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PSC 302: Comparative Government
New Europeans: Part 1 of 3. Regional Dreams: a video Documentary.
Links to Maps of Europe are provided below.


After Destruction of WWII desire for an European Community, beyond nations.

1. But Regional Dreams & Identities:
e.g. Catalonia

1st Catalans; 2nd Europeans; 3rd Spaniards
desires regional autonomy; has its own distinct history
EU important for Catalonia
Feast of St. Juwan: celebrates Catalans' Independence
e.g. Ireland Catholic Church in Constitution contraception, abortion, & divorce banned
Maastricht: affect abortion laws?
Euro Court of Justice to overrule Irish abortion law?
EU Court reluctant to rule against a nation
Feb 92, rape victim vows suicide if not allowed to cross to GB for an abortion; Ireland's Supreme court rules against on const'l grounds.
Ireland: relax moral laws or lose economic benefits of EU.
[PM Albert Reynolds launches and wins referendum '92 to permit travel to UK for abortions.]
2. The Rich and The Poor Regions
e.g. Hamburg distinctive wealth Germany reunited
balance wealthy West with poor East
e.g. Italy mafia, especially in the South Southern Italy very poor
contrast poor Naples hospitals w/ wealthy W. Germany.
20% of EU below poverty line
in 1990's division between rich and poor within the EU grew larger
division creates tension; difficult to have a single policy or even a single entity
3. EU Law Enforcement Free trade does reduce regional differences
But lack of borders makes law enforcement difficult
single language for French and GB police
easier to control cross-border crimes
one European language? could be very efficient
but very complicated
National pride also a strong barrier
4. A Federal Europe, [or Subsidiarity?] as EU power increases, national power decreases and regional power increases e.g. Basque region of Spain wants autonomy has used violence (ETA movement)
a unique language
Ethnic Pride on the rise; Catalonia, Basque, and Yugoslavia Catalonia is Catholic, but unlike Ireland it is progressive and an economic leader 5. Farm Policy
e.g. French farmers blockade Euro Disney Disney cultural imperialism by Americans
French angry at U.S.;
U.S. wants EU to cut agricultural tariffs
e.g. Wales Sheep Farmers small farms: a way of life e.g. Holland modern and efficient farms overproduce because of subsidies Common Agricultural Policy very subsidized
CAP buys most of the farm products
Small farmers caught in the middle
over-production
reduce subsidies but keep small farms?
6. Green Movement
Environmentalism on the rise Holland manure problem
European standard for odor
Euro Cities limit cars
Amsterdam: car free in historical district
pollution problems cross national borders
7. Champagne Region of France protection for "champagnes" of Champagne
also protection for Scotch whiskey and Roquefort cheese
8. Paradox of EU regions becoming stronger at expense of national level and European level expanding at expense of national level 9. European tension between Young and Old younger: larger European outlook
older: more conservative, traditional;
renewal of ethnic and regional pride

The New Europeans, Part 3 of 3: Road to Unity, a video documentary. 1. Desire for EC based on destruction of WWII

