Commission XIX Candidate's Debate

  • The nominations have ended and as such its time for the candidates to take part in the commission debate. They'll be facing questions from our audience to spark discussion on key areas. The candidates for commission facing election in less than a week's time are:

    • Varvara Arap (S&D), running from the comparatively new member state of Anatolia, Arap is indicative of a revitalised S&D.
    • Lucinda Bareham (Ind.), Bareham, an incumbent Councillor, represents the first candidate put forward by another new member state, namely Framptonia. She is running on an independent ticket.
    • Eric Hitchens (UEC), the incumbent Premier Commissioner, Hitchens is from the Empire of Inimicus and hopes to continue the consistent UEC Commission representation.
    • Jeremy Hunt (Ind.), from the Chilterns, who recently won their independence from Davishire, Hunt is eager to prove himself to the region. He is also running as an independent.
    • JennaMarelle Johnson (Ind.), or MamaJJ, has been the Commissioner for Economics since the seat was vacated a few weeks ago. In that time, she has produced a European Budget which has recently passed the Council, and attempted to revitalise the financial institutions of the EU. The Inquistan joins several of her fellow candidates in running as an independent.
    • Renata Kligenberg (S&D) The incumbent Commissioner for Internal Affairs, Kligenberg is hoping to be re-elected on an S&D ticket, bringing the total number of S&D candidates to two.
    • Pasha Lagunov (Ind.), hoping to be the first Commissioner from Pacifist Cowards, Lagunov is also running as an independent.Now, the rules of the debate:
    • Questions to be posed to the candidates must be sent to yours truly.
    • Be sure to specify who each question comes from when you send it to me, along with where they live (be as specific as you want), and their occupation.
    • Questions may be submitted anonymously.
    • The debate moderator (AKA me) reserves the right to reject any question if I feel I have legitimate grounds to do so.
    • Pose questions to an individual candidate, or to the whole group, whichever takes your fancy.
    • Be as biased or as unbiased as you like in your question.
    • Only myself and the Commission candidates may be allowed to participate in the debate.

    I'd now like to invite candidates to make their opening statements.

  • Being the Premier Commissioner, Eric Hitchens felt obliged to go first. He was met with applause as he began:
    "Thank you very much, and an evenly big 'thank you' to our moderator tonight, and to Halsberg for hosting this election's debates. I would like to start off by saying I am wholly convinced of our Union's future being a bright one with these great candidates sitting next to me tonight. I know they are all capable, and even though some still have to prove themselves on the European political stage, I am sure that if elected, every individual on this stage will do their best to achieve the brightest European future imaginable. That said, I do think the next Commission would be at its best if led by myself. I intend to continue my time as Premier of this Union, a time which on the whole has been a successful one so far, I daresay. I will be the first to admit that Commission XVIII was at times not as active as I or any other European citizen would have liked, but we achieved substantial success during the early days of my Premiership, I name reintroducing Premier Commissioner's Questions, setting the stage for Europarty Reform and starting up the European Seed Trust as some examples, and under the able command of Mrs Johnson this Commission has also produced a European Budget.

    However, there is always room for improvement. Personally, I would like to see updates from the Foreign Affairs Commission every month with no exceptions. I should've pushed harder on this point in the last term, however I know I will do so if elected to the Premier's office this time. Relations with other regions are among the most important Commission duties. Speaking of the Foreign Affairs department, I would also be in favour of scrapping the Cultural Ambassadors programme. Although coined by one of the most admirable Commissioners to date, the late Colleen Bennet, and pursued by another great Commissioner, Sir Augustus Barrington, I feel the project has lost its way entirely and our relations with outside regions would be better served by a professional, preferably the Foreign Affairs Commissioner himself.

    I won't go over all of my points in my opening statement, I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunity to respond to questions - and, hopefully, criticism - in the questions I will undoubtedly be asked. However, what I do want to stress is Europarty Reform. In the last Commission, we have started think tanks and now there are solid plans for real and genuine reform of our current - and failing - system of Europarties. Whoever will be Internal Affairs Commissioner in a possible second Hitchens Commission will be tasked with the important duty of materialising these plans. I and probably all candidates on this stage want to see this reform happen, and I will try my hardest to get the change we need done.

