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It’s not made by EU politicians, it’s made by a combination of lawyers, engineers and public administration majors.

In many ways the EU is a functioning technocracy, and if you ever read through the actual EU documents it shows. They are almost always sound, they are also massively bureaucratic and around 90% longer than necessary, but I’ve never read through something that wasn’t sound.

Disclaimer: I haven’t read up on article 13, but I do read (and sit through) a good deal of EU standards and proposals for EU wide Enterprise Architectural principles, and they are never thwarted by politics.




>but I’ve never read through something that wasn’t sound.

Sound in respect to very general interpretations and "common sense". The problem is that general laws can touch topics that are way beyond common sense, the room of interpretation is then just so big that it's like a weapon to take out anybody if you only dig deep enough and frame it as a problem for the common good.


[flagged]


You can say anything you want about the EU, but it's perfectly functioning and always has been.


> it's perfectly functioning and always has been.

The EU is far from "perfectly functioning". It functions pretty well but it's not perfect. There's some non-negligible group in pretty much every country that rightfully has some major gripe with the EU. If there wasn't we wouldn't have things like Brexit. I get that you can't please everyone but if the UK GTFOing isn't indicative of some sort of imperfection than I don't know what is.


Brexit has nothing to do with the functioning of the EU, it’s a byproduct of a broken political culture. British politicians failed at their jobs for 20 years and then blamed others for it, simple as that. The EU could have been the most enlightened organisation on the planet, and the result would have been precisely the same.


"but it's perfectly functioning and always has been."

This is so deeply wrong it's offensive.

coldtea 74 days ago [flagged]

"Perfectly functioning and always has been"? That is beyond delusion.

The EU is co-ruled by an opaque system of non elected bodies, under the table deals, and backroom diplomacy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_deficit_in_the_Euro...

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/09/brexit...

https://www.economist.com/special-report/2017/03/23/how-to-a...

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1007/S12290-012-021...

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/30/opinion/the-euros-democra...

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/11/i-was-teenage-...

https://www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/books/adults-in-the-room/

And those are mostly official establishment narratives -- if you look at critiques from the left (and libertatians) the picture is much much bleaker.


> The EU is co-ruled by an opaque system of non elected bodies

The EU council (comprising of democratically elected heads of government from the 28 member countries)

The EU parliament (comprising of directly elected MEPs from the 28 member countries)

The EU commission president, nominated by the council, approved by the parliament, and standing on a ticket to be EU Commission president during the parliamentary elections

The EU commissioners, appointed by the democratically elected heads of government from the 28 members

Laws are only passed by agreement by the democratically elected council and the democratically elected MEPs.


That's the version told to high schoolers in "How the EU works" lessons.

In actual EU, decisions are made by informal bodies like the Eurogroup, meeting under close quarters and with no documentation, with economic and diplomatic pressure from top dog countries, with satellite states vote how their sugar daddy states ask them, and a whole lot more besides.


"Eurogroup", which (like the Economic and Financial Affairs Council) would be meetings between the democratically elected finance ministers of the countries in the EU?


That's funny.

Representative democracy, with it's paltry accountability except every 4 years, gerrymandering-schemes (not a US-only problem), typically revoked election promises, backroom talks, corruption, and private interests paying politicians is already undemocratic enough as it stands.

And suddenly removing the voters even further (as in the EU Commission), or adding "bodies" with no officially defined role and protocol, and closed discussions, like the Eurogroup, is "democratic" because those involved were "democratically elected finance ministers" under unrelated to the EU national elections.


I'm struggling to see your problem. Are you saying that the EU should have more power over constituent member countries?


Do you really think that it would happen any differently, without the EU? There simply would be international treaties, which are even more opaquely-discussed, with no democratic oversight whatsoever and no recourse (national justice courts typically have no jurisdiction over international agreements).

With the EU, the process is formalized, opened up for scrutiny at many levels (sure, they could be more, there are people working on that problem), and then everyone can have a say through the European Court of Justice process.

The fact of the matter is that we live in an increasingly globalized world, and we must find ways to live together without resorting to the traditional genocidal ways (which are now practically unsustainable - a serious war on the continent would produce hundreds of millions of casualties). Somewhere, the political sausage-making has to happen.


> The EU is co-ruled by an opaque system of non elected bodies, under the table deals, and backroom diplomacy.

So just like any other democracy in the world. Do you really believe things are different in the House of Commons or the senate?


No, but I really believe those at least represent the public and private interests of their own country, not some big-dog country to the detriment of the periphery...


What do you see as not functioning in the EU?


have you ever been to rural Germany, Italy, France or heard of gilets jaunes? Any idea why they might exist?

