Talk:European Union/Archive 16

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GA review

Since I did a review on Institutions of the European Union I decided that in league with that I would also review this article. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask them. Regards, Daimanta 18:54, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Since there has been a previous assesment of GA status, I will confirm to the older GA status-standard. These were the reasons the previous article failed:

  • 1. Way too much of the article is unreferenced
  • 2. The "Enlargement" section needs work. The list of countries that may join the European Union is written in prose, and is necessary, but paragraphs should flow. It seems almost as if random facts are just thrown into paragraphs. Goals of joining and things going for the country followed by issues preventing the country from joining
  • 3. Religion section is specific to Europe, but its relation to the Europian Union is not clear in the article.
  • 4. Many parts were confusing and didn't really elaborate. History section should probably elaborate sligtly more. It goes from the 1950's to the 2000's. Something had to have happened in between.

If it passes these criteria and the other GA criteria, I will make this article GA. Regards, Daimanta 20:17, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Image:Rometreaty.jpg requires a fair use rationale. Daimanta 11:12, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

I have checked every picture in the article. Some are missing a fair use rationale, one picture wil leven be deleted because there is no source of authorship present. If this doesn't improve, I WILL fail the article. Daimanta 16:42, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

I found four instances of dubious sourcing Image:Rometreaty.jpg Image:Josesocrates2006.jpg Image:20050708-173.jpg (I think we can do without this one if there is no alternative) and this Image:European Union Population Density.png (we can replace this one with the aerial photo at night if it comes down to it). Can people more versed in the images rules figure this out?? Thanks Arnoutf 17:14, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
I did warn on Rome Treaty ages ago but did anyone listen? It is treated on Wikipedia as if it is PD. I don't see the problem with JS though, or has that just been fixed? I also agree we should dump the G8 image, we can replace it, and the last one - yes we can change to the sat image (but the deletion info seems a tad off, or again has that just been fixed). On these issues, just give us a few hours to sort it before failing - we can usualy do this quite fast. - J Logan t: 17:48, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
As I said, I am no expert on image copyright, and those four had a copyright justification that seemed a bit weird compared to the others. The last (the map) has an exclamation mark on the image page, so I think there is something wrong with it; at least, someone has flagged up a potential problem. Arnoutf 18:03, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Looking at it, the PD box just didn't have the author listed there so it is automaticly listed as non-sourced even though it is specified in the above box. Why it also has the second PD box I don't know. Socrates looks safe though, what were the images you were talking about Daimanta? - J Logan t: 18:11, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
I dropped Ssolbergj, who is the original uploader, a message on his talk page asking him to have a look at it. He is fairly much involved in this article, so I am pretty sure he will act. I think it can easily be solved this way. Arnoutf 18:14, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
The images that were possibly dubious were listed by Arnoutf earlier on in this thread. SOme have been fixed but there are still images experiencing problems like Image:20050708-173.jpg and

Image:Rometreaty.jpg. Regards, Daimanta 18:25, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

We dropped that image from the article; as we agree the copyight was not ok. You were talking about 'some images', so I ran through all images trying to identify the others. I think JLogans question was whether we caught all those you had seen. Arnoutf 18:29, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

The image Image:EUCoJ.jpg contains pretty much no information. This needs to be done better than it is now. Image:Euro_banknotes.png is very tricky, be sure that all conditions are met. It needs a fair use rationale. Regards, Daimanta 20:12, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

I dropped a line to the uploader of the Court of Justice uploader (Ssolbergj again), if it does not work out, we can remove that one as it is not crucial.
The image page says it was taken by Ssolbergj who stas he releases it into the public domain. It is a picture of the Court of Justics's building in a section on the article on the EU's legal system. What more do you want? Caveat lector 11:23, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Ssolbergj fixed the copyright info on the image page last night (after the earlier talk here, but before Caveat Lectors remark). I think it is fine now. Arnoutf 14:45, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

About the banknotes. WP non-free images state we can use: "Stamps and currency: For identification of the stamp or currency, not its subject.". I think this would qualify. Also the clear showing of "SPECIMEN" in the design conforms to the license requirement (by the EU central bank ie copyright holder) that states: "its use is permitted "as long as reproductions in advertising or illustrations cannot be mistaken for genuine banknotes"" (the image conforms to the demands for this put by the EU central bank as explained on the page of the image itself). The function of the image is to identify the Euro currency to the reader (caption being "The Euro is accepted by 13 of 25 countries"). So I think we should be able to use this images on this page in the current context. But I agree, the interpretation is not straightfoward. PS Daimanta I added a few colons (:) inside your image wikilinks (prior to the name) so they no longer show on page, this to prevent this talk page being cluttered with image, hope you don't mind Arnoutf 20:34, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Ok, that's acceptable. The thing with the images was a mistake, I accidentally added it like an image in stead of a link. Regards, Daimanta 00:15, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Source (43) is a blog. I suggest it ought to be removed because of non-reliability. Daimanta 22:23, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Source "Goldirova, Renata (11 July 2007). Brussels' first-ever move into sport area set to spark controversy. EU Observer. Retrieved on 13 July 2007." is locked. Remove and if neccesairy, find another cite on the topic. Daimanta 22:29, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Same goes for "^ a b Rettman, Andrew (9 March 2007). EU sticks out neck in global climate change battle. EU Observer. Retrieved on 9 March 2007." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Daimanta (talkcontribs) 22:30, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Although I agree that ideally all sources should be available to any editor/reader without any blockage, there are situations where this is not feasible. The issue of locked sources has been discussed in citing sources. The majority viewpoint was that paid access is verifiable (as anyone willing to pay can access) and is as such not different from printed sources, or scientific journals, that also require access to a library holding a subscription. Arnoutf 07:27, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Seconded. Policy is that they sould be replaced if possible when they become unavailable. But the text is still there if you pay (and it is on a minor matter) and in these cases I don't think there is an alternative. In some cases it is possible to view them using Google's caché and in most cases I have my own archive of cited but now locked news articles to make sure stuff isn't attributed to them that isn't included. - J Logan t: 08:11, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, but this on your account, not mine. If I can't check it, you will carry the responsibility for the link's value. Daimanta 10:54, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough. Many scientific journals use the same provision: The value of reference list value is the responsibility of the author not of the reviewers or editorial team. Arnoutf 10:56, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Ok, I am inclined to pass this article. It is properly sourced and it elaborates on specific subjects in detailed WP entries. I am waiting for comments for the next 5 hours. After that, I will pass this article. Regards, Daimanta 12:22, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Argh the suspense! :D - J Logan t: 23:04, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Ok, the article has passed. The hard work has paid off. Congrats. Regards, Daimanta 16:48, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks a lot, also for the very thorough review you undertook. Arnoutf 16:53, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Thank you very much for your time and work Daimanta! - J Logan t: 18:41, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Ok, as per request I will answer what chance this article has of getting to FA. FA is pretty tricky to reach since even the most minor defect can create strong opposition to promotion. Nevertheless, I think that the substance and sourcing of this article make it FA-friendly, that is, the things that prevent this article from becoming FA are probably fixable if you take some time to work on it. I hope that answers the question. Regards, Daimanta 21:20, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the op. Very helpful. And thanks again for your work (not easy going though an article like this!) - J Logan t: 21:51, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Post GA

Whey, we have GA finally! Okay, good work everyone, doesn't look like outstanding issues have been brought up. Now do we break to do some more work on it, get a peer review or skip straight to FA and deal with the issues as they bring them up there. I favour the latter personally as we need more feedback but to wait for a peer review on something this long.. ugh. Any objections, thoughts, anything we need to do before hand? - J Logan t: 18:42, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

I asked Daimanta (whom I think did a very thorough job on the GA review) to give a very brief impression about our chances for the next steps, so we have some kind of outsider input in this. Arnoutf 19:02, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Great! —Nightstallion 21:05, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Okay, we have out opinion. Thoughts now? How should we continue? - J Logan t: 21:51, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Simply nominate it and react to criticism as it comes along? I don't think there's very much wrong with the article any more... —Nightstallion 20:06, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm not so sure, there still unresolved issued relating to the article structure and inclusion of certain topics (sport and religion for example). What's the hurry? We can at least try for peer review. Caveat lector 13:58, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Sport and religion kind of died down, I don't think it is much to throw around right now really. I for one am prepared to live with it unless people really want to do something about it. I say we just react to criticism as it comes, if they see it as a problem, them we deal with it? - J Logan t: 09:25, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
I can live with the current sports and religion versions. I could support either approach, go for FA and see what happens (this is the quick and painless way and might result in relatively quick FA status, on the downside if it is turned down we have to reconsider); or do it the cautious way go through Peer Review and only later FA (this will take longer, but might later on increase chances for an easy pass as some more issues have been perfected-also perhaps mentioning peer review will count as positive for some admins in the FA process). I am not sure which strategy is wisest. Arnoutf 09:36, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
BTW, just a remark. I just skimmed through the last version we put up FA (May 2006), see article history. I think the current version is much better; but then again, requirement for FA has gone up tremendously since 2006. Arnoutf 09:42, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Thing is with Peer Review is we are still only getting one perspective on ti after all that time, I'm nto sure how much it would help us, we already have loads of opinions here. - J Logan t: 10:14, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
The advantage of Peer Review is that it is flagged as requiring attention at another place possibly bringing in new perspectives/ideas. I think that's what we got from Daimanta in the GA review who did a thorough job checking things we had not previously considered. Arnoutf 19:50, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Okay, why not. It will add legitimacy to the FA as well and perhaps bring in 3rd point in respect to the "discussion" below. Perhaps there is a manner we can address that we have not considered. I will put to forward for Peer Review shortly unless there are objections soon. - J Logan t: 20:16, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Call for help

I've noticed we haven't got any information at all on Wikipedia on former groups in the European Parliament. Could someone help me with that? —Nightstallion 21:05, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Oh I totally understand we do need it, even the current groups are lacking data. There is the French website that gives an outline but even with that the whole topic gives me a headake. But I'll help, I might be able to get my head round it in doing so, but so long as we don't end up creating fifty billion stubs for each tiny change the groups went through. - J Logan t: 21:51, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Maybe simple an article listing all the former groups in one article? —Nightstallion 20:06, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Considering the amount of data we have available to us right now it would be the best start. Most are former versions of current groups anyway. - J Logan t: 20:52, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

I've just included all the info available at European_Parliament_political_group#Historical_groups, but I used the French names as I didn't have the English ones. —Nightstallion 19:26, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

What the hell is it?

Is the EU a coalition, a political union, a confederation? Calling it a "unique political and economic community with supranational and intergovernmental dimensions" is not a very succinct description. In fact, that description only makes people more confused about what the organization is. 01:03, 17 October 2007 (UTC)Mike Reason

Well, it is more than a customs union and less than a currency union. It is supranational. It has some characteristics of an intergovernmental organization but many characteristics of a federal state, though it has not achieved political union (like England and Scotland). Because it cannot legitimately be classed (solely) as any one of these, it is often referred to as sui generis (in a class of its own), but some editors object to this term, which is why it is now called "unique". In the sense that it is a powerful grouping of nations with key aspects of sovereignty exercised by a central authority, I suppose it also has some attributes of an empire. If the definition leaves you confused as to what exactly it is, it is probably a good definition. To paraphrase Niels Bohr (I think): If you think you understand what it, you don't.--Boson 06:23, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Ditto, there is nothing we can call it, hence you just have to read and decide for yourself. Every time I try and decide a label for it, such as federation, I just get confused about exactly what federation means - there are no clear boxes for these types of things. It is compounded also by a huge amoung of disagreement, for example I disagree on Bosons point about it not being a political union, it is it is just a slighly squiffy kind and without a real common civil platform behind it. - J Logan t: 09:13, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
OED calls it an (economic and political) association between certain European states. That seems fair to me. It remains a treaty between states, just like treaties establishing the ICJ or NATO, and is about as unique as they are. So my intro would read more like: "The European Union is a political and economic association that seeks to organize relations between its member states and citizens. Based on the European Community established in 1957 by six European countries, the European Union has grown in size by accession of new member states and increased its mandate by the addition of new policy areas to its remit. The European Union is currently composed of twenty-seven member states."
And then maybe a paragraph about the EU's legal framework (Rome, Maastricht), and what changes can be expected in the future (Reform Treaty). Intangible2.0 01:25, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
If you want a succinct name, just call it what it is, the EU. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cambrasa (talkcontribs) 16:02, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Its not long since we last had a tussle over the introduction, perhaps we can keep it for a while? I for one would be against association as it implies something considerably weaker that what is currently there. Further more we shouldn't use other peoples' definitions, they are all over the place. Compare that to CIA for example.- J Logan t: 14:04, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Have to say I didn't like the word 'community'. Admittedly, it did used to be the name of the thing, but used descriptively to try to explain what it is, it sounds more like a sheltered housing scheme. The word 'community' is not normally used to describe something as hard-edged as a complex business deal like this. Sandpiper 23:11, 4 November 2007 (UTC)


Are you sure Portugal is one of the countries where most people believe in a God??? According to the map. I don't really think so, 80% of the population? Or more?? I am Portuguese, born and raised, lived here all my life, and I can tell you that maybe around 80% of young people are not religious, that 50% of grown ups aren't religious, and that 20% of old people are not religious. This also changes when we talk about North and South of the Country (being the North much more religious by tradition); and it changes again from Coast to Country (Coastal cities and towns are much less religious than in the interior of Portugal. So, probably no more than 50% (or 60%) of the population believe in a God.

Where can I see the stathistics this document is based on? Everyone knows (at least here) that Spaniards are much more religious than we are in Portugal.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Data is based on the 2005 Eurobarometer. (Eurobarometer 225: Social values, Science & Technology (PDF). Eurostat (2005). Retrieved on 2007-07-21.) the document PDF is here. In the article text the reference (136) gives the link to the document; so you might have checked the reference before putting up this question.
Note the difference between Religion (ie being member/active in a church like community) versus believing in some kind of God (ie there is more than just physics).
BTW Arguments like everybody knows are not accepted in Wiki. Arnoutf 21:21, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I think they are: you just produced figures in a ref to counter them. Sandpiper 18:22, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Nah that's the wrong way round ... citations are needed to insert "facts" rather than to dispute them. Abtract 19:23, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
I trust the figures from Eurostat here. If Spain is indeed more religious, on whose authority would that go into the text, from someone who compares Lisbon with a small Spanish village?? Eurostat (the official statistics agency of the EU) provided the numbers in the article. Disagree with that? Provide a reputable source. (BTW in the strain everybody knows reasoning: Spain does accept same-sex marriage which is not typical of a very religious country so it can't be more religious than let's say Denmark, which does not). But no kidding, I don't care whether Portugal or Spain is more religious, as long as a reputable source is used. Arnoutf 19:48, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Sadly I have a hankering for accuracy more than plausible deniability, but there we go. Sandpiper 08:58, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that accuracy based on "everybody knows" is very unlikely. As I stated above, if there is a source supporting Spain being more religious than Portugal, I am happy to accept that. Arnoutf 10:40, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
I'll also point out that Eurostat gains its data also from national statistics agencies so I don't think there would be a problem of arms length here. Perhaps the difference can be accounted for on the grounds of "god" generically, does one have a higher immigrant population perhaps? I know in the UK the most religious people tend to be Muslims and the Poles who are pushing the figures up. Anyway, as you are talking about EU and national statistics, I am not sure if there is anything with the same standing we can use. Can we just take this as either on the ground you don't see the whole of society or that statistics are always a load of rubbish anyway and while interesting they are not gospel. - J Logan t: 10:53, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Criticism of the EU

Unless it's so brief that I missed it, this article appears to contain no criticism of the EU whatsoever. Is criticism not allowed? A very large number of people in the UK are strongly opposed to Europe, yet anyone reading this article would be left with the impression that the peoples of Europe are all perfectly happy to see their countries and cultures absorbed into some massive, faceless bureaucracy. Let's have a bit of balance and honesty, shall we? TharkunColl 12:07, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

This has come up a lot, please look through the previous archives if you're interested. There is reference to criticism both as a topic and in specific cases but having a section on criticisms, as has been proposed before, attracts an awful lot of vandalism. Further more references given, if anything, tend to be very unacademic and flawed. The article as it stands deals mainly with facts so there isn't much POV slant in the pro side that tips the article. I think criticisms are deal with in a few other articles as a subject. - J Logan t: 12:56, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, User:TharkunColl, your edits to the article show exactly why there isn't that much criticism. If all you can do is make nonsensical nazi accusations, you'll just get reverted. If on the other hand you can improve the article by adding rational, relevant and verifiable criticism please do! Caveat lector 15:38, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

I noticed this as well... I think it reads far too pro-EU institutions and possibly even has a tone like its been written by a federalist... -- 13:06, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Could you find another country's article where this is not true, so we can compare the two to figure out what you find troubling? I've seen this same claim made on the United States talk page and was equally baffled by it there. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 13:16, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
The EU isn't a country, it's an international or supranational treaty organisation, although you presumably think it should be from that statement. I imagine this sort of thing is precisely what he's talking about - most of the people who do the editting on the EU articles (at least editting that remains up for an appreciable amount of time) have a clear pro-EU bias and many even advertise this fact with pro-EU wikiboxes on their talk pages (as Caveat lector and J Logan do). If we look at examples of other intergovernmental organisations, we find that they do include criticism, for instance this on the UN page or this on the NAFTA page. The existance of the EU, unlike the existance of America (to take your, now qutie clearly, silly example), is controversial, and it is right that there is either a criticism section, or a highlighted link to a seperate article for criticism.
I note that while you attack the academic integrity of those who would criticise the EU, this very article has had listed an official EU flag, anthem and motto, none of which exist in law (they were in the defeated Constitution, but excluded from the Reform Treaty, neither of which is presently in force anyway), all completely without reference. I think this a fairly clear expression of systemic bias backed with poor research and lack of rigour. 09:07, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Oh good lord not the flag issue again. I'm not going to repeat it again, just look in the last archive, and the ones before that and before that and before that when people have brought this issue up without bothering to look into the subject.
Secondly, you mention we advertise pro-EU in the boxes on our userpages, I don't actually have an EU box. I have a box stating EU citizenship and that I see the EU as a defacto federal structure - not that it should be or it is good. (plus, using peoples user pages to dismiss arguments constitutes a personal attack)
Third, the level the EU operates on it closer to a state than the UN so has greater comparison to the former.
Fourth, UN criticism is specific and non-controversial. Ditto for NAFTA. Criticism of the EU is generic and subject to a high level of debate and also inaccuracy.
Fifth, I am not criticising the academic integrity of the people criticising, just their sources. Sources given are very biased politically and often have very little basis in reality. There is some criticism from academic sources but never cited and often on a different topic. Plus it mostly comes from UK sources again giving a strong bias.
Sixth, pro-EU? Maybe in the fact it accepts it exists but the article deals with factual statements. How are, for example, lines such as "The third pillar originally consisted of Justice and Home Affairs, however owing to changes introduced by the Amsterdam and Nice treaties, it currently only consists of Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters." biased? There are criticisms in areas such as aid, politics, agriculture, infrastructure while there isn't exactly anything saying the EU is even doing a good job at anything.
And last, if your idea of criticism is to compare the EU to Nazi Germany I think you're shooting yourself in the foot as, as stated above, that is the reason there is no criticism section - because it is abused by people who do not actually intend to offer serious criticism, as compelling as you arguments for it on Lear's talk page may be. - J Logan t: 09:58, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

On the point of criticism sections, we should probably note that Wikipedia officially discourage separate criticism sections for exactly the same reasons that it was deleted from this article. See: Wikipedia:Criticism#Criticism in a "Criticism" section (which btw was before I got involved in editing this article).
On the point of attacking the "academic integrity of those who would criticise the EU", I don't. Far from it! I just made an observation on a single set of edits by one particular user. There exists a large amount of reasonable and well-thought-out criticism of the EU, none of which consists of comparing the EU to a nazi empire. I was lamenting that rather then having editors who wish to improve the article by giving both sides of the debate, we just have some who wish to throw muck. Caveat lector 19:33, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

I think most of us agree that the EU=nazi POV is biased and not supported by any respected academic sources. I think we are waisting our time arguing with these demagogy non-arguments; which we could better be spending getting this article peer-reviewed or FA reviewed. Arnoutf 19:48, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

How about a description of the United Kingdom Independence Party, or politicians such as Robert Kilroy-Silk? Presumably these are unacceptable because they are just people exercising their right to freedom of speech, rather than "academics", and their opinions are therefore worthless. And yet they exist. TharkunColl 19:49, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Basically yes. The UKIP is marginal in the UK political landscape, let alone the European one. Of course its leader has a right to an opinion but that is not supported by fact or theory in an academic way, nor by a political movement large enough to make it notable. Allowing every fringe political opinion in is weird (I could start a 1 person -myself- political movement right now and insert its viewpoints in this article). Arnoutf 19:56, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
And UKIP only got ahead in the last elections because of that former chat show host. It is a fringe and I would put out we have no views offered by the two major European political parties so it would be a bit odd to include a fringe group's views. This is an encylopedia, not a soap box. I agree Arnoutf, we should push forward - this debate has been gone over enough time and all this is going to devolve into is political mud slinging.- J Logan t: 20:13, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Aye, I agree with JLogan and Arnoutf. —Nightstallion 16:30, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

The problem is though that we're getting away from the fact that you can be Pro-European so to say, yet dislike many things about the EU, or disagree about its general direction. I'm quite willing to say that I fall into this category, and believe that I'm not the only one. The fact is there is a lot of controversy about a number of things that the EU/Commission does (and I'm talking in a general sense for the moment), the EU is criticised greatly for being seen as too centralised (ie. the ECJ's unwillingness in general to share its jurisdiction over some EU law matters with national courts) and for day-to-day issues being dominated too much by "Brussels". I think (or at least hope) that the point the guy above was trying to make is that this article seems to gloss over the fact that the EU has faced a number of criticisms over the years... I'm thinking in particular, the ECJ... Direct Effect anyone? Van Gend en Loos? What I'm basically saying is I think there should be more recognition within this page of the different views on the aims of the EU, rather than it come across as the tale of an organisation that is now one big happy pre-federal European family. --Simonski 18:31, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

The EU is the most decentralized political entity in history. 27 governments still have their legislative powers. The article sums up the reality within the EU in a neutral and sourced manner. I can´t see a way to include criticism, which is not told from a single national or other minority perspectives and would be therefore of minor relevance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:44, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Ditto, and most countries have controversy, the UK article does go on about all the arguments made by the SNP. And you say there is a lot of controversy over what the Commission does, like what? Straight bananas? Most of it is whipped up by the tabloids out of nowhere. Yes there is controversy, I see loads of flaws and would join you on the pro but critical bench, but this article is big enough as it is. I don't think there is anything that really needs countering in terms of any pro-EU bias (although some people think otherwise, but they think that anything that talks about the EU without starting each sentence with "those crazy eurocrats in Brussels" must be propaganda). - J Logan t: 17:24, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
The straight bananas is a funny example of where it is going wrong with the EU (attention and bureaucracy in irrelevant details while losing out on important meta-issues). I myself would list me as pro-but-critical.
That I am critical does not mean I think a criticism section should be added. Among others the article tries to be neutral giving neither supporters claims/wishes (it is not saying that the EU has been the salvation of European culture, economy and peace) nor those of critics. Furthermore, (but I think we all agree) the editor starting this discussion was not giving any reasonable critique but was inserting unsupported anti-EU (UK based) populism. Arnoutf 17:40, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
What do you mean got it wrong? The straight bannana story was a myth. - J Logan t: 07:13, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
I meant that Brussels rules tend to focus on ridiculous details that could easily be accomodated in national law (the banana example true or not being an example; the windowcleaner act (no longer allowed to use a ladder) another). This is fully understandable as sovereingty of the larger international issues such as military and foreign policy is not always given to Brussels (although it is there the EU would make its best contribution (IMHO)). This is one of the things I hope the reform treaty will help to solve. Anyway, that does not matter, as even such critisism is not needed on this page. Arnoutf 10:14, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
No, blatant criticism (or praise) is not needed on this (or any other) page, what is needed is properly cited and referenced facts - that doesn't include, in this article, citations from biased sources such as POV newsprint or political party publications - those might belong within articles about the said newspaper or party though. Saying that, criticism can be implied by the use of independent and unbiased citations, just as praise can be implied, as such there is no need for either a section of criticism or praise - just subject sections. Also, wasn't, the 'window cleaner' issue more about maximum heights an employee can be expected to use a ladder (rather than another means of support), not a blanket ban on the use of ladders - as some reported it? SouthernElectric 10:44, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
About window cleaner - trueabout the height level; it was only an example. In the Netherlands this have resulted in a lot of grumbling as the historical cities of the Netherlands have (relatively small) appartments above that level, for which strict safety demands on use of ladders were already implemented in Dutch law. The new EU law overrules the ladders altogehter and requires scaffolding or a boom lift to clean the windows for these appartments. This of course makes windowcleaning much more expensive and time consuming. Anyway it was just meant of an example where a minor problem was settled at EU level while we still can be played againsts each other in the international arena by almost anyone. (see Iraq, see Afghanistan, see the Israeli-Palestine conflict, see asylum seekers, etc etc). Arnoutf 11:19, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
What you say is undoubtedly true but look at the wider issues, with free movement of labour within the EU is it correct that citizens in one country should be less protected as their fellow citizens working in another EU country - of course should there ever be a Federal European State these sort of issue couldn't happen - oops, I'm letting my personal opinions cloud by wiki contributions... SouthernElectric 11:33, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Or from a Dutch POV ;-) failure in (e.g.) Italy to regulate for/enforce decent ladders resulted in more expensive window cleaning in the Netherlands. But to be honest, a lot of e.g. social benefits, or employee protection are not the same across the EU, so the free movement is not applied everywhere equally strict.
Anyway; this is all hairsplitting on content. Let's keep it at this. The EU is not perfect (nothing is); but we should not spend any specific attention to this in this specific article as this gives an overview what it is, and has no place for (relatively minor) details. Arnoutf 11:58, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Don't get me wrong, for the first two thirds of the article it reads fine, just for me the whole inclusion of Sport, Religion and Culture sections just don't sit well with what the EU actually is. Those are the main bits I mean. As for the whole idea that the EU is de-centralised, come on, give me a break, first thing my latest Internal Market lecturer starts off with is "the EU is one of the most centralised supra-national organisations around", something which I think is pretty blatant from how its so clearly out of touch, and so on. And as for the Commission, I'm talking particularly about their behaviour in the past, when they were more pro-integration than any of the other EU institutions, something I'm pretty sure that hasn't changed. But thats a different issue indeed I suppose. I know I'll be in the minority here but I think the religion, sport and culture bits really don't need a section of their own and could even just be mentioned in passing... its those sections I feel that anybody who's not familiar with the EU would read it and think either 1) we were pretty close to some wacky federalist system in Europe, or 2) they were reading some lovely EU propoganda about how we're all a nice big family. Fair enough if nobody else agrees here but thats how I see it. --Simonski 17:48, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Oh I agree on the sport religion and culture, but there has been objections from certain quarters when they were reduced/removed leading to the current compromise. Believe me, it was much worse before. Just on the point of centralisation, it is the only supranational organisation, everything else is intergovernmental or a state. For the first, well obviously it is more centralised and the second it is very de-centralised. So as with all EU things, depends what you are marking it against as there is nothing else like the EU. Re Commission attitude, the Parliament was also very pro-federal but couldn't do much about it, the only non-pro-federal body was the Council and it is obvious why. Also the Commission's attitude has depended upon the leader, Delors is the notable federalist, while Santer was the one who proposed the pillar system. I fear that talking about attitudes of the bodies would a) make it too long or oversimplify too much and b) open a Pandora's box of interpretations. This is something that should be looked at on other articles for sure though, but not here. And on your point 1), well we are. - J Logan t: 18:55, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