    I don't want to deny the other candidates their turns to speak, and I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunities for me to answer any questions you might have for me. So thank you once again, and I hope you will support me in my election campaign."

  • Mrs Lucinda Bareham uncrossed her long nylon clad legs and approached the podium, straightening her short tight skirt.

    Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and thank you for this opportunity to present myself and my Country to your scrutiny. I should like to reiterate the gratitude that my esteemed colleague Mr Hitchens has expressed to our host and moderator.

    As those of you who read the foreign press may be aware, my husband the ninth Duke of Eloe is seriously ill in the Presidential Medical Centre having suffered a sever stroke a few days ago. I have rushed here straight from the hospital and will return to my husband's bedside as soon as this debate concludes. So if I appear distracted or uncertain, please forgive me.

    My Country of Framptonia does not have the extended history of some of our neighbours, having only been an established state for two hundred years. This year is the bi-centenary of the founding of our Republic following the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte and it is with great pride and happiness that we have been able to join the European Union in this our bi-centenary year.

    I bring to you the new and excited eyes of all Framptonians and we wish to play our part in a successful Union, encouraging all states whether members or not to adopt the high principles of the Union. When my Prime Minister, Mr Ric Metcalfe asked me to be Framptonia's inaugural European Councillor, I did not respond immediately, but asked him why he had chosen me. He explained that he wanted the inaugural Councillor to be someone who had risen to the a position where they could be appointed from the very lowliest position in Framptonian Society.

    I make no bones about my background, my parents were poor and frequently unemployed. My schooling in my formative years was intermittent as the need of my family for me to be working in the fields of Framptonia were greater than my need to understand the sonnets of Shakespeare. I was fortunate that nature dealt me a reasonable hand and I was able to make the most of my talents to claw myself out of the fields. Unfortunately I was unable to do this in time to relieve the effects of poverty upon my parents, who both died from an easily preventable disease. It does not say on their death certificates that they died from poverty, but it is my belief that it is poverty that killed them.

    As my business enterprises became increasingly and to me surprisingly successful, I realised that this gave me opportunity to make a difference. It is a difference that Mr Metcalfe has asked me to make. If I can make life better for many impoverished peoples within and without the European Union, then I will have made that difference.

    I ask for your support in this election.

    Thank you.

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    user posted image

    "Good evenin' ladies, gentlemen, gender Xs, persons 'n individuals of Europe.

    Thanks y'all for tunin' in tonight. It's a privilege to have an opportunity like dis where my colleagues and I can discuss 'n debate about the future of Europe 'n be able to share our thoughts and vision with all you's. It is an honour to be able to stand for election 'n bring the issue currently facing Europe to forefront 'n I glad that I have the opportunity to take part in dis democratic process.

    It has also been privilege to serve you's all as an outgoin' Commissioner. I know that might also come as a shock to some of y'all. I was talkin' to one of my sistas the other day and I mentioned that I would be standin' for re-election and she was like, 'Gurl, what? Since when were you's a Commissioner?'. I can't blame her for the honest reaction, 'cause it's true. I stepped in 'n was elected as Commissioner for Economics only two 'n a half weeks ago. Many folks at the time questioned as to why I stood for election. They asked me, 'Why Mama JJ, why? You's can't do sweet anythings in two weeks'.

    I stood for election because I firmly believe that the European Union is only as strong as it's people, countries 'n institutions are. Right now, I believe that we as a Union, are very, very weak. Just look at the unity of dis organisation. There are countries on the verge of goin' to war with another, there are countries that still even refuse to trade with one another 'n there are some countries that had even refused to recognize the existence of one another. Just look at our institutions. Majority of our institutions are pretty much non-functioning, ignored 'n have ceased to operate altogether. Just look at the European people. Never before has there been such a massive economic, political and social disparity between the European people. The average GDP per capita of EU member states is significantly lower than any time in memorable history and the average European is worse off than ever before. Despite this, there are some countries that are better off than before, but they have totally left the rest of the developin' Union in the dust. Some European citizens have been out-rightly denied the concept of democracy, with even one of our own heads of state being brought before the European Court of Justice with charges against his abuse of powers. What kind of Union is dis? A weak one.

