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Tom112
DID YOU ALL KNOW THAT THE E U FINANCES HAVE NOT BEEN SIGNED OFF FOR 10 YEARS OR SO BECAUSE OF IRREGULARITIES.ITS NOT SURPRISING REALLY ITS AN EXPENSES FREE FOR ALL GRAVY TRAIN.

THE ONLY THING THAY CAN TALK ABOUT IS THE BEND IN BANANAS AND CUCUMBERS.
Bikerman
Actually the auditors have not signed the EU accounts off for 15 years now.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Actually the auditors have not signed the EU accounts off for 15 years now.


Wow, now this is completely surprising to me! All that infrastructure and EU Government institutions everywhere and they cannot sign off on accounts. So can one then come to the conclusion that the EURO is also a bubble to be pricked one of these days? Especially when Governments start to chip away at artificial institutions and areas where they can save much needed funds?

Somewhere in the news programs I was listening to when I was in the UK last week, I think it was Skynews, some stats had been referred to in terms of the cost to British tax payers of adopting EU rules and regulations, even when Britain is not part of the EU. The person with whom the interview was held said that all those rules and regulations could have been perfectly formulated without any reference to the EU, so more money that could potentially have been saved.
Bikerman
No, it has nothing to do with the Euro - this is the internal accounts of the EU. There have long been problems with the accounts (there is undeniably corruption and mis-spending within the EU). Most people are aware of this - though perhaps not the details. The problem is that people then conflate this with other issues such as EU legislation (as in the 'shape of bananas' in the OP) when in fact there is no real link. Most EU legislation is entirely sensible and, to my mind, necessary.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
No, it has nothing to do with the Euro - this is the internal accounts of the EU. There have long been problems with the accounts (there is undeniably corruption and mis-spending within the EU). Most people are aware of this - though perhaps not the details. The problem is that people then conflate this with other issues such as EU legislation (as in the 'shape of bananas' in the OP) when in fact there is no real link. Most EU legislation is entirely sensible and, to my mind, necessary.


I did understand about the Euro, also that like real estate prices, the Euro increased much more in value than what it should have. There may be a bubble in it too? The current recession may place a lot of question marks around alleged corruption, misspending as well as wonder whether all of this are necessary. This kind of thinking may place question marks around the value of the Euro as well as perception underlying the strong Euro has been that of strong EU financial foundation. Maybe the foundation is much more fragile than people had thought.
Stubru Freak
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Actually the auditors have not signed the EU accounts off for 15 years now.


Wow, now this is completely surprising to me! All that infrastructure and EU Government institutions everywhere and they cannot sign off on accounts. So can one then come to the conclusion that the EURO is also a bubble to be pricked one of these days? Especially when Governments start to chip away at artificial institutions and areas where they can save much needed funds?

Somewhere in the news programs I was listening to when I was in the UK last week, I think it was Skynews, some stats had been referred to in terms of the cost to British tax payers of adopting EU rules and regulations, even when Britain is not part of the EU. The person with whom the interview was held said that all those rules and regulations could have been perfectly formulated without any reference to the EU, so more money that could potentially have been saved.


Britain is part of the EU, one of the most powerful members.
Bikerman
Yes, I think you may be confusing the EU with the Euro.
Britain has been part of the EU for many years but is not, yet, part of the Euro (ie we don't use the common European currency).
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Yes, I think you may be confusing the EU with the Euro.
Britain has been part of the EU for many years but is not, yet, part of the Euro (ie we don't use the common European currency).


Thanks Chris. I knew about the Euro, but not that Britain was a member of the EU. Makes sense now in terms of that programme I saw. Must be quite an expensive membership for Britain.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Yes, I think you may be confusing the EU with the Euro.
Britain has been part of the EU for many years but is not, yet, part of the Euro (ie we don't use the common European currency).


Thanks Chris. I knew about the Euro, but not that Britain was a member of the EU. Makes sense now in terms of that programme I saw. Must be quite an expensive membership for Britain.

We are indeed a net contributor (largely because we don't get so much from the Common Agricultural Policy). I think the net amount is about 50 billion euros a year from UK to EU...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_rebate
Stubru Freak
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Yes, I think you may be confusing the EU with the Euro.
Britain has been part of the EU for many years but is not, yet, part of the Euro (ie we don't use the common European currency).


Thanks Chris. I knew about the Euro, but not that Britain was a member of the EU. Makes sense now in terms of that programme I saw. Must be quite an expensive membership for Britain.


It's expensive for all countries, not only Britain. But you also get a lot in return.
lagoon
Ahh, I see you are from Belgium. As far as I can see, nobody in Britain that I know of gets anything from the EU (apart from our MEPs that are hated for their ludicrous laws, well, the minority that are in the Daily Mail anyway)
deanhills
lagoon wrote:
Ahh, I see you are from Belgium. As far as I can see, nobody in Britain that I know of gets anything from the EU (apart from our MEPs that are hated for their ludicrous laws, well, the minority that are in the Daily Mail anyway)


That's what I meant. When I made my remark I was thinking about a documentary I had seen on BBC in London when I was there two weeks ago. They had done one of those statistical cost exercises to see how much all those new rules and regulations of the EU were costing the UK tax payers. I cannot remember what the figure was, but it obviously was food for thought. Conclusion of the report was that the UK could well do without the rules and regulations as they were similar to those already in existence in the UK and just taking up space and gathering lots of dust.

