The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!

Featured:
   

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

   
Recent Posts
Sprinklered equipment 26-008
by bigpapa
12/02/16 04:24 PM
On Delay Relay with Auto Reset
by Potseal
12/01/16 09:59 AM
Wow, that was close!
by jraef
11/28/16 07:06 PM
Earthquake in New Zeeland
by RODALCO
11/27/16 11:25 PM
Calling all Non-US members!! (Non-US only)
by Tjia1981
11/27/16 06:33 AM
New in the Gallery:
12.5A through 0.75mm² flex (just out of curiosity)
Shout Box

Top Posters (30 Days)
gfretwell 14
HotLine1 10
Trumpy 8
Texas_Ranger 8
sparkyinak 7
Who's Online
0 registered (), 198 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#135530 - 01/14/03 01:35 AM Europe and the EU
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Paul has explained what England, Scotland and so on are. I felt I might write a few words on the Europe and EU.

Here is a map of the current EU and how it will look after 1 May 2004 if all candidate countries vote for joining.



Europe and the EU is not the same thing: Just like you wouldn't refer to North America as the USA you wouldn't refer to Europe as the EU. But just as using America to refer to the USA is common, Europe is sometimes used for the EU. (This use will most likely increase)

Currently the EU has 378.5 million citizens. The new member states will add 74.5 million, thus totalling just over 450 million. Three more countries are in the pipe line: Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. Should they be allowed to join (ca 2008-2010) the EU will be the home of some 550 million people. This is of course dwarfed by India and China, but it's a lot compared to the 280 million of the USA.

The EU has similarities with the federal government in the US, but there are important differences: The EU has got a directly elected parliament and two (!) "governments": The Comission and the Council of Ministers. The former deals mostly with boring trade issues. The latter is simply all member country ministers of a specific area: E.g. all ministers of transportation.

I know many people have very strong feelings about the EU, for good reasons. It is huge, often inefficient, all too often held hostage by France and in urgent need of reform. (Not to be confused with the people who wants to build an iron curtain around their country and ban travel and trade. Yes, these people really exist and they spread all sorts of lies about the EU and other Europeans.)

I hope I did stay reasonably politically neutral.

Top
Test Equipment:

Large Selection of Test Equipment For Electrical, HVAC, Test & Measurement
Large Selection of Test Equipment For Electrical, HVAC, Test & Measurement

#135531 - 01/15/03 01:10 PM Re: Europe and the EU
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
That's a good summary, although without wanting to get too political again I would add one or two points.

The EU has been so named for only a few years. When the U.K. (and many other countries) joined, it was called the European Economic Community (EEC), more commonly referred to here as "The Common Market." We were all led to believe that what we were joining was basically a free trade & movement pact.

Since then the name has quietly been changed twice, first to the European Community (EC) and then to the European Union (EU), each change giving a clue as to the move toward full political integration and away from the purely "free trade" aspect. I won't get into the politics of whether this is a good or bad thing; I'm just pointing out that (as usual) the politicians and bureaucrats lied to us about their true intentions!

As for the inefficiency, I know of some specialized manufacturing industries where the EU rules on "free trade" have actually made it harder for them to export to EU countries than to non-EU countries. The ridiculously complicated VAT/TVA/IVA/MOMS rules are a good example.

Can anyone also explain why the European Parliament needs to have two seats, in Brussels and in Strasbourg, so that every week truck loads of papers have to be transported back and forth, most of which will never receive more than a cursory glance?

By the way, the U.S. also has more than one branch of Federal government: legislative, executive, and judicial. And then the legislative branch is in turn divided into the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Top
#135532 - 01/15/03 01:20 PM Re: Europe and the EU
SvenNYC Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
I was always under the impression that EEC, EC and EU were different, but co-existing, political definitions.

I've got a few CDs that are marked "made in the EEC" on the sleeve and the disk itself says "made in Italy." Ditto a long time ago seeing some rolls of Turkish photo film.

The map is kind of hard to see. Is that Switzerland between France, Germany/Austria and Italy?

If so, are they a 2004 entrant to the EU or are they not joining? The color distinction isn't all that distinguishable at first glance.