I live in a very poor EU country (out of choice) and most young people fuck off to Germany or France because their home states have no jobs for them. They don't come back either which causes a massive brain drain on these places. Ask the so called middle class in Croatia, Slovakia, Italy what they think of the EU and how well it works for them. Avg salary in these places is 500 to 1000 EUR. And if you visit supermarkets all they have is shit. Literally everything like fresh veg tastes like feet because the good stuff that is locally produced gets exported to the rich places. Companies have 2 production lines making low-grade products (despite being the same brand) for these markets. I'm not an arm-chair bureaucrat who forms his opinion on Google. I actually live in these placed because despite all this shit and poverty the people are actually warm.

One more example: thousands of people wiping arses in nursery homes in Germany are working through shady polish, slovenian, etc outsourcing companies where they're stripped of all benefits that a German would enjoy. They work for 500 to 1000 / month (in a high cost country) because their home country has no jobs for them. Then they're being exploited by the rich EU countries.

Again I lived in Germany, ran 2 companies there, lived in France (operated 3 businesses), now I live in Eastern EU. As much as I want the EU to succeed I can't be blind to the hypocrisy that I see every day on the streets in my own surrounding.


Not all of this is the EU - which is not exactly some super-state that controls every aspect of life on the continent.

Almost all of these things are in the jurisdiction of the member states themselves, and the EU has little power to control them.

If the EU didn't exist, Germany would still be staffing its nursing homes with cheap(er) foreign labour, just done under a visa rather than EU freedom of movement.

If the EU didn't exist, companies would still produce high-quality products for rich markets, and low-quality products for poor markets. (If you want a fascinating example of this, read this Twitter thread about the manufacture of sanitary pads in Africa - https://twitter.com/aprzhu/status/1083278476310913024)

If the EU, ceased to exist, would eastern European supermarkets no longer be filled with "shit", or would local producers continue to export their good produce where they can get the most money for it?

There is a tendency to avoid criticism of the EU and congratulate it for things it does not do, but it is also a mistake to assign all the ills of Europe to it, when blame for them is much more accurately laid on national governments.


> If the EU didn't exist, Germany would still be staffing its nursing homes with cheap(er) foreign labour, just done under a visa rather than EU freedom of movement.

Or worse: the care would be become too expensive and peoples arses wouldn't be wiped at all..


Datapoint: UK family have been looking at such services for a relative with Alzheimer’s. ~£1,000/week, compared to the ~£60/week the government pays in benefits to those looking after relatives.


That's not really the EU failing, that's just poor countries being poor. A smart businessman will export his goods for the highest price to make more money if he can. That will lead to shittier products sold in poor countries, but it also brings food to the table of the farmers.

It's not as if Poland and Hungary would have been booming economic superpowers if it hadn't been for the EU. The people fleeing their country because of the lack of jobs won't suddenly find new jobs if they can't leave.

The exploitation of cheap, foreign labour is an issue though and it's not just hurting the people being exploited; the natives of the country the exploitation takes place in will see their wages drop if some shady outsourcing company can have the same work done for half the price. Those old people don't want their assets wiped by someone who can barely understand their language either but they need to put up with it because of cost-saving measures that has degraded the level of care. This is something the EU can change, but the many labourers who'd be out of a job if the EU added more restrictions to foreign travel wouldn't agree with changing the policy to make them unemployed.

The double production line issue would just come back in a different fashion if quality goods weren't exported; there'd be no money to be made selling most of the goods, so they either become a luxury product or only the cheap, garbage production line remains.

Despite all the known problems, countries like Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia are all applying for (or already negotiating) a position within the EU. If they would really be better off without the "dysfunctional" EU, they'd form their own bloc or remain independent. Even for poor countries, the EU brings benefits.


The exploitation of cheap, foreign labour

Case in point, the EU is already working to prevent/mitigate this [1]: per 2021, local business must pay adequate local wages even to foreign workers.

[1] https://www.dw.com/en/eu-moves-toward-wage-equality-for-fore...


>Despite all the known problems, countries like Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia are all applying for (or already negotiating) a position within the EU. If they would really be better off without the "dysfunctional" EU, they'd form their own bloc or remain independent. Even for poor countries, the EU brings benefits.

do you know why they do this? They can see how easy it is to milk the EU for money in ways that benefit these mafia states. The major of Zagreb is connected to the Bosnian Mafia, he just spent some time in hospital (the mafia put him there but you won't read this in the news). The top lawyer of Zagreb is an asset for the mob. If you want to kill somebody here it's possible to make that happen for very little money. Have you been to Albania, or Macedonia? You should seriously go there before assuming that absorbing them in the EU is a good idea. I'm all for bringing in the people of these countries but before that can be done the organized crime there needs to be cleaned up. The result otherwise is that you'll enrich those that don't deserve it.

