Cameron on European Union

3 Points

Cameron makes a point to emphasize that Europe’s transition from warfare to tranquility did not happen overnight and took serious determination and willpower of its people over a span of time.

He also contends that millions of people now live in freedom, from the Baltic to the Adriatic, which was the main purpose of the European Union when it was initially formed. Now, almost a half-century later, the goal of the European Union is to sustain and promote peace and prosperity.

Cameron directs our attention to what he describes as the “urgency and frankness about the European Union and how it must change.” He states that it needs to redirect itself to the goal of delivering prosperity and maintaining the support of its people.

 2 Questions

Why do you think Cameron acknowledges the United Kingdom’s reputation for being argumentative and strong-minded? What past experiences may have contributed to the formation of this kind of reputation for the UK?

Why does he say that Britain has come to the EU with a “frame of mind that is more practical than emotional”?

 1 Interesting Point

I thought it was interesting that Cameron addressed the European competitiveness.

Comparison of Keynes and Versailles Treaty/Wilson’s Fourteen Points

As the founder of his eponymous economic school of thought, John Maynard Keynes contributed many influential theses on the economics of his day.  Nowhere is this more notable than in 1920’s The Economic Consequences of Peace, his controversial criticism of the Treaty of Versailles.  Keynes asserted that the Treaty would do little other than prolong and perhaps exacerbate the period of postwar unrest in Europe, noting that “the Treaty includes no provisions for the economic rehabilitation of Europe” (Keynes).  Instead, the major powers responsible for the Treaty (i.e. France, the United Kingdom, the United States) used it to advocate their own national interests.  With the exception of the U.S., who primarily viewed the Treaty as means of implementing President Wilson’s somewhat unrealistically idealistic Fourteen Points, Keynes argued that the aforementioned nations utilized the Versailles Treaty to reprimand Germany for the damage it caused during WWI , particularly by crippling its economy.  Keynes’ ultimate qualm about these tactics was that because Germany, a formerly thriving industrial nation, had become so firmly established as a staple of European industry and commerce, its virtual elimination from this economic community would cripple not only Germany, but all of Europe.  Although this excerpt did not offer any explicit alternatives to the Versailles Treaty, Keynes was noted several years later (1933) as an advocate of “economic nationalism…the autonomy which individual states had gained over policy as a result of the collapse of a unified international economy” (Mazower, 137).  It is then perhaps reasonable to infer that in the wake of this interwar economic crisis, Keynes felt that a Europe composed of economically independent states would be more stable than the tightly interdependent economic climate that dominated the decades prior.