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Posted by Tuars on June 05, 2004 at 13:59:55:
In Reply to: Re: Europe is not important to our lives at all posted by liamk on June 05, 2004 at 11:54:38:
We don't get opt-outs like the EU because our own politicians did not ask for them. If you don't like it vote them out.
The EU give us more than regulations, they also give us the funds to build roads and grant-aid the enterprises you say they are strangling.
I share some of your concerns especially relating to the rich getting richer, the corruption, and the sometimes excessive bureaucracy.
But I don't think these traits are exclusive to the EU. We have them in abundance here at home and I would argue that EU regulation has helped to curb the worst excesses of our own politicians and business people.
I think on balance the EU project has been good for Ireland. We are a tiny country and geographically remote. Before we joined the EU we were a very inward looking place, living in the shadow of the UK.
By joining the EU we came out of that shadow and put ourselves centre stage, punching significantly above our weight.
We cannot shut ourselves off from the outside world and pretend it doesn't exist. The EU has provided Ireland with a huge advantage when it comes to dealing with the world. I think it would ahve been impossible for us to have the same influence if we were outside it.