    That is why I had stood for election 'n that is why I stand here today. I feel like I have proven myself with the change I have made. Upon taking office, I fought hard to help our institutions, help our people 'n our nations. I immediately reorganized and opened our non-functionin' offices 'n programs. I organised elections for our programs, such as the EPO and EFA, which were desperately leaderless. I drafted, authored 'n managed to pass a new budget for the European Union - one which was required over a year ago. I have begun organizin' a summit for developing nations, hoping to foster hope in the developin' world 'n begin to knock down the disparity between our member states. Not only do I hope to get things done, but I hope to get things done right and properly. I feel like what I have done in two weeks is almost more than what many Commissioners have taken multiple terms to do - 'n even now - I still feel like I have not done enough 'n that there is still more work to do.

    There is still much work to be done in Internal, Defence, Economics and Foreign Affairs. I hope to bring my drive, passion, experience and my sass 'n ass to these offices, 'n serve another term even more productive than my first. It is time elect a Commissioner that you's know will listen, will work hard and will never let you's down. It is time for a stronger Union and more efficient Union. You's can count on me to get it done right.

    Thanks y'all."

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    Ms. Kligenberg walked to the podium:

    "First, I'd like to thank the Halsbergian delegation for bring us together here, and I'd like to thank my colleagues and opponents for coming today for debate.

    "First, I'd like to say that I take ownership of the disastrous state of Europe in terms of relative peace. During this last Commission, we saw a farce of an intervention with the Teutonic state and then we saw further deterioration and factional rifts in our Union. It was something I did not do enough to curtail, nor did my home nation. I sincerely apologise from my soul. I did not do enough.

    "What I did accomplish was the facilitation of the Euro party discussion, open a summit on European-wide healthcare, and I want to do more along the same. Europe should be a place where we are all prosperous and working together to uplift our citizens and fellow men. I believe that is where the European government can help people, however we cannot do it if we're not solvent. I took initiative and cut my own staff's budget, as it was too much money to the bureaucracy and not enough to the people and nations who needed it most.

    "My mission is to continue working for the brightest Europe possible, and for our Union to come back together to work on the great accomplishments that we are possible. I'd like to be a servant to Europe and help it grow prosperously for all nations and people."

  • "Ladies, Gentleman,

    Firstly, I would like to thank everyone for being here today, I look forward to having an active and lively debate with my fellow candidates. I also want to urge you all to remember, Chilterns is an independent nation and has been since last year. We are no longer apart of Davishire, a nation which we do not agree with in many areas and we feel needs to change itself, however lets get onto the debate.

    This commission election is one of the most important in a generation. It comes after a series of inactive commissions, with the exclusion of some specific members. We have not had for example a foreign affairs update for some time. Now I do not want to criticise just the Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, all departments have had failings over the past 12 months. What I am trying to say is that now is the time for change, we are all in this mess together and now is the time to get out of it.

    One of the key elements of being a commissioner is being active, whether you are Commissioner for Defence and Peacekeeping or whether you are Commissioner for Economics there is always something to do. Now, we can either fill our seats with incumbent candidates, who will do the same old thing of going into the commission building, finding a hidden non-public bar and staying put for the next 4 months or we can elect new commissioners. New blood who intend to be active for the full term of office, I give you my assurance now, if I am elected, regardless to the office that I hold I will be active, I will do my job and I will help this union become greater, more prosperous and more effective.

    It is time to give new members a say, new members with new ideas, new members with a love of graphs, tables and pie charts, new members with a keen sense of get up and go. I have that energy, the first ever candidate from the Chilterns is here to win this election and prove to everyone that a commission can be effective in running this union. If at the end of a four month term, I have failed to acheive my aims, then I will not stand again and if you feel I have not done enough then remember, I am elected, remove me from office and replace me with someone new!

    Now, I won't outline any more my more specific views in this opening statement, I will do that during today's debate, but please remember it is TIME FOR CHANGE and I with your trust CAN HELP TO DELIVER THAT CHANGE!

  • "My fellow Europeans, ladies and gentlemen, comrades one and all!

    My thanks to you for allowing me to stand here and represent myself and my country before you. I would especially like to thank the chairperson from the fine nation of Halsberg, and the fellow candidates stood alongside me. I look forward to an honest, clean and open debate.

    My nation is a new one to walk amongst these halls, though we are not a new or a small one. In my nation, the noble ideas of equality and liberty are held sacrosanct. These are the principles upon which we are built, and we see many of you in this region too hold these maxims to heart.

