A Happy “Europe Day” to You and Yours

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solana.jpg
On May 9, 1950, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman suggested the banding together and rationalization of Western European coal and steel production. This was the spark of the incremental intertwining of sovereignty, currencies, and aspiration into what is now the European Union.
The 9th of May is now memorialized as “Europe Day“.
Tonight, I’ll be going to the “Europe Day” celebration at the home of the Ambassador of the European Delegation to the U.S., former Prime Minister of Ireland John Bruton.
Javier Solana has been booked as the entertainment.
Interestingly, the White House has been completely silent in any recognition of “Europe Day”. A quick scan of White House press releases shows that the President recently made remarks or issued statements commemorating Cinco de Mayo and National Prayer Day. Maybe we don’t extend comments on other nation’s special days — but seems like it would be easy “feel good” diplomacy to do so.
But for those Europhiles out there, you should take a look at this interesting new brief on Europe done by my friend Jakob von Weizsaecker at the impressive new European think tank, Bruegel.
His piece starts with an opener that shares similar sentiments as my and Michael Lind’s recent New York Times op-ed “How to Lose the Brain Race“:

Many more people would like to migrate to the EU than the EU is ready to absorb. But who should be allowed to enter and who should not? The economic effects of high-skilled immigration are generally positive for the receiving country while low-skilled migration has more ambiguous effects. The economic and political complexity of low-skilled migration must not be used as an excuse for procrastination. The EU has already fallen behind in attracting high-skilled migrants.
By contrast, Australia, Canada and Switzerland are particularly successful in attracting foreign graduates through “points” based immigration systems. Europe should follow suit to position itself in the global competition for talent.

The entire report is worth reading and would be a great item to add to any course syllabus for those teaching about European politics and social trends.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

15 comments on “A Happy “Europe Day” to You and Yours

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  6. civitas says:

    The EU was very much divided on Iraq. Spain, Italy, and Britain supported the action in Iraq. Basically France and Germany were opposed.
    Some Europeans do want Turkey in the EU, some don’t.

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  7. Hello says:

    1) The European Union of 2003 was NOT divided in its position on the Iraq war. The only governments supporting the US position meaningfully were Spain, Italy, Denmark and the UK. There was not a single majority of any EU nation which supported the war. In fact, even in those member states were the governments supported the war, public opinion was overwhelmingly AGAINST the war, viz. Spain’s rejection of the government preceding Zapatero. You are confusing Europe with the EU. Many of the third world nations of Eastern Europe were not a part of the EU in 2003. They were flattered by the lavish attention shown to them by the PNAC operatives. But for the effective interference in European affairs by the Bush administration, it is quite likely that the European UNION would have opposed the Bush administration more forcefully. This is why President Chirac publicly told the new Eastern European Union recruits to “shut up” on global issues such as the war. This is why the majority of Europeans privately agreed with the sentiment expressed in those rude words.
    2) Which Europeans do you know that want Turkey admitted into the EU as a predominantly Muslim, dirt poor nation, weak in democratic institutions and located in ASIA minor? Of course, Turkey does NOT belong in the European Union.

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  8. civitas says:

    “I heard that it’s quite easy to become a citizen of Switzerland”
    only if you think waiting 12 years inside of Switzerland is easy. Did you know that the test for Swiss citizenship sometimes includes the recipe or fondue?
    “Foreign residents typically have to live at least 12 years in the country before they can apply, and they have to pay a fee, which can amount to tens of thousands of dollars.
    Furthermore, being born in Switzerland carries no right to be Swiss, the children and even grandchildren of foreign immigrants are not entitled to citizenship.
    Fatma Karademir, who is 23, was born in Switzerland and has never lived anywhere else. But the Swiss authorities say she is Turkish, because her parents emigrated from Turkey over 40 years ago.
    Following current Swiss law, Fatma has already applied for citizenship through her local village citizenship committee.
    They rejected her, saying she would have to live there another 10 years before they could really judge her suitability to be Swiss.
    And she knows that when she does finally appear before the citizenship committee, the fact that she has lived all her life in Switzerland will count less than the answers she will give to the committee’s questions.
    “They’ll ask me if I can imagine marrying a Swiss boy,” she explains. “Or if I like Swiss music, or who I’ll support if Switzerland play Turkey at football – really stupid questions.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3673736.stm

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  9. civitas says:

    “Come on now, Civitas… by now you surely know that public and private positions with this administration are often wildly discordant.”
    All we would know is the public position which has actually been supportive of the EU, as was the CLinton administration.
    “Why do you think Rumsfeld and Cheney sought to depict the core of the European Union as irrelevant “old Europe” while lavishing attention and American diplomatic prestige on Eastern Europe?”
    Europe was very divided in its response to the invasion of Iraq. There would have been no point in not recognizing that. But the Iraq action and European response to it has nothing to do with the EU.
    “Why do you think the Bush administration wants the admission of a Trojan horse into the European Union (Turkey)?”
    Many Europeans want it too. It’s hardly an odd position to hold. Are you saying that Turkey is unworthy of EU membership?
    “Why do you think the private consensus among diplomats in the founding states of the EU is that Bush wants to destroy the viability of a European Union power center?”
    Maybe for the same reason many of them think the US somehow deserved 9/11.

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  10. Swiss citizenship says:

    Just ask Usama bin Laden’s brother who first sought citizenship, was refused, then offered the canton of Bern a massive multimillion dollar investment, was offered citizenship through Bern, then was offered citizenship by the canton of Geneva.

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  11. bloggerspace says:

    I heard that it’s quite easy to become a citizen of Switzerland; all you have to do is pay a hefty tax to an individual city. Ask Phil Collins.
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  12. Hello says:

    Come on now, Civitas… by now you surely know that public and private positions with this administration are often wildly discordant. Why do you think Rumsfeld and Cheney sought to depict the core of the European Union as irrelevant “old Europe” while lavishing attention and American diplomatic prestige on Eastern Europe? Why do you think the Bush administration wants the admission of a Trojan horse into the European Union (Turkey)? Why do you think the private consensus among diplomats in the founding states of the EU is that Bush wants to destroy the viability of a European Union power center?

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  13. civitas says:

    Actully, the Bush administration, as was the Clinton administration, has been publically supportive of the EU.

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  14. Hello says:

    The Bush administration has made it abundantly clear that they would like to see the dissolution and abolition of the European Union, which they regard as a threat to United States primacy in international relations.

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  15. civitas says:

    It’s actually quite dificult to immigrate to Switzerland. You have to be a continuous resident for 12 years before you can even apply for citizenship.

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