The article will experience perpetually the following paradox: It is written in English, because English is the most spread international second language, the article aims to present a global perspective of what is now called EU. According to several Eurobarometer polls citizens of the UK identify the least with the values, institutions and general development / integration of the European Union. As the mother language of the UK is English, it remains obvious that a constant tendency of misjudgement or refusal of reality will question the state of the article. This tendency is likely to be seen by American editors as well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:06, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I really don't get the above comment, anybody else? I don't think the UK is single handedly responsible for English being the most spoken language in the EU now, I'd say its probably more down to the fact that for the 2004+ accession states, English (and for others, German) is the easiest/preferred language for them to learn to work within the Union. French was the obvious choice when it was the original 6, now I'd say even German would be a better choice rather than French. Also, er, the article is available on Wikipedia in a couple of other languages as well. Logan, I get your points though, but yeh the only thing I was saying was I'd trim those culture, sport, religion bits because they give the wrong impression of what the EU is, I don't think there's much point in a criticism section per se because it would probably ramble on for ages. The UK isn't after all the only country to have been host to EU criticism so any section would have to comment on every single bit of controversy there's ever been in any EU state! Who on earth is trying to keep those cringeworthy bits on sport etc in? Shame on you whoever you are! --Simonski 21:29, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Fine, but by the same logic a "Criticisms of the UK" section should also be included in the UK article. After all a large number of Scots are opposed to English rule. I think that criticisms are already sufficiently coverered in the articles for the individual EU institutions. Cambrasa 16:09, 12 November 2007 (UTC)


Sorry for that, just tired of going all the way up to add a comment. They ought to have edit links at the bottom too for talk pages. Anyway, I don't get that unsigned comment either. I mean, what does that have to do with the discussion? Anyway, back on track. He has just been unblocked it seems so feel free to trim, and you can find out why I bought a punch bag while working on the GA. - J Logan t: 18:31, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

I took the comment to be pointing out that as the article is likely to be written by native english speakers, and backed by references published in English, it risks being biased towards the UK view of the EU, rather than the view held by the majority of its citizens who do not use English as their first language. There is no way I could get a feel for the way the EU is received in any of the other countries apart form the EU, because I can't even hunt for articles on the internet in different languages. Though if the person who commented is still checking in, this article is written in english because it is the english language wiki, nothing to do with how many people might understand it. But this article ought to represent how the EU is perceived by the majority of its citizens, not the majority or a balanced view of just the UK ones. Indeed, the view held by the UK ought to be only a minor influence on the content. Unfortunately, I don't see how practically that may be achieved. Sandpiper 23:34, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Several editos are not from the UK for example I know of Irish, German and Dutch editors to be active on this page. Still overrepresentation of NW Europe. Arnoutf 08:35, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
We also have people from Norway and Austria. I am suprised there aren't more Estonians considering they are the most connected. But yes it is inevitable there would be some bias, I find it hard creating balanced arguments in terms of the seat of the Parliament as the only people arguing for Strasbourg are doing so in French. All we can do is hope more editors come in and help us out but to be honest I don't see much bias on this page at present and we are on the whole using official sources - which sidesteps national media slant. - J Logan t: 15:34, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm the Austrian; and I think the real danger here is not being anti-EU due to having English sources, but rather being too pro-EU, since most editors of these articles are very likely to be strongly pro-European. I know I certainly am, and I'm trying very hard to check whether anything I'm writing on the European Union is factual and neutral; I hope I'm doing an acceptable job at that, at least. My point is, I doubt we have to worry about this article being too eurosceptic. —Nightstallion 20:55, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, it is criticism that will have the slant if anything - which is not that present in the article. But even though we are mainly pro-EU (which is inevitable as if you don't like something you are less likely to study it and hence be able to write about it) I think we have avoided being too pro. Unless you count pro as talking about something without shouting "get out of my country you fifty French/German/Polish/Narnian swine" after every sentence, which is some people's definition. - J Logan t: 12:36, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

I think the editors complaining about bias in this article are coming from the opposite perspective: i.e. that it gives an impression which is inconsistent with British public opinion. I think we should should be reasonably happy that the article doesn't read link an editorial in The Sun. There is, in reality, nothing seriously wrong with this article that isn't wrong with every other article on English Wikipedia, in that articles are written by people who, for the most part, are both knowledgeable and tend to be favourable toward (I include myself) their chosen subject matter. Blue-Haired Lawyer (formerly Caveat lector) 13:54, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

nods I agree with that. —Nightstallion 22:26, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Well the Sport section had the cringeworthy bit trimmed and reads a bit better now I think, though you know where I stand already - for me the culture, sports and religions sections are just a bit unneccessary. For me as long as its emphasised throughout the article that there are still 27 very sovereign states within this big supranational organisation, and it doesn't read like an article would for a country itself, then its fine.
But lets get one thing clear lads - its not just in the UK that there is criticism of the EU and its very unfair to always suggest that. Its one of the key problems for why there can be no proper debate on the EU here - there is never seen to be a middle ground in the discussion but either a "Back off Brussels camp" or a loony out of touch "lets harmonize everything baby!" camp. I mean I hate things like the idea of the Charter of Fundamental Rights being encorporated into EU law, and a number of other things about the reform treaty, but its impossible to criticise them without having either a fellow national or other Europeans then trying to look down on you as one of those "Eurosceptics". Actually my point just there bears little relevance on the discussion I've just realised but hopefully you get my general point - there are serious justified criticisms of the EU out there and that although the article shouldn't have a criticism section per se it shouldn't give the impression always that everything is rosy in the EU garden. Hope that makes sense!! --Simonski 23:39, 6 November 2007 (UTC)


Out of interest, why is there a picture of Anfield Road under the sports section? Liverpool is hardly representative of Europe as a whole! You'd think one of the major European capital stadiums (Wembley, Stade de France, Olympiastadion...) would be shown... Anfield Road is out of place in this article.

I really don't like this section of the page, in fact I agree with the above as well, you'd be forgiven for thinking at points in this page that there aren't 27 sovereign countries in an international organisation, and instead one big giant happy EU family. Anyway, to my point, under the Reform Treaty sports has been given special status. See Anybody know anymore on this? --Simon 13:13, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Neither do I but we're in a practical minority. On the special status though, I had read they had wanted to do that but hadn't looked into since they released the agreement. I think we can bring this in. - J Logan t: 10:10, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Agh, I read it again and it just reads SO cringeworthingly bad. I think "members" should be "Member States", so as to remind people that there are countries involved here and not some horrible federal machine, and the bit about which sports are most popular should have the wording changed ever so slightly to acknowledge that there are different sports popular in different countires. Its a farce. I mean jeez, in Germany handball is popular, whilst in England rugby and cricket is popular. In Poland, Italy, Greece etc they prefer volleyball, there IS NO COMMON sport culture aside from arguably football in Europe, and I think its so bad that I'm tempted to edit it myself. Surely something can be done! --Simonski 21:41, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, I'm not sure what J Logan meant by "practical minority", but I'm fairly certain we're in an "actual majority". It seems to me that most editors of this article have not been happy with the Sports section, with many (if not most) wanting to get rid of it altogether. I know there's at least one editor who likes it, but I doubt there's more than two. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 21:46, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Re Members, not sure how "members" is federal, it is a common name for international organisations. State is far more federal, and that word is missing. IMHO it is the least federal option.
Re practicaly minority. You see according to the voting distributions under the Treaty of Nice, there is one user around here who has a higher voting weight than all the other users, in addition to a veto, and he supports sections like sport and will blindly revert over and over as soon as he realises what's been done. - J Logan t: 08:38, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
"Member States" reads different from "States", I know its a minor difference but it reads so much less federal than simply 'members'. Either that or "The individual countries of the EU" should be used. Will the user then here that supports this sport section speak now or forever hold his peace? The section just needs sorting out so badly. --Simonski 13:09, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
"The individual countries of the EU" is a tad long winded isn't it? I mean so what if it sounds federal, in may respects it is so I really don't see much point in changing anything on that.
And chances are he won't, sometimes I doubt he knows how to use a talk page. Want to know who, just look in the three archives covering the attempt at GA and see who we all complain about most. My view though, we can scrap culture and sports all together. - J Logan t: 14:15, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

The term 'Member states' is probably more useful. In this case not the political membership is meant but rather the country in its entirety. Concerning the section (Sports & Culture) and its content incl. images: It´s a standard section with standard content and a standard image. The sections are sourced, neutral and the content is filled with common knowledge. See also 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 for comparison. Everything is fine. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:50, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Is that you Lear21?? The wording and content are very much like you. Please sign. Arnoutf 15:03, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
I'd be suprised if it isn't. - J Logan t: 16:26, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Aha, he is currently blocked, is this block evasion? Arnoutf 16:55, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Think it is. I was wondering how we've been getting word done of late. Now you note as soon as he comes back he will restore the Sports section no matter how many people agree to remove it. And that will happen in the middle of the FA candidacy which is not he best time I think you'll agree. Which is why I am prepared to live with a bit of a dodgy subject for now. I mean its inclusion is debatable but it is references and is linked in. A bit. - J Logan t: 17:45, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
The thing is, the five articles you have given us for comparison are articles for COUNTRIES, independent states, and not a supranational body made up of 27 sovereign nations. So no, I'm sorry, its just not the same and the sections contain some pretty darn pointless information that needs to be trimmed. Who cares if Prodi said that the EU countries should carry flags in the olympics? There are probably a few other important people who have said similar things, such as there should be a European Super league or something, but for every person who says this there are several who also disagree. So stuff like that has to go. --Simonski 13:59, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

There is no need to remove the paragraph about popular sports in EU countries. It corresponds with the image and it therefore indispensable. Lear 21 12:06, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I disagree, it's just a list of sports that happen to be played, if everyone added their favourite sport (which is what will happen if a president is set) the article would be nothing but a list of sports. SouthernElectric 12:30, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

It is a standard information of the most popular sports. It will remain as it supports the visual content presented by the image. A random adding of further sports hasn´t occured in the past and won´t happen in the future without citation. Lear 21 13:01, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

It will remain only if the consensus agrees, can I remind you of the 3R rule. SouthernElectric 13:12, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
The idea that the text must remain because of the image is a tad odd, the logical solution would be the removal of the image too. I agree with above arguments that the list of popular sports is unneeded and potentially problematic. Serves no use in this article and should go. - J Logan t: 14:21, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I've changed the image and the image caption, the image to a popular/commercialised but specialist sport and the caption to sports neutral text (apart from identifying the sport). SouthernElectric 14:26, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Why bother, the section is so small there isn't even room for the image to fit in properly. I agree it is an improvement as it is more generic but I still don't see the point in including anything there, it isn't helping understanding of the text so why force it into such a small space? - J Logan t: 14:56, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
No image is important and nor should it be on a web page (for various reasons, even graphs should have a textual equivalent that imparts the important information contained within any graph), images support the text by acting as 'eye candy', it's precisely because the sports section is so small that it needs a supporting image. SouthernElectric 15:07, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
"images support the text" this implies an image can and should only be inserted if it has an equivalence in the text. Neither of the social, nor the economical importance (caption) not cycling are mentioned in the text; hence the image does not support the text, and following your own argument should not be here (this image is like using an image of an elephant to support text about a space station) Arnoutf 15:28, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
It does as it's a sporting activity, but you don't need to mention football to show a football stadium's sports field (which seemed to be rational behind Lear 21's edits), if the textual content was talking about a circus the image could well be of an circus elephant, just as a section talking about business or economics could have an image of a financial stock exchange, bank notes or a factory production-line without actually mentioning them. SouthernElectric 15:42, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I (obviously) disagree. Your argument opens up room for the wildest associations. For something to be support something else (and I agree an image should support the text) it should either be a graphical representation of the text, or a relevant example that can be directly linked to the text. With your reasoning you migth as well have put up an image of chariot racing, after all, that is a sport as well. In my opinion your reasoning is flawed in that you think something only marginally related (as is cycling, economy and social to the text of the section, which deals with football and Olympics) can support. Arnoutf 16:14, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, chariot racing could be used as the image if chariot racing was popular (or a state/EU backed) sport within the EU, it would be equally legitimate to have a picture of hurling as it would to have a image of football players regardless of the main textual content - in other words as long as it's a sport played in the EU it's valid (with the said, sports neutral, caption). Eye candy is used to add interest to otherwise dull, un-important or easily missed textual content, you don't need eye candy were the text holds up on it's own, such as the Geography section as we all know that there are sea-shores and mountains within the EU, so if the sports section doesn't need an image the Geography section sure doesn't.SouthernElectric 17:07, 8 November 2007 (UTC) Edited @ 17:27, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
So if I like chariot racing it is popular in the EU, and I can put up the picture. That is not very convincing. If you however provide in text reference to cycling, yes then I would agree with the image. You will need a source linking it to the EU in the text, and that is not there now; so the cycling picture and its caption are useless.
On the other hand, the geography mentions the seashores and the mountains, so there they are indeed illustrative of the text. If you don't see the difference I don't know how to explain it differently. It is not the same. Arnoutf 18:22, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Straw man arguments, you removed an image that you didn't like being there, you didn't revert back to the earlier image, you didn't find an alternate image, you simply removed the image and caption completely - then got upset when someone used your rational to remove other images that do not need to be in the article, or are you seriously suggesting that an image of anything mentioned in the textual content can be added legitimately. Images can and do stand on their own, they can be used to bring added information that is not critical and does not bloat the textual content, such as the image of the Euro bank note, no mention of bank notes but there is a picture of bank notes... Oh, and one other thing, the nice thing about internal wiki links is that if someone really doesn't know what the Tour de France is they can follow the link and find out! SouthernElectric 20:51, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes I would prefer no image at all. Yes I get upset if people intentionally misunderstand and abuse a fair argument. None of the images stand as alone as the cycling image you inserted, you don't have to believe it, but you are not even willing to try. Arnoutf 21:08, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Well I don't like token images, such as the Euro bank notes, does that give me a valid use of WP:BOLD to remove them, and that image is very much like the cycling image (reasons indicated above), what if someone doesn't like the images of José Sócrates and José Manuel Durão Barroso should they be allowed just remove them? As for that image standing along, are you seriously saying that most people don't know what the Tour de France is, the most belligerent petrol-head might detest cyclists and cycling but they will surely know what the Tour' is! SouthernElectric 21:47, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Just to chime in quickly, I think we *should* have a section on sports, and I'm non-committed on whether we should or should not have an image. —Nightstallion 18:26, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I think the image of football was accptable (although IMHO not necessary), combination of cycling and caption was not as it did not link to the text in a clear way. Arnoutf 18:45, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
So a sporting event doesn't link to a section about - err - Sport, yeah, right. Also, without the caption just what is the present image about, football, rugby, hurling, hockey, there was enough information in the caption to link both the image and the text, just as in the original/current image. SouthernElectric 21:47, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Football linked better because it was previously mentioned in the text. With no specific sport mentioned I don't think it matters but football had a higher position as it was the most popular. Regardless, I still don't think it is needed with the section's current length, it is untidy.- J Logan t: 09:35, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Err, a sport doesn't link to section about - err - sport?! SouthernElectric 11:21, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
The section is completely useless, and would be better just put in a section on Competition rules and how under the Reform treaty sport has special status, etc etc. There's nothing useful to say from a cultural perspective on sports and the EU, and just because articles for COUNTRIES have a sports section, doesn't mean that this supranational organisation deals with sport on any relevant matter, outside of economical matters such as Freedom of Movement, Bosman etc. You'd probably infer from the article (in particular in how it used to read) that UEFA etc are related to the EU, which is of course not the case. As for the image, who cares what it is, if you're going to have a sports section and wish to keep an image, I hardly see how on reading the section anybody is going to go "but why is that picture there, it makes no sense?". On the contrary, it actually goes well, if you're going to keep this section. The page is supposed to be encyclopedic though, and rambling on about how Romano Prodi thinks we should all wave EU flags at the olympics etc is just completely irrelevant. If you're going to have this ridiculous section then the way it reads now is fine and succinct. --Simonski 10:32, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Sports: include a sports section?

Okay, straw poll. How many people - except of course Lear who we all know will start an edit war over this like last time - think we need the sports section? - J Logan t: 11:32, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I say it's not needed, much better to have a section on (business) Competition rules / regulation. SouthernElectric 11:41, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I second that, I'd like to see the section removed. Doing the above would be far more informative for those who don't know much about the EU. Is he entitled by the way to just keep editing the page back to how he likes it? Aren't there rules against that? --Simonski 12:23, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree as well, it is not necessary, the relevant information can go to competition rules/regulation as SouthernElectric suggests.Arnoutf 18:28, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Sport is an integral part of every EU member state. First and foremost Football is the sport NO. 1 concerning amateur sport, spectator attendance, player salary, etc. This article draws major layout features from the Country template because of many well argued reasons. The sports section is a standard section among comparable articles and contributes to a comprehensive understanding of the EU member states. The stated claims are of almost common knowledge and have to remain in this article, like the section itself. A simple NJET-statement is not convincing, likewise polls are rejected by Wikipedia policy. all the best Lear 21 21:38, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

This response by Lear21 is the reason why there is a sports section. Just quickly the counter-arguments to Lears arguments, to summarise thousands of lines of discussion and not reiterate them. (1) Every seperate member state does not imply the EU, (2) there are no comparable articles. Arnoutf 22:21, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Agreed Arnoutf. Anyone suddenly swayed by Lear's very powerful and well thought out argument there? I would like to remind Lear though that the country template was dumped for "many well argued reasons" and as A says, there is nothing comparable. Sport as an area of the EU is so tiny that space is better used for more relevant aspects. I doubt someone who wants to read about the EU will be desperate to know that hockey is popular and Prodi suggested flying the EU flag in Beijing. And on polls being against policy, well it is a test of opinion so we can clearly see people's positions. I know you don't like them because you never win but I don't think your record on upholding Wikipedia policy is that respectable either.
So, anyone else want to comment. - J Logan t: 09:33, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm in favour of including the small section on actual sporting activities in the European Union. I'm sure many people around the world are interested in reading about which types of sport Europeans are interested in. I don't see why this article must confirm the impression that the EU is just a faceless, bureaucratic creation with no 'real' content - because many people thinks otherwise. And I don't see why "it has to be noted" that there's is "a big difference" between 'the EU-level exclusives' and 'Pan-European things'. I think for examle that UEFA Champions League should be mentioned in a sentence about cross-border activities. - S. Solberg J. 10:57, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
But were should that sort of rational end, should BMW, Renault or Ford be mentioned in a section about the automobile industry too, what about the railway companies, after all they are major economic players within the EU - just like businesses that make their profits from sporting activities are - the correct way to cover these issues is for them to have their own articles that link back here when EU regulation (or what ever) are included in their text. Token inclusion is not encyclopedic, people interested in say football are far more likely to 'look-up' "Football" and then work their way here should they wish rather than start out here and then work their way to football. Also, what sports would be listed, any list will (I strongly suspect) just end up a list of editors favourite sports -m do we really want lists of anything in this article? SouthernElectric 11:45, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
That (a list of favourite sports) was indeed what happened (some time ago), and it sparked a debate as national sports where only marginal in other countries (e.g. in the Netherlands: Football, Field Hockey, Speed skating, Lawn Tennis and Cycling would likely be the top 5, which is apparently not the top 5 in the whole of EU). So I agree with SouthernElectric we have to be very careful.Arnoutf 12:11, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Football is unquestionably the most popular in total. How about:

The most popular sport across the EU is Football, which similarly to many other sports has both local, national and European-level championships and branches. The European-level body for football respectively is UEFA.

- S. Solberg J. 12:58, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
On what bases, spectators or economic benefits, your suggested content lives better in an article about football or UEFA (with a link BACK HERE) than it does in this article, should the VW group be mentioned solely because it makes the most popular (total, cross group, production figures [crass assumption but so is any any uncited claim about football]) cars? - I have no problem with either being mentioned within a business or regulative context but simply mentioning popular sports, cars or what ever is nothing more than tokenism. SouthernElectric 13:18, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Well this is basically the same debate as before. The current text was the compromise of that debate, where not too much focus was placed on (unsourced) popularity of certain sports, but where the relation/friction between international sports federation and the EU (UEFA-FIFA/IOC) was given (with references). I can live with the recent texts (which were grudging compromises from different POV's), but would not care if the whole section disappears (however, there is however clearly no consensus for that). Arnoutf 13:53, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Well I'm not sure you are correct in your last remark, there are seems to be more people (who have expressed an opinion) who are either anti the sports section or indifferent to its inclusion, with only two people auguring for it's inclusion. I'm not against mentioning sport within the article as such but I am against how it's being done at the moment.
I would go even further, the general content within the "Culture" level 2 heading should (IMO) be a level 3 heading under "Demographics" with "Education and research" moving (at its present level 3 heading) to be within the level 2 "Economy" heading (in most states Education and research are closely linked to the economy and business sectors). See my sandbox for how it looks - I've removed the sports content but in a live version it would be rewritten into the Economy section, probably under a new regulation sub heading as suggested in above. SouthernElectric 14:32, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

<restart indent> There is something to be said for that. Although Culture is not truly a demographic issue (for example the cultural capital has nothing to do with demographics). Also the EU sponsored Erasmus program is more focussing on cultural student exchange, than direct economic advances. The framework programs for research on the other hand would fit nicerly in the economy section (splitting Educ & Research is in my opinion not a good idea). So there are some problems with your proposed structure, although in my opinion not more than the problems in the current structure. I think the problem with every structure is that it creates black-and-white boundaries that do not exist in real life. Arnoutf 14:48, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

I have to agree with Arnoutf that too much is outside economy, even though it may seem logical to include it under there. The main problem with the culture etc areas are they cross too many boundaries in attempt to build the section. Perhaps research could be moved under economy and education remain with culture as things like Erasmus are part of the pan-EU culture. Actually, I wonder if it could get it to work if we rewrote culture along those kind of lines EU acts which have influenced culture? That way we can talk about sports - particularly football with a quick note on its popularity - in the light of Boseman and free movement, education in students moving around Europe (I know Café Babel have a few articles on Erasmus culture) and perhaps some other things like... cross border beer shopping. Okay I need to think that through a bit more for examples, but how about that? We could talk about European culture while linking it firmly to the EU to avoid disputes on its presence? We would also avoid the problem of mixing pan-European culture and pan-European Union culture by making such a link in the text. Flights! That's another one, the EU made it cheaper to fly around so there are lots more people flying within Europe on holiday leading also to thinks like the EHIC and the Euro on that general freedom of movement idea. Oh and the common market leading to more good circulating, a lot easier to get hold of traditional foods from the other side of Europe because of that leading to a greater mixing of culture (I for one haven't had an English breakfast in years, much prefer a continental one). Come on, if we can get enough examples this could be really good as it would be a direct effect on real people's lives and culture because of the EU. - J Logan t: 15:39, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

In response to Arnoutf´s (1) and (2). EVERY member states is the EU. The EU is EVERY member state. There is NO contradiction. There is NO spaceship Brussels consisting of a single, hermetic bureaucracy. EVERY step of EU evolution has been decided by its member states, NOT the Commission decided, neither the parliament. STOP separate EU institutions from decision making the member states. UNDERSTAND that there is NO gap between these 2 spheres. Therefore it is justified to name and include major cultural or sportive traditions encompassing many member states. The Culture section and the Sport section will be kept. Lear 21 16:52, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