    If elected, I will work tirelessly to work for every nation of this region, to further the cause of human and civil rights, and stand as a representative for every citizen of every European country, regardless of religion, ethnicity or political beliefs.

    The furthering of these rights can only come by the strengthening and growth of the Council, by increased participation and the tireless work of that body in forming and enforcing laws that better the lot of European citizens. If elevated to the Commission, I will endeavour to find new means of discourse in order to bring more nations into the council hall, in order to further the course of Federalism in this great region.

    Many of my fellow candidates have spoke on the need to strengthen the Union, mostly through reform of the now mostly defunct party system. I believe that this system is due for reform, but without stronger Council presence, and incentives for participation in regional affairs, any reform made to the party system will ultimately be futile.

    I thank you for your attention, and wish the best of luck to my fellow candidates in the debate to come."

  • Thank you candidates. Our first couple of questions tonight were submitted anonymously and are for all of you.

    "1. While the Constitution of the European Union has made mention of a European Central Bank no formal legislation has ever been created to give it a clear directive and regional support and is noticeable absent from the most recently proposed budget. Will you seek to deliver on this long deferred promise and do you believe that the European Central Bank should make growth, price stability or both the prime focus?

    2. The European Union has made some progress in human rights over the last few years but has never had a real movement towards increased workers' rights and greater economic equality. Why do you think that is and if you plan to do anything about it, what will you do?"

  • If I may take the opportunity to offer an answer the first question concerning the European Central Bank, before coming back to talk about Human and Employee Rights, which I feel is the most important matter facing the Union.

    I personally do not see the need for a European Central Bank at this juncture. As we stand today, members of the Union are able to use the currency of their choice and the overwhelming majority of our states issue their own currency.

    A European Central Bank would be a much more significant requirement were we to be involved in a Currency Union. Under the circumstances of a common currency we would require a Central Bank in order to:

    1. Set interest rates across the common currency area;
    2. Controlling the money supply of the common currency area and authorising national central banks to issue the common currency;
    3. Managing the foreign reserves and exchange rates of the common currency zone;
    4. Overseeing and regulating financial markets across the Union;
    5. Maintaining price stability within the Common Currency zone.

    From this it is clear that a Central Bank is a requirement if and only if the Union moves towards a Common Currency. In the event that we seek a Common Currency, then the Bank would become a necessity, with a mandate to maintain price stability. The Bank cannot be responsible for promoting growth as this will clearly be a responsibility that lies with individual National Governments.

    In the absence of a Common Currency, the only role for the Bank would be the regulation of the financial markets and this does need the establishment of a Central Bank in order it.

    So in conclusion, I feel a European Central Bank is required if we move to a currency union, but otherwise it is a massive sledgehammer to crack the issue of financial regulation.

    Thank you.

  • There are three intrinsic values that underpin our Union. These are the role of democracy, the adherence to Human Rights and the existence of a common and equal market. In the view of Framptonia's Government, these three factors are not equal in their precedence, but can be ranked in order of importance in the order that I have just given them.

    We have within our Union some nations in a state of civil war and turmoil. Others where the leadership has not been democratically elected by the population and others that do not seem to recognise the sovereignty of neighbouring states. Under these circumstances, when we struggle to achieve the democratic principle, it is not so surprising that we have not made any real progress towards employee rights.

    The articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights give everyone the right to work, the right of equal pay and the right to join Trades Unions. I would like to see regulations concerning maximum working hours, minimum pay levels, the right to withdraw labour under certain circumstances and restrictions upon the methods and reasons for dismissal.

    In terms of progress towards more economic equality, this is a decision which I do not feel has been given the backing of the Union. If the view of the Union is that there should be greater economic equality, we would need to determine whether that is between nations or across the people of the entire Union. Either way, realistically this can only happen if there is some equalisation of tax across the Union. Taxes are not just a means of raising revenues to fund public expenditure, but they also act as a tariff on labour. I do not sense that there is great appetite for tax equalisation across the Union and until that appetite is germinated, then I do not see that there will be significant movement towards economic equality.

  • "Common currencies are not something I am personally a huge fan of", Hitchens started, "Financial markets are a key national responsibility, and I think the European Central Bank should only really impose measures or advise on national economies if there is a clear mandate in the Council for it to do so. Indeed, as the question implies, legislation has never been brought before the Council and the ECB has never even been properly discussed. I do think this should happen, we need clarity and tansparency on this issue, and if I am elected Premier, I will ask the Commissioner for Economics to conduct, at the very least, an open discussion about this topic. Price stability is, I believe, the key issue for the European Central Bank to work on, but obviously we will have to see what the Council thinks of this.

    "The issue of human rights is a key founding factor of the European Union, and one I feel passionately about, which is why I was more than elated to sign the Abolition of Capital Punishment Act into law last month. I think workers' rights have never seen formal discussion in the Council and previous Commission because most European nations already have laws in place to protect and serve labourers, such as abolition of child labour laws, maternity leave regulations and early pensions for manual labourers. However, this does not mean the issue is dead. I would be interested in seeing Council discussion on this topic during the next Commission, and will devote myself to achieving such discussion. The same goes for economic equality. Income levelling is, of course, an issue of national sovereignity: we cannot make one law for every economy in the Union. The Duxburian economy is far from the same as the Havvenskarian one, for example. We can't use the same measure for both financial systems. The ECB could actually work together with the Council to see what can be done about this issue!"

  • Well, I do not personally think that at the moment there is a need for a central bank for there is no centrally controlled currency. There are no interest rates which need to be controlled and there is not a currency which needs to be managed. Currently legislation allows the the European Finance agency to provide nations with economic advice whilst also managing regional economic data alongside a flurry of other jobs, some of which are statutory requirements, some of which are not. Without a centrally managed currency, or without taking further powers away from member states I do not think that we need a central bank but I would be interested to hear the opinions of member states first before proceeding with anything.

    Workers rights is an interesting area, something which has never really been looked at recently on a regional scale, whilst I certainly agree with introducing regional guidelines on the treatment of employees and other such issues it would be important to gain regional consensus before proceeding with anything in terms of legislation. In many nations for example employees already have very good rights and I would like it to be the case that the council hastily introduces legislation which actually decreases the rights available to workers. We need discussion and consensus before doing anything, whether that be legislation or otherwise.

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    "Thank you very much for this question.

    Before I even begin I just wanna say that, yo I think it's ridiculous so say there is no need for a Central Bank. It exists within our Constitution 'n is mandated by our law. Does this mean that EU member states need to hand their monetary policy over to the ECB 'n start circulating Euros? Absolutely not. The reason why we need a Central Bank is because the EU really can't be functionin' without it. I know this from firsthand experience when I drew up the new budget. The budget is funded by member states but it runs on Euros. The annual contributions are converted into Euros 'n are then used to fund our institutions 'n pay people their salaries. The EU as a group of institutions requires Euros, but that doesn't mean our individual member states do. If individual nations wish to circulate the Euro currency, then they are more than free to join the Eurozone.

    I believe that the Eurozone needs to be organised first, it needs to draw up a Central Bank 'n then we need to put legislation on the Council floor to work out a deal where the EU can also use and print the Euro. I also think that the Euro should be fixed at a certain rate ((OOC: Fixed to NS$1)). The Constitution says the ECB should be overseen by the Econonics Commissioner, but I think this might be unfair to the Eurozone member states. I think that part should maybe be amended out, but then again maybe not, so we will have to see.

    In the past I've already brought up discussion about this and I have received interest. In fact, I have been contacted by a certain individuals from the United Kingdom who have already begun working on reorganizing the Eurozone 'n on legislation. As a Commissioner I can't propose legislation myself, but I have been offering advice, giving comments and proposing plans of action. I am sure Commissioner Renata has also been notified by the ongoing discussion. All I can say for now is that it is in the works, 'n you might also hear more about it soon.

    Now, unto the second question, which is actually something I am very passionate about 'n something I am very knowledgeable about. Income inequality, economic development 'n human rights are issues the Commission has ignored in the past. Like I said in my opening response, these issues are the reason why I have decided to run for office in the first place. I have sent out invitations to developing nations to join the Economics Commissioner in a summit regarding economic, political 'n social development. This summit will commence after these Commission elections, so if it not carried out by myself, then I really hope that it is carried out 'n taken very seriously by my successor, because this is becoming a greater problem. No time in EU history has the average GDP per capita of EU member states been so low, no time in EU history has income inequality been so high, 'n never before have we seen such disparity between different people 'n different nations.