The TV series McMafia was set in Croatia (even the non-fiction book and the TV show plays out in a global theater). There are good reasons why that country was chosen for the series. You want to meet some dangerous people? I can introduce you to the guy who shot the Minister of Tourism here not so long ago - he is my age and now runs a drug ring in Austria. This is common knowledge here and as normally talked about as the weather.

Ah yes the guy who now runs Rimac (the super-car company that competes against Tesla) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rimac_Concept_One his father is also connected.

My GF's sister was recently alerted by the owner of the building that the mob has asked them to isse them with keys to their flat because they refused to sell it. The person refused to hand it over and alerted her. The poor girl now lives in fear every day.

The Balkan is the wild fucking west. I live in one of the most civilized parts of the region and love it here, because it's also easy to stay away from this all. If you think for one second that the state would want to ( or even could) protect you, you'd be wrong because they're all part of it. If you're rich you don't pay any fines, if you're poor you get fucked. It's always been this way and thanks to globalization it's getting worse (more ruthless competition from foreign mobs fighting over territory).

I can go on and on ... but Misha Glenny's "McMafia" really explains it all rather well.


With respect, the examples you gave seem like more of a problem with employment law and governance in individual countries than with the EU as an institution.

The gilet jaunes were/are angry about a carbon tax and lack of wealth taxes. Not Brussels or brain drain.

The EU's Common Agricultural Policy, though not perfect, keeps huge swathes of rural Europe afloat. Its regional development funds builds infrastructure in areas that can't afford it.

You can't really blame the EU for bland vegetables either. That's just silly. The French aren't exactly appropriating Croatian tomatoes by force. It just means that (thanks to the EU) producers can get a higher price for their goods by exporting tariff-free to another country, so they do. Why wouldn't they?


The EU maybe is functional maybe not, but one thing is for sure: The Kremlin anti-western propaganda machine is obviously highly functional. More and more people are blaming their countries poverty on the EU while being oblivious to the actual scope of the EU jurisdiction, to the detriment of both their home country and the EU. Without the EU the poor countries would be way, way worse off.


Yeah, those silly people, blaming an EU that enforces a monetary policy for the benefit of Germany, imposes pro-corporate and anti-labour laws and agreements (Maastricht, Lisbon treaty, etc), and is ruled by backroom deals and "might is right", for their countries ills...

Obviously they were victims of the "Kremlin anti-western propaganda"...


Like Greece?


Yes, like Greece, who the EU helped by getting their creditors to back off and give up some of their claims.


after 2008 the EU had a gun to their had and were made to sign loans that they could never ever repay. they were lent that money because private citizens mostly owned their homes.

Yanis Varoufakis gives good insight into what happened. e.g. "The Euro Has Never Been More Problematic" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhSg9X3q2gc

Germany should not and can not be made responsible for bailing these countries out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtrrN2uWUl8


I am unlcear what point you are making. Are you saying the other EU member states should have let one of their own fail?


Is that what you believe? The EU bankrupted Greece then asset stripped them..


Asset stripping is generally what happens to those who are in default on their debts. The EU reduced that asset stripping from what the creditors could’ve demanded — but did not eliminate it entirely.


That’s happening everywhere. One of the reasons you have the wacky politics that you have now in the US is that the people left in flyover country aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed.

Russia is the most extreme example of the phenomenon.


- I lived in Germany

- lived in France

- now I live in Eastern EU

Seems like you're getting plenty of benefits out of the EU.

Most of the issues you mention, while acknowledging that they're real, are not caused by the EU.


free movement should be a human right. I lived a decade in Asia before returning to EU. I'd also move to different countries even if it would require a visa. That has never stopped me. I hope to go to India next year. Has little to do with the EU "giving me the benefit". I alone make that possible not some political entity.


free movement should be a human right

Yet it never is when crossing nations' borders, except within the EU. How can you then say that the EU is not functioning?


> free movement should be a human right.

Agreed

> I alone make that possible not some political entity.

Except for the armed border guards, the national rules on who can work in a nation, the police who can deport you if you don’t obey the rules, sure.


yeah. I was ignorantly thinking of those that follow the law, are highly skilled and are welcomed into the country but didn't consider the folk who immigrate for economic reasons or refugees etc. sadly many will be prevented by a barrier if they have "the wrong type" of passport


> highly skilled and are welcomed into the country but didn't consider the folk who immigrate for economic reasons

Aren’t those often the same people?