If the EU is every member state then the EU allows soft drugs, gay marriage, speed skating is the second most popular sport, and Queen Beatrix is head of state (ie your argument is obviously flawed). We all know your opinion on the sports section but consider WP:OWN, in other words, you saying that something will happen is totally irrelevant to any discussion.
As I also said, but carefully ignored in your response is that the recent version is a compromise as no consensus could be reached. This does mean that I (grudgingly) respect your opinion, please be decent enough to acknowledge your opinion is only an opinion not a fact (as I do for mine); and respect my opinion as well Arnoutf 17:08, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Apparently Lear is attached to the following text. I challenge him to make it stick by providing evidence for each fact in those few lines (this might be found in a few refs, but all issues need to be covered, with un ambiguous relation to EU). Also please remove the weasel wordy phrasing, that makes the text inherently unverifiable.
Sports, including spectator sports, are popular in EU countries[citation needed], the most popular being football[citation needed]. Other sports are favourites in fewer countriesweasel words, such as basketball[citation needed], ice hockey[citation needed], rugby[citation needed], handball[citation needed], and motorsports[citation needed].Arnoutf 17:20, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Lear, why will it be kept, because you say so, go read the WP rules... SouthernElectric 17:17, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I can't believe somebody actually said that things like the Champions League should be mentioned. THEY'VE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE EU. Honestly. There is a HUGE difference here between what sports are played in Europe, and what are popular in certain countries, and what the EU does in relation to sport. That sort of thing, that a number of people have mentioned above, would belong in an article like "Popular sports in Europe", which itself is a pretty pointless article. Someone talked earlier about not giving the impression that the EU is just some faceless, bureaucratic creation, well I'm afraid this site is supposed to be an ENCYCLOPEDIA, and if the EU has actually almost no involvement in sport, then people can hardly just claim it has (most of the time by assuming that Bosman means that the EU is a champion of sports etc - the reform treaty only serves to underline the irrelevancy of sport to the EU). This is not a bloody page advertising the great things about the EU, its supposed to be a page informing uninformed people about the European Union. Telling them that people like to play Handball and football in Europe not only makes the article longer than necessary, but is just so unrelated to the need for an EU article that it hurts my brain that people need to be told this. --Simonski 17:26, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I just want to stress that a 2nd time - UEFA has absolutely nothing to do with the EU. Absolutely nothing. Apart from the Bosman ruling, we are talking here that the EU has absolutely no involvement in football. I hope thats clear. Surely the recent thing in the Reform Treaty has pretty much underlined the fact that the section is pointless. I mean if you have the EU saying itself that Sports will be pretty much irrelevant under EU law from now on, there's not going to be any clearer sign anytime soon that this section is as useful as the pointless religion and culture bits. I don't know how you guys have coped with people like Lear in the past, it would seriously just frustrate me to the extent that I'd just leave Wikipedia to people like him to give people false/pointless info. --Simonski 17:39, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
You say "what the EU does'", but when I say "the EU" I don't mean just the actions of the European Commission. Citizenship of Germany = citizenship of the European Union. No, EU institutions have little to do with Champions League, other than some rules, but I was talking about the EU with citizens, not just bureaucrats in Brussels. I believe this article should mention what is common for EU's citizens, not just for its national leaders. And then you might answer: "But there are Russian teams in Champions League. If Champions League must be mentioned, it must be in the Europe article." - But Israel (Asia) is UEFA member, etc.. The point is that teams from every member state is participating in Champions League; ergo; it's a common thing. Personally I won't die if UEFA isn't mentioned, but I think it would be a suitable replacement for a controversial selection of popular sports.
It is common knowledge that football is the most popular sport in the world and that football is extemely popular in Europe. Do we really need a reference for the fact that football OBVIOUSLY is the most popular sport in this union in total? - S. Solberg J. 19:21, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I am sure football is the most popular sports in the EU, but in principle a reference for each fact is required when asked for; although in the special case of football, where it is mentioned alone, I could live if it is not provided as it is indeed reasonably obvious. In the context of a section with many other sports however, each and everyone (even football) needs a reference.
The UEFA/champions league is indeed a difficult issue. It is a problem , are we European citizens (I feel that way) or are we EU citizens (I feel a bit that way as well) or are we citizens of our states, counties, provinces or municipalities (personally I feel that way as well). The football union has (of course) no ties to any legal or geographical system, so the fit is difficult; where to put that is difficult because of that reason. National competitions fall logically with the country articles, individual clubs with the municipality. But in the case of the UEFA this is not so obvious. All things considered I would prefer it would go to Europe over EU though, as Norway, Switzerland, Ukrain, etc, also are in the champions league (all non-EU numbers but European countries), with Israel being the sole exception. Arnoutf 20:13, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
"It is common knowledge that football is the most popular sport in the world and that football is extremely popular in Europe." is as valid as saying 'More people do not watch, let along go to, football matches than do' - unless one can cite some figures they are both just opinions. SouthernElectric 20:08, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
It's not obvious, it is an assumption. And the mentioning of UEFA would be misleading as people might draw a link between the two that is not there. So, as no one seems interested in using the link system I suggested above, I would oppose such inclusion.
However. I do understand that people want to go beyond the institutions. An article about a country does not need to be limited to the actions of the government in sport and culture. Now, the immediate reaction is to say there is no link between the EU and culture, however perhaps we are making the link the wrong way, we are seeing the effect of the EU on culture when we should be seeing the effect of culture on the EU. Perhaps if we talked about culture in the context of its development of the EU? If this were anywhere else in the world we would not have the same politics, institutions, policies and so on.
That could be another link for its inclusion, it would however be hard to write. Failing this, I do sympathise with Lear and SSJ, as I stated above it is important and I do agree that the EU is more than politics and policies. However in relation to culture and sport I have never seen anything acceptably written on European culture. If someone can come up with a good article about European culture then I may change my position, but otherwise it simply isn't worth having.
Finally, perhaps any advocates of the sports and culture sections should look at improving the sports and culture articles as a basis for inclusion and so the data is there, clear and cited, rather than talking about possibilities. Perhaps it might be enough to link to a good article about it? - J Logan t: 20:13, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
From what I've seen, "Europe" is a term in football clubs that means Champions League, the Euro Cup and the EU's free flow of players. (No, Electric, i'm not bothering to find sources for all my arguments on talk pages) Isn't it striking that there are European Championships in almost every sport? There will perhaps never be a dedicated EU football championship, but I believe we can use the link between Europe and the EU on this one, simply because it's possible to write a sentence that underlines that this is a typical common thing for the culture of EU citizens and member states.
Sometimes i feel that the content of these discussions are lightyears away from real-life. I'm not an EU citizen myself and I guess I've spent more time on EU-pro- or neutral websites than and eurosceptic blogs. I can't say how 'European' people in the EU feel they are, but I have a sense that newspapers and political leaders aren't afraid of using the sentence: "EU citizens". - S. Solberg J. 21:02, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
EU citizenship is fairly abstract to many I think (I live in the EU). The Euro, the absense of border-controls, and the flag probably give the most feeling of citizenship (I have no sources for it, just my feeling). But then again, Desmond Morris already noticed that people can be member of many 'tribes' depending on situation. For example, in many situations I feel more familiarity to the Norwegians compared to e.g. Romanians, as both the Dutch and the Norwegians are N-W Europeans, however with regard to e.g. Whaling I feel happy to be part of the EU which endorses the moratorium as a large block. I think it is that way for many. Reality is shades of grey, and nuanced. Arnoutf 21:18, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

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My own inclination is that sport is not of significant relevance to the EU, or vice versa. I do not consider the simple fact that lots of sport goes on within the EU as sufficient to justify writing about it. Might as well discuss TV stations in each of the member countries. Even more people probably watch star trek than play football? I don't have anything against sport, but it is generally something which people organise for themselves, with the occasional stadium paid for by government (?). I do not see that this article ought to discuss aspects of the member states which are not relevant to the activities of the EU as an organisation. People may wish the EU to exist in its own right, but even if the article is stretched to cover what people believe the EU to be (civis EU sum?), I doubt very much a poll of citizens would put sport very high on the list of what comes to mind when thinking 'EU'. Having said that, I just asked here if anyone had a different view, and it was suggested that sport helps bring people together, one of the original aims of the EU. Make of that what you will. Arguably some similar debate might apply to 'religion', but religion may have a sufficient political aspect that it does influence the way the EU operates? Sandpiper 21:33, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Two interesting points, it's probably more valid to suggest discussing television than sport, much work is being done by the EU to harmonise TV content regulation and access to cross border transmissions (such as the [TWF] television without frontiers initiative), secondly; when this statement was made above "I just asked here if anyone had a different view, and it was suggested that sport helps bring people together, one of the original aims of the EU. Make of that what you will." the first thing I thought of was the Eurovision song contest, no one seems to be suggesting that should be mentioned but it's got as about as much to do with the EU as UEFA has, on top of that unlike the tribal rivalry that can surround football (and other field sports) the Eurovision song contest has actually achieved more to bring people together than any sport has. SouthernElectric 22:16, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. - S. Solberg J. 22:54, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
You disagree about what?... SouthernElectric 23:08, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
All of it I suppose. Look, other articles do not need sections to be linked to the government to be included, while we are not comparing country articles and the EU they are not totally different. If we have the section but just on EU activies then link to a page on full cultural information in the hatnote? If that is okay I'll work with Lear, SSJ and anyone else in improving such an article. - J Logan t: 08:44, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
This discussion once again shows how difficult it is to place EU in conventional structures.
I think JLogan's solution is workable, the new pages allow much more space to explain the subtle differences between Europe, EU and UEFA/Songcontest (which include Israel). Trying to summarise that on this page will either results in incorrect information, or a very lenghty explanation. So I would agree with JLogan: Culture (incl TV, nice addition SE); and Sports treated here (mainly/almost exclusively) from the EU regulatory POV with a clear reference to the content in the related articles, which we will work on to improve in parallel. Arnoutf 09:58, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Why don't we have a section as well on the favourite cheese of the citizens of the EU? Or the most driven car in the EU? Or how about whether more EU citizens drink wine or beer etc? Hopefully you get my point. They're all irrelevant and unnecessary in an article on what the EU is. I mean jeez, to quote the page "Sport Policies of the European Union" itself, "The European Union plays a minor and mostly indirect policy role in sport, because (a) sport is normally considered to be outside the competences conferred by the member states to the European Union and (b) sport is in general organised internally, on a European continental level (which is not the same as the level of the European Union), or globally". And as to the fact that there are "European Championships" for a number of sports - there are also the South American Championships (Copa America), the Asia cup, the African Nations cup etc. So you see, whilst yes, the UEFA Champions League is a great example (and I say this as someone who loves the tournament) of something that shows what EU citizens have in common, it is just as relevant as the fact that we all share a common liking of the "Dancing with the Stars" format programme or red wine etc. UEFA = not EU, and therefore Sport section = pointless. --Simonski 15:53, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Unlike Cheese, Sport is a major cultural phenomenon of daily interest, media coverage and involves highly profiled sponsoring activities. Keep in mind that EVERY member states is the EU. The EU is EVERY member state. There is NO contradiction. STOP separate EU institutions and policies from the member states. UNDERSTAND that there is NO gap between these 2 spheres. Therefore it is justified to name and include major cultural or sportive traditions encompassing many member states. The majority of Football Clubs within EU member states have won the UEFA Champions League and that is relevant therefore. Lear 21 16:13, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Cheese plays a more important role in my daily life than sports; and is an important cultural issue in Netherlands, Denmark, France, Spain and Greece.... ;-)
But without kidding, Lear21, we know your opinion, but apparently most are not convinced. This can mean 3 things. (1) You are wrong (2) You fail to provide convincing arguments (3) The majority of involved editors is mad (cf. I am not wrong, the world is wrong). In all cases it is a problem for your point of view. Either agree you are wrong or provide convincing arguments, convincing enough even to convince the mad (if you think that is the case). It is clear your current "I says, so it is clearly so" is not convincing so YOU will have to change your arguments. Providing high quality sources for your point of view may achieve this, repeating your statement like a broken grammophone won't. Arnoutf 16:27, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Lear, actually television is far more a "major cultural phenomenon of daily interest" than sport ever has been - (in the UK at least) one would be hard pushed to find someone who has not been influenced culturally by television! Please just accept that you are not going to get your own way on this, you will either accept that you do not have the consensus of the editors or you could well end up with an indefinite hard block on all your IP addresses. SouthernElectric 16:56, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Sources: Quote: "...the EU is ... is far more than a free-trade association such as ASEAN, NAFTA, or Mercosur, and it has many of the attributes associated with independent nations: its own flag, anthem, founding date, and currency, as well as an incipient common foreign and security policy in its dealings with other nations. In the future, many of these nation-like characteristics are likely to be expanded."[1] Sports: 1. IX Professional Soccer [2], Ten Highest Paid Soccer Player [3], [4], World’s most watched TV sports events [5], Formula One World Drivers Champions 1950 - 2007 [6] Lear 21 16:43, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

No no, all joking apart here, I'd like to seriously have Lear tell me how Cheese is less important to the EU than football, or what cars everybody drives. Considering there is more EU involvement/regulation/funding in things such as farming, its more relevant for starters. More people drive cars in the EU than watch football, no? Your arguments are now making no sense. I think what I'm getting is your point is "The EU is at the end of the day every member state". Yes, well done, that is right. But it doesn't explain to us why a section on sport, an issue almost completely unrelated to the European Union as an organisation, is worth having. Every country has a club that has won the Champions league and therefore we should have a sports section? Oh dear. You should really be ashamed of yourself if you're wanting it to be the situation here where people read the EU page (not knowing much about the EU itself), and come away thinking that UEFA etc are related to the organisation. (And by the way, the source you just cited sounds like it was written with the assumption that the Constitutional Treaty was going to be brought into force - But instead it was killed eh) --Simonski 16:58, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Ok this is getting ridiculous, Lear is obviously going to keep editing/changing the page back to the way he wants it. Can something be done about this? Its people like you Lear who are the reason that Wikipedia will never fully work. Please contribute more usefully. --Simonski 17:27, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

@Simonski and SouthernElectric: None of the stated arguments have been answered. None of the sourced material can be questioned. Your deleting crusade has an end now. Both of your edit records indicate no serious history in the related EU issues. Your sabotage to the article has an end now. Both of you does not seem to have the capacity or knowledge to counter any serious argument. Inform yourself better and come back later. all the best Lear 21 17:40, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Just because I've not spent the past year or whatever fixing the article, does not mean I have no background on EU matters. *edit* ... but I also happen to be in the middle of a Masters in European Law, having just graduated with a degree in Law with European Legal Studies. So there's your background, mate. I'm afraid its your vandalism that is going to come to an end. Please point out your points that haven't been answered exactly? In the meantime, stop trying to put your bit back in. Why don't you do everybody a favour and worry about editing the German version or something. --Simonski 17:48, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
While I appreciate Lear's effort to find sources, it does not say explicitly that the UEFA final watchers where inhabitants of the EU (it might have been mainly Russians). Also the other references are not directly supporting the text as it is given now, so if we decide to keep the text, it needs to be aligned with what the references say. In other words, the references are indeed not questioned (although the formula1 page seems a bit trivial); but they do not support the text as you (Lear) inserted it; hence the text can still be questioned.
With regard to Lear's "Both of you does not seem to have the capacity or knowledge to counter any serious argument" -- this is about the most explicit example of the pot calling the kettle black I have encountered in my life. Lear, no argument is serious enough to convince you that you maybe wrong, so please don't accuse other editors of that. Lear21, # of edits is not necessarily a pre. Simonski, please leave language out of it, that has nothing to do with the quality of content and is getting fairly personal.
The main issue is and remains: Should there be a sports section at all. (PS agriculture where you would might find the cheese has its sections). The only source provided by Lear to that account is the CIA-factbook, which indeed is talking about the constitution. Summing up the arguments (trying to be neutral) it comes down to:
Yes sports and culture are essential to show the EU is more than a set of treaties and a bureacracy; hence it should be included
No it is impossible to distinguish between Europe, EU and member states, there is no specific EU sport/culture; hence it should not be included.
I think this Yes-No is the basic problem, and it is working towards a compromise between these to points of view that we should work. Arnoutf 18:19, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Lear, check your own history, you're the one who has had a block for disruptive editing, vandalism, 'illegal' posting whilst banned and abusing/legal threats to an admin when you were blocked, personally if I had your history and wanted to catty on contributing to WP I would walk away from this right now - you are against consensus even if you do cite your edits, just because something is cited that does not mean it has top be in the article. SouthernElectric 18:22, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
You're not going to get any more of a compromise than what is there already. And ok, take the Cheese example out then if its in the agriculture, and replace my cheese example with the motorcars or SE's television one - where is the television/motorcar section? Its amazing that we have to compromise with this one person (no UK-EU jokes here please! :P), I honestly have no idea how you guys manage to avoid using er.. harsher language when dealing with this guy. I wanted to stress though (and I took it out actually) that the native English comment was not to be taken as in "non-natives can't contribute as well" or anything, it was more instead a point on just the standard coming out there from that guy. Also, I was checking out the French version of this page - its so much better and comes across as far more encyclopedic. And guess what - no sports section! Or any of the other similarly pointless bits. --Simonski 18:31, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I actually think also that everybody needs a reminder that this is Wikipedia, an objective encyclopedia, or at least its supposed to be. I can't help but feel at times that some people are letting their view of what the European Union is, drift over into the article. It is not our job to make sure the EU comes across as more than just a set of treaties and bureacracy, it is our job to give facts on the European Union and what it does (It doesn't do Sport). If you want to do the former, get a job working for the Commission. --Simonski 18:38, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

For the record: The decisions of admins blocking my account did violated several Wiki policies, which I´m not inclined to comment here. The most significant fact remains: All the content or edits I have argued for are still present, because of a simple reason, they are well argued and sourced. If you find any source that proofs in EU member states : (1) sport has no significance like other Western countries, or(2) football is not the national sport in the majority of member states, I´m the first one who deletes the questioned paragraph. The questioned paragraph is standard content in a standard section. Again: The EU is its member states and the member states are the EU @Simonski: Read [7] Lear 21 19:18, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Responses to Lear "they are well argued and sourced" - this is your opinion, many editors (myself included) disagree with this
"If you find any source that proofs in EU member states" - You want the information in, you have to find evidence that convinces us, not the other way around (see e.g. the recent EU was the idea of the Nazi's discussion; where that section was removed because no convincing reference were given, rather then us giving references to prove the opposite).
"(1) sport has no significance like other Western countries, or(2) football is not the national sport in the majority of member states," even if we find these, this is irrelevant, as you do not make a hard connection from the topic to the EU. I could also demand a section on grasses as this is likely the most frequent plant in the EU.
"The questioned paragraph is standard content in a standard section." - For a country article (ie a sovereign nation state, this goes) The EU is not a standard country, hence this argument is irrelevant.
"Again: The EU is its member states and the member states are the EU" Nobody denies that, the issue is what we should choose for exclusion, and what to leave out, as space is limited.
From your link to CIA factbook In the future, many of these nation-like characteristics are likely to be expanded. Thus, inclusion of basic intelligence on the EU has been deemed appropriate as a new, separate entity in The World Factbook. However, because of the EU's special status, this description is placed after the regular country entries. The EU has some country elements but is special, in the future is not a good argument as wiki is no crystal ball; also CIA factbook does not mention sports at all.
Summarising, six of your arguments in that very brief bit of text are not as straightforward as you make them appear, or in some cases even argue against, rather then in favour of your ideas; hence inclusion of your text is not beyond reasonable doubt. In this light will you lease be the first one who deletes the questioned paragraphArnoutf 19:36, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

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One remark in general concerning this article: Over the last year one observation became apparent: No matter what section, no matter what written content has been illustrated with UK related Images, only editors from ONE country have questioned the quality or existence of the specific content. This is getting foreseeable and remains insincere. Lear 21 19:33, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Should I say thanks for you not being able to distinguish my Denglish from UK English ;-) Arnoutf 19:35, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Exactly Lear, you're just digging a hole now, and even if it was true, would it really be that surprising? Wouldn't it be more likely that the French version be criticised more by French editors, the Dutch version by Dutch editors and so on and so on? Editors will obviously be most active in their own language, sorting out the problems that might be left behind. Considering the content of the page, and its arguably pro-EU if anything bias, your comment makes no sense. Can you explain why there is no sport section in the French version for example (or am I giving him ideas here?) and why that doesn't make the French editors there terrible people?

If the EU are the Member States and the Member States are the EU, then don't you realise what you're saying Lear, you're effectively saying the Member State Wikipedia pages should be merged with the EU page, perhaps having a section on each country? Is that what you'd like? Actually by the sounds of things I wouldn't put it past you. But guess what, that is not how encyclopedias currently present the situation. I get the impression you need a simple example to get it through to your head - Flour makes bread for example but bread and flour are two entirely different things. --Simonski 20:10, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Certainly not, I´m tired now of talking to people who live decades in the past and can´t distinguish significance from minor relevance (cheese and cars). The only arguments I hear are what the EU is not instead of identifying the reality. Very unconvincing. These editors will not and can not identify facts and sources even when repeated. That´s why further explanation and arguing appears useless. All arguments have been stated thoroughly. Lear 21 20:03, 11 November 2007

I agree with your opinion that all arguments have been stated thoroughly; but a large number of non-arguments have also been stated thoroughly. Anyway, living in the past is the fate of any encyclopedia as living in the future is crystal balling. I think the main problem is the parallel development over the last decades of EU, Europe, UEFA, etc. which makes relations between these difficult.Arnoutf 20:11, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Living in the past? Sounds like Lear is living decades in the future, quite distanced from reality. Last time I checked the EU law book I was reading was from this year, and it sure as hell makes clear that things like Sport are just not what the EU is about. I'm sorry but I'm just not going to rest until its clear on this page that things like UEFA are nothing to do with the EU. We're talking about completely misinforming individuals who visit the page here on what the organisation does and I can't believe this is even being debated. --Simonski 20:13, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

I think that what Lear is trying to say is that although he respects your opinion that sport is outside the primary competencies of the European Union, he feels that due to the integration occurring within its jurisdiction that there is an increasing level of cultural interaction leading to a notable level of cultural homogeneousness. In such a case it may be worth noting this in the article, as has been conducted with articles relating to other jurisdictions which have achieved a similar level of homogeneous culture. Sport is a particular example of of this culture, as demonstrated by parallel organisations such as UEFA and related high profile events and organisations demonstrating the level of integration surrounding this field. Hence, although cheese is an important commodity it is but a commodity like any other on the market while Sport can serve as an example of the increasing cultural connections as a by-product, and indeed influence upon, the European Union. I do however disagree that this should have a high profile on the main page. But we could acknowledge life outside directives? - J Logan t: 20:27, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

By the sounds of things you'd draft a mean directive yourself there! :) Yes, there is life outside directives so to speak in the EU, but I would very much debate whether UEFA etc are 'parallel' organisations. If anything, its seemed from the outset that UEFA and co have been doing their best to avoid having to deal with the EU etc (and I think you'd find opinion amongst football fans on the positive/negative impact of EU law on European football a very divisive issue). If the EU was to turn around tomorrow and claim credit for the success of football and how its "grown", I don't think I would be alone in laughing in the face of whoever came out with the statement. Its completely coincidental, and nothing to do with the EU organisation itself. Football/sport is not another ERASMUS style example of the great things the EU can do, lets be clear on that. I'm not saying the EU has no cultural/social involvement, and I would resent it if people tried to read that into my previous comments, but what I am dead set on making sure people know is that sport is just something that has almost nothing to do with the EU. If you want to go on about how popular football, handball etc is, go write a page on "sport in Europe". --Simonski 20:38, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Whilst I can see what you're getting at I do feel that it will be the thin end of the wedge, were will it stop, arguably TV has done far more than sport has ever done to create a homogeneous culture so should we have a 'media' section? SouthernElectric 20:41, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

@ Simonski: The last time I checked UK law, it was nothing said about a capital named London, but still the British call it their capital, strange. UK has´nt even a constitution like any other civilised country and still it is not a banana republic. There is reality outside the legal system. It can happen to you too. Lear 21 20:46, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Lear, the last time I checked your post, it still had no point. Are you really insistant on preventing this EU Wikipedia page from ever achieving FA status? Its shoddy editing like you're advocating that is stopping it from getting any further. Why do you insist on comparing the EU to a nation state? The EU is very, very different in that sense in that if its not stated to be within the EU's powers, or indeed implied, the EU has no competence over the matter. Now there is a very big difference, and one you seem to be missing. --Simonski 20:52, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
@Simonski & SE: Well that is why I do not support the inclusion of sport here, but something in the cultural domain at least just to give a more human face. I did not claim the influence of the EU on sport was positive! Just that there was influence, and I am aware UEFA have a less than favourable opinion of the EU.
@Lear: What are you talking about, how does the capital argument apply to sport? - J Logan t: 20:51, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough Logan, and I agree, things like the EU's Erasmus programme are fantastic, great things and areas where its clear that EU citizens can share a great European experience. But the fact just remains that the fact that we all like football, all watch this or that programme etc is just coincidence (particularly with sport) and not relevant to a discussion on the EU's influence over culture. At the end of the day apart from the Bosman ruling and the indirect impact of freedom of movement, the EU has had little influence over sport (though of course these two instances are definitely worth mentioning within a section on freedom of movement or something) It is so important here to not cross the line and start misinforming people, which sadly Lear seems so hell bent on doing. --Simonski 20:56, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Sorry Simonski, the current state of what is now called EU has already achieved a degree, which is going beyond your focus on the legal system. The EU influences daily life on personal, regional, national, European and global level. The EU is a space, entity, living room, ensemble of member states which has already merged politics, economy, culture and interests. This has to be exemplified in this article. Lear 21 21:18, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Lear, in your life (or indeed your Member State) perhaps. Its amazing that you can speak for all the EU citizens here. I would challenge your claim, and say outwith the four fundamental freedoms, that it hasn't. Give me an example exactly of how the EU has been involved in sports, other than just happening to be a supranational organisation that involves a number of countries where they just happen to be popular. I'll tell you what the EU has done exactly - nothing. Not from a legal point of view, not from a cultural point of view, not from any point of view. You make it out as if without your sacred sports section that the EU article would come across as all about EU law. What absolute nonsense. Stick your sport section in the Culture section and be quiet you very silly person. --Simonski 21:30, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I think JLogan proposed a workable idea. Give a short section to sports and culture on this main article. Perhaps Eurovision TV should be mentioned as well, as European Broadcasting Union overlaps EU, and in symbols is closer to it then UEFA (it has 12 stars in its logo). However, I think it should short sections, and be carefully sourced whenever any but the most trivial facts are mentioned. Lear, while football/soccer maybe considered trivial the line "Other sports are favourites in fewer countries, such as basketball, ice hockey, rugby, handball, and motorsports" is inherenetly subjective. To overcome this you have to quantify "favourite" and have to give each country for each sport. I would strongly advice to remove that line as that already might help towards a solution of the current revert-war. Arnoutf 21:39, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I think if Lear gets his way here it will be the most disgraceful thing to happen since Sarkozy took the reference to Competition out of the Treaty. This article will never get FA status with irrelevant things like this sport section. It would easily be accomodated within the culture section and I'm yet to hear why some lunatic federalist should be able to determine whether the entire world gets mislead into thinking the EU played some part in sports. --Simonski 21:47, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Sport happens in EU member states. EU member states make the EU. Ergo: Sport happens in the EU. Very easy, very logic, nothing wrong. Talking to Simonski is listening to a Pre-Maastricht-Dinosaur. Lear 21 21:55, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Sorry Lear, but that is no argument. Sex happens in EU member states, shitting happens in the member states. Both probably more ofthen then sports. Where are the sections.
While I see some value in adding a culture/sports section to give something about the special nature of EU-citizens your arguments to get it done are really not satisfactory; please try to think of a more compelling reason why sports and culture should be singled out. Arnoutf 22:01, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Lear I don't think they have descriptions for your type yet, you give even the most hardcore Europhiles a bad name. As I said, flour and bread. EU = the Member States acting as one, the Member States do remain a seperate entity. Tsk tsk, this is basic stuff we're talking about now. If you go down your route, yes, sports are played within the countries that make up the EU, great, but the problem is this is an article on the EU, and on an EU level, there has been no involvement in sports. If you have stuff like your bit in the article, it not only becomes full of irrelevant info and unnecessarily long, but also puts itself in serious danger of no longer being an objective article, and instead one with an inherent bias on how you view the EU personally. It'd be like writing a bit saying "All people in the EU consider themselves proud European citizens". As for the section on crapping, I seriously wouldn't be surprised if Lear has prepared a draft already. --Simonski 22:15, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
THE POINT of this discussion is to debate what to do with the sports section. It's the editors who feels that this article should contain only what EU legislation is about, versus the ones who feels that we should mention what ordinary citizens of the European Union actually have in common. Right now it's a mix between both things. (minus Lear's favourite section on the most popular sports) I feel it should stay that way, simply because Wikipedia should relate to and reflect the realities of real-life. We all agree that the EU is something between the United States and the Council of Europe. I'm pretty sure most of us agree that the EU is more like a federation than an ordinary organisation. Isn't it real-life consensus that European citizens have many things in common? It's hard to find things that differentiates the culture of Europe, and the common culture of the EU. But it's easy do differentiate the culture of the people of the Middle-East and the people of Europe. I've got the impression that it would be 'politically correct' to mention what EU citizens have in common, due to the degree of European integration. The EU is today more than an economic community. I don't see why this article must underline that there's allegedly "no such thing as an EU identity".
I think we should add a couple of sentences to the current sports-section that explaines that EU citizens have a certain degree of common sporting interests. (Notably in football) And that all EU member states participates in pan-european (NB: that doesn't say that it's EU-only!) sporting competitions, the Euro cup in football respectively. (or we can have an equivalent sentence on EU teams in the Champions League instead.) - S. Solberg J. 22:13, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I think that might be a workable solution, although Simonski is right to say that the sections from demographics downwards are hardest to write in a fair and unbiased way, just because that is where national, European and EU identity start to mingle. I think that is (sadly) a given of the article and the in-between state the EU is currently having. I think both the EU-is-strictly-its-laws as well as the EU-is-one-happy-family editors have to find a compromise (to Lear21 in advance, a compromise means accepting some losses in your opinion to get at consensus, you can trust (read the above) that some other editors will see an article that does not meet their first choice either). Only by getting these two views together can we get a fairly balanced article. I think the sports section (minus Lear's list of sports) was a fair effort to get there (ie to a compromise), although embedding in overall article maybe improved. Arnoutf 22:28, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Harmonize crapping legislation I say. No seriously, I think then if there does have to be a compromise then I would say the sports section as it is (without Lear's bit) is the only form I'd be happy with a sport section having. I still believe moving whats been said either to the bit on economy (which by the way, needs more said on the four freedoms, I can't believe there's barely anything on it, the most important part of the EU) or culture would be far better. And why the Nou Camp suddenly replaced Anfield as the picture, without discussion, is also a bit odd. Why is the Nou Camp more acceptable than Anfield? Why because Lear said so of course. This is Lear's article on the EU by the way, incase you didn't know. But anyway, I would be completely opposed to any mention of the popularity of sports in the EU as it would be far from a compromise, rather it would instead take yet another piece of objectivity away from the article. --Simonski 22:34, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Putting it into economy might be one way of embedding it better; so that is basically what I meant. I think acknowledging that football/soccer is the most popular sport (without the others) can do not much harm, especially as it contrasts between the USA and the EU. Arnoutf 22:36, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