2. Maastricht Agreement: towards Union

  • Euro Money
  • joint foreign and defence policy
  • political union
  • Qualified Majority voting
  • Brits delay on Euro until 1997, unable to join [ironically were one of few countries to make the inflation, growth and budget targets by that date].
  • Rejected by Danish referendum
  • Narrowly supported by French and Irish
  • EMS Collapsed; Sterling, Lira and Peseta collapsed
  • ["Federalism" versus "Subsidiarity" in question]
  • 3. Railroad Union
  • since 1883 proposal by Leopold II of Belgium,
  • Brussels as capital of new Europe, $4 Tr economy
  • symbol of commercial union
  • centered on Belgium
  • proposal by Leopold II of Belgium,
  • Brussels as capital of new Europe, $4 Tr economy
  • 4. Commerce driving Union (Eg. Benetton, heir to Venetian tradition of color dyeing)
  • Italian traditional textile trade
  • principle of capitalizing on regional strengths so all of Europe becomes stronger (theory of comparative advantage)
  • Travel to East for spices became dangerous when Ottoman Empire controlled Eastern mediaterranean.
  • Explorers of renaissance looked west to discover new world.
  • Portuguese/ British port wine trade based on alliance of renaissance period.
  • French Cuisine universalized, e.g. on Orient Express luxury trade that crosses borders.
  • 5. Diplomatic summits since 1815 Vienna; a drive for a community to prevent war.
  • Hapsburg palace in Vienna, representing the former Austrian Empire & age of civilization and Congress of Vienna.
  • Ended Napoleonic wars, based on elaborate protocol with 14 entrances.
  • Next century though witnessed Crimean war and a series of imperial wars.
  • Brussels puppet theatre illustrates history of European wars, quest for peace, Brussels at crossroads of languages and invading armies.
  • Flanders fields symbolize losses in Great War.
  • Bosnia, in civil war in 1990s, saw the spark that fired the Great War 1914-1919, which caused the humiliating Versailles agreement 1919.
  • Second world war brought carpet bombing, mass destruction.
  • Europeans desire an alternative to all this destruction.
  • Coal, Iron, and Steel Community
  • (Churchill's "Union of Europe as a whole" Speech)
  • Treaty of Rome 1957, signed 1958 by the first half dozen nations
  • Cultural Exchanges
  • (example of youth orchestra, in Italian palace symbolizing renaissance patronage of arts)
  • English violinist illustrates erosion of prejudices from contact among young people
  • 9 different languages, rehearsals conducted in English, English reluctant to learn foreign languages [unlike many continentals],
  • emphasis on shared heritage
  • Economic and Political Union now sought by some
  • 6. Institutions vs. Traditional Interests
  • e.g., weak Euro Parliament in Strasbourg, organized by theme, not nation.
  • No authority to initiate legislation or raise taxes.
  • Debating chamber and centre of lobbying.
  • Lobbying for economic nationalism:
  • Lord Plum, committed European, but limited by British reluctance.
  • e.g. Brit food (e.g. Dickensian Smithfield Meat Hygiene, behind St. Paul's cathedral, where market was soon to be closed by EU) -- cockneys discuss impending unemployment in a pub [drinking beer threatened by EU purity standards.]
  • Cultural Nationalism as Rituals (e.g. bullfights in Portugal)
  • 7. Regional and Industrial Policy
  • redistribution to the poor regions (eg. Portugal & Esprit high-tech research program)
  • Multinational teamwork [in 1990s] to compete with Japanese [in 1980s] but few marketable products developed.
  • Enables researchers to remain in Portugal and cooperate via communications.
  • High-tech cooperation
  • European Space agency beating NASA at launching needle rockets
  • (e.g. Airbus by Euro Aerospace, competing with Boeing.)
  • 8. Market - end to national subsidies
  • Lorraine steel, declining despite large subsidies, heavy unemployment, steelworks closing.
  • Workers not insulated from foreign competition.
  • Symbolizes loss of strategic industries.
  • Danish fishing
  • 9. Maastricht Treaty
  • political, foreign policy, monetary union
  • ceded national sovereignty to EU
  • required unanimous agreement
  • rejected by the Danes in a Referendum, To Be or Not to Be, European, because of
  • loss of fishing
  • fear of reunited Germany
  • Denmark has lost jobs on the land, and is becoming a tourist economy, trying to save heritage
  • Tradition of royalism and independence.
  • Ireland (despite fear of weakening of anti-abortion laws) and France (despite anti-government feeling)
  • passed Maastricht, -- but EMS & ERM suddenly collapsed,
  • UK, Italy & Spain were forced to devalue
  • France then passed the referendum because aware of fragility of EU.
  • (exchange commissions are a barrier to trade, reduced by Euro currency)
  • Monetary union remains Europe's greatest challenge;
  • ecu was a preliminary system of balancing credits, but without a currency until Euro.
  • Required central banks to give up control of currency and hence of economy.
  • 10. Future?
  • monetary system?
  • Eastern additions?
  • much adaptation needed?
  • Benetton illustrates fickle nature of fashion -- metaphor