D jones: “In the meantime, we should appreciate the (charter of) rights that we have protected for ourselves by creating an EU that we can be citizens of..”
With respect if we wanted a “charter of rights” then we are perfectly capable and have all the means at hand to enact one. A European tier is wholly redundant in this regard.
d- jones”..and seek to improve its democratic accountability further - making the council more transparent, increasing the powers of the parliament and working to develop a European polity.”
This is the problem – The entrance price for the EU compels us to trade our existing rights as voters to whom our rulers are accountable in order to obtain the privileged position of becoming petitioners to our new rulers in Brussels. “Please reform yourselves” we may plead - but like residents of the Hotel California we can never demand.
I am not interested in a fool’s mission of trying to make a European polity work. It is not anti democratic by accident - it is anti democratic by design and that is the way it will stay because anti democratic is exactly the way our rulers want it.
D-jones –“The advantages of regional collaboration are too great to throw away due to a lack of ambition.”
The notion that there cannot be (and has not been) regional collaboration without the EU is one of the most ridiculous fallacies of this debate. The EU may claim “collaboration” as a fully owned proprietary brand of Brussels inc. but this no reason to take its ludicrous monopoly claims seriously. Extra EU collaboration exists in the European space agency, the European Court of human rights, Nato etc. etc.
The “colleagues” in Brussels deeply resent these autonomous agencies of course – hence their attempt to claim the jurisdiction of the European Convention via this pointless charter. Or to absorb the most cost effective Space programme in the world into that wasteland of unaudited and failed programmes that it already runs. As for NATO the progenitors of the “praline alliance” are very anxious indeed to supplant that and even get their sticky hands on French and British defense capacity just as they got control over the Deutsche Mark via the Euro.
The EU does is not about “collaboration” it is about “compulsion”. You do not need a central power to ensure voluntary collaboration – because it is voluntary it will occur continuously and spontaneously. But you do need a central power if you are to compel states into ‘Collaboration” that they would not otherwise choose for themselves. The EU is all about removing such inconvenient choices. “conformity” and “compliance” are the watchwords of EU collaboration.
If your “ambition” is only to be told what to do and who you can do it with - then the EU is definitely for you.