The section as it is now, plus 2 referenced sentences on football, plus Ssolbergj sentence on participation of all member states in UEFA, minus popular sports (handball, rugby, etc.). Then it is acceptable. By the way, Liverpool gets it image back, when Sibiu is replaced as Cultural Capital in 2 months. Lear 21 22:49, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Ok, that shows some willingness to compromise thanks for that. Sadly your closing line "Liverpool..." may not be making this compromise easy to accept for some other in terms of WP:OWN. Arnoutf 22:52, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

There is no preference on either Barcelona or Liverpool. Both images have the same degree of content quality, resolution and aesthetic appeal. Lear 21 23:00, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

What on earth, excuse me but how was that a compromise from Lear? The language used was his usual "its my way or the highway". Lear you should be ashamed at your excuse for "discussion", this entire debate has been a complete shambles and you are a complete disservice to this very important article on Wikipedia. He has basically just said it is acceptable if the section reads as it does now plus Solbergs two sentences similar to the ones Lear was trying to put in the first place. I think we are treading very dangerous waters here and should there be a reference to sport in a misleading manner, I'll be the first to tag it as being suspect of bias. It seems the compromise here being tabled out is very one-sided, that side being the one that has plagued this article for a while now. (I mean Arnoutf it could be pointed out that your US/EU comment highlights maybe your views on things, views which would arguably be your own rather than an objective view, if that makes sense) You acknowledged the problems with the demographics onwards section, lets make a start at fixing it! --Simonski 23:10, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Having read the above I am now somewhat convinced that sport ought not to appear in this article at all. The fact that many citizens of european countries have an interest in sport, and that many european countries belong to the EU is entirely a coincidence. The two are not related in any that is relevant to this article. I was also bemused by the repeatedly quoted comment above that' the EU is the member states, and the member states are the EU'. I doubt the majority, or even the minority of british citizens would agree with this. Perhaps because it is not precisely apparent what it means. Uk citizens almost certainly regard themselves as british first and Europeans a dim second, even the EU friendly ones like myself. The eurosceptics do not consider that they have anything to do with the EU at all. I personally, as a Europhile, do not regard the EU as making laws within the UK, or influencing them or any other aspects of life in any significant way which would be materially different to what would happen if the EU did not exist, but instead Europe was a bunch of cooperating states with occasional summits between their leaders. I am extremely sceptical of the influence of the EU as an organisation beyond the obvious requirements for any state in the modern world to cooperate with its neighbours. The alternative to friendly cooperation is unfriendly cooperation, and Europe had quite enough of that. But even when Europe was a continent of stark rivals, legal system, cultural ideas etc etc were all changing and moving in generally the same direction, together. So I am very skeptical at any claims that the EU has made a major difference to this. However, I am entirely happy for an article such as this to list where officially the EU as an organisation has been empowered to act on behalf of its members. This does not include sport. Sandpiper 23:29, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Well said. And I want to add as well, I consider myself Pro-European too. Otherwise I wouldn't have bloody chosen to study EU law for the last 6 years. I have an EU flag up in my room, love things like the Erasmus programme, and generally am a supporter of the EU. But having studied its institutions and how it works for so long I know there are so many major flaws in it, and believe it to be a very out of touch organisation. Furthermore I certainly consider myself Scottish well ahead of classing myself as a "European". Only one look at the Project European Union member list on Wikipedia and you see instantly that the place is dominated by young federalist type thinkers. That is why I just can't sit here and have people such as Solberg and Lear advocate the placing of irrelevant information on such an important page on Wikipedia. People from all over the world will read this article, and it is SO important here that no bias is allowed to leak into it. --Simonski 23:43, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
If football goes in I want motor sport mentioned, namely F1, there can be no more 'European sport', many races are within the member states, most of the engine builders are EU based/owned and most of the teams are based in the EU etc. etc. etc. Do I really need to go on - football can't be mentioned simply because if one sport is named it opens the door for ALL other sports being mentioned, either on a spectator numbers base or a income / expenditure bases. I would prefer no sports section, if sport has to be mentioned then it should be with either business/economy or as part of a EU regulative section. SouthernElectric 00:08, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Now, there are 2 Pre-Maastricht-Dinosaurs. Maybe your perspective broadens with this one Talk:European Union/inclusion in lists of countries. Lear 21 23:58, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Says the guy who is so opposed to focusing on the true successes of the EU, the four fundamental freedoms and Competition Law. But why talk about these areas, where the EU has changed people's lives, allowed true free movement of products and people, and allowed some of the biggest companies in the world to grow (ie. Ryanair, Easyjet), no no, lets talk about football and sport, something the EU has had absolutely no involvement in. Lear, as I said, you really should be ashamed. Your compromising skills are as poor as your debating ones. --Simonski 00:14, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
We understand that you, Simonski is in the EU-is-strictly-its-laws-and-the-actions-of-the-commission category. Now I've written numerous deep explanations for why sport should be included, and your answer is (in essence) " the EU has had absolutely no involvement in sports" - which in itself is false. Sandpiper writes that "The fact that many citizens of european countries have an interest in sport, and that many european countries belong to the EU is entirely a coincidence.". Is it a coinsident that football is popular in Europe? Is it a coinsindent that coffe is a popular beverage? The point of including a sentence on actual sporting activities would be to explain to wikipedia readers what is COMMON FOR EU ('s member states') CITIZENS. That would be the normal reason in any article about political entities with a certain contact with its citizens.
Instead of writing long sentences dissing Lear and short-stories about how 'European' you feel, I suggest you instead absorb the arguments you disagree with, and try to talk directly about the text. My sentence proposal was by the way very different from the previous 'top-ten popular sports' list. - S. Solberg J. 01:09, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
I just noticed your comment here Solberg, no idea why it was out of sync, but anyway, to respond, you make it out as if I haven't countered all your points which I have. Read the goddamn pages upon pages above on why it would not be objective to put in what you want, and why on top of that, UEFA etc have nothing to do with the EU. You never answered my point for example that wow, there was a European Championships for every sport, but not only was there one for South America, one for Asia etc as well, but that the European ones always included teams like Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia etc. Those countries are of course, our well known EU member friends. Oh no wait, THEY AREN'T AT ALL. --Simonski 15:51, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Make no mistake, I worked in ALL sections, plus the introduction, plus the infobox, plus the references. YOU are the one, who focuses on a single dimension here. The legal perspective is only one of many. Lear 21 00:29, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

That explains two things 1) The quality of parts of the article, ie. the lengthy, babbling intro. and 2) Why you are so defensive about this article, as if it was your property. I am focusing on the bigger picture, the objective picture, whilst you are clearly not budging from your narrow minded perception of the EU and how it must be shown in the article. Anybody who does not conform to your view is a "Eurosceptic". Its disgraceful. Freedom of Movement, Freedom of Establishment, these are things that go beyond law, don't you get it? And how many times do I have to say that I think things like the Erasmus scheme are important, and that there IS a cultural aspect? Your link there above, the only thing it broadened was my already high suspicion that this place is dominated by those with federal tendencies, and you in particular Lear are letting your views seep into the article. Together we could all work to provide an objective stance. Sadly you seem incapable of doing so. We are going round in circles here and it begins to bore me. This debate has only served to highlight to me that the situation with the editing here is completely flawed. Such a shame, such an important article. --Simonski 00:43, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Lear, that makes no difference, WP works on consensus, no one person owns an article, don't like that fact - the door is behind you. SouthernElectric 00:52, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Having looked at the various arguments and various sources, I have personally come to the conclusion that there should be a section on sport, but it should concentrate on the role of the EU, incuding surveys etc. carried out by the Commission and explaining the special, very limited, role of the EU as such. As I see it, this should include the following

  • The Community has no direct powers in the area of sports as such (this is stated explicitly on the EU web site; so it should be uncontroversial, even for non-lawyers).
  • Until now, sport has played a subordinate role in the European Union institutions. The Sports Unit within the Directorate-General Education and Culture was/is responsible for co-operation with various bodies on matters that affect sport.
  • Sport has been addressed as an economic and health factor, e.g. with respect to sports injuries (costing 4 billion euros in Germany alone; survey commissioned by Commission (?) )
  • MEPs have long been pressing for more action with regard to sport
  • The EU Council's Nice Declaration stressed the importance of sport.
  • The Commission's White Paper on Sport (July 2007) and the follow-up documents show what action is planned in this respect ("Pierre de Coubertin" Action Plan).
  • There may be other changes resulting from the IGC / Reform Treaty
  • There is a long list of cases/decisions involving sport (which could be detailed elsewhere)
  • Possibly: An EU survey looking at existing data showed that different sports are most popular in different countries, football being most popular in some and swimming in others)

In particular, I don't think we can ignore the Nice declaration and the Commission White Paper.

I think I can provide appropriate citations but will not go to the bother of checking and formatting if it becomes clear that the whole lot will get deleted.
Here are some general sources:

I'm not sure if that puts me in the camp of the rampant federalists or the pre-Maastricht dinosaurs in some eyes, but it is meant to be correct, NPOV, and substantiated.--Boson 01:00, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

sport section break #3

Not sure about rampant federalists or the pre-Maastricht dinosaurs but (from a skim read, it's getting late here...) some of the above bullet points might put you in danger of crystal ball gazing, in other words, what might happen has no place here SouthernElectric 01:07, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

As long as they are presented as such, I don't think reporting on current policy and existing declarations and plans counts as crystal ball gazing. The Nice Declaration exists; the Commission White Paper exists (July 2007); the Pierre de Coubertin Action Plan exists; the advocacy of MEPs is documented in the reports cited; Court/Council Decisions are listed in one of the cited reports, as well as being documented elsewhere; the report cited on sports injuries and other economic effects is from 2004 (if I recall correctly). I would need to go back and check the sources for the exact locations and exact wording, but the facts should be corroborated by other sources.--Boson 07:41, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
We almost had something there, well I say there I was reading for several minutes after "there". Perhaps we could cease the discussion on;
  • Pre-Maastricht Dinosaurs: Lear, they are talking about competencies where as you want cultural elements, that is detached from the development of the EU itself. A people cannot be a nation if they do not consider themselves as such, that there is a lack of such recognition gives their argument validity in that sense.
  • Federalists: I do believe it gives a disservice to federalist in the comparison made. Desiring the inclusion of a sports section is not exactly a federalist agenda, I for one can think of more worth while things to advocate to that end.
Can we perhaps have the the main data on sport (boseman) under Economy, with a side reference to footballs popularity (as in discussion effect, mention notable on football, in brackets stating that is is very popular - with the citation Lear was kind enough to provide) and anything extra under culture. That way the data Lear is seeking is in there, but there is not such a high profile "sports section" and indeed in sections of the article which are more likely to be read. - J Logan t: 08:35, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
The thing is, despite what the parliament and others have supposedly pushed for, the recent draft of the Reform Treaty makes it about as clear as its going to get that the EU is not generally to involve itself in Sport. I am still absolutely confused as to why references to sport, and in particular football, need putting in. Like I said, it is hardly the case that without such references the entire article becomes all about economics. Find something else cultural that the EU is actually involved in. And quick already, this discussion has been far too long! Desiring a sports section is not federalist per se of course, but it would heavily touch upon the neutrality of the article surely. Using Boson's ideas would present a danger of going down the route ie. of having the article read like the editors are very keen for the EU to get involved in sport even though it is not involved just now. Like I've been saying a million times, what we think of the EU is irrelevant here, as this is an article on what it does. And the "EU is the Member States" argument doesn't buy it, for the bajillion, zillion reasons spouted earlier. But otherwise I generally like Logan's suggestion. I still think there should be 4 subheadings for the four freedoms in this article. --Simonski 09:51, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Some of the above suggestions about what might be placed in a sports section are rather scraping the bottom of the barrell. We are not here desperately hunting for things to make this article longer. Quite the opposite, seeking things to cut. Sport is just about as irrelevant to an article about the EU as you can get. Not that you can't write a perfectly good article about sport in Europe (which is really the title people seem to want to include), it just doesn't have any good reason to be reproduced here.
We have veered into federalism, and with the suggestion above to have a look at the discussion about whether the EU should be considered a state. I had a look at the United nations article, and it did not mention sport, the Un role in sport, or sport played in UN member states. The UN makes laws binding on its members. Has a big organisation, a council drawn from the members and a standing president. Has an army, a foreign policy, is far more pro-active in the affairs of member states. But do we claim to be citizens of the united nations? I don't see why the UN is in a different class to the EU. There are other multinational agreement organisations. The UN, like the EU draws its authority from its member states and carries out an activity on their behalf. Whether either should be classed as a state for wiki purposes does not really cast light on whether they are a state. Is an ambassador for a country the same as that country? If a list ought to contain a state because the state does something relevant to that list, then the EU/UN ought to be included because they are carrying out that activity on behalf of states and acting as one for that purpose. To return slightly to the subject here, while some may consider the deletion of the odd word like 'federal' from treaties to be irrelevant, clearly still leaving a document which is aimed at creating a federal state, others do not. The words were deleted because had they remained, the treaties stood no chance of being ratified (ahem, France.) The people of the european union states do not conside that they belong to one federal organisation, nor are they willing to join one. So again, including sport, which has nothing to do with the mechanics of the EU, is attempting to bring something into the description of the EU which does not belong there and which alters the impression given of it. It is biasing the article by attempting to claim the EU does something for its citizens (see, how easy it is to use a word like 'citizens' misleadingly: they are only EU citizens by virtue of being real citizens of a state belonging to the EU) which in fact it does not do. Sandpiper 12:53, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
I totally agree, sport (in this article) is about as relevant as the already pointed out fact that 99% of people who live in the EU shit, should we have a section about shitting too?! Were sport is relevant it's only so in either business or regulative terms and should be mentioned in those terms here with linking to other sports article - just as mentioning the 1% of people who do not shit would lead to an article about colostomy and not a paragraph or two here about colostomies. That said, I have been WP:BOLD and removed the whole section. SouthernElectric 13:11, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
I think the point is that the UN is not as homogeneous as the EU, and hence proponents are viewing that comparison as invalid. Further more excreting faeces is an activity which most of the world has taken it upon themselves to conduct in fairly the same manner. Whereas there are notable instances where sport has more variation across borders, thereby making it a more notable discussion.
However, Lear and SSJ. Do you not think that it would in fact be detrimental to devote such space to discussing an area with little EU influence, when we could instead concentrate on those areas where the EU has been most successful. Surely that would do the EU greater justice than detracting from that with such a section?- J Logan t: 13:28, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
At the same time it is arguable that SE is just as entitled to compare the EU to the UN as Lear is to compare Country pages to the EU page. The fact is that the EU is of course inbetween these two, and this page should have as its ultimate aim explaining what the EU is to others, and what it does. As there are individual wikipedia pages for all the Member States involved, this page should focus on what the EU does. There are many social and cultural aspects contributed to by the EU, and Sport is not one. The shitting example still stands though, as sport is also a global activity rather than simply an EU one. But then again, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. --Simonski 13:44, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

@Sandpiper: You and Simonski seem to agree that sport can be mentioned in a Europe. The EU and its member states covers more than 3/4 of Europe´s territory, population, political influence and economic weight. Nothing wrong to include it here therefore. Your comparison EU/UN includes so many deficits, almost not worth commenting. There is a general understanding among many editors on this article, that the EU is a highly advanced state-like entity. In terms of knowledge, your view seems start at kindergarten level. @SouthernElectric: (1) If you can proof " people" appearing regularly on TV getting paid 20 million Euros a year, we talk about inclusion. (2) If you can proof " people" are organized in every EU member state with millions of participants in number, we talk about inclusion. (3) If you can proof " people" are sponsored by billion Euro global player companies, we talk about inclusion. (4) If you can proof " people" holding worldwide competitions with 70.000 spectators watching in a stadium, we talk about inclusion. (5) From now on your hostile approach and edits will be ignored. Lear 21 13:39, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

I only agreed that Sport could be mentioned in the economic context, via Bosman and the freedom of Movement things. Everything you said just there Lear does not happen on an EU level, and indeed involves actually around 20 other Non-EU countries. It is not EU related, rather European (and to some extent Asia) related. Just to remind the other countries involved in UEFA include Azerbijan, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Kazahkstan, Israel, Norway, Albania among several others. See my above comment anyway as well. And furthermore, where is this big organisation UEFA that supposedly covers the EU based? Why in Switzerland and Monaco. It just screams "not relevant" for an EU page. --Simonski 13:47, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Lear, where are you getting these numbers from, there has been little support for keeping the section itself, rather instead if there has been any support it has been for it to be merged into the Economy section. It would fit into Logan's new proposal to do a bit on the four freedoms. --Simonski 13:53, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

@Simonski: User Lear 21, Ssolbergji and Boson declared support for a section named sport. User Arnoutf negotiated a version including sports. User JLogan considers a solution WITH a sport section. So WHAT do you consider NOT supporting a sports section? Because of this broad acceptance and by now highly discussed issue, I call your next revert a vandalism. Lear 21 14:23, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

And when you revert my revert, I shall do the same. The solutions proposed by the majority of editors here have all required the sports section to be included in the Economy section. And NONE of the solutions proposed contain your section on popular sports. So you have no right to keep putting it back in. If anything you may only restore it to the previous way it was before SE removed it entirely, until a compromise is agreed here. --Simonski 14:28, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
For the record: Note that I am willing to compromise on version with a limited sports section. Also this is no plain vandalism from either party but a good old revert war - so 3RR would be the more relevant violation ;-) Arnoutf 14:30, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
And furthermore you twisted Logan's words Lear as he clearly was advocating putting it in the economy section. Only 3 of you support a seperate sports section, and only then are 2 of you being particularly unyielding. I repeat my position - my compromise would go no further than keeping the Sports section as it is without Lear's section on popular sports (as instead it does at least in this form tell individuals that the EU has little involvement here), but seriously think the article would benefit more if it was merged with Economy. If I was to not compromise at all, I'd have no mention of sport whatsoever. Its clear though that Lear is unwilling to compromise to any reasonable level and if he continues being like this I'd seriously like to take matters further. His stance is damaging the progression of this important wikipedia article. --Simonski 14:35, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
There is actually a consensus for the removal of the sports section, it's existence was by way of a compromise even before this current discussion, there seems to me that there is a forming consensus for; a/. remove the sports section b/. rewrite the removed content so that it fits within either an economy or regulative section c/. link any sport mentioned by business or regulation to either an existing article or create a 'Sport within the EU' (draft title suggestion) article SouthernElectric 15:10, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Economy section is already overcrowded. This is obvious. The cultural dimensions are dominating sports. The new content in the sports section has adapted to many criticism by now. Most significantly, all claims are sourced and are in the majority EU related. This is now the last statement from this account. Please refrain from personal attacks or comments of my behaviour in the future. I have argued strictly content oriented, changes have been made. The argumentation line has been thoroughly, detailed and supported by others. Note that there will be NO EU article without a sports section as long I have access to the internet. I will participate in discussions with other topics, but not in this one. Have a nice day & all the best for you Lear 21 15:04, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Lear, GROW UP! Go read WP:OWN SouthernElectric 15:10, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
All I read there was "this article will never receive FA status for as long as I have the internet". Lear I will revert your non-consensus edits on the sports section until the day I die. I have no idea how you deal with people like Lear on wikipedia, but is there something that can be done? Can we have him prohibited from editing this page, considering he's already violated several rules with his "It's my page waaah waaah my page" attitude. The economy section is going to be expanded, didn't you hear (because whether you like it or not the EU is to a very large degree an ECONOMIC union), and by that point it will have accomodated the couple of sentences on what the EU has done with sport, therefore negating the need for an already pointless sports section. --Simonski 15:25, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

For what it's worth, my opinion (I certainly won't read the ten pages worth of text above this if I can avoid it): If there's any kind of content which would merit a section on sports, I'm in favour of having one; if we have little or not verifiable, factual information on sports in the EU, I think we should leave it out. —Nightstallion 15:33, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Having been involved in considerable reversion warring on the much much more serious subject of 'harry Potter', I suggest the correct procedure is for each editor who disagrees with lear to revert him once until he passes 3 reverts per 24 hours, then report him for 3RR violation. He will get told he is a naughty boy and the article will be locked. We continue in this way, and eventually he gets banned indefinitely after weeks of the article being frozen. Or maybe matters will be resolved more expeditiously if it is clear there are a number of editors here with a clear view that he is wrong. Harry Potter was suffering somewhat from the imminent book release, and I suspect the millions of pounds/dollars riding on it. Surely no one has an interest in pushing a POV about the EU?
Lear, I am afraid that I am sufficiently ignorant that you will have to explain to me why there is any significant difference betweem the EU and the UN. One involves itself in legislation of major impact governing the interaction of member states, the other legislation of minor impact. Now...which was which? I'm sorry, but this is already a long article. Jlogan elsewhere is discussing adding sections about legislation, competition and similar matters which really are directly central to the activities of the EU. The problem with sport is that on a properly ordered list of relative importance, it is just way down the bottom. If anything, I would say it is exactly an argument as to why the idea of the EU as a state is overblown. It exactly illustrates an area of european cooperation between states which has happened totally without the EU doing anything. This illustrates my point that if the EU did not exist, much of what it does would simply have been done in more informal ways. Perhaps we should add a line to any sport section explaining that in fact sport in Europe has flourished while being totally ignored by the EU? Sandpiper 19:21, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Recent addition of images

Recently a lot of images were added by an anonymous editor. I removed a few of them as they had not connection whatsoever to the text. The core of the article should be the text, supported by images (ie images that do not relate to the text should not be included). Wiki should not become a picture book. I still think the additions that I left are over the top. Can the other editors please go through the new set of images. Arnoutf 08:22, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Ditto, also put back the environment image. The caption was left as Rospuda but image changed to a generic flower not mentioned in next. Adding the word vegetation in the caption does not make it more relevant, it does seem like it was added on picturebook grounds then tried to find justification afterwards. This isn't a church.
And was the Czech motorway actualy built with EU funds? Would just like to see something on that. - J Logan t: 10:33, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Also why was the Parliament image changed? I'm not arguing against an image of the Parliament I just think the old one was better. - J Logan t: 10:35, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Nothing wrong to present a Mont Blanc image in a Geography section, the image is clearly related to the section topic. The parliament image was not bad, but too big. In a typical resolution it forced the written text between to 2 images. This should be an exception. Lear 21 13:35, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Lear about the Mont Blanc image. It is helpful here. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 13:52, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Re Parliament, fine but is there another one we can use? Re Mont Blanc, I'm fine with it so long as highest points are mentioned in the text. - J Logan t: 15:05, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Mont Blanc, I agree, it deserves mention in the text Alps are a major landmark in the EU; can someone put a line in. (and then the image is fine with me) Arnoutf 15:21, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

The Czech motorway image has no copyright information and should be removed from the article to keep GA status. On the point of images of the Parliament building I think this one is much better than the other two options. Caveat lector (shortly to be renamed Blue-Haired Lawyer) 17:51, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Re inclusion in text, I did that as soon as I said it. On Parliament image, not sure about the night images but sure why not. However it is requested for deletion. Czech motorway is on commons and I can't see any problems with it on there, full info is there. - J Logan t: 18:08, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Re summery. Lear, what exactly do you mean by "without a cityscape"? It has more of one than the other image. - J Logan t: 09:01, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

GDP figures (again)

Since the GDP figures on the page seem to be in constant flux, I thought it would be helpful to repeat them here.

According the IMF's April estimates the EU's gross GDP will be $15,849.154 billion for 2007.[8] This should be rounded to $15.8 trillion (not 15.7 as the article previosuly stated). The same database gives $14,518.503 billion (or $14.5 trillion) for the adjusted PPP GDP.

The IMF's database was last updated in September[9] during which the Euro-dollar exchange rate (on the 14th of September, for the sake of anything better) was €1 = $1.3860[10] which translates to a € GDP of €11.4.

I going to reassert these figures on the article. Caveat lector (shortly to be renamed Blue-Haired Lawyer) 19:04, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

This is the October data sheet [11] with a Gross domestic product, current prices of $ 16,574.443 in 2007. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:01, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
So does anyone actually calculate the figures in native euro amounts not subject to dollar-euro exchange rate translation? Sandpiper 18:05, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

CAP Reform

I have again reverted changed made to the agriculture section (keyboard went a bit mad as well). The changes made to the section misrepresent both the 'old' and the 'new' CAP. CAP covers lot of stuff that can't be counted as crops, like cattle and milk. Subsidies previously went to farmers on the basis of how much they produced, not what they produced! The EC/EU would buy agricultural produce when it was for sale below the guaranteed price. The subsidies were the difference between the market price and the guaranteed price. They now receive a check in the post based on the historic production on their land. This is backed up by the footnoted sources. Blue-Haired Lawyer (formerly Caveat lector) 21:54, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Blue haired lawyer, please read more carefully the refs quoted here, never mind find some more. Twice you have reverted me.
On the first point, it is ungramatical to use a sentence clause starting 'although' as a whole sentence.
On the second, to the best of my knowledge, and also supported by the ref quoted if read carefully, your description of the 2004 reforms is wrong. Direct payments to farmers will be made on a flat rate basis irrespective of historical production entirely, though there is a transitional period now where payments depend on historical receipts, which were crop related. However, payments even then were not related to actual quantities produced but acreage planted. This was a previous reform. Under the last system it was a standing joke that it really didn't matter whether you harvested a crop or not, you just had to plant it, so it might be economically entirely sensible to save yourself the trouble of attempting to harvest a wholly worthless crop. Admittedly, this is till true, but now you can plant whatever you like and it does not affect the basic subsidy. It is also the case that the latest reformed system still only uses direct payments as one part of the subsidy system. Trade tariffs still exist to artificially inflate prices. I don't actually know whether intervention purchasing also still takes place. Sandpiper 08:07, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
The last para was written before I saw your own comments, and I have moved it to put the two together. I use the term 'crop' loosely and intend it to include things like milk and beef. I don't think that direct payments to farmers were ever directly dependant on how much was produced. Indirectly, yes, because the price paid was pumped up by taxes on imported competition and buying up surpluses if the price went too low.
As an unrelated point, although the cost of the CAP has fallen as a percentage of the budget, I think this is significantly because other budget expenditure has risen, rather than that CAP expenditure has fallen. It is also true that some expenditure under other headings has to do with rural development, which is arguably back-door agricultural expenditure. Sandpiper 08:34, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I see BHL has reverted me again. Could anyone here chip in and comment.

My first alteration was to change the sentence:Although currently the EU's small farmers only receive 8% of CAP's available subsidies. into a subordiate clause of the previous sentence. In itself it is not a sentence. Please rewrite it as one if you do not like my alternative, but as it stands it is non-gramatical.
The second point. BHL inserted Farmers will no longer receive subsidies based on the difference between the actual market price of their produce and the EU's guaranteed price but rather receive direct payments from the EU relating to the historic production levels on their land. This is incorrect. Direct payments to farmers were changed in the 2004 reforms, but were not previously based upon amount produced at all, so you can not say they no longer are. Instead, they already received direct payments based upon acreage of crop planted, number of cattle on the farm, etc. Not upon the amount of anything produced, please note the distinction. It is true that farmers income depends upon the market price for whatever they produce and sell, and this is affected by EU intervention in the market through import restrictions, buying up surpluses, etc. These processes have been considerably cut back, but they still exist, so you cannot imply they have been removed and replaced with a subsidy payment. That already existed. Much less has changed than many seem to think. Sandpiper 20:14, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Your edits may be right BUT the sources in the text do not support the new version. For example the Guardian article does not mention a percentage, nor the proportion of the small farmers; hence it is not a reference to your statement (although you leave it in the line). By your edits you imply that this is the relevant reference and THAT is untrue, and hence not acceptable. If you are convinced you are right YOU have to provide a reference that supports your specific point; the current ones don't.
From this formal, but very important point of view, Blue-Haired-Laywer is right to revert as your addition does not match the reference, and has no good references supporting it. Arnoutf 20:45, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Hi arnotf. there are two separate points I want changed. The first alteration was to change the sentence starting 'although...' and with the guardian ref on the end of it. I did not insert the figure or the ref, nor even look at the ref. BHL and I are not arguing over the figure or the ref, but the construction of the sentence. My complaint is that it is a badly structured sentence which must be changed. I think the figure may well be right, so I have no problem with it. If you do, then by all means change it, but I see that in fact you left it in the article when reverting to BHL, with the same ref you are now using to explain why I am wrong.
The change to the next para is more important. I do not cite the guardian ref, but leave alone a ref which was already there by written by someone from Dublin university. I have read this several times, and think it is a good summary of the situation. It does not go into as much detail as it might, but that is natural in a short article. If it appeared as is on wiki, I would no doubt amend it, but it would be a good presentation. The sentence I deleted and you reinserted is Farmers will no longer receive subsidies based on the difference between the actual market price of their produce and the EU's guaranteed price but rather receive direct payments from the EU relating to the historic production levels on their land.
My first objection is to 'no longer'. This implies that they currently or just recently did depend upon a price difference, and the wording implies that we are talking about current reforms, not past reforms. Arguably, they historically did so depend, and this has somewhat changed, but this had nothing to do with the 2004 reforms. Taken loosley, farmers still receive such a subsidy, and the ref says that they do. It says that discussion is still ongoing about whether to replace these subsidy measures and, If a breakthrough is finally achieved, a Doha Round Agreement on Agriculture is likely to include the elimination of CAP export subsidies by c. 2013 and an overall average cut in its import levies of a little over 50 percent, which would further reduce the CAP’s adverse impact on non-EU producers. So plainly it says no one has agreed to remove them yet.
Nowhere does the ref say that the direct subsidies received pre-2004 depended upon the difference between the actual market price of their produce and the EU's guaranteed price. The ref does say, In compensation for these cutbacks in price support, farmers were given direct payments (‘cheques in the post’) per head of livestock and hectare under crops, more-or-less up to a maximum of their pre-reform quantities , when discussing the introduction of direct payments to farmers in 1992. Note, this subsidy is not in any way dependent on the price of their produce, because it is not dependant on the quantity of their produce. Now, the ref also explains that from the start of the system farmers received benefit because the price for their produce was inflated by various intervention mechanisms. These still exist, although they have been cut back and the ref stated that this flat rate payment was introduced in 1992 to compensate for those cut backs. So it might be that these are what the wiki writer was thinking of as having been replaced, but they havn't been replaced, they are reduced but still exist, and the ref does not say that they have been entirely replaced. Nor were they replaced in the 2004 reforms, as the wording in the article implies.
I inserted Direct subsidies paid to farmers have ceased to be dependent upon the type of crop grown, but instead flat rate payments per hectare of cultivated ground, with premiums for environmentally friendly farming practices. I cite the sentence from the ref which I just quoted above,In compensation for these cutbacks in price support, farmers were given direct payments (‘cheques in the post’) per head of livestock and hectare under crops, more-or-less up to a maximum of their pre-reform quantities talking about 1992, and later The most fundamental alteration was the introduction of the ‘single farm payment,’ an annual lump sum grant which replaced the area and headage direct payments historically received on each farm. Crucially, unlike the previous system, the single farm payment can be claimed more-or-less regardless of changes in the scale and type of farm production , when talking about the 2004 reform. So the ref says that pre 2004 reform direct payments depended on the type of crop, and post reform they did not. What I said. Not what the article said before. What I inserted is directly supported by the ref. What I replaced is refuted by the ref. I shall reinsert my version. Sandpiper 18:03, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
It was the Guardian situation that I had most problems with. Especially as soon as you start mentioning numbers (8% etc.) the source with those exact numbers needs to be given. That was and still is not the case. Please provide that reference, because as it is now the content maybe right but the reference given does not give the quantified claim. Arnoutf 18:24, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
It wasn't an issue I was bothered by, and I didn't insert that number. BHL maintained it, as did you, but I don't know where it came from. Since you mention it, there is also no definition of 'the EU's smallest and poorest farmers', so it is rather a 'how long is a piece of string' situation. However...I just read the guardian reference mentioned in the article, which says Small farmers account for about 40% of EU farms, but receive only 8% of available subsidies from Brussels, so I think you would have to say, despite your first impression, that in fact the guardian ref supports the figure precisely. Sadly I often find that people worried about the accuracy of content should research more and complain less. Sandpiper 21:44, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
You are right, I have to apologise. I did not notice the "article continues" button in the Guardian article and thought what was shown, was actually all. Arnoutf 23:32, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

There's nothing wrong with using 'although' in the beginning of a sentence. The same goes for 'and' and 'but'. Using 'although' avoids using the weasel words: "Some detractors ...". It is, in any case, a statement of (sourced) fact and not opinion.

In general it is possible to begin a sentence with although, but the word 'although' is a linking word meaning a comparison is being made between two things. It is not possible to have a sentence which only contains one of those things. It just isn't how english sentences are written. 'although' in this situation performs exactly the same function as 'but', and is no more and no less 'weasley'. It is important to distinguish between words being used to 'fudge' the truth (ie as 'weasel words') and words being used to precisely state the truth. If 'some detractors' are claiming something, then an article should state exactly that.Sandpiper
Again, it is not an argument but is and ought to be presented as a fact. The comparison is being made between the implication that small farmers receive most of CAP's money and the the percent they actually receive. Blue-Haired Lawyer (formerly Caveat lector) 14:46, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Saying that: "Direct subsidies paid to farmers have ceased to be dependent upon the type of crop grown", implies that farmers of certain crops received more than other crops (i.e. farmers of corn more that farmers of wheat).

Yes, that is exactly the situation, and moreover it is stated in the reference.Sandpiper
You are plainly wrong. Please support your assertion with sources. You imply that all wheat farmers receive the same money regardless of how big their farms are. The is not the case. Blue-Haired Lawyer (formerly Caveat lector) 14:46, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

It is impossible to use the word crops in the 'general' way you say you want to. It does not have this meaning.

If you want to make an alternative wording to more exactly include things such as milk or meat, then please do. This objection does not affect the substance of my edit and the important changes made to meaning. Perhaps you would prefer 'produce' or 'farm produce' instead of 'crop'? Sandpiper
It is unnecessary to find an appropriate word. What you wish to say simply isn't the case. Blue-Haired Lawyer (formerly Caveat lector) 14:46, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

The aim of the 2004 reforms were the disassociation of subsidies and production: this is what the word 'de-coupling' means. This point must be made in the article. This is supported by the Guardian article which says as follows:

"The key change is "decoupling" (as the Euro-jargon has it), or separating payments from production. This means that farmers will still receive money, at a level based on past income, but it will be in the form of a one-off payment that hopefully encourages them to farm for the market, rather than subsidies."

Stead says:

"Crucially, unlike the previous system, the single farm payment can be claimed more-or-less regardless of changes in the scale and type of farm production (although member states were given limited flexibility over the extent to which they undertook this additional ‘decoupling’)."

CAP reform is obviously very complicated and a certain amount of simplification is needed to describe it in the limited space available. Nonetheless the movement away from production linked subsidies is a core element of the reforms. The article, currently, gives exactly the opposite impression. Blue-Haired Lawyer (formerly Caveat lector) 13:23, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Your version in the article refers to 'market price' and 'production levels'. None of the refs refer to either of these. If you read the refs carefully you will see that they state the previous subsidy was paid according to the type of crop grown, not the quantity of crop produced. Precisely, the reform which was implemented was, ''Direct subsidies paid to farmers have ceased to be dependent upon the type of crop grown, but instead flat rate payments per hectare of cultivated ground, with premiums for environmentally friendly farming practices. Which is precisely what I inserted. You may feel this does not amount to any significant 'move away from production linked subsidies', but it is what the EU has done. I have never removed the sentence which talks about decoupling, reforms included...the 'de-coupling' (or disassociation) of the money farmers receive from the EU and the amount they produce (by the Fischler reforms in 2004. The sentence I changed gave details of the reforms, not their intent, but the original version misrepresents the changes, as I demonstrated above using the sources given.
Your description directly contradicts the article's description of what de-coupling means. Blue-Haired Lawyer (formerly Caveat lector) 14:46, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
How? It precisely describes the change and is not so much 'an example' as the entire reform in a nutshell. Sandpiper 14:04, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
BHL (and Arnoutf): I happen to have followed the CAP article intermittently for some time, rewrote much of it and in the process learnt quite a bit about this. I came here because Jlogan left a request on that page for someone to write a summary here. Belatedly I saw it, and came to see what someone had written. I corrected it. As a result of improving the accuracy of this page, incidentally making it accord better with the refs already here, I have now spent hours explaining my edits to two of the 5 people listed on this page as dedicated to improving it. I hope that your attentions to others contributions to this page have been more accurate than those to mine. Some of the criticisms of my edits have been nothing short of incompetent. Caveat Lector, indeed.Sandpiper 02:18, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
I think you're assuming that because different schemes exist to support farmers of different products, the money received is based on which product a farmer produces. Each of these schemes varies the money received in proportion to the amount any individual farmer produces. One of the innovations of the new scheme is the amalgamation of previously separate payments in one payment, but this is not the most important aspect of the reforms.
BHL, if a scheme has specific subsidy levels and only applies to one product, then I would say that obviously the money depends upon which product a farmer produces. If he had chosen a different product, then a different pay rate would apply. It is definitely not true that all these schemes varied payment according to amount produced. I don't know whether some of them paid according to amount produced.Sandpiper
Since you seem to need more proof the BBC says that:
"Additional reforms in 2003 and 2004 further "decoupled" subsidies from production levels and linked payments to food safety, animal welfare, and environmental standards." [12]
Yes, this supports my edit. It says there have been changes. It does not say that there are now no price dependant subsidies. It does not say that the direct payment being replaced were dependant upon price paid for the goods produced. Sandpiper
The UK government says:
'Decoupling’ ... will greatly simplify the CAP and breaks the link (decoupling) between subsidies and production." [13]
This ref also explicitly states that the subsidies being replaced are only the major farm subsidies, by implication stating that others will remain. I agree it states this will simplify matters, and it does, but that is not what your edit said. It explicitly states price support for milk and butter will continue. I agree the changes break a link between production and and payment, but not the kind of link implied by your edit. This ref does not explain further the nature of that link. Sandpiper
"The single payment will be based on historic direct payment receipts for the period 2000-2002". [14]
At the bottom of the page it states that whether England payments will be made upon the basis of historic payments or as a flat rate is still being discussed (it dates from 2003). I agree that the total payment to any region continues to depend upon historic payments which that region received. However, by the end of the transitional period in the UK (2013?), individual farmers income will not depend upon their personal historic payments, but will be an average for the whole country. I do not know exactly what will apply in other countries. Sandpiper
Or in other words, what money a farmer receives in 2010 will depend on how much he or she received in the 2000-2002 period (historic production).
This ref was a 2003 discussion paper. In 2010 what a farmer gets will only partially depend upon what they got in 2002. There is a table saying how much and it declines each year. as A guess I would say it will be about 40% in 2010. I think it is about 70% this year. The final result of the reform will be zero dependence on personal historic receipts. Sandpiper
The Irish government says:
"In June 2003, the Mid-Term Review of Agenda 2000 provided for the full decoupling of direct payments from production" [15]
Yes, but what was the the nature of that coupling, and note the comment applies only to direct subsidies, not indirect ones. It also states that member states have an option to carry out only partial decoupling, again without giving details. Sandpiper
The European Commission says:
"Decoupling means providing support payments to farmers in a way that is not linked to what they produce. The Commission proposes to introduce a single decoupled income payment per farm. This system would integrate all existing direct payments a producer receives from various schemes into this single payment, determined on the basis of historical references." [16]
i.e. not current production. Blue-Haired Lawyer (formerly Caveat lector) 14:46, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
yes, but your edit does not mention what farmers produce, instead talks about historic production levels. You talk about quantity, the EU talks about type of product. Sandpiper
Moreover, Teagasc, an Irish governmental agency says:
"Agreement on CAP reform, published in October, which showed that the highest level of farm income would be achieved by full decoupling, or the complete removal of the link between payments and the level of farm production." [17]

Blue-Haired Lawyer (formerly Caveat lector) 14:50, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Very comforting for farmers, but I don't see how that comments on the actual schemes currently in operation. Again this is a 2003 discussion paper talking about the outcomes of possible different schemes being considered for introduction. It does not say what scheme was finally chosen, even just in Ireland. Sandpiper 08:56, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
BHL, I havn't a couple of hours right now to sort out and explain why your edit was wrong. Basically, while it contains a number of elements of truth, the way they are strung together into one whole makes that whole untrue. As a couple of immediate points, yes, the final result is supposed to be one direct payment not related to production. However, this is not the only form of price subsidy, and others will continue. Scheme implementation differs in different countries, so I am not sure immediately what a ref from an irish agency is saying. In the Uk, there is a scheme whereby a new single payment and a payment based upon historical receipts will run together for a few years, each year farmers getting more of the flat rate and less of the historic. The final result will be no dependence on their their 2002 payment. However, the total payment for the UK will remain at the historic level, at least until the next round of negotiation. When using a news quote talking about 'production', it is necessary to consider how precisely they are using the word. Sandpiper 23:17, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

alternative wording

BHL, I see you just inserted Under these reforms it is intended to move away from subsidy linked production toward direct payments based on farm size and historic production levels. Instead of my Direct subsidies paid to farmers have ceased to be dependent upon the type of crop grown, but instead flat rate payments per hectare of cultivated ground, with premiums for environmentally friendly farming practices.

First, I'm not quite sure whether you accept now that my edit is factually accurate? If not, please explain.

Second, your proposed alternative still seems to me to be imprecise. toward direct payments ...based on historic production levels is either wrong or misleading, depending on what you mean by it. It is the intention that the subsidy a farmer receives will not be dependant on his historic production levels in any way. The amount of it will in the first instance depend upon how much his country received historically, now distributed a different way, but I would not understand that from what you wrote.

Also, what do you mean by it is intended to move away from subsidy linked production. Price support subsidies will continue. Production will continue to be subsidised by the direct payment to each farmer. It is true that Direct subsidies paid to farmers have ceased to be dependant upon the type of crop grown, but you struck that out. Sandpiper 13:48, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Peer Review Comments

I've copied them over for easy access, and also as I doubt many people are watching the PR page - J Logan t: 09:15, 23 October 2007 (UTC);

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Peer Review by BirgitteSB

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  • Geography The intro doesn't introduce the "Environment" sub-section. The long list of member states is hard to read. Maybe it would better to name them in the various groups they joined in for some sentence structure. The last sentence under "Member states" is hidden by the image caption on my screen.
    • Is it Macedonia or Former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia? Make sure images and text are consistent throughout.
    • You show Main article: European Commissioner for the Environment That is not a main article for this section if you read it. Remove the hatnote and simply link to article in the text by mentioning the office.
  • GovernanceAgain the intro does not introduce the subsections very well and is a little repetitive with the "Politics" section. No mention of European Central Bank.
  • Foreign relations This is not a very good summary of Foreign relations of the European Union. Doesn't introduce sub-sections and is overall weakly organized.
  • Justice, freedom and security This is a strong section and might deserve higher billing.
  • Economy Could better summarize Economy of the European Union. Missing information on Unemployment and Tourism in particular.
  • Demographics This is only missing information on Migration/Immigration. I would have this directly follow the "Geography" section.
  • CultureThis is a reads well on its own, but there is some theoretical overlap with Demographics. Is language culture or demographics? It is a strange in terms of overall organization. I wonder if would better be re-worked in a different way.
  • Misc. Overuse of Main article hatnote. You can link within the text or use a different hatnote if it not a true daughter article.--BirgitteSB 18:31, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Okay, some of these comments have been dealt with, what do people think about the rest? - J Logan t: 12:51, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I think the comments are in general useful; I may look into it in more detail, (sorry that I am a bit absent at the moment, I have a tremendous workload in my non-wiki life at the moment)Arnoutf 17:40, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Ditto, I haven't had chance to go through these in detail (despite the addict in me keeping me coming back when I shouldn't) as some of the changes would need a bit of rewriting doing. Plus some are touching on the contentious elements and bits like not summarising History etc is less explosing the problems here and more the weakness of our other articles. One this FA is done, I suggest we to try to restart the collaboration - we need it on many major articles. - J Logan t: 18:31, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Been looking through again, do we actualy have to introduce sub-sections all the time? I've never come across this need on other articles. And is tourism info vital? Anyone have that? - J Logan t: 11:31, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Just to respond directly to each point above;

  • Lead Most excluded I would class as detail or no needed in the lead. It would be information overload, anyone disagree?
  • History Ignore as EU history article is a mess and Yugoslavia is not such a big event
  • Geography Summery of environment needed but I was not aware of this requirement, is it neccesary to do it for all of them? Other issues dealt with except for the list, I think it is best to keep it alphabetical.
  • Governance Problems mostly solved, ECB not an institutions and is under economy, but still not summery of sub-sections.
  • Foreign relations Ignore point on not being a summery, the foreign relations articles are a mess but I have dealt with the issue in part by copying info over and changing the hatnote. On sub-sections and organisation, not sure how to deal with this, seems okay, suggestions?
  • Justice, freedom and security Is is strong? doesn't seem like it. I think it is best there, third pillar so comes after CFSP.
  • Economy Ignore summery point, economy article needs improvement but I have copied employment data.
  • Demographics We have migration data, albeit limited. As for putting it under geography, was a previous suggestion but reverted. I for one am not bothered.
  • Culture Issues raised I think are just part of the article mess and I don't see a way around it.
  • Misc. Dealt with.

- J Logan t: 14:53, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Animated map formatting error

The animated map in the member states section overlays material in the next section if the article is viewed on a wide screen (rather than the text flowing round it). Does anyone know how to fix this? Sandpiper 23:05, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I also have that problem on Safari, it is okay on both Opera and Firefox though (SSJ uses Opera I think so I don't think he sees these errors when he makes the images). I do not know the exact cause though nor how to fix it. - J Logan t: 08:56, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
For me too on Windows Internet Explorer. I think it has to do with the fairly advanced template that is underlying the map template:European Union Labelled Map (blue). Can someone who knows about these codes have a look please. For now I solved it by putting the clear text thingy in {{-}}, but that looks ugly because of all the white space created; so it should be seen as temporary at best. Arnoutf 10:28, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Still bad in my copy of IE6.xx SouthernElectric 10:36, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't see problems these problems om my computer, but you can try to tweak the style margin in the template. (style="margin-left/bottom/top:14px;") (But don't alter margin-right). - S. Solberg J. 12:09, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
What browsers do you have SSJ? Have you tried on IE at all, if so we know it is something else.- J Logan t: 14:02, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
And Arnoutf], think it is due to text sizes but the {{-}} doesn't work for me as the image comes down inside the third para, it cuts off everything from similar to relationships. - J Logan t: 14:02, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Is it fixed now? I've made the bottom margin thicker. I have a 1024x768 screen and use Opera. The map looks good with my IE6. - S. Solberg J. 15:49, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, perfect on my screen SSJ, thank you! - J Logan t: 15:54, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Ok in my copy of IE6.xx too, many thanks SouthernElectric 16:18, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Still ok after I removed the clear template (creating the white space)?? Looks fine in Firefox and IE Arnoutf 20:08, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Aye, fine on mine! - J Logan t: 12:51, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Just an extra minor point, just thought that the articles are meant to be okay for reading printed off etc. Should not the first frame of the map show the whole EU for that situation then? - J Logan t: 11:39, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, and there is another issue, that some people have intensionally disabled the animation aspect of .gif files (due to sites misusing the file format in banner ads etc.) so the first frame should really contain all information. SouthernElectric 11:57, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Done. - S. Solberg J. 12:36, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks - J Logan t: 13:07, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Founding treaties

