Friday, October 31, 2008
I am constantly trying to learn more about you. All kinds of things. And you have been very kind in the past to give me first-hand information about a wide variety of subjects. This time, I hope you will tell me a little about the European Union.
As usual, I suppose I could Google these questions, but it is ever so more interesting (and understandable) when you tell me from your direct knowledge and experience.
Since this is such a broad subject, let me use this post to ask some very basic questions. Don't laugh at my ignorance, even if you think the question is obvious. I assure you it isn't obvious to me.
1. I have read that the EU is governed by a council, and that it has a president. First question: is that president elected by all the citizens at large in the EU countries?
2. Is the election for the EU president held on the same day for all countries?
3. How important is the president of the EU to, say, a common bloke living in Yorkshire? (For example, Is the average EU citizen concerned about who is president of the Union, and would a different president greatly affect the average citizen's life on a daily basis?)
4. Can the EU council declare war? Enter into binding treaties? Negotiate territorial boundaries of member states?
5. What is the extent of the EU legal system jurisdiction? For example, are EU citizens subject to the EU courts, and does the EU have it's own prisons to house those who have violated EU law?
6. Since the EU handles such things as travel by citizens without passports, it is obviously much more than simply an economic entity. Is there a EU "national" identity card? Do voters register simply as EU citizens?
I have many more questions about your EU. But let me stop here for now and look for your answers in the comments to this post. Thank you!