    To address workers' rights specifically - I'm a bit skeptical as to how far an open Council discussion will get us on this particular issue. In the past we have seen the Council shoot down almost anything regarding worker's rights 'n unions. If any sort of compromise is to be reached, then it will likely be very watered down 'n nearly useless. Besides, open discussions encouraged by the Commission usually have no real framework - as we've seen before with discussion regarding the environment. Such discussion usually doesn't amount to anything.

    I would like to see a report, possibly conducted by Internal Affairs, that investigates how the successfully the UDoHR has been implemented 'n enforced in member states 'n how well worker's rights 'n minority rights have also been implemented. The report will uncover which worker or human rights may be lacking 'n will also expose which individual nations are at fault. I feel like this would provide an appropriate framework for the Council to discuss 'n take action upon.

    As for economic equality, this is something that is very do-able 'n something I am personally excited about. All this discussion on implementing fairer taxes almost has me in laughin' in stitches. Fairer taxes certainly isn't the key to greater equality 'n it is something that the Council absolutely won't do, so let's not even drink from this kool-aid. We need to put a strong emphasis on bringing equality through fairer education, more accessible healthcare, by protecting the rights of individuals, leveling-off the playing field 'n by encouraging states to offer incentives 'n initiatives to those who are either physically 'n mentally disadvantaged, 'n also those who are disadvantaged by their economic status. The key to fostering economic growth is fostering social 'n political development."

  • "Thank you kindly for the question, and also thanks to my compatriots for their answers.

    I agree with Ms. Johnson insofar as there is a need for a Central European Bank. Where we differ, however, is in its central purpose. The central purpose of an ECB should be to allow the Federated States to function in a united manner through the standardisation of a currency that can be used as an intermediary for trade. As a representative from a non-Euro using nation, the concept of fixing and maintaining separate exchange rates with a dozen trade partners is not an appealing process. By allowing a central bank to create a standardised rate of conversion between currencies, trade will be easier, even outside of the European Economic Area that already exists.

    There is another function that could be performed by a centralised bank, however, and one that I believes ties in nicely with the second question. I believe that there should be a European Development Trust ((or fund, but I dodn't want to confuse it with the EDF)) created from the large budget surplus of the Union. The point of this fund is two-fold; first, it will allow the smaller, less-developed nations of this region to obtain funding to bring themselves to a technological and economic level that allows them to function more effectively in international affairs. This would be done by the use of low-interest, long-term loans, regulated by an Officer of the Commission. In the long term, the interest generated from these loans should be re-invested into the Trust, allowing it to, over the course of time, become self-sustaining in its endeavours. Secondly, this Trust will have firm guidelines on the use and potential recipients of its funds, allowing the Commission to, in effect, give small nations a financial incentive to improve their stance on human and civil rights. A carrot, if you will, to balance against the ECoJ's stick.

    Whilst I am talking of the ECoJ, another proposal I have is this; the creation of a regional body overseeing the arms trade within the region. As the recent events in the Teutonic States have shown, there are nations within this region who place the profits of their arms dealers over the sanctity of human life and the sovereignty of foreign governments. I would propose a body, under the control of the Commission, to whom the arms industry must provide details of all new arrangements. Failure to register arms trades to this body would be a cause for referral to the ECoJ, though this would require new legislation.

    What this would do, is provide some form of oversight for the currently dangerously unregulated regional arms market, and hopefully avoid a repeat of the irresponsible actions of nations such as those that provided modern military weapons to a non-governmental organisation in the Teutonic States.

    Also, I would support the Council in adopting more regional legislation that would provide a framework for a legal standard of rights in the region, with more acts such as the recent abolition of the death penalty. Ultimately, however, these must come from the Council, and nations acting and agreeing together, rather than from the Commission.

  • Our next question comes from one who's no stranger to the world of European politics, former Commissioner Enoch Shaw of Angleter, who asks:

    "What are the candidates? opinions of the Abolition of Capital Punishment Act and the European Cannabis Act, and to what extent do the candidates believe the European institutions should interfere in the domestic affairs of member states??