Something I came across while reading about the EU recently, in fact explicitly explained in a EU publication. Sovereign nations derive their right to act from their existence. They can do whatever they like internally, and whatever anyone lets them get away with externally. The EU is not a sovereign entity (though it is attempting to become one). For the most part it is simply the arbiter of treaties agreed between the member states, where each has agreed to do something. It is literally simply an administrative bureaucracy set up by those states to carry out their wishes freely agreed to. I'm not convinced this comes across in the article. Sandpiper 02:42, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Bear with me a little since I am not familiar with the article in general, and making comments as I go. I see the issue of treaties is discussed more later. However, there are other comments above in the section 'what the hell is it', essentially discussing the introduction. It seems to me that technically, exactly what it is. is a bureaucracy set up by treaty to administer and enforce those treaties already agreed to by the states involved. Indeed, some states have signed up to one treaty but nor another. Many people seem to go on about the EU having taken on a life of its own, but as a fundamental definition, it seems that this is what it is, and it does not come across. Sandpiper 09:20, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
The constitution and the reform treaty were made to move it beyond a mere bureaucracy, so in my opinion the view your are showing maybe formally correct, but no longer in reality. Arnoutf 14:41, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
The base idea of a "Sovereign nation" is a load of --round objects-- as there is no such thing. But if you want to apply it, lets switch it round to the member state. Can they do what they like internally? No, they are bound by the EU. Hence, neither are sovereign. There has never been complete sovereignty as external forces have always limited the capability of a state to act to its full theoretical degree. Hence I totally disagree with the above, further more an administrative bureaucracy can be applied to any state, all they do is make and apply laws all day and night. So what is the extra point that makes an administrative bureaucracy a state? Foreign policy? Well the EU conducts that, might not be as dramatic but even outside the CFSP, look at ECHO, a huge aid provider. That is not the world of an administrative bureaucracy. Oh I could go on forever but I hope you get my point. - J Logan t: 16:50, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
The individual nations are free to do whatever they want. France can simply announce it no longer wants to accept the treaties, just pass a law annulling them, and erect border controls with all the other nations. I doubt they will, but they have the right to do so. The EU, under its new president, can not tear up the treaties and expell all foreign nationals from its borders. It has no territory. Now, if it had an army then it could try occupying some teritory and claiming it as its own, but on the whole I thing this idea is a nonsense. Even within the UK there are scots nationalists who seek a free, independant Scotland. All they have to do, basically, is get all the other Scots to agree, and tear up the treaty making the scottish parliament subordinate to the English one. Ok, there is no legal mechanism to do that, but I'm sure a good revolt and a bit of shooting (even shouting) would suffice. The point is that Scotland has territory which could be reclaimed. There are probably historical precedents where states have voluntarily combined and created a new entity, but I think this only becomes a state in its own right when it has the power to hold those component parts against their will to depart. At present there still exists a straightforward mechanism for any nation to go its own way, or for all the states to do so and dissolve the EU. It isn't going to happen, but all that says it the club is so self-evidently a good thing to belong to that few want to leave it. But they could.
The EU does not make any laws in the UK. Every law in the UK is made by the british parliament at westminster. The EU proposes new laws in accord with the founding regulations in the treaties which created it, and acting upon the instructions of the representatives of member states. OK, these laws are frequently just enacted on the nod, but the important principle is that under British law, any and all of them could be repealed or revoked within a week, if the UK government wished.
Arnoutf, I am sure the official position of the british government is that the treaty currently under consideration is just another treaty which will make no difference to the status of the EU. I agree the idea of a constitution was intended to solidify the slightly ghostly existence of the EU, but that is one of the objections to it which has caused it to be downgraded to a 'treaty'. As to your point that the current new treaty may have the effect of creating something more than a bureaucracy, er, this is wiki and what you just said is that currently it is simply a bureaucracy, at least until there is a new treaty, so as wikipedians we ought to be calling it what it is now, not what it may become. If you want to say it is simply a bureaucracy set up to administer a treaty, but it has aspirations to become a state in its own right, that might be correct and we could say it. I do not think that would do as an introduction, because it would then underplay the complexity and large degreee of autonomy which the EU does enjoy. However, at present I don't think the introductory sentence and definition quite hits the mark. The EU as an entity is servant, not master.Sandpiper 18:46, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Calling the EU "simply an administrative bureaucracy" is an over-simplification, in my opinion. Not all sovereign states are unitary (like the UK); so one should perhaps compare the EU to the USA or Germany when looking at issues of sovereignty. Apart from the difference between unitary and federal states, there is also the issue of dualism (which applies in the UK but not in all EU countries). I suppose one could also call the American federal government (including SCOTUS) a simple arbiter, since American states retain a considerable degree of sovereignty in relation to each other and the Union. EU legislation can create binding law in the UK even preventing Engish courts from applying contrary British law (unless Parliament demonstrates an express intention to act contrary to EU law, which it will not do because the UK in exercise of its sovereignty, voluntary accepted and helped to create EU law). British governments can be held liable to their own citizens for breach of EU law and this will be upheld by British courts. All this does not make the EU a sovereign nation in international law, but it makes it more than an administrative bureaucracy. --Boson 21:11, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure where this is getting us, since I'm not entirely sure to what extent our opinions matter to the issue of what the article should say. So far, no one has convinced me that legally the EU is more than a bureaucracy which draws its authority from that of the member states, who delegate to it their own powers. I do not see why this 'simplification' is not in fact accurate if a one line definition is required. The distinction I see between the EU and the USA, is that last time states tried to leave the USA they were shot at untill they changed their minds. The US central government saw itself as sovereign over all member states, and was supported by the other states in persuing unity by military force. I repeat, as far as I am aware, EU legislation is UK legislation enacted at westminster. Many parts of the UK home bureaucracy also have delegated powers to make laws binding on citizens, but the power to do so all derives from westminster, and nowhere else. I don't see that the position of the EU with regard to law making is any different to the Scottish, Welsh or Irish (uk) parliaments, or indeed my local town council making by-laws which apply only within this town. In each cae, as you say, the westminster parliament has the final power to alter anything enacted by any of the other entities, but would not do so for the obvious reason that it chose to give them those powers. However, should circumstances change, then it can. Sandpiper 23:17, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Well. of course, our opinions by themseves don't make much difference; but the facts, as backed up by books on EU law, and the opinions of the law lords do make a difference to what we say. For instance:
  • we should not state that the EU is a sovereign unitary state in international law;
  • we should not state the EU is simply an administrative bureaucracy;
  • we should not state that the EU is a supranational entity in all respects;
  • we should not state without qualification that British law has supremacy over EU law
  • we may state (with suitable qualification) that EU law has supremacy (or priority) over national law in specific areas.
This does not mean that the British Parliament is not sovereign; it does not mean that (as far as English law is concerned) EU provisions cannot be repudiated by an explicit act of parliament. It does not mean that EU power does not derive from conferral by member states. However, as I understand it, until such time as Parliament abrogates the Treaties or explicitly repudiates the relevant provisions, British courts are obliged to (and do) give priority to valid EU law over British law, even over acts passed subsequently. I don't think this is comparable to the bye-laws passed by the local town council. There are some similarities to the relationship between, say, Saxony and Germany. Until such time as Saxony secedes from the federation it is bound by the German constitution and by federal German law. In some areas Saxony retains sovereignty, and some things are organized by treaties between the component states of Germany. I would be very interested to see what the federal German government would do if faced with a unilateral declaration of independence by Saxony or Bavaria. I somehow doubt that there would be mass slaughter on the scale of the American Civil War. --Boson 00:59, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Even Scotland could leave the UK, if there was a referendum and Scotland declared independence against the wishes of Whitehall, there would be no war and Whitehall would have to concede on the principle of democracy. Everything is subject to this be it a federal state, a unitary state or the EU. And while we may not have convinced you, it is clear you have not conviced us, were is your argument? All power eminates from the people, not one level of governance. In fact where on earth is this discussion going? I don't see how this is leading to any improvement in the article and we have been over the what is it argument enough times with no conclusion. So can we get on with normal work again? - J Logan t: 14:29, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree, there would be no shooting. On the other hand, there has been quite a lot of shooting when the same thing happened in Ireland. If the Scots nats attempted to declare unilateral independence without full support of the population, then it would either not happen or there would be shooting. The distinction is that whether or not there was a peacefull transition, westminster does claim the right to start shooting and that Scotland is lawfully UK sovereign territory. I don't believe the EU claims that now, and I'm not sure it does so in the revised 'constitutional' treaty? I understand there is an explicit exit clause for anyone wanting to leave. Sandpiper
Since we would appear to be in agreement, I presume your comments are addressed to Sandpiper. My reason for engaging is a concern that someone will revert the lede to something about the EU being a simple intergovernmental organization like many others, because of a confusion between ultimate sovereignty and currrent constitutional primacy. It is my experience that people living in the UK have difficulty differentiating between the delegated authority enjoyed by subdivisions of a unitary state (e.g. Scotland) and the limited sovereignty of the subdivisions of a federal state (e.g. Bavaria), thereby leading to various non sequiturs. --Boson 19:47, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh yes, sorry didn't specify that, was at Sandpiper. And yes there does tend to be a lack of understanding from some people from unitary states in general, I've found that Sweden has that problem too in some respects.- J Logan t: 22:02, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I think we are all agreed that the EU is not a sovereign entity and only enjoys delegated authority from the member states. I came across a website criticising the new 'constitutional' treaty, arguing that it created an unstopable monster, but in so doing arguing that the current arrangement is merely an administrative organisation for a treaty. I have to say I remain unconvinced that the new (revised) treaty will make any change to this situation. I already amended the lead paragraph by deleting the 'the base' from the sentence the Maastricht Treaty established the base of the current legal framework, thereby softening the implication that the EU was more than simply the result of the maastrict treaty. I remain bothered by 'community', which still to me implies too much a collection of happy friends living together. I know the EU once chose this word as their name, but the fact someone chooses to use a word to 'spin' their image does not mean it is apt as a neutral description. Maybe 'association', though I am also bothered by the initial description containing too many complex words which people will not understand. It ought to be a simple explanation, not a riddle. Sandpiper 07:49, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

It still uses that name, that is the name of the first pillar. No one is using it because they want to call it a happy family, it is a commonly used name. I am a tad worried you are just wanting to make the point it isn't a happy family, I doubt people would assume that from a list of institutions, there is criticism and this is meant to be basic. Association is not a term used and it way to weak to describe a confederal system such as this. And again "sovereign entity" is a pile of rubbish, it is a myth rather than a technical term. The EU is not sovereign but neither are the states. And there is of course more than the Maastricht Treaty, there are other treaties before and amending since and a huge body of EU law, practices, agencies etc that built it up. Nothing is ever the sum of its constitution.
On your source, considering the use of the term "unstopable monster" I would ignore it if I were you, sounds like more europhobic trash from someone who doesn't actually know how it works. For a start there are very few differences between now and the constituion aside from more majority voting, involvment of the Parliament and messing around with names and positions. If the constituion is more than an administrative organisation, then it certainly is now. - J Logan t: 09:32, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
The article doesn't use the word 'community' in a way which implies it is/was/is thought of as the official name. it is used descriptively as a common english word, which begs the question of whether it is an accurate choice. I do not see it as an apt choice for the reasons i mentioned. It implies that everyone is jolly and happy, and while they may be fellow travellers, they are the sort who enjoy a good fight. It is at least as much s collection of countries who believe the others share the same enemies as one where the members believe the others are friends.Sandpiper 19:44, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Just searched for every use of the word community, bar those not talking about the EU and the one use at the start all uses are talking about the European Community, not using it as a descriptive common word. e.g. "The founding members of the Community" (talking about the ECSC), "first environmental policy of the European Community was" (again, the European Community as an entity), "with the Council in Community matters" (talking about the first pillar), "dates back to the establishment of the Community in 1957" (establishment of the EEC again), "European Community humanitarian aid office, or ECHO" (that's the office's name - after the pillar), "been a prominent goal of the Community" (talking in a historic and current sence of the European Community), "bought by the Community to ensure minimum price levels" (again, the previous EC), "become a community competency" (again, historicaly and the pillar, a competence under that). And so on. Do I have to give reasonins for all uses? I think it is very POV to talk about it as though it is saying everything is jolly and happy, are we not to complain about the article called the "Peoples Democratic Republic of Korea" because it implies democracy? Its the name! And I think they might just think each other are friends considering they agreed to be in a political and economic union with each other. You have the usual discord but considering they share common laws, respect the same higher authorities, regularly meet and agree common positions and programmes, gave up so much of their soverignty etc etc etc compare to any other group of countries and there is a stark contrast between what they are prepared to do. - J Logan t: 09:24, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I think you missed my point. It looks to me as though the refs you found called it the European Community because that was its name, or used to be its name. They were not trying to explain in a balanced way to someone completely ignorant of it what it was. Rather, they were using a name which would be readily recognised. By analogy, I have absolutely no problem calling an article 'peoples democratic republic of Korea', but I would have a lot of problems saying 'Korea is a democratic country in the continent of...', if in fact Korea was not a democracy. The difference is, if it calls itself the European community and we say it does, we are merely reporting a fact. If we claim it is a community, without evidence, then that is imposing our own opinions. So this comes back to the question of the generally accepted meaning of the common english word, 'community', and whether it is an apt description of the European Union. I am inclined to say that it is not. I notice that in earlier discussions others also thought that the word 'association' was better. It is rather more neutral.

(Somewhat aside, on your last point, I don't personally regard joining the EU as giving up any sovereignty. Rather, I regard it as a clever way of controlling other states.)Sandpiper 15:44, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Can you give an exact example of the places where you don't like it used? - J Logan t: 08:43, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
First sentence of the article, which is a definition of the EU:The European Union (EU) is a political and economic community with supranational and intergovernmental features. I don't mind the phrase European community being used as a synonym for European Union for purposes of variety when used as a noun in the article, it is our asserting it is a 'community' which bugs me, not the EU doing so. Sandpiper

Forgive me for asking, but how does discussion relate to the content of the article? This talk page is not a general discussion about the EU. Blue-Haired Lawyer (formerly Caveat lector) 12:44, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

sorry, but the article is about the EU. Isn't what the thing is relevant? Sandpiper 13:07, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Much of the talk wasn't BHL, but the point just raised is. Fair enough Sandpiper, you have a point in that instance, but is that not the case with international community - where most are at war with each other? For that matter any community, why else would the police need communuity support officers? Even family, how many of them are cordial? I understand though to the average reader it could still be misleading. How about if we wikilink it to something more exact? - as discussions on rewriting the intro are hell. - J Logan t: 13:39, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Police community officers are officers resoponsible for a certain geographical area, or at least some established 'community' which actually physically exists. The 'international community' artcle as of when I looked just now seems to be making the point I am making. That an organisation may use the word 'community' to spin its own image and make it seem more friendly and consolidated, whatever the truth. In a definition of what the organisation actually is, rather than what it would wish to appear, we are not interested in what it calls itself, but what it actually is. links explain ehat a word means. In this instance the word being used has the wrong meaning, so no amount of linking is going to make it right. As I also said, the alternative word 'association' has already been proposed in previous discussions by others. Sandpiper 14:03, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Founding treaties edit convenience break

Woah woah, I just read "Scottish nationalism" and "shooting".. as a Scottish nationalist myself I want to assure that it wouldn't be the case in Scotland if such a thing were to happen! Can't really be compared to Ireland here. Anyhoooow. I just wanted to say that I do generally agree with what I think you're saying Sandpiper in the sense that the article should avoid give a false impression of what the EU is, that indeed it is not a federal state or any nonsense like that. But, here, I think I have to say that the word "community" is completely the correct word. I mean at the moment there is still a "European Community" pillar in the EU, and it is far beyond a free trade association. I don't think the word "community" serves to mislead anybody here as to what the EU is. Rather that is done with sections on religion, sports and so on. --Simonski 19:36, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

so what would you say is the meaning of the word 'community', as distinct from my so far preference 'association'. Not the meaning the EU gives to these words, but the meaning a dictionary definition or normal usage gives to these words, and why do you think 'community' describes the EU more exactly? Sandpiper 20:23, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
If I'm 100% honest, its just personal preference. I've been dealing with "Community law" as they call it for so long that it just sticks in your head. Plus, I didn't think there was anything wrong with it for the same reason as somebody else mentioned earlier, that there are always references to an "international community" without it in any way deriving from the sovereignty/identity of the nations involved. However, I should say that I wouldn't oppose changing it to association, though surely "organisation" would just be the best term if you weren't going to use "community". --Simonski 00:11, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
so I had recourse to the dictionary. It indeed specifically includes one definition of 'community' as 'a group of nations having certain interests in common'. It has other definitions which all tend to emphasise people working together/living together/having common interests. Arguably this is exactly the meaning some people want. My objection is that it does not have enough 'edge'. The EU is not as cosy as this. There is significant strife between people forced to make compromises. 'Organisation' strikes me as bringing to mind a business concern, though the dictionary does offer 'a body of administrative officials, as of a political party, a government department, etc', which does fit. However, I might be happy if instead of simply 'community' it said 'community of states', emphasising that what is coming together is the governments, not the people, and defining exactly what sort of community is meant. This would also have a knock-on effect on the next sentence, which would have to be reworded since the first line would then introduce the concept of states. I also have problems with 'supranational and intergovernmental features', on the grounds that this is singularly complicted. Does it really convey to a reader what the EU is or just mystify him? The very first sentence really ought to be an explanation, not a riddle, but at the very least these terms ought to be explained within the paragraph, which they aren't. Anyone wanting to know in a (readily understandable) nutshell what the EU is ought to be able to get it from the first line, or at least the first para. Sandpiper 02:18, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
"Community of states"... I like it. Actually reads so much better, and is more NPOV than "community". Could easily be said at the moment that "community" reflects an editor's view on the EU. --Simonski 10:10, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
On your definition "working together/living together/having common interests" - isn't that what the EU is doing? Common interests, working together on laws, policies etc. If ever a bunch of states could be described as a community its Europe, no where else will you find co-operation to this extent. Fine it is not harmonious but I think it is close enough. On association and organisation, you say association and you might think of a free trade area or a group of countries talking about issues, perhaps doing some small work. And organisation brings to mind the UN, WTO etc. I think it would be more misleading to use those terms considering how radically different the EU is. I'd be fine with community of states though, that makes sense from either perspective. But on supranational and intergovernmental features, stop looking for the perfect definition because it isn't there. We've gone over this over and over again, those words are wikilinked so they can look into it but there is no way we can get an ideal definition as even leaders and professors have no clue what it is. - J Logan t: 10:27, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I am a firm believer that writing sentences which have words in which people do not understand is just bad writing. If really no one knows what the EU is, then that is exactly what we should say. We should absolutely not use double talk intended to have no meaning. My specific distinction about 'community' is that while I am content to accept a community of states cooperating, I am not happy that it is a community of people cooperating. My general impression is that the people are dragged along kicking and screaming in the wake of their governments, and occasionally rebel. If it was left to an open vote, the new reform treaty would not pass. Above, Lear claimed the EU and the UN were obviously totally different. I have not had an answer from him explaining why he thinks this, it is not obvious to me. Perhaps you might have a go? Sandpiper 10:23, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Even if Lear were to provide an answer here I doubt it'd be of any use to the question. His stance is that of the German media in general, that the EU should eventually become an advanced federal state. This is despite there being an article in the new Reform Treaty which effectively underlines that this will never be the case. Unsurprisingly this then leads people in this camp to attack countries such as Poland and the UK for "holding the EU back", when instead it is simply that there is no common interest in integrating beyond what is necessary. These people tend to also be very opposed to Turkey joining because it would further underline the diversity of the nation states forming the organisation. However, although the UN arguably has just as much influence on cultural issues as the EU does, the two are very different. The EU, it is hard to explain, but I think it mainly comes down to the fact that EU law, when within the EU's competence, overrides incompatible national law, which the UN doesn't. It all stems from there. Plus there is no common UN currency (though it would be fantastic if there was), no common binding UN labour laws and so on... all in all the EU is just a very unique international organisation, compared to the UN which is at the end of the day mainly producing advisory laws/regulations. Confusing or not, the description given on the page at the moment is pretty much the correct one! --Simonski 13:05, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

(indented back)The EU and the UN have different areas of competence. I was under the impression that the UN was responsible for laws obliging britain to accept refugees, ie freedom of movement. If Britain invades France it would be a violation of agreements made with the UN, which we have agreed to obey and effectively ceded our sovereign and traditional right to bash the french. The Un would then take action (or not) according to the prescribed laws which we have agreed to be bound by, and send an army to chuck us out. UN law overrides Uk law within its competence. We are not permitted to pass a law which requires all xx(insert race here)xx members to be exterminated. IF UK troops are ordered to commit an act illegal under international law, they are obliged to refuse. (Hence a little fuss where the head of the UK army pointedly demanded a legal opinion that it would be legal, before invading Iraq). If Mr Blair is not putting at least an occasional thought to the inconvenience to his holiday plans should someone arrest him for war crimes, he is being careless. The US specifically obtained a derogation against their nationals being arrested for such crimes. Sandpiper 14:17, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

The thing is, its a difficult question. The Iraq war basically blurred the whole International law issue, I mean its clear now that a number of countries can get away with ignoring to an extent their UN obligations. Sure the International Court of Justice is there to try and solve disputes, but its rulings are pretty much advisory. Furthermore, individuals can not challenge UN laws before a court etc. In the EU this can be done though, and EU law is (though I'll admit I'm simplifying the issue here) now part and parcel of national law for the member states of the EU. From a UK perspective, UN law doesn't strictly override UK law as here (and neither does EU law) the law is what parliament says it is. For example - if the UK wanted to, tomorrow it could make a law banning all refugees, and the only backlash it would face would be political. Legally, the law would stand (subject to the rule of law, which is itself just convention basically).
Without going into what the ICC can do etc, I dunno, the EU is surely different in the fact that if member states don't fulfill the obligations they signed up for, that they can be brought before the ECJ and forced to pay a fine/pay damages to individuals. National courts of the member states are "enforcers" of EU law acting alongside the ECJ, and there really is no similar framework with the UN. The UN still isn't passing regulations on how long EU citizens can work per week etc. What I guess I'm trying to say is that EU law, and in turn the EU, plays a far more direct role with citizens than the UN does. --Simonski 14:51, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
the two institutions are designed to do different things. How they act is governed by what they do. In principle in each case the member states have made an agreement to do a certain thing, and made themselves subject to penalties if they break the agreement. EU law tends to be about trivial matters, at the very most resulting in a fine, modest by the standards of national economies. In general, member states are content to carry out the rules dilligently, they want to belong to the club and gain the benefits it provides, so enforcement isn't a serious issue. More a question of catching people at it and ticking them off. With the Un, it deals with larger issues. Either absolutely nothing happens, or the other member states get together and enforce action against the offender, first by sanctions and then by military action. There is a system of enforcement, which differs, but there is a system which has the same effect. In the EU case, if a country really doesn't like the rules, it gets them changed. Margaret Thatchers rebate of Uk contributions comes to mind. I really don't see how fundamentally these differ. International treaty, system to make rules about obeying it, system to impose penalty for non-compliance. In each case there are benefits for members in the protection they get since other states are bound by the same rules. Sandpiper 21:10, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure either Microsoft or a number of Member States would agree. Have you seen some of the fines the Commission comes out with for some companies? Plus, to give a recent example, in 2004, France, for not fulfilling an obligation under EC law, was fined over €20,000,000. Not a massive blow to its GDP or anything, but hardly insignificant. It is as has been mentioned, difficult to compare the two organisations because one has primarily the aim of achieving world peace, the other the aim of achieving effective economic integration between member states (among other things). I mean I dunno, surely the development of concepts such as "EU citizenship", which now exist, its clear that the EU is not an international organisation similar to the UN. I guess its best described as a hybrid. I don't think you can say for the UN there has been a pooling of sovereignty in certain areas, which there has been with the EU. I would have disagreed with the Thatcher comment if it wasn't for the antics of Sarkozy and Blair recently, but it isn't always that simple for a Member State to do something like that these days in a community of 27 states, soon to probably be 28. --Simonski 23:52, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure about this, but I fancy there is such a thing as UN citizenship, or that they issue UN passports? Seem to remember someone having it. The UN is not a wholly global organisation. Aren't there some states which do not belong to it? Similarly, the EU is much bigger than it was and will continue to grow. Interesting to see if Russia eventually joins, or the arab states in north africa. Yes, I have seen the fines. A fine is only significant if it makes an appreciable difference to the person/thing which has to pay it, not whether €20,000,000 would help my personal pension plan. I couldn't say what the cost to a country of UN trade sanctions is. More or less than typical EU fines? The aim of an organisation is not what is important to consider. My home town council and the EU both seek to encourage trade within their area of authority, but I very much doubt we are going to start a wiki article for it on the basis that it has similar aims to the EU. It is the structure that matters, not the aim. Both are international treaty organisations with sovereign nations as members which have agreed to accept certain rules and a certain enforcement regime. What would really happen if France ultimately refused to pay those fines? I can see only two possibilities, either France left the EU, or the rules would be changed to smooth the matter over. Is there any mechanism to force France to leave if it absolutely refused to pay up? Sandpiper 12:05, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
There are mechanisms that would mean France would lose its voting rights in the Union if it didn't pay and continued to therefore breach its EU obligations, but with the Reform Treaty, and a huge EC treaty sitting in front of me which I don't have the will to go through at the moment, I can't say for certain whether there are provisions on being chucked out of the Union or anything. I would suspect there would be though.
As for UN citizenship, almost certainly not, I'm like 99% sure on that one, the only countries where you'd maybe see a "UN" passport per se would be for countries/regions currently administred by a UN mission such as Kosovo. UN trade sanctions, well we're probably talking about getting the WTO involved there, which I don't think has anywhere near as much effectiveness as getting the Commission involved on an EU level. What UN trade rules are we talking about here anyway? (And yeh I think there are a few states who aren't members, but they are miniscule in number and tend to be the most mental of rogue states) --Simonski 15:16, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Religion/Image:Europe belief in god.png

This map/image has been recently changed. Because of non-linear (unlogic) coloring, it now has become less readable and decreased in quality. Does anybody know how to reestablish the old version? all the best Lear 21 15:28, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

If you look at the full scale map it is fine. Abtract 15:39, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

It is not. The first thing you see is the map. Readers can´t distinguish the belief-percentage intuitively. The new map looks more colorful, maybe nicer, but is of no use. Lear 21 16:04, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps it is something you should deal with on the image talk page rather than here? - J Logan t: 16:55, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree the map is much worse, I also agree this should be discussed at the image page rather than here. Arnoutf 22:16, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

The issue is presented here because it affects this article. If anybody knows how to reinstate the old map technically, go for it. The editor of the new version has been informed and signalized no change. As the new map has become unreadable, I propose to install the following Image:Europe religion map en.png instead. all the best Lear 21 12:16, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

That map is acceptable as alternative. I edited your (Lear21) comment to make the link to the image. By inserting a colon before image you get an active link, but not the image. Arnoutf 15:21, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I've reverted the map to its previous version, for what it's worth. —Nightstallion 18:18, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for reverting it again. Arnoutf 21:23, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

missing Article 249, treaty of Rome

I was just looking at some of the refs. The section on legal systems has a ref note 50, which says article 249, treaty of Rome. According to wikisource, [18], this treaty only has 248 articles. Suggestions, anyone? Sandpiper 00:19, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

OK, the reference is misleading. It is not the treaty of Rome, but the treaty of Rome as amended, which is now the 'CONSOLIDATED VERSIONS OF THE TREATY ON EUROPEAN UNION AND OF THE TREATY ESTABLISHING THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY' [19]. I have amended reference 50 to include a web link to the actual amended treaty, but there are a number of other references to the Rome treaty which are also wrong and need amending. I am not quite sure whether these will all have to be individual reference entries of the same treaty on the same web page for the different article numbers, or if they can be combined in some way. Also other treaties are mentioned which may be incorrect. Sandpiper 01:16, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
This is a problem with the EU treaties. Books on EU law may have something like "Article 249 (ex 189) EC" when first mentioned. Perhaps we should do the same. When the Reform Treaty comes into force, we will probably need four references, such as Art 248 (Nice) = Art 188c (Maastrict) = Art III-384 (proposed Constitution) = Art xxx-nnn (Lisbon) --Boson 02:02, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
If the wiki article is referring to an active treaty article which may have been moved about, then I think we ought to refer to where it is now, in the effective resulting treaty when all amendments have been applied. If what is being referenced is specifically the original to make some point, thn leave it as such. But it ought to be clear exactly how to look it up. Sandpiper 22:51, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Removal of Geography images

Both the Mont Blanc and the coastline are mentioned in the text, hence these images are supportive of the text (unlike the issue with the sports image see above). SouthernElectric this is clear violation of WP:POINT, stop destroying the article. Arnoutf 16:41, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Sport, Funnily enough, is mentioned in the sports section... SouthernElectric 16:52, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Put up anarchetyical sport (cycling is not it) in that case. Arnoutf 18:18, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Indeed that might well be the case but that doesn't give someone a reason to unilaterally remove a image they don't like, go find a better image and caption (like I tried to do) - it's equally as wrong to use WP:BOLD (to push a editorial style) POV as it is to use WP:POINT - especially if the said content is being discussed on the talk page. SouthernElectric 18:27, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Being bold is a good thing unless you are reckless ("Being Bold" does not excuse a disregard for verifiability). You boldly made the edits to sports; which is fair enough. However (quoting from [[WP:BOLD}} "any changes you make that turn out badly can be reverted, often quite painlessly. It is important not to be insulted if your changes are reverted or edited further.". You can interpret your own reaction.
That you first went out to put in pictures where others deemed them non-necessary is not a problem. However, when your idea was reverted you went out to remove images randomly. This is a strange reversal (from inserting images to removing) and I could only conclude that your did that to make a point, that you reinserted the cycling image is evidence of that idea. Arnoutf 18:43, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree, the images are linked directly to text. Although I do not like a lot of images it is not so comparable to the sports section (far more generic and contentious)) and doing so appears to be for the sole point of making a point. You could just raise the example in discussion rather than make an edit on that point. - J Logan t: 19:19, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Further Reading section

I know with the whole Lear vandalising the Sports section that there are more important things to be done here but I thought I'd give my thoughts as well on the bit at the end with the extra reading... I dunno, maybe its just me but it doesn't come across as a balanced list. Somebody might want to update Craig and DeBurca there to the new 4th edition that's out. Its quite difficult here I know because there's just so much literature on the organisation, but I think if there are going to be things like the "United States of Europe" book then there should be another to balance it out with the opposing angle etc. --Simonski 17:32, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

I was considering that a while back, but as you point out there is just so much on it and a lot of biased books. I just see someone coming and poping in one book by UKIP, then someone else taking that out and replacing it with one by the Robert Schuman foundation, and so on and so on. It would be great to have a further reading section considering it would be in high demand and the information we provide here is limited, but I just don't see how we can keep it stable. This article has enough vandalism as it is. But if anyone knows how to get around it? - J Logan t: 08:40, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Here are the details of Craig and Thingy for copying when protection is removed:
  • Craig, Paul (2007). 'EU Law, Text, Cases and Materials (4th ed. ed.). Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-927389-8.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
I think these two also give a different perspective:
  • Steiner, Josephine (2006). EU Law (9th ed. ed.). Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-927959-3.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  • Barnard, Catherine (2007). The Substantive Law of the EU: The Four Freedoms (2nd ed. ed.). Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-929839-6. 
And this article has some discussion on the nature of the EU, suggesting a convergence in concepts of governance because nation states are also changing:

Economy, new sections

When I have a moment, I am going to take up a suggestion by Simonski to have sections dedicated to the four freedoms and to competition law. With luck I'll have some base up by the end of the week. If people know could sources on these topics it would be most welcome. - J Logan t: 08:40, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Lear21's conduct

Please be aware that I have asked for advice on this matter here. Sorry if this has a temporary effect on the article‎. SouthernElectric 11:58, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Go for it, discussions here have evidently broken down. - J Logan t: 17:54, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
I second JLogan, go for dispute resolution. Arnoutf 18:10, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
I got the impression AGK didn't fully read everything, I don't blame him, but I definitely got that impression! Ah well, bring on the dispute resolution then indeed. Will be interesting to see the outcome. --Simonski 18:56, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

European Council/ Council of ministers

I am rather bothered by the distinction being made here and in other articles between the european council and the council of ministers. In all cases each country sends along a delegate and they talk about what there is to talk about. If it is the heads of state, they talk about big issues, or matters left over from council of ministers meetings. If councils of ministers, they chat about whatever their specialism is, I take it different ministers depending on whoever was considered responsible for that brief. While the EU might make a distinction between the case of a national leader attending or his subordinates, I do not see that it is a material difference. In each case it is a delegate from the each nation coming for a nice cuppa, a chat, and a bit of sight seeing, and we should say so. The role is exactly the same, so this distinction in name of the meetings is being overemphasised. Sandpiper 10:36, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

It is formally a separate body, mentioned as such in the treaties. And the European Council does not engage in legislative activity, or in fact hold any formal power what so ever.- J Logan t: 11:13, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Agree with J Logan. The Council of the European Union and the European Council are two completely different bodies. They were created at different times, have different membership, different roles, different powers, meet in different places, with different frequencies. The European Council meets about four times a year, in varying locations. The Council of the European Union has about 80 meetings a year, mainly in Brussels; its work is prepared by COREPER, and it has a secretariat of nearly 3000 people. --Boson 16:22, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Gauging Consensus (straw Poll)

OK, one last attempt to see what editors opinion is;

  • Should the sports section be deleted with it's content re written in to either the economy or a created 'regulative' section? [____] (either a yes or no answer please) and then sign & date.

Please do not add explanatory notes, a simply one word answer is all that is required.
Should anyone alter or delete your opinion you are free to revert etc. but remember to note the event in the edit summery (not the page) - the intension is not to start yet another argument but to get a clear idea of consensus so we can clearly ask for the page to be unblocked having sorted out our own dispute or go to WP dispute arbitration. Please do not respond to any comments that might get placed below.

Should the sports section be deleted with it's content re written in to either the economy or a created 'regulative' section?
Please enter either Yes/No and then sign below;

Yes. --Simonski 13:15, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
No. - 14:00, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
No. --Boson 16:25, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes. - J Logan t: 16:27, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
yes Arnoutf 17:50, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
No. --Lear 21 18:24, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
No.Nightstallion 19:02, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
No. - S. Solberg J. 19:06, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes -- SouthernElectric 21:08, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes. Sandpiper 09:56, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

I will not enter my opinion until sometime after 18:00hrs UTC as I do not want to appear leading. Message end: SouthernElectric 11:24, 13 November 2007 (UTC)Now entered SouthernElectric 21:08, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm thinking this is conclusive now the other editors are joining in. Perhaps if you want to continue the argument should be attempted again before hand? - J Logan t: 19:12, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Not sure what I understand what you're asking/saying. Is this a comment on how the straw poll is being carried out?
I'm assuming we're discounting the non-registered vote, lest it become a farce here where we all ask like minded colleagues to come and give a Yes/No vote in our favour. On that assumption, it seems to be there is no consensus regarding the question. If the section is kept and this goes no further I think I will have to challenge the neutrality of sections of the article as its quite clear that certain individuals are not providing objective edits. Can I just say again how disappointing it is that the other side has failed to compromise in any form at all here. Keeping the relevant parts of the sports section within another section would be a fair result for everybody. --Simonski 21:52, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I think JLogan means (correct me if I'm wrong) that there is no consensus, that this was already clear, and that the poll only confirms what we already knew. We have to solve this through talking as the opinions are divided. Arnoutf 21:54, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
The problem is Arnoutf that nothing can be done, for as long as there is a party to the discussion who's attitude is, quote "for as long as I have internet access there will be a sport section". Lear is unyielding, and I am guessing very much that Solberg has taken up a similar position. How do you deal with somebody who comes to a negotiating table pretty much saying "Ok, you accept my deal or there is no deal". Thank goodness for real encyclopedias where people can get objective information rather than internet ones dominated by biased editors. I don't see how any of us can give a single inch until Lear does. --Simonski 22:03, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
It is clear that it is not only Lear21 who thinks the section should be kept; although I agree he cannot be reasoned with (at least not on this issue). Arnoutf 22:43, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
The question then is, should the section stay the the same length (word count), at the moment it's around 130 words (not including superscript or actual citations) or be expanded, I'm getting the impression that it might not be the section length but the content that is the problem? SouthernElectric 22:55, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I should emphasise that my comment was made on the assumption that most of the other 'No' editors would be sensible enough to discuss a compromise, ie. keeping the sports section as it is at present, instead of merging it as the 'Yes' editors would have liked. I'm quite willing to be the Lear of the 'Yes' editors here if needs be, but I'd hope I wouldn't need to be. --Simonski 23:12, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Found a little typo

The unanimity and difficult issues treated under the CFSP makes disagreements, such as those which occurred over the war in Iraq,[66] are not uncommon.

There is an extra ARE in the sentence and should read: The unanimity and difficult issues treated under the CFSP makes disagreements, such as those which occurred over the war in Iraq,[66] not uncommon.

DSaenz175 02:41, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, can do nothing about it now as some admin has decided to fully protect the article; due to the unwillingness of editors to come to a mutually acceptable compromise on the very small sports section this article is now fully protected. Arnoutf 09:10, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
The template should cause this section to automatically appear on an admin noticeboard where hopefully an admin will carry out the edit. There are quite a lot of minor errors in the article.Sandpiper 10:00, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Building consensus: straw poll # two

OK, so the sports section remains, the next logical question is;

  • Should the sports section be limited in word count, content and be sport neutral?
    In other words should the information be in a summery and condensed form with links to existing or new articles were the subject is dealt with in more detail.

Please do not add explanatory notes, a simply one word answer is all that is required.
(Again) Should anyone alter or delete your opinion you are free to revert etc. but remember to note the event in the edit summery (not the page) - the intension is not to start yet another argument but to get a clear idea of consensus so we can clearly ask for the page to be unblocked having sorted out our own dispute or go to WP dispute arbitration.

Should the sports section be limited in word count, content and be sport neutral?
Please enter either Yes/No and then sign below;

YesSandpiper 10:07, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes --Simonski 10:20, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

(Again) I will not enter my opinion until sometime after 18:00hrs UTC as I do not want to appear leading. Message end: SouthernElectric 09:40, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

I think this is in every count an ambiguous question. (Yes it should be limited in word count at let's say two million words; yes it should limited in content, to sports I guess, yes it should be sport neutral, all sports played in the EU should be mentioned). I know you do not mean any of the above, but answering YES to you question would open this up. I would rather rephrase to: Should the sports section be limited to one paragraph (Y?N). Should it be limited to cases where the connection between the sports and the EU specifically is supported (Y/N). Should it be about sports in general, rather then giving examples of specific sports (Y/N) (to be honest I do not completely understand what you mean with sport neutral-this is my best guess). Arnoutf 09:51, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
My initial reaction was rather like Arnoutfs, it did sound like 'should this section follow the normal rules of wiki'. Your explanation above is more helpfull, but again it is generally exactly what applies to each existing section of the article, where most everything is a summary of a bigger article. Sandpiper
Exactly, a 'yes' vote here could easily be interpreted as anything. It was never an issue of the article being sport neutral but rather EU status neutral. The inclusion of a sports page presupposes that the EU has had something to do with sport, or that the EU is similar to a state with a common culture, which it is not. Our Russian, and some of our Asian friends are also part of things like UEFA. I vote yes (I just changed from no as I was even confused by the question and realised that no would be saying give the section carte blanche), though my yes should be taken as meaning I would only accept the sports section as it is currently. --Simonski 10:19, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
OK, lets scrub it. SouthernElectric 10:34, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps we should approach it from the other side; the current version; by posing the question: "Is the current sports section (one paragraph, focussing on EU sports policies, with an image of a football stadium; all of it embedded within the culture section), an acceptable compromise (we are talking about a compromise, meaning that we are not talking about your preferred version, but whether you can live with the current version at the end of the day). Answer YES or NO. If answering no, please list (bulleted list with 10 word max arguments per bullet point) what you think is needed to make this acceptable."Arnoutf 10:45, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

In that case, here we go...
Yes. (barely acceptable) --Simonski 11:50, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
No (not with a non sports neutral image, such an image puts undue weight on one sport) SouthernElectric 12:02, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes Arnoutf 12:13, 14 November 2007 (UTC)


I have no problem with the pic as generic, what would you suggest Southern? The text content is relevant to the EU. My only issue would be if at some future time there is a hunt to reduce the length of the article, and this would be a clear candidate. Sandpiper 13:57, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Well I would be happy with the image if the word football is removed, lets face it the caption is meaningless as it stands, is football the only popular sport - hardly - so why give that one sport extra weight in the caption, "Spectator sports are popular in EU member states (Camp Nou in Barcelona)" is a far more sport neutral caption, the image still fits with the textual content whilst people who know nothing of European culture will not be mislead into thinking that every EU citizen is 'football crazy'. Personally I think there must be a more generic image in the public domain, the outside of a national sports stadium, one that is used for multiple sporting events perhaps? SouthernElectric 14:55, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
no problem with leaving out the word football, I agree it is just an example of someone playing sport, indicating from the picture of a big stadium and lots of people that it is taken seriously. Sandpiper —Preceding comment was added at 15:25, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Something general: The EU article is influenced and created by several editors from more than 5 different countries incl. Non-EU-member states. It has, among others, integrated ideas that includes the following assumption: That the process and evolution of the EU is shaped and enacted by its member states, specifically through decisions by the European Council and the Council of the European Union. The article has therefore included developments & information in most sections that are present, influential, relevant and wide spread in many member states and sometimes neighbouring countries. It has lead to the inclusion of: 1. The Iron Curtain image in 'History' 2. A map including Non-EU-European countries and parts of Africa in 'Geography' 3. The Schengen Information System in 'Justice, freedom and security' 4. The biggest trading partner in 'Economy' 5. Russia as energy supplier in 'Energy' 6. Image Öresund bridge / ESA in 'Infrastructure' 7. 'Demographics' section 8. Immigrant languages in 'Languages' 9. 'Religion' 10. European capital of Culture in 'Culture' 11. Bologna process in 'Education and research'

In this respect it seems coherent & appropriate to mention that all EU member states are part of UEFA and other sport associations in Europe. The referenced paragraph [20] seems to be in line of the mentioned reasoning. all the best Lear 21 16:09, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

By that rational the IOC should be mentioned to, the FIA (having it's headquarters in one of the original treaty member states) should be mentioned, the FIA (motor-sport world governing body) is also far more euro-centric than football is, why is it that you think that football is some how extra special that it needs to be placed on a pedestal - or is it the fact that football is not noteworthy in a European sporting context that you feel the need to demand that your chosen favourite sport is so mentioned...
One simple question to Lear, are you at all prepared to compromise at all, YES OR NO? SouthernElectric 16:30, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

The FIA, but more specifically the Formula One is certainly relevant as the most successful drivers are of EU member states origin and the series ís euro-centric. So yes, this could be included. The IOC is a global organization and more than 4/5 of its members are not EU-European-countries, it loses on relevance and should´nt be included. Lear 21 16:44, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

"The IOC is a global organisation", and football isn't?! What frecking planet......
The whole point people have been making is that there is limited space available and that if one sport is mentioned by name then 10 more sports could and should be mentioned (and I don't mean just listing them), what content do you want to delete to make way for this sports section as the article already has a length (file size) warning? SouthernElectric 16:56, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Because of the vast potential of content, articles like the EU are widely tolerated by it´s overlength and even achieve higher status (GA) without trimming. Compare length of articles like USA, UN, UK, Russia. The Bosman para in sports could be trimmed while the suggested referenced para has about the same length. By the way, The mentioning of UEFA is advocated which has higher relevance for EU members and not FIFA. Lear 21 17:12, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Lear, Yes or No? As for your list earlier, there are a number of editors who would now happily see the religion, sports and similar other sections condensed/removed as they are not relevant/misrepresentative of what the EU is. Much like with the EU itself, there is divided opinion as to what should be on the page. And I don't get how your list above then suddenly brings us to the conclusion that a sports section is justified, there is no link at all. As was noted by SE, you go down the UEFA route and you'll not be able to justify excluding everything else. Plus the Bosman ruling is far more relevant to sports and the EU than the fact that all members of the EU are part of UEFA. But this has all been discussed above already, several times, and it is clear that whilst you do not agree with our point of view, we do not agree with yours (or Solberg etcs) The fact is we're looking for a compromise here and we're yet to hear you say where you're willing to compromise? Care to help us out here? All the best. --Simonski 18:56, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Sleep a night over my arguments (list 1-11), then read again. If not understood, read the CIA-EU entry. Still not understood, Sleep another night, Repeat reading. In the mean time read articles like USA, Russia and others and learn what to include and what not. And so on. If this article basically follows your "the EU is its policies" argument consequently, half of the article (list 1-11) had to be removed. You can imagine what the answer is. As I mentioned before, I´m only discussing proposals of including and excluding content, strictly issue oriented and not theoretical polls. Lear 21 19:29, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Lear, I read the CIA document you mentioned on my user page. did not seem to mention sport. If they don't think it relevant why should we? The EU is not a country. While an article on England might talk about the national sport of football and the England team, the EU just does not have a national sport.Sandpiper 20:23, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Lear, what the hell do you think we have been doing for the last week, how about YOU sleeping on what just about everyone else has been saying or should we take your silence on my question as an emphatic NO on your willingness to compromise? SouthernElectric 20:21, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Damnit I just lost a big reply there. What I was trying to say in general was the only thing left to sleep on other than Lear's rehashed arguments are how to rid the EU page of the plague that is your shocking inability to compromise with other editors. The EU is not a nation state or a federation like the US or the Russian Federation, so quoting those pages is just about as useful (and by that I mean not useful at all) as quoting us the UN, WTO, NATO etc pages. Stop trying to press your frankly odd agenda forward here please. Perhaps before bed tonight you should read a book on "How to Compromise". At the moment I guess you're stuck between reading your favourite CIA article and the bestseller "how to ruin a wikipedia article" --Simonski 20:29, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Last comment for the next days: The EU is not a nation state and will not become one in our lifetime, correct. But it is a state-like-entity and acts as one on a multitude of political and economical fields. Even if not enacted by a classical central power (Brussels) its members developed a significant degree of similar interests and decide accordingly. As a compact entity in its own right it has been identified by statistical institutions like the IMF, CIA and others. It also lead to the inclusion into country listings, for instance all relevant lists in the Wikipedia Talk:European Union/inclusion in lists of countries. Because of this broad acknowledgement internationally and within internal Wikipedia structures the EU-article-layout-&-content looks how it looks. There won´t be a major deletion of content or sections because it would disregard this state of acknowledgement. The conclusion that there won´t be any compromise either in this respect is obvious and inevitable. all the best to my friends from the island Lear 21 21:11, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Maybe I'm mistaken, or looked at the wrong page, but when I checked the other day it wasn't on Wikipedia's list of countries (the idea of something being true because Wikipedia said so however is a laughable one). Furthermore that debate you linked us to once over whether it should be listed as a country or not, one only has to look further into who was involved in it and you see the political bias involved with many editors. "it is a state-like-entity and acts as one on a multitude of political and economical fields".. Yes Lear, true, but not regarding sport, nor religion. The EU is a unique body and therefore does not have to follow the structure of either UN style pages or nation state style pages. Pick up a real encyclopedia (and no, not the CIA page Lear before you get the link out again) and you'll see what it should look like. The French page doesn't have a sports section, can you go and annoy them instead over the issue instead of us?
For as long as you're unwilling to compromise, and it certainly isn't difficult for you to do here, I'm quite willing to keep changing it back to how it should read, within my rights to do so as are the others who agree with me (I have not said I will delete the religion section etc, more that I would argue for their deletion, so I'm not getting rid of anything I don't have the right to do so with.). And lets make one thing clear here, we've hardly made it hard for you to compromise - we have said we would be willing for you and Solberg etc to keep the sports page, but just without those two or three sentences that you want to put back in. The fact that you can't agree to that, a compromise that Sarkozy himself would be happy to walk away with, is mindboggling. I'm afraid you aren't just going to stamp your foot and get your way here Lear, you have to learn how to help reach a consensus, and that does not involve rehashing arguments and bringing us round in circles. --Simonski 21:40, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Simonski, please don't lower yourself to Lear's level. I think we need to escalate this 'problem', it's not the first article that he has disrupted and the fact that he is signally unwilling to compromise (even to the point of using threatening language) means that we need to involve someone who has the power to make and enforce consensus - lets face it, if this dispute has not involved Lear the rest of us would have reached a consensus days ago, so I don't think anyone but Lear has anything to fear from a formal disputes process. What do people think? SouthernElectric 22:04, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Enforcable is important, from past experience volluntary is ineffective. However on "don't lower yourself to Lear's level" - I think that has been a problem for both sides, please try to remain detached in that respect as it damages the argument.- J Logan t: 12:09, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
That is all very well but at the same time it is undeniable that one side has made significant concessions, whilst the other side has remained clearly unwilling to try and reach a centre ground. --Simonski 13:29, 15 November 2007 (UTC)


I just looked up what that means (not good, see my other comments on not writing things using words which an average reader will not understand). It says 'a word meaning someone who comes from somewhere'. Well, European means someone who comes from Europe, not someone who is a citizen of the EU. People may be EU citizens without being European, and this will no doubt be more the case in the future. Sandpiper 14:24, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Oh please, It is European Union, it is adopted by the EU as it seeks to build its identity around that. It means both EU and Europe. It is used for everything, European environment agency for example and European citizens. Yes it can also mean people outside the EU but it applies to the EU just the same. - J Logan t: 14:52, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the word means 'belonging to Europe', exactly as you are using it when you say 'European Union'. It does not mean 'belonging to the European Union'. Otherwise 'European Union' would mean 'the union of those states already belonging to the european treaty union'. I'm not sure how to say it using different words, but if 'European' means 'pertaining to the european union, then it would be ridiculous to say European Union, because it would be repeting the same thing. The word does not mean, pertaining to the European union, which is essentially what is being claimed in the info box. Spanish means 'from spain', english means 'from england', european means 'from Europe'. There is no word that I am aware of meaning 'from the European Union'. We are not here to invent words. If that is what is meant I would say 'EU citizen, as it does at customs and immigration in big letters, 'this channel for EU nationals'. It absolutely does not say 'this channel for Europeans', as that would be a different thing entirely.Sandpiper 15:19, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Hmm.. thing is, in outside examples, taking our beloved sport case, Platini came out today talking about defending the interests of "European football", going on then to talk among other things, about Russian football as well as part of "European" football. Plainly Russia is not in Europe, and the point I think is that its just one of these phrases that is used which is not to be taken in the literal sense always! --Simonski 15:48, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
As an analogy, consider American and United States. A similar problem exists there, as the word American can have different meanings depending on its context. It's a "feature" of the English language I'm afraid that such ambiguities exist. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 19:45, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
The difference is that if someone says to me 'I met an american yesterday', I naturally assume they mean someone from the USA. If it was someone from canada, I would expect them to have said Canadian, not American. On the other hand, if they say 'I met a European'. I do not understand them to mean a citizen of the European union, but someone from the continent of Europe. Thats just how it is. Claiming in the article that people take 'european' to normally mean a EU something, is just wrong and is pushing an agenda. I agree there is a difficulty in what might be said instead, but as things stand this claim is wishfull thinking. Sandpiper —Preceding comment was added at 19:55, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I understand the distinction you're making, but let's be honest. The EU, being the type of "sui generis" organization that it is, does not engender itself to such a conversation taking place, and neither does the continent of Europe. You would say "I met a German" or "I met an Italian" instead. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 20:04, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Wrong perception. If you read American press, the term 'European' dominantly applies to EU Europeans and their respective countries. Plus, there is only one major half-European country left not being EU: Russia! (The importance and Europeaness of Norway, Switzerland, Ukraine and others is recognized of course) Lear 21 20:09, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Haha, I wouldn't be surprised if that entire comment above was based on the CIA article. --Simonski 20:19, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Ben, surely you are also saying that you cannot define a demonym entry for the EU, because there isn't one. The entry ought to say that nationals are referred to by the appropriate word for the country they belong to. Lear, I would imaging that statistically, and by coincidence, most Europeans are also EU citizens, and vice versa. Did these magazines mean 'citizens of the EU', or citizens of Europe', or were they just muddling them up? I would imagine it is a very natural mistake for an American to make, coming from the United States of America, to look on the European Union and think European. Sandpiper —Preceding comment was added at 20:36, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

[21]Lear 21 —Preceding comment was added at 21:17, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

What, only 303 hits on google, I usually get thousands for commonly used words. Sandpiper
Sandpiper, I was not saying that, but I acknowledge that my arguments could be used to say that. I suppose I would argue that it could be listed as a proper denonym if we can show cases where it is used unambiguously to refer to citizens of the EU. I suspect that most uses of this term would not pass this test. However, if you look at Lear's list above you'll find a few that do pass this test, IMO. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 21:31, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I see what you are saying, that the term 'european' is sometimes used specifically to mean 'pertaining to the EU'. I looked at the first hit in Lears list and I quote an example of the problem I see:While European Union policymakers are aware of the strategic implications if Iran achieves a nuclear capability, the official said the European public seemed largely oblivious.. Notice it says 'European Union policymakers' and 'European public'. If we were talking about Spain, it would have read 'Spanish policymakers', and perhaps 'Spanish public'. Note, no 'union' would be needed to make it clear whose policymakers we are talking about. In this example the public is generically European (arguably EU or non EU), but to make it clear when we are referring specifically to EU entitities, it is necessary to say in full 'European Union...policymakers'. Just saying 'European' is not enough to unambiguously make it clear that what is meant is the EU. Hence the info box is misleading. Sandpiper 00:43, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Just on your point of "European Union policymakers" - that would be to distingish them from national policymakers who are European. And increasingly I am asking myself why I am wasting time replying to your complaints, I mean is this the most worthwhile point you can make about this article? Seems very POV. Lets get on with work shall we? - J Logan t: 11:55, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
No, it is a small error on the infobox. Whether it is fixable is what we are debating. Really, the problem is that no word has the necessary unambiguous meaning. My point is that it is allways necessary to postfix 'European' with 'union' to create the accurate demonym. If you want to use big words no one understands in your infobox, at least assign them accurately. Sandpiper 19:19, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Sorry but this article is doomed...

