. __ . on Thu, 13 Mar 2003 09:38:58 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> America Europe

Thx for the compliment... I like the signature, too... just a short answer
today with an option of interesting dialogue in the future ;-)

The question about the differences between the US and the EU will have to be
answered in the future... it could be, perhaps, that through the bigger
influence of states and the different traditions behind it (US=state as
hindrance for economy, liberal state vs. EU=state as protector of social
rights, counterbalance to businesses etc), both problematic and simplified,
this could really lead to two systems, which use different approaches to
capitalism and would ultimately influence itselves... so something new would
emerge... but what they will be... I don't know. It seems to me, though, that
the EU focuses more on the citizien... this also because it is younger and the
sstem is nearly "pure", while in the US, the system is weakened through the
clash of interests etc....

The problem of the EU for me basically is the fact, that the decision makers on
a national level are ultimately working to abolish themselves... an Europe of
regions does not need national ministries as we know them now...

This is true for the whole package - enlargement, environmental issues etc - I
have found, that the commission is often an ally of the people, more often than
one might think... especially in environmental and human rights issues
(together with the European Court) - when the Comission started to support
farmers for "Landschaftspflege" (=helping the environment through continuous
care), this was a first step in the right direction...

Well, and this article I found recently could also be a start for further
progress with eco-social Europe ;-)



Europa Newsletter
Keeping up to date with the latest news
and developments on EU websites
10th March 2003 - issue 8
Next issue: 24th March 2003

This newsletter can be viewed online at:

Environmental Democracy
The Commission plans to put forward a package of proposals on
19th March to improve citizens' access to environmental
justice under the Århus Convention. This is an environmental
agreement that gives citizens the access to information, the
right to participate in environmental matters and the right
to environmental justice. United Nations Secretary-General
Kofi Annan has described the Convention as 'the most ambitious
venture in the area of "environmental democracy"'.

Firstly, the Commission will put forward a recommendation
for a Directive providing access to environmental justice in
the Member States of the EU. Through community organizations,
citizens will be able to take action against public
authorities in cases of suspected violation of environmental

The second part of the package will make small amendments
to existing EU Legislation in order to ensure that EU
regulations comply fully with the Convention.

Thirdly, the Commission will present a recommendation
to ratify the Convention. Ratification can take place once
the final amendments to EU and Member States' legislation
have been made. The EU will then be able to accede fully to
the Århus Convention.

The United Nation Economic Commission for Europe's (UNECE)
Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation
in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental
Matters, or the Århus Convention, was adopted in the Danish
city of Århus on 25th June 1998. The meeting in Århus was
the Fourth Ministerial Conference in the 'Environment for
Europe' process. The next meeting in this process will take
place in Kiev from 21st?23rd May 2003. An overview of the
Århus Convention is available from SCADPlus.

Package of Proposals:

Århus Convention:

Existing EU Legislation:


Full text of the Århus Convention:

'Environment for Europe' process:

Kiev Ministerial:

SCADPlus factsheet on the Århus Convention:


At 13:31 12.03.03 +0100, you wrote:

Hello G. -

I don't know your "normal" name, but I like your signature .__. anyway.

Your post is good. Of course the EU is a utopia - let's keep it that way! That's the constituent side of it, I'm for it. As you say:

First, it is just too soon to see the direction this project will take. There are roads in a variety of directions, some of which might lead to the above mentioned directions.

What I like about your post is what I like about the EU: the aspects that aren't leading in the directions I described. But I guess it's from reading the material by Corporate Europe Observatory and by looking at infrastructure development, enlargement and so forth that I come to believe in the need for a little more precise critique of the whole thing!

But really, it's a good post and your arguments are precise, proof that people thinking together are smarter than people thinking separately. I'll try to be a little more clear in my position about the EU in the future. I mean, we would still disagree, but considerably less than you might think. The big question is how far the EU substantially diverges from the US model, plus how far the social-democrat model is really, as you say, eco-social.

Do you think that after the Prestige we can get a little further with the eco-social capitalism? I was just in Galicia and I can tell you, people would like to see some progress!

all the best, Brian

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