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Personally, I don't know where I stand on this. For me, the EU is a positive thing, and needs to continue on, with Britain being a full member. I used to think that the 'superstate' idea was the ideal goal for this, but not long ago I was reading something by Habermas and various other writers, and now I'm not too sure.
Once again, I will not claim that anything is perfect, but I really am inspired by the concern for social issues, the welfare of ordinary Europeans on the part of Europe's elites. The value of human rights and human dignity as European value are something that is inspiring. The idea of the European project has taken is to create a Europe for most of its citizens.
Contrast that with the American society and culture, where society is created to benefit the upper income. America has a mean and punitive culture. There is no concern about welfare of ordinary Americans, if they have jobs or homes, but only the ability of the rich to make more money. American culture is dirty, mean, and nasty - and American government is attempting to export this, especially in the form of criminal justice practices, to the rest of the world.
My feeling is that there is an attempt to import American-style "conservatism" into especially Europe in the form of phony "Christian Democrats" like Angela Merkel and child-like dupes like Nicolas Sarkozy. There are other "American" European leaders that seem to think that America is some kind of "outstanding rich nation" that should be mimicked. So, it is good governance of a "rich nation" to have some of your people sleeping in the streets and not give an damn?!
There is NO real opposition to the import of "American ideals" to Europe other than screaming lunatic leftists and throw back communists, who no one listens to...
The liberal democrats appear to be the only sane and rational opposition to American "activism" in Europe.
What Europe should do is join the global competition of ideas in the international community after the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. This means crafting association agreements with other nations and regions that include human rights, social market economy, social cohesion, and universal health care. Responsible governance for a government means the ability to take responsibility (to the best of your nation's ability) and DO something about joblessness, homelessness and poverty in you own country. Africa and Latin American and the rest of of the world can benefit if Europe can export these ideas to the rest of the world and we can create a more just order for everyone..!
Rather than being the "second pillar of the Atlantic Alliance" - Europe should be totally independent and through a vigorous foreign policy and international action without American interference.
But - hold up - there are "American" European leaders that would hinder a vigorous and strong European foreign policy if it started to compete with success against the United States, just as they are now screaming about the value of the euro over the dollar...
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