Interesting. Germany and France have gotten plenty out of it. The Eastern EU is in the 'honeymoon' period, or rather being fattened for the milking...


Food in Italy is of extremely good quality and variety. I live in Bulgaria and fruits and vegetables are exceptional and extremely cheap. If you refer to supermarket food I may agree.


indeed Italy (and France) has some o the best food I ever bought. Germany can't compare even with what's available in a Le'clerc or Carrefour in France. yes I was mainly talking about supermarkets. In my current home I only buy stuff at the wet-market - e.g. directly from farmers because the chains just deliver crap. Even the higher prized items in supermarkets (which cost the same as Germany despite the salary differences) are terrible quality - literally nobody in Italy or France would eat those veg.


I wasn’t that impressed with French supermarkets, including Carrefour. Sure, Germany is the home of Lidl, Aldi, and Netto, but Rewe, Edeka, Kaufland, and Biomarkt are all at least as good as what I saw in France.

On the other hand, in the UK, Tesco, Waitrose, and Sainsbury’s are all at least as good as their German equivalents; and (beyond the EU) even the worst EU supermarket was better than almost every supermarket I saw in the USA.


shopping at carrefour Antibes with over 100 cashiers you could buy wines from €15 - €1500 in the same shop. Not just wines but fresh fish section that is bigger than some Kaufstadt shops in Germany themselves. The level of choice there was phenomenal (closer to US than anywhere else in Europe). Fresh whipped cream from the Normandie that costs €30,-- for 500ml (and you could taste it) ... exotic meats (goat, horse, pigeon, rabbit, fresh fois-gras ...). At the same time Germany had scandals with their "Klebefleisch" essentially meat that consists of lips+arseholes glued together to make it look like genuine ham ...

I never paid attention to the price of groceries when shopping in Germany because growing up poor I always had the attitude not to be stingy with food and only buy what appealed the most. Coming to France I had to pay attention and actually look at the label because I might pick stuff that I simply couldn't afford. Doing this in Germany I might end up paying for regular groceries 250,-- (avg feeding a family), while in France I might pay 800 or more if I didn't pay attention. The first few times had to actually return once the cashier presented my bill.


Exactly. The more corporations are involved the worst the food gets.


two line stuff is straight out lie?! I live in a small european country (same level as croatia, slovakia etc....) stuff in markets is good quality. local stuff stays here and gets sold to locals.


Brain drain is a thing that exists, but I argue it's not really a problem. I'm not going to address the other aspects of your comment for now at least.

I live in India, where complaints of brain drain are the main topic of discussion among adults here, and the main thing politicians love to blame when looking for excuses. There are no feasible ways to ""solve"" brain drain without either a) taking away people's choices - North Korea has no brain drain, or b) Making your country's incentives better so the problem becomes irrelevant. If you want b, then the term "brain drain" is bad because it is almost always seen as an attack on the choice of people moving out. Use a different, more specific, and more understandable term.


This is such an anecdotal experience that I don't even know why you posted it. With this kind of harsh judgement I would expect at least some sources.


google has you covered, but here some starters:

Germany tackles benefit abuse as migration soars from eastern EU https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-immigration/germa...

Germany benefits from the exploitation of Eastern European workers – a shocking documentary of BR television channel https://trans.info/en/germany-benefits-from-the-exploitation...

Europe's 'food apartheid': are brands in the east lower quality than in the west? https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/sep/15/europes-f...

Food brands 'cheat' eastern European shoppers with inferior products https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/sep/15/food-bran...


Most of it does not sound like issue with EU, but issue with specific countries. Polish people working through shady Polish companies in Germany is not EU issue, it is mostly Polish issue and partially German issue.


All of your examples strongly pattern-match to my sister-in-law. From a poor nation, moved to a rich one, brain drain, local economy a mess.

Trouble with your argument is she’s from the Philippines, which isn’t in the EU.

It’s not even a problem with globalisation, the usual next scapegoat, but a problem with unequal gains being combined with literally exponential growth. The EU does at least try to counteract that by getting all nations to invest 1% GDP in EU projects including projects designed to lift the poorest EU regions out of relative poverty.


How is any of that related to a non-functioning EU?


thank you for posting this


Shame it's not very informative.


> I live in a very poor EU country (out of choice) and most young people fuck off to Germany or France because their home states have no jobs for them. They don't come back either which causes a massive brain drain on these places.

> because the good stuff that is locally produced gets exported to the rich places

The cynic in me would say this is an example of the EU functioning very well, for it's intended purpose of funnelling resources to those of the equal who are more equal than others? ;)


Please read Article 13 and tell me it's sound. Spoiler: it's not.




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