  • Mod


    "1. While the Constitution of the European Union has made mention of a European Central Bank no formal legislation has ever been created to give it a clear directive and regional support and is noticeable absent from the most recently proposed budget. Will you seek to deliver on this long deferred promise and do you believe that the European Central Bank should make growth, price stability or both the prime focus?

    2. The European Union has made some progress in human rights over the last few years but has never had a real movement towards increased workers' rights and greater economic equality. Why do you think that is and if you plan to do anything about it, what will you do?"

    1. I am committed to the European Central Bank not for it to interfere in national governments and cause chaos on that level, but because we are violating a constitutional obligation and its absence is really putting the ability to keep the Union solvent because as of this very moment, there is no organization handling monetary policy. Monetary policy is the key to handling the ups and downs of macroeconomics. The euro is not only a currency for those who wish to adopt it, but it is the official regional currency, meaning it's the official currency that the Union does business on a supranational level. That also meant that the currency itself is dangerously exposed to inflation or even hyperinflation of nations are printing their own versions without any shared monetary policy. That is dangerous for the Union in the sense that what we dedicate to spend on a budget may NOT be worth the same, particularly if the free market dictates it. I know the London Stock Exchange has been very shaky on trying to include the euro on the bond market because these things. Commissioner Johnson and I have been in talks about what we can do and what we can encourage the Council to do to ensure that the currency is stable and that all future European budgets are safe. As for the Eurozone, they will have to be a willing group of nations to have the euro and need to be put under strict guidelines of joining. It would be a potential financial chaos that could bring down the European Central Bank and the Union's fiscal solvency if nations are joined by a shared currency and cannot agree on monetary policy or have too much national debt.

    2. I do believe it is in the Union's best interest to offer advice to nations to continue to grow their economies. And from that growth in economies, workers should be protected from abuses and cheap labour. It would be massively irresponsible and bad for any ideas of consumerism to not pay workers a living wage and protect their working rights. It is not going to be possible for every single nation to have the same economic outcome as an Inquista, Duxburian Union, Angleter, Inimicus, Halsberg or United Kingdom. What we can do at the European level is try to level the playing field and get more equal opportunity for nations. The European Finance Agency should be used as a means to help nations get on a path to prosperity, because that is what I believe we are all here for: the prosperity of Europeans. My plan for worker's rights is to work from the bottom up and visit as many nations I can and work with them to adopt policies and legislation that promote paying for work rather than lining companies' pockets; it's time to really stand up for the European lower classes, and only from the more local levels are we going to begin to see real change.

    3. My opinion on the abolition of capital punishment is that of great relief and a "why didn't we do this sooner" attitude. It's a no brainer: democracies should not kill their own citizens, punishment or not. I am also not a fan of incarceration for lower level offences, and would like to see nations adopt policies that get those criminals back in the community working to better places, rehabilitating them, educating them and getting them to be working members of society. In my home nation, I know we are losing nearly ?4.3 billion every year from lost consumption and economic production as those citizens are not in society being productive but sitting in jail, gathering resentment. The abolition of capital punishment is just one in a series of dominoes that need to fall to see our Union grow into a fair society. The legalisation of cannabis is also something that will help with this, as people are STILL being thrown into jails for such a harmless drug. I do believe that everyone in the Union has a responsibility to follow the laws of the Council and those who won't should be brought to the Court. No nation is above the law of our region, and it's shocking to some who are opposed are those who act as if they are the champions of European democracy in their foreign policy. If you are truly a champion of European democracy, you would realize that fining and jailing people for a drug that is less dangerous than alcohol ever could be is morally reprehensible behaviour.

  • QUOTE (The United Kingdom @ April 13th, 2015 - 0:13)

    I am committed to the European Central Bank not for it to interfere in national governments ... but because ... as of this very moment, there is no organization handling monetary policy. Monetary policy is the key to handling the ups and downs of macroeconomics.

    This response from the United Kingdom and the very important question from Angleter goes to the heart of the question as to the purpose of the European Union.

    The European Union has a constitution that acknowledges that it is composed of member states who each maintain sovereignty within their nations. The nations of Framptonia and the United Kingdom agree on many, many issues, but on this matter we cannot agree.

    There is an organisation handling Monetary Policy within Framptonia. It is the Office of the Comptroller General under the Stewardship of Mr Dimness Healey. The Office is subject to the laws and Constitution of the Democratic Republics of Framptonia and is accountable through the democratic process enshrined within our Constitution.