While we are on the topic, what do you think the benefits are for Belgium other than of course creating jobs and boosting the economy with providing local services to the EU in Belgium?
Bikerman
Err,
I don't want to pee on anyone's bonfire but there is some wild inaccuracy here. Exact figures are tricky to compile but OpenEurope (an extremely Eurosceptic organisation) compiled some pretty respectable stats for the period 2007-2013 which most people think are in the ballpark:

a) Belgium is a net receiver of EU funds, not contributor (to the tune of about 6.5 billion Euros)
b) Many states are net recipients - it tends to be that the richest states contribute the most and the poorest get the most, but there are exceptions to that (the situation in Luxemburg and Belgium is distorted because of the huge number of companies based in those countries that have their 'parent' outside the country).
c) The UK does about half of its foreign trade with Europe. That market is the single most important to us.

The OpenEurope table of states is on wiki HERE
Stubru Freak
deanhills wrote:
Conclusion of the report was that the UK could well do without the rules and regulations as they were similar to those already in existence in the UK and just taking up space and gathering lots of dust.

While we are on the topic, what do you think the benefits are for Belgium other than of course creating jobs and boosting the economy with providing local services to the EU in Belgium?


Europe does a lot of good things, the best example is all the little rules (the shape of bananas that everyone thinks is so useless). This allows real free trade inside Europe, which used to be impossible because all these rules were local.
The shape of bananas is important in a way because then a farmer knows which bananas are suitable for export to the EU and which bananas aren't, instead of having to check for all countries separately. But of course, the EU has voted more useful rules than that. For example, safety requirements for appliances. That way, when a British company makes an appliance, they have a market of at least half a billion people without worrying about different safety rules.
Also, the Belgian franc would probably have crashed by now because of the financial crisis. The euro managed to survive (so far). But that's of course not useful for Britain.
The fact that I can drive to France without stopping at the border is also nice.

Another thing is the international power it gives Europe. It's still not as much as Europe deserves, but at least we're no longer ignored like during the Cold War.
Also, the European Union helps some poorer regions develop. Whether we should pay for the development of other countries is everyone's own opinion, but I believe that's a good thing. When the regions get richer, they easily pay back the costs in taxes.
Bikerman
Stubru,
you are preaching to the choir as far as I am concerned - I am a strong supporter of the EU.
Stubru Freak
Bikerman wrote:
Stubru,
you are preaching to the choir as far as I am concerned - I am a strong supporter of the EU.


I was responding to this question from deanhills:
Quote:
While we are on the topic, what do you think the benefits are for Belgium other than of course creating jobs and boosting the economy with providing local services to the EU in Belgium?


I'll clarify that.
deanhills
Stubru Freak wrote:
Europe does a lot of good things, the best example is all the little rules (the shape of bananas that everyone thinks is so useless). This allows real free trade inside Europe, which used to be impossible because all these rules were local.
The shape of bananas is important in a way because then a farmer knows which bananas are suitable for export to the EU and which bananas aren't, instead of having to check for all countries separately. But of course, the EU has voted more useful rules than that. For example, safety requirements for appliances. That way, when a British company makes an appliance, they have a market of at least half a billion people without worrying about different safety rules.
Also, the Belgian franc would probably have crashed by now because of the financial crisis. The euro managed to survive (so far). But that's of course not useful for Britain.
The fact that I can drive to France without stopping at the border is also nice.

Another thing is the international power it gives Europe. It's still not as much as Europe deserves, but at least we're no longer ignored like during the Cold War.
Also, the European Union helps some poorer regions develop. Whether we should pay for the development of other countries is everyone's own opinion, but I believe that's a good thing. When the regions get richer, they easily pay back the costs in taxes.


Thanks Stubru. You're right, it must have raised the Euopean self-esteem as well. Sort of fashionable now to want a Europass. I hope all of the good stuff will survive during the crisis as it looks as though the financial problems are affecting Europeans very badly right now. When EU dues become payable, they will probably need to cut a lot of the good services.
ptfrances
I think EU could be a good ally during this crisis to regulate and avoid protectionism
lagoon
But with the influx of foreign workers into Britain, I don't see how protectionism can be avoided.
deanhills
lagoon wrote:
But with the influx of foreign workers into Britain, I don't see how protectionism can be avoided.

Exactly. Think it is already a BIG issue there. UK really looks bad job wise and I must say I can't blame them.
yagnyavalkya
deanhills wrote:
lagoon wrote:
But with the influx of foreign workers into Britain, I don't see how protectionism can be avoided.

Exactly. Think it is already a BIG issue there. UK really looks bad job wise and I must say I can't blame them.

All these things are transient
in the long run EU will rule and there will be a time when the geographical boundaries of the EU will be seamlessly integrated and they will exude power over all other regions of the world
deanhills
yagnyavalkya wrote:
deanhills wrote:
lagoon wrote:
But with the influx of foreign workers into Britain, I don't see how protectionism can be avoided.

Exactly. Think it is already a BIG issue there. UK really looks bad job wise and I must say I can't blame them.

All these things are transient
in the long run EU will rule and there will be a time when the geographical boundaries of the EU will be seamlessly integrated and they will exude power over all other regions of the world


Well if you can see that happening with Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, with Canada, the United States and Mexico, then perhaps you have a point Wink

I think the EU will be very thoroughly tested during the current economic crisis. It is one thing to look efficient when its member countries were doing good and membership fees were duly received, but another when those countries are in dire financial straits. Time will probably tell in the end.
ajassat
If you ask me...

The European Union was established in order to make the possibility of a 'New World Order' more realistic. So far one could say that the original fathers of the EU have been successful - 27 member states agreeing on most things (bar the UK, currency!). The main battle is between EU states and former communist governments (such as in Russia, Cuba).
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