...and how does one keep WP:CIVIL when someone is so belligerently unmoving as Lear is? :~( SouthernElectric 17:36, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

I have to agree that it is a disgrace how certain people are so unable to edit from an objective point of view. I've said it a few times now, whilst on the whole its a good article, the final third appears wholly amateurish, with irrelevant info serving only to satisfy the imagination of certain editors that the EU is an "integrated super-state", despite there even being an article in the new Reform Treaty to guarantee this will never be the case. Describing what the EU is to others is a difficult and complicated matter, and one not served well by the inclusion of information that misrepresents what the organisation is. Ie. The EU is not tied to any religion, and has no involvement in religious matters at all. Yet there is a section on religion. Go figure. I'd say even the "Good Article" status of this article is in danger due to an inherent bias and therefore lack of a neutral point of view. There is undoubtedly a centre ground which we can all agree on and the sooner it is found the sooner this farce can end! --Simonski 19:08, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, its not such a bad article. I don't mind articles containing less important information provided they are not crowding out something more important. If I have an issue, I am bothered that the article paints the EU as somewhat more substantial and popular than it is. Part of that is implying that the EU does things like providing sports. Sandpiper 20:46, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Why the page is doomed unless there is no compromise reached: "Stubbornness" -
"Some users cannot come to agreement with others who are willing to talk to them about an editing issue, and repeatedly make changes opposed by everyone else. This is regrettable—you may wish to see our dispute resolution pages to get help. Repeated deletion or addition of material may violate the three-revert rule, but this is not "vandalism" and should not be dealt with as such".
So as soon as this page is unblocked, at the moment I can't see anything other than the edit war resuming, unless the compromise offered above is accepted. --Simonski 21:53, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
You are too pessimistic, a page can run perfectly well on three reverts a day. If anyone goes over this, then they will eventually get banned. If it is only one person doing it, then it becomes clear exactly who is responsible. But good faith reverts because someone really believes their version is correct/better are not vandalism. Sandpiper 00:26, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Lear is supported by others this time, there is no majority againt so the other POV has to be taken into account. I'm sure there is a reasonable course where both sides' interests may be satisifed even if their demands are not. But on "a page can run perfectly well on three reverts a day" I would disagree, it could survive but not well. The issue needs to be resolved not ignored. Besides, a high revert count would bar us from getting FA. - J Logan t: 11:58, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
This page was already getting more incidental edits than that, which were regularly reverted. If people were busy reverting it might encourage them to check what has been added also.Sandpiper 19:13, 15 November 2007 (UTC)


While I remain not intimately familier with the article, it does not contain the word 'subsidiarity', and I suspect neither contains the concept. At least in the UK this pops up occasionally, the principle that the EU will not act in any matter which can equally well be handled at a national level. I fancy there was some more about it in the constitution/reform treaty. This sticks in my mind as a favourite slogan of british governments demanding their own way over something or other, yet when it comes their turn to apply the rule and devolve power to regional or local assemblies which could equally well run something, they somehow fail to do so. Anyway, isn't subsidiarity meant to be an important principle of operation of the EU? Sandpiper 01:05, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Indeed at the moment there isn't, but don't worry, it was always planned to be in the updated legal system bit. There will be a mention of the two important EU principles of Supremacy and Subsidiarity. That EU law, if valid, is to be supreme in the national legal systems, but that the EU can only legislate within its competence. If you want to see exactly where subsidiarity comes from, check the EC Treaty, article 5. --Simonski 10:02, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I think it was around at some point, must have been removed. But yes that is another point for the legal system rewrite. - J Logan t: 12:11, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Since the page is currently protected, we have an ideal opportunity to discuss possible changes on the Talk page first! How about adding at the end of the first paragraph of the Legal section, something like:
'This effectively gives supremacy, or priority, to European Union law in those fields where the EU has competence. The Maastricht Treaty, however, introduced the concept of "subsidiarity" with the provision that in areas not within its exclusive competence the European Union should take action only if the objectives of the proposed action could be achieved better by Community action than by action by the member states and that such action should be limited to the measures necessary to achieve those objectives. The Treaty does not explicitly state which areas are within the exclusive competence of the Community.[Craig and Búrca 4th ed. p 100 ff]' Discussions of what areas might be so classified, judicial tests of subsidiarity, and parallels with the German constitution should probaly be left to the article on European Union law.--Boson 19:46, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I think we don't even need to go that far, we could just mention in passing the importance of the two concepts and a brief sentence on how they apply. The problem with both supremacy and subsidiarity is that they can't be summed up succinctly that easily. Plus there's the Law of the EU page as well meaning we don't need to go into detail here I reckon. It depends, would you want to go into the history of how both developed, and how the Supremacy of EU law was a concept developed by the Court of Justice in its most famous cases etc? In effect Subsidiarity popping into the treaty later was basically a safeguard against the ECJ going too far with its interpretation of the validity of certain EC laws. Though if you have the outstanding Craig and DeBurca book there (best book on EU law in the world) then you won't need me to tell you that! --Simonski 22:13, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I do not think I would want to go into their history, but the article ought to explain important principles which currently exist and govern EU actions. I think this particular issue is rather important (dare I say it, a lot more important than sport or religion if we were really desperate for wordage). I do not think the end of the first para 'even if doing so requires them to ignore their national law and constitution' is a good enough explanation as it now stands. More an open invitation to Europhobes to start getting out the petrol bombs. Sandpiper 11:36, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
A new, slightly altered draft of the Legal System bit is going to be put up by Logan or someone after the page is unlocked, therefore I think everybody should reserve judgment until they see how the updated section reads. The paragraph you're referring to is one that has been slightly tweaked so it'll hopefully read to the satisfaction of all now --Simonski 14:46, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Requesting mediation

Can someone with a full understanding of the past (as well as present) issues surrounding the sports section and it's content dispute - preferable not Lear... - read this page and then perhaps present a request for comment with a brief overview of the problem(s)? I would do it myself but this issue seems to pre date my involvement and as such I would have to trawl through both article and talk page history's and archives. SouthernElectric 12:09, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't think we should go into dispute resolution with the idea that some deus ex machina is going to fix everything for us. In the final analysis it's the people working on the article that will have to come to some sort of arrangement, even if those people change.
Although there may be some "personality" or "attitude" issues, I think there are a number of fundamental issues concerning the nature of the EU that keep surfacing without always being explicitly defined or resolved. In the past, there may have been an uneasy acceptance of a compromise, but this is probably not clearly documented in one place; so new editors come along and the whole discussion starts again, and the unresolved issues affect discussions on other matters (like sport).
I think the following problems need tackling:
  • The WP:EU project has taken the view (which I generally agree with) that the project, and by implication the articles, should deal with the EU as a whole, not with those matters that are mainly concerned with either (i) individual member states or (ii) relations among member states but not in an EU context, or (iii) matters relating to Europe rather than the EU as such. While in my opinion generally correct, some exceptions to this treatment might be sensible, i.e. some matters should be covered to some extent even though they deal with the situation in member states or the whole of Europe rather than EU institutions or policy (e.g. geography, conurbations, popular sports, crime statistics, comparative demographics, religion, energy, transport). The limitations which the project imposes on itself need not apply to all edits or editors.
  • Following on from the last point, from the legal or institutional perspective it can be argued, for instance, that sport and religion have no place. From a similar perspective (legal, constitutional etc.) it could probably be argued that religion has no place in articles about France, Turkey, the United States and China, but from another perspective it could be argued that things like religious fundamentalism, religious traditions etc. are very important in those contexts. The EU can be viewed from the constitutional, legal, or institutional perspective, but it can also validly be regarded as an entity characterized by its territorial extent and the societies that live there, similar to other such entities, e.g. countries, states, continents, deserts, etc. To accept that is not to concede that the EU is a country, superstate, or whatever. And I'm not sure a casual reader, or even a mediator, would appreciate the potential implications of including a section on Sport or Religion.
  • The EU has some features which it shares with federal states or confederations and other features which it shares with other international organizations. Some editors may have views (i.e. interpretations of the facts) at opposite ends of the spectrum in this respect, but even without this, just as some people will regard a glass as half empty and others will say it is half full, even editors with very similar interpretations of the facts may think of the EU either as something like a federal state that does not have all features of such a state or as an intergovernmental organization that has many features of a federal state.
  • It is genuinely difficult to find classifications to define the EU because it lacks some attributes of classes that it might be assigned to or has attributes that would normally exclude it form other classes -- unless one uses largely meaningless terms like "entity". This affects not just the introductory paragraph, but also (for instance) whether -- and if so to what extent --one bases the structure on country articles.
  • Readers from other parts of the world might regard the European Union as a territorial unit like the USA; so more explantion for the restrictions the authors impose on themselves might be necessary.
I am not trying here to advocate one point of view or another but to encourage everybody to try to look at things from the other's perspective -- in spite of the tension caused by trying to react calmly to apparently uncompomising or beligerent attitudes.
As regards the Sports section, perhaps Lear 21 could draft a new text that he thinks might be acceptable to everyone and post it here.
Even if it doesn't work, it might help to explain some of the issues in a non-personal way (for the mediator). --Boson 20:30, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I think Boson makes some good points above, though my personal opinion would be that whilst it might be worthwhile including the odd section that goes outwith the usual structure of WP:EU articles, sports would definitely be one that I would want to see avoided for all the reasons mentioned earlier. If Lear can come up with some compromise of some sort here then that would definitely be beneficial to the page. --Simonski 22:06, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
This might not come across very clearly but I feel I need to put some thoughts into words;
Not trying to merge that discussion into this but is it me or does the article read more like the USA page rather than like the UN one, surely this is one of the problems. Whilst we keep saying that the "EU" is not a country or super-state, in some ways the structure of the article reads as if it was, the EU (that is, the institution of the European Union) has no land mass - apart from the land it's buildings stand on - but we have Geography and Demographics sections etc, the latter containing languages and religion, never mind a culture section. Another point, surely the EU does not have an 'economy', it has a regulative framework (just as the UN has) that the member states agree or not to enact but it's the member states that have the economies and not the land-less European Union - basically the European Union is nothing more than a set of treaties, just as the UN is. In other words, the USA might well have religions, sport and media etc. the UN doesn't (at least not formally). Should the article name really be "European Union (the instatution)"?... SouthernElectric 22:48, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
The thing is, you have the Eurozone countries which are in effect part of an Economic Union, the EU being a mixture of a common market and an economic union (in economic terms). I agree with everything above except for the economy points. Whilst still over half of the countries in the EU don't have the Euro, it doesn't mean that there isn't a great deal of economic integration here. Rather the opposite. Think of the role played by the European Central Bank etc. The way the economic rules/layout of the EU works is nothing like the UN here. Pretty much everything except for state tax systems are covered by the EU. I don't think there's any need for a name change of the page, but it certainly shouldn't be structured like the US page, and shouldn't have things like religion and geography, completely irrelevant to an article on the EU as a regional body. --Simonski 23:31, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I disagree on the geography point, geographic position and factors have a heavy influence, for example the coastline and internal waters on maritime and fishing policy as well as size and borders on foreign policy. I agree on sports and religion though, there are more important things that can be discussed. On the above points of landmass, you can say the same for the US, it is composed of its states with federal gov't land being limited. On Economy, I think that is very important as you do have a single market and currency - it is very easy to see a European economy.- J Logan t: 09:22, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

On Simonski's point about the Euro and ECB, I don't buy your argument, it's like saying that every country that uses a currency called "The Dollar" is some how part of the USA or that (in the case of the ECB) all countries in the world are within the same economy because they all have links to the World bank - sure, the Euro was created with the view that once the constitution (and inevitable 'super-state', in all but name) came about it would be the currency of the EU, but since the constitution is dead in the water, what we have is a common currency pegged to a common set of rules (meaning that the value of a Euro stamped in Spain has the same value as one stamped in Germany etc. just as some currencies called "The Dollar" are pegged to the US Dollar and thus the US economy if you see what I mean.
On J Logan's geography point, yes but that is also true of the UN, much of what the UN does is directly effected / caused by geographical issues (probably more so than the EU is) but the UN article doesn't need to stray into matters of the member states. SouthernElectric 09:33, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I am probably somewhere in the middle here. I would not see any point renaming this article 'European Union (the institution)', because I don't see what other 'European Union (????)' articles would be possible. Sure, an article called 'Europe', but we have one of those. Looking, I see it already overlaps this one quite a bit. This article should discuss matters which are relevant to the thing, the EU, not the place, Europe. I agree that geography is relevant to a degree. First and obviously, which states belong and where they are. The physical loction of this thing called EU affects would be joiners, visitors, traders. The nature of the land also matters as it affects central policies of the EU relating to fisheries, farming, traditional industries, all of which have figured deeply in the operating business of the EU. Religion too is modestly relevant. The church nowadays has much less influence than it once did, but religion still affects elections and policies, in some countries more than others. Notably it is an issue for Turkey seeking to join. Cultural diversity or unity is an issue in so far as it means the member states feel more comfortable, or not, sharing a closer or looser union. The economy of the EU area should be discussed, partly because the EU makes lots of rules about this, and partly because in some contexts it is more useful to consider the economy of the EU as a whole rather than the individual economies of its members. That is not to say it is a unitary state, it isn't, but the whole point of the common market is to allow it to function as one trade unit. I'm afraid I still do not see that sport can come anywhere except right at the very bottom of this list as a factor which is almost wholly unaffected to the activities of the EU, and has virtually no influence upon it. No one is suggesting Turkey cannot join because they play the wrong sports.

I still still do not see the structural distinction people are claiming betwee the international treaty organisation the UN and the international treaty organisation the EU. By analogy the UK football association makes no rules whatsoever governing or regulating cricket, and the UK cricket authorities make no rules about football. Yet everyone would agree they are similar organisations. They have members, a structure, make rules even the non members respect which control a particular aspect of the lives of all those who sign up to their agreements. Sandpiper 11:23, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Some fair points there, but I dunno, would you really say countries using the US dollar is the same as a number of countries opting to create and use a neutral common currency? There's not much else I can add for the argument that there has been significant economic integration in the EU, significant harmonization of rules etc. Ditto really on the UN point, though one other point would be that the EU is also different in the fact that it has been able to make and sign a number of international agreements, as the EU, with non-member states. I still think the EU would be considered different from the UN at the very least in its closer link to its citizens. I mean the UN will maybe have a convention on the rights of workers lets say, but on an EU level the related regulation will normally be far more specific and have achieved more economic integration. --Simonski 12:00, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I would say that using a common currency is a necessary step towards creating a sovereign state, but sharing a currency does not oblige any state to give up any control over its sovereignty. Creating a new currency is not the same as just using one which already exists, but it is a very sensible thing to do if there is no existing currency which would suit your needs. In itself, the fact that some EU countries have opted not to use the euro suggests that the EU is not one indivisible organisation. The EU and euorzone are separate things. As I understand it, the Uk is not the only country which selectively picks and chooses which parts of the EU agreements it will join up to, and which it will decline. I'm not completely sure where this is going: you are saying the complexity of the EU makes it more than a simple treaty organisation like the UN? I commented somewhere above that I do not consider it is the case that the EU has driven harmonisation of rules within Europe, rather it is the instrument chosen by governments seeking to harmonise rules within Europe, to carry out their requirements. A treaty organisation set a task which it carries out. The USA was created by a war, and the seal was put upon it by another, when some states attempted to leave. There have not yet been any defining moments in the history of the EU to change it from an international agreement into a single entity. A good war is one of the factors which could bring about a federal Europe. Sandpiper 13:04, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
What I'm getting at is, the UN has many policies, spends vast amounts of money and actively intervenes in Africa (for example) but there isn't direct mention of the geography, religions or sports of Africa on that page - certainly no sections. I still don't see why this (EU) article needs succinct sections, yes the coastline is important with regards to fishing, tourism or migration policies but why can't they be mentioned within a section outlining "EU fishing policy" or what ever - people who needs/want to learn about the Continent of Europe can access the article Europe etc. Making the article read like the 'Country (called) The European Union', which in my opinion it does, just makes for confusion to both editors and readers. In other words, what I'm saying is, the article needs to read more like the UN page than the USA page - at the moment it reads far to much like a union of countries / states than a political union of separate states, which in turn is causing some editors to want to add content that belongs in a country article or be wiki linked to a different article (such as UEFA). SouthernElectric 12:33, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Southern, in principle I agree with you, but in practice I do not really see any irrelevant content in the current geography section. It is necessary to explain what territory is covered by the EU, and much of the geography section is devoted to what bits of Europe, Asia and Africa are in, and some you might expect to be in that are out. A few facts to indicate the extent of the territory and its climate are reasonable. I'm not sure what would be gained by splitting up these sections and distributing them into different sections (member states, fisheries, external relations?) Having a geography section and talking about the EU as though it had any territory does tend to mislead readers, but it is almost impossible to talk statistics about the EU without referring to it as a unit. I see the important thing as being to make clear the limits of its integration in sections where this naturally comes up (eg law, the introduction). Sandpiper 13:18, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but does this information need to be in sections that makes the article read like a Country description, that is my point, no one is suggesting anyone could talk about (for example) fishing policy without mentioning the sea! It's not the content but how it's presented. Anyway, I've said my piece about what's troubling me regarding the article so I'll shut up now. SouthernElectric 16:00, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I take your point exactly, but while it is untrue the EU is a country, it is true it has a number of country-like features. Somehow we have to go through and describe them. From a purely organisational point of view it makes good sense to write this article in the same format that other articles which have to do similar things are written. Wiki should try to keep the look and feel of pages as uniform as possible, to help readers. I do not think the article should be allowed to hint subliminally that the EU is really a country, by the way the page is organised. I think it should clearly state at the outset what it is and is not. When this is stated as well as maybe, the subliminal stuff becomes less important. Though I also expect it would be possible to do a bit of rephrasing here and there to eliminate some phrases which presume it is a state. -- Sandpiper (talk) 17:28, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Get over it

Okay this is just getting ridiculous. From just about to go to FA to now, we have gained a massive talk page of several circular discussions and a locked page - only advantage I can see is we have an all time low in vandalism.

No I know everyone loves to think they're right for this or that reason but can we all just put up with crap from other users for a while. Religion and so on may not be at the core of the EU but nether will a reader suddenly believe the EU is one country just because of a few sections at the end talking about something other than policy. Meanwhile the rest of us can try to improve the main sections and emphasise them. Might not be perfect but it is better than nothing, which is what we are heading for now.

And if you still want to fight about the sports section, just have a discussion with everyone else, get the support of people like SSJ at least, and then remove the section with that backing. If this just ends up as another identical, pointless long rant on what the EU is then this article is indeed doomed and I'll be off to make better use of my time.- J Logan t: 13:54, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

The thing is Logan I think you'll know deep down yourself that the article is far from deserving FA status at the moment. I mean to me, FA means that an individual can go to that Wikipedia page, and it'll read almost perfectly, as if it was from a real encyclopedia. The EU article is not really entirely at that stage, though it is decent on the whole at the moment. If there are editors who disagree on the need for certain sections, then they have every right to voice their concerns and make their views known. The fact that doing so might jeopardize the article getting FA status isn't a good enough reason really for them to keep their mouth shut.
It is true though that we're starting to go a bit off topic above. The first issue to deal with is the Sport thing, then after that we can surely concentrate on properly discussing other things. So maybe we should refrain from getting into debates on what effect certain other sections might have for the moment and concentrate on getting SSJ and Lear to help find a centre ground, much like Boson did above. --Simonski 14:56, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
My rational in airing what I said in the 'Requesting mediation' section above was as an attempt to understand why some editors want to place irrelevant (as far as the EU is concerned) information into the article, in that context it's entirely on-topic per the current 'problem'. SouthernElectric 16:08, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I must admit my initial reaction when I read this article and saw that people were after FA status, was that they were being somewhat optimistic. I don't entirely agree with the quality criteria on wiki and with excessive attempts by wiki to be something it is not (ie a conventional encyclopedia). But I do understand the criteria well enough to know that a stable settled page is one of them. The danger with this is that people who get or aspire to FA can be overly concerned with keeping an article exactly in its current state. This presupposes that it is already perfect. I agree the debate here has rambled a lot, but this is rather because of the nature of the disagreement over what the EU really is. In the course of the discussions I think everyone has seen something they would like to change about the article. The act of trying to get pages rated asks people to come along and give a view, and arguably the whole point is that they may come up with what they regard as improvements. Then, what with having a page lock and all, we may be finding things we would get on with improving, but all we can do is talk about it. -- Sandpiper (talk) 17:14, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
More to the point, an editor might see something other than what the latest edit is, in the last few days much has been pointed at, some may get changed whilst other stuff won't, with that and content that is (no doubt) waiting on file until lock expires the article could actually have benefit from the lock - the only thing that might have suffered is getting either GA or FA status in the short term, but then what are we about, producing the 'perfect article' or a 'complete article'... -- SouthernElectric (talk) 17:55, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Although I think some work maybe needed for FA, I think it is not that far removed.
I think that is not the main point. In the last week or so the text generated on this talk page about, let's be honest a detail, is astounding. Sadly as JLogan states the reasoning is repetitive, circular, and similar to earlier debates. I strongly agree this is going nowhere.
Simply put there is not consensus to remove the sports section (and it is not one single editor), so without compelling reason we have to leave it for now. -- Arnoutf (talk) 21:27, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • The argument was actually about adding to the sports section, not removing it, although even that became the question as the heels dug in - but yes, enough has been said. -- SouthernElectric (talk) 22:01, 16 November 2007 (UTC) This entry made @ 23:03, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't work like that, everybody involved except for 2 editors has shown a willingness to discuss and compromise in some form, and their stubbornness is making me feel a little stubborn too. You're going to have to face the fact that this is just going to be edited back and forth until they can be brought on board and show some willingness to compromise. If you don't take a stand now to this sort of behaviour you're never going to get that FA status anyway.
Saying that, its absolutely insane that after all that talking above, nothing was achieved. Literally nothing. But that is what happens if one party just doesn't move, doesn't conceed anything. Plus on a side note, I think recently a number of editors have brought to the table another viewpoint which the article will benefit from having (a nice equilibrium here as a result) and have pointed out where they see flaws in the article, which is a perfectly genuine thing to do and within their rights. ---- Simonski (talk) 22:38, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
SE, It was only about adding it because you had removed it despite objections from a number of editors. And as for heels dug in Lear isn't the only one. If we're to move on I suggest we drop, for now at least, every contentious issues except for the sports section and concentrate on getting an agreement. After we have something there, we should have the momentum to deal with other issues. To help this, I suggest we just archive everything currently on the page so we can concentrate on the issue at hand and get this article unlocked. - J Logan t: 08:56, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Do what you think best to try and get FA status then but please don't complain if people still attempt to add irrelevant information at the most inappropriate moments, as Simonski said - If you don't take a stand now to this sort of behaviour you're never going to get that FA status anyway. SouthernElectric (talk) 10:26, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Summarising the problem. A number of editors states the EU is mainly its treaties and bodies, hence references to culture and sports should be removed. Other editors say that the EU is its people, rather then the treaties, hence reference to culture and sport are among the core elements. These are fundamentally opposed positions and in my opinion something is to be said for both.
The version passing GA review a short while ago (in my opinion) managed to take a point of view that pays a lot of attention to the bodies and treaties, while it also gives some attention to the peoples issues. I think this is a fair (and seriously fought for) compromise between the two extremes. The only other solution is to write two separate articles EU (bodies and treaties) and EU (people of), with an disambguation page instead of the current one (to prevent one of the opposing views to lay claim to the whole of it). I think everybody agrees this will not be a good solution. So we will have to do with what we have and compromise (which always has to come from all sides). The problem due to stubbornness are in both extremes, not only one of them. Arnoutf (talk) 11:53, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
So has been said, a few times now, yet the other side allegedly being stubborn has shown a willingness to discuss. If the other side then tries to just disregard all points made and keep repeating their position then what else do you expect to happen except for the other side to get annoyed and lose the will to even seek a compromise. Its like workers meeting with their boss over a pay dispute, if at the meeting the workers just kept going "this is how much we want, we are right and you are wrong", eventually the boss would just end up going well screw you guys, I'm going home. The whole consensus thing at Wikipedia is generally why it'll never be any good. Going from your point above Arnoutf, I'm happy to have certain cultural things which have some relation to the EU, just not sport. --Simonski (talk) 12:12, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Please keep in mind that the current version is already a compromise (achieved after much discussion over a number of months april-august), and not the preferred version of the editors who want to focus on the European society. If you truly want to negotiate a new compromise we should go back to the original preferences of everyone to reach a fair middle ground. Arnoutf (talk) 12:30, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
That is the problem, quite frankly there are three articles screaming for attention here, "Europe (the institution of Union)", "European Union (society)" and "Europe (the land-mass)" - names indicative rather than suggestive - meaning that unless we get a rock solid agreement/compromise (which will never happen under the current WP rules of WP:good faith, WP:OWN etc.) this issue will be revisited adnusiam... SouthernElectric (talk) 12:47, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Indeed Europe the landmass (and its people) is indeed another issue. I am afraid I have to agree with your predictions of revisition future. Arnoutf (talk) 13:08, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Well riddle me this one: what would go into the article 'European Union (society)', and what would go into the analogous article 'Europe (society)'. That seems to me the heart of the dificulty here, which would carry across to any set of subdivided EU articles. What is relevant to the European Union, and what is relevant to Europe, and would be unaffected had the EU never existed. This is my difficulty, mixing up things which are a consequence of the existence of the Eu, and those which are a consequence of nation-state Europe with 5000 years of recorded history. Sandpiper (talk) 13:55, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

While I understand your point I think you underestimate the impact of the EU. Integration brings a lot of cross-cultural activity and cross-border movement, policies and choices have shaped how society has evolved both directly and indirectly by forcing change in member states. However sport is not the best example of this of course. Arnoutf's point is also important, Lear has given ground previously and we should acknowledge that. On society etc, perhaps we could have a "Society" section cut off from the rest at the bottom of the article to discuss such issues. But lets get back to that in a proper discussion.

But am I to take it that everyone is satisfied with going back to the sports discussion only for now? If that is the case (I'll check back in the morning) I'll archive all this. And perhaps we could request the article to be unlocked again on the condition the the sports section is not removed, or any other section, till there is a clear consensus (if necessary, everyone except Lear, i.e. I want SSJ on board). - J Logan t: 15:37, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

While I agree with your sentiment about Lear I would not focus on a named editor, but rather put up a generic rule: Unanimity minus 1; or 85% (5 out of 6) as reasonable levels for consensus (see here how consensus decisions can be taken when there is no unanimity). Such levels will ensure that the opinions of all but the most stubborn editor or in a large debate editors is taken on board. In practice this may come down to the same as JLogans wish, but the dea is that this condition holds for every editor.
For the rest, please archive because this discussion is obscuring everything through its shear amount of words Arnoutf (talk) 16:00, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I have no particular objection to the current sports section, as a subsection of culture. It needs a bit of copyediting, but the substance is modestly interesting. If I am being asked for a final word on this, I would have to reserve it, because it depends significantly for me on the total quantitity and balance of the rest of the article. I don't think the whole is excessively long now for the nature of the subject, but some might. As to archiving the rest of this page, I have raised a number of points here and there, which no doubt I shall be returning to in due course. It sounds as though there are quite a few things to be added elsewhere? I could not construct definitively a subsection of an article without having an idea of the scope of the article as a whole. Logan, I remain unconvinced that Europe was not integrated before the EU, did not have any cross-cultural activity, did not share policies and choices governed by a common history, common goals to rebuild europe, common world competition problems, would not have developed open borders as it previously had, would not have been forced to move collectively, all without a formal structure like the EU. I see the EU as consequence, not cause.Sandpiper (talk) 21:45, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and I noticed that the GA reviewer right at the top of this page questioned the relevance to the page of the section on religion. I'm not sure what happened about that comment, but it is exactly the same issue as with sport. Sandpiper (talk) 22:01, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Look on the bright side.

Before we archive this lot and move on, I would like to briefly respond to a couple of pessimistic statements about Wikipedia, no doubt born of understandable frustration. The way Wikipedia works does have some disadvantages. But I don't think we need hide our (Wikipedia's) light under a bushel: just look at the amount of correct, relevant, useful, and up-to-date information in this article and its daughter articles; and then compare that with the amount and quality of information in another reputable encyclopedia. Having just done that, I feel a lot happier about this article. --Boson (talk) 20:20, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

One of the disadvantages may be the difficulty of achieving a consistent style, with several authors working on different bits. Perhaps, when the content and organization have been stabilized, we could ask someone from the League of Copyeditors to look over the whole article.--Boson (talk) 20:20, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

it has a lot of facts which seem reasonable and relevant. It does need copyediting, but this can be difficult while things are being changed. I always reckon something always needs at least two goes. One to get the facts in, and a second to tidy them up. Then someone adds a bit and blows it. Sandpiper (talk) 21:58, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree with that, "own-text-error-blindness" easly occurs if you try to write something alone, an independent view is almost always worth very much. (PS one of the advantages of writing more than one author on an article, as well as peer review) Arnoutf (talk) 23:40, 17 November 2007 (UTC)