    The purpose of the European Union is not to produce a super-state in a reflected image of the most powerful states, which can then enforce its legislation and economic policy on smaller and thus far independent nations. Take a look at the EU constitution, it is more concerned with raising the standards of living, quality of life and the security of the residents of Union and this is to be achieved by encouraging and fostering closer working and co-operation between all states. Not by replacing them with a super state.

    Unfortunately the entry of the Framptonia to the European Union was too late for us to participate in the debates upon the Abolition of Capital Punishment and the Legalisation of Cannabis, though we did vote unsuccessfully against both Acts.

    Taking the Abolition of Capital Punishment, this was an unnecessary Act. Article 3 of Annex 1 of the EU Constitution already gives everyone the right to life. Any Country maintaining Capital Punishment was in breach of this Article of the Constitution and there was no need for an additional Act to incorporate the abolition of capital punishment.

    But the amendments to the Act mean that Section 3 (a) of the Act states that:

    3. a- As a result of the passage of this act, there shall be no capital offences in times of peace. This does not apply to military personnel of belligerent states in times of war.

    This is clearly contrary to the Article regarding the right to life.

    The Legalisation of Cannabis Act was a ludicrous piece of legislation, fully interfering with the domestic policies of members states. The constitution fully dictates the basic human rights to which member states have to adhere. This act effectively places the right to take cannabis alongside those rights. If the Union wishes to impose its will across all member states in this manner, then it should do so, but to the minimum acceptable level. We now have the strange situation where cannabis is the only product legally available across the entire union whose availability is protected legislation. We do not have similar legislation concerning alcohol, tobacco, paracetamol, sugar, salt or water. So why should we have legislation regarding cannabis. Clearly we shouldn't. It was simply a means of people in support of cannabis use foisting their views upon the rest of the Union without thought for the views of nations where cannabis use is not prevalent and the democratic processes within those nations.

    The role of the Union is to provide a framework which will encourage and nurture democracy for the benefits of all residents. It is not to become a super state dictating the views of powerful and active members to the smaller nations.

    Mrs Bareham sits down having got somewhat flustered and emotional - her cheeks and neck had flushed a deep red.

  • Mod

    OOC: There is no Geneva Convention or equivalent in the RP yet. The UDoHR and Neutral States section are the closest things we have to that. Anything not covered by those is still fair game to happen.

  • OOC: Edited to remove reference.

  • If I may, I'd like to come back on something that the Commissioner for Economics said during her answer concerning the possibility of establishing a Central Bank.

    She indicated that she was considering setting up such a bank to Control finances within in any Common Currency or Eurozone, which is fair enough. But she then stated that considered that the Euro should be set at a fixed rate. Now clearly, one Euro in a Country using it as its currency has to be equal in value to one Euro in any other Country using it as its currency too. To suggest otherwise is contradictory to defining it as a Common Currency.

    But to the question as to whether the Framptonian Florin should be fixed to the Euro, the Government of Framptonia has a very simple and clear answer. NO. NO. NO.

    The Framptonian Florin is a floating exchange rate. Its exchange value with other currencies is determined by the market, by the traders and investors on the Limpdom FOREX.

    The Framptonian Government will argue tooth and nail against a return to the prehistoric use of fixed exchange rates. Fixed exchange rates can never represent the true value of a currency, with the consequence that one currency must always be over valued and the other under valued. This has holds no benefit to the respective economies and simply offers traders the opportunity to make huge profits be forcing Governments into emergency revaluations to protect their currency and economy.

    I personally encountered the difficulties in trying to run a business exporting goods under a fixed exchange rate, with the Florin being over valued. In order to try to reduce the speculative trading, the Bank of Framptonia was forced into higher and higher interest rate rises, causing untold misery on thousands of residents and stifling investment. The a trading partner suffering under the same predicament was pushed into a 'beggar my neighbour' devaluation, ratcheting up the misery in Framptonia even further.

    The only certainty with a mechanism of fixed exchange rates is that they will ultimately fail, with the losers being the members of the general population who lose their homes and livelihoods and the winners being the faceless gnomes of Zurich, who make a killing when the mechanism eventually crashes under market pressure.

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