Top
#135533 - 01/15/03 02:01 PM Re: Europe and the EU
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I think the whole bureaucratic mess was renamed the EU somewhere about 10 years ago. Don't quote me on that though!

Yes, the little light gray patch you're talking about is Switzerland. They're NOT one of the proposed new EU entrants, although I believe there has been some discussion about whether they should join, thereby ending centuries of neutrality.

There's another non-EU country which doesn't show up on that map. That's the independent principality of Andorra, high up in the Pyrenees betweeen France and Spain.

Top
#135534 - 01/15/03 07:34 PM Re: Europe and the EU
Hutch Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 383
Loc: South Oxfordshire, UK
What happened to San Marino and Monaco?

BTW, the Isle of Man is not a member of the EU.

Top
#135535 - 01/16/03 09:33 AM Re: Europe and the EU
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Nor are the two Channel Island jurisdictions of Jersey and Guernsey, which don't show on the map either.

Top
#135536 - 01/16/03 10:33 PM Re: Europe and the EU
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
{Stepping onto soap box}
The European Parliament has a seat in Strasbourg only because France insists on it. Hopefully, the enlargement will put an end to this insanity. Better still would be if English was adopted as the only administrative language, don't you think? The Brits switch to metric and the French start to communicate in English with foreigners. That's a fair trade I think
{stepping off soap box}

Switzerland does not intend to join the European Union anytime soon. There was a referendum recently, where the No side won.(The Swiss have this nice idea of referendums. Instead of telling people what to do, the politicans ask people what to do.) They joined the United Nations only one or two years ago.

Lichtenstein, Norway and Iceland are not members, but have put themselves in a rather akward position: They have chosen to follow what the other nations decide, but have themselves no vote. This way they don't have to pay a membership fee to the EU. A recent report showed that Norway was the most EU compliant country, despite not being an EU country.

Andorra, San Marino and the other small countries are not themselves part of the EU, but are nevertheless de facto members by their dependence of other countries. (E.g. Andorra is formally under French and Spanish overlords) Greenland, which is part of Denmark, did in fact leave the EC in 1985, IIRC

Top
#135537 - 01/17/03 04:31 AM Re: Europe and the EU
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
 Quote:
Better still would be if English was adopted as the only administrative language, don't you think? The Brits switch to metric and the French start to communicate in English with foreigners


Well, I certainly wouldn't object to English being the single administrative language throughout Europe! But, even though I might be slightly biased, I will try to look at it objectively.

I don't think I've ever met anyone from the Netherlands northward who doesn't speak at least a little English, and most Scandinavians seem to be fluent. English is widely understood throughout the rest of Europe, although not always to the same degree as in the north. It's a little harder to find English-speakers in rural France, for example. But, perhaps with the exception of those areas bordering Germany, Italy, etc., English is still the de-facto second language there. Of course, the Academie Francaise probably wouldn't like the idea too much!

(By the way, how come French stop signs actually say "STOP" and not "ARRET" ???)

If every EU country would allow all official transactions to take place in either English or their own native language(s), that would certainly remove a large barrier to free trade and movement of people, would it not? And that's what the whole thing is supposed to be about.

 Quote:
The Swiss have this nice idea of referendums. Instead of telling people what to do, the politicans ask people what to do.

{OK, soapbox for me now}
This is as it should be. Compare that with the Gibraltar fiasco, where the local governor called a referendum and the vote went 98% in favor of remaining British territory. Yet our present government said that a deal to share sovereignty has already been arranged and that they don't intend to take any notice of the vote. How's that for sheer arrogance?

Top
#135538 - 01/18/03 06:17 PM Re: Europe and the EU
Hutch Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 383
Loc: South Oxfordshire, UK
Paul said ...

"(By the way, how come French stop signs actually say "STOP" and not "ARRET" ???)"

I thought that the Quebec Arrêt signs did not say Stop. Maybe someone local could confirm or deny.

Top
#135539 - 01/18/03 06:23 PM Re: Europe and the EU
Hutch Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 383
Loc: South Oxfordshire, UK
Thinking about it - metric is too easy. That's why it's best.

The deal should be ...

British drive on the right and English shall be spoke

It seems like the Swedes have done it!

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >



ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals