mplied support of 27 countries, even if only six are actively engaged in a military action such as the war on Iraq sends out a very different message to the world than the one currently transmitted by Britain's stand-alone action.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Sat May 10, 2008 7:01 pm

Kate P wrote:
seinfeld wrote:
Kate P wrote:

I am unhappy with the prospect of Enhanced Co-operation. It creates a situation where a group of EU states can do as a big gang what the UK did when getting involved in Iraq. I don't see why the EU should facilitate this and I think it's a regressive step for the Union - and the other member states.

You think a Treaty is needed before a gang of EU states get together to form a military alliance?

What's this NATO do-da I keep hearing about?

Europe has been home to a military alliance for the last 30 years, except that its a military alliance which is controlled by the US.

If we have to have a military alliance in Europe I'd much prefer if was controlled by the EU.

The point is not that we need a Treaty before they can get together, but that the treaty gives them licence to under a sort of EU banner - and I'm not in favour of that. Europe may have been home to a military alliance - but the EU per se has not. To me that's a fundamental shift.

If we have to have a military alliance in Europe, as a citizen of the EU, I don't want to be associated with it. I was mortally ashamed of the actions of Britain in joining with the US on the war on Iraq - ashamed and angry but had the consolation, if I can call it that, of knowing that I hadn't signed up to giving it my blessing.

That's a fair point and is about the only party of the Treaty that causes me concern. I don't anticipate that the IDF will every be involved in an EU military campaign, but I forsee that the EU itself will be.

However, if the EU is the overarching political and economic umbrella under which european states go about their business, it makes sense that military cooperation should also come under that umbrella. In any agreement between nations, organisations or even individuals, compromise must play a role, and if some of our 27 neighbours feel strongly that the EU should have a role in military cooperation, thats something we have to factor into our overall decision about EU participation, in the same way they have to factor in our position on corporation tax.

Ultimately, we all have to bear responsibility for the actions of the EU in every sphere of human endeavour. I'm not happy about having to bear responsibility for the fact that farmers in the developing world are prevented from trading with the EU, but I accept that in a Union of 27 states, it makes more sense to base my support on the overall benefit of that Union rather than on the specifics.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Sat May 10, 2008 7:09 pm

That is a reasonable approach. But how about this alternative view: turning the resources of the EU towards the military sphere, and bringing all that into the organisation, is a backward step based on old fashioned big-bloc thinking.

Why not be different and try to map out a plan for the future of the EU that is civilian-based so far as its internal structures and operations go and orientated towards cooperation rather than coercion so far as the outside world is concerned?

We are in the 21st century - way past time for some fresh thinking.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Sat May 10, 2008 7:19 pm

Helium Three wrote:

Why not be different and try to map out a plan for the future of the EU that is civilian-based so far as its internal structures and operations go and orientated towards cooperation rather than coercion so far as the outside world is concerned?

That's a fair point, but we have to accept that larger continental EU states have valid concerns about the military hegemony of the US, and the see the EU as the logical farmework in which to redress that imbalance.

That isn't something that necessarily concerns us, but we should be able to understand the concerns of others.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Sat May 10, 2008 7:22 pm

Yes I see that. But the US devotion to its military industrial complex has destroyed its economy and its standing in the world IMO and is not a role model for our Continent. We can do better. Ireland is in an unique position in the EU to make that case. If we actually realised it.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Sat May 10, 2008 7:30 pm

Helium Three wrote:
Yes I see that. But the US devotion to its military industrial complex has destroyed its economy and its standing in the world IMO and is not a role model for our Continent. We can do better. Ireland is in an unique position in the EU to make that case. If we actually realised it.

What model of military co-operaton would you suggest then? If Europe needs a military framework, surely its better that the framework is accountable to the EU and its institutions?
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Sat May 10, 2008 10:01 pm

Sorry but I believe that to be an idealistically-based mistake.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Sat May 10, 2008 10:33 pm

Helium Three wrote:
Sorry but I believe that to be an idealistically-based mistake.

Please elaborate. I have not idea what this means.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Sat May 10, 2008 10:46 pm

seinfeld wrote:
Helium Three wrote:
Sorry but I believe that to be an idealistically-based mistake.

Please elaborate. I have not idea what this means.

I'm also lost!
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Sun May 11, 2008 11:40 pm

http://euobserver.com/9/26107?rss_rk=1
German foreign minister favours EU army
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Sun May 11, 2008 11:56 pm

lostexpectation wrote:
http://euobserver.com/9/26107?rss_rk=1
German foreign minister favours EU army

http://www.ambafrance-uk.org/Keeping-the-peace-Article-by-M.html
French Foreign Minister doesn't.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Sun May 11, 2008 11:57 pm

lostexpectation wrote:
http://euobserver.com/9/26107?rss_rk=1
German foreign minister favours EU army

This is news to you?
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Mon May 12, 2008 1:34 am

Can someone point out to me who exactly do they expect to attack the EU.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Mon May 12, 2008 1:39 am

They have been very vague on that one youngdan. Though they most regularly mention 'terrorists'...
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Mon May 12, 2008 1:40 am

And is there not an 'energy security' agenda?
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Mon May 12, 2008 1:45 am

youngdan wrote:
Can someone point out to me who exactly do they expect to attack the EU.
The Axis of Evil plus Russia and China, their mammy and daddy.


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Mon May 12, 2008 2:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Mon May 12, 2008 2:24 am

Could it be that this EU army be an offensive tool against smaller countries who do not buckle under their orders. The thought of the US, Russia or China attacking is not very credible is it because if it is a EU army would not not be able to offer much resistancce to 10000 nukes anyway. The target of the EU army can be found by looking in the mirror because there is no outside threat.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Mon May 12, 2008 2:31 am

youngdan wrote:
Could it be that this EU army be an offensive tool against smaller countries who do not buckle under their orders. The thought of the US, Russia or China attacking is not very credible is it because if it is a EU army would not not be able to offer much resistancce to 10000 nukes anyway. The target of the EU army can be found by looking in the mirror because there is no outside threat.

Are you really claiming that the "EU army" is to be used to quell internal dissent within the EU? That if Ireland fails to implement another Nitrates Directive, the blue-clad legions of Brussels will shoot and bomb their way to the Dáil to enforce compliance on maximum slurry levels?

I sometimes wonder if people actually understand even the basic concept of "rule of law".
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Mon May 12, 2008 2:44 am

Who are these troops to be used against Ibis. Is that not a simple question
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Mon May 12, 2008 2:47 am

youngdan wrote:
Who are these troops to be used against Ibis. Is that not a simple question

So armies should not exist unless there is an intention to use them against a specific and identifiable target?

The Swiss are going to be pretty pissed off when they hear this.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Mon May 12, 2008 2:49 am

youngdan wrote:
Who are these troops to be used against Ibis. Is that not a simple question

Who are what troops to be used against? The EU has two 'battlegroups' of 1,500 soldiers from various different member states. That's 3,000 soldiers total - not frontline troops.

Ireland has a bigger army (11,000). Who is the Irish army to be used against youngdan?
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Mon May 12, 2008 2:51 am

ibis wrote:
Who is the Irish army to be used against youngdan?

Our population of feral cats?
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Mon May 12, 2008 2:52 am

Are you going to answer the question or not. Is there a proposal that Irish troops are joining the Swiss army as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Mon May 12, 2008 2:54 am

http://www.eda.europa.eu/genericitem.aspx?id=146

Open the link to their Long Term Vision near the foot of that page. Have a look at paragraph nine on page six of that Vision.
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