Re: Small brewers to leave SZVPS, November 1 - 7, 2004, Vol 10, No 42
The EU started with three large countries (Germany, Italy and France) and the three small Benelux countries. England's membership was kept at bay by France's [President Charles] De Gaulle for quite some time, for the exact same reason that The Netherlands desperately wanted England in: namely, that the small countries would benefit from the various divides between the large countries.
All small countries have, in the mean time, benefited nicely from EU membership - especially Denmark, Ireland and Portugal - three countries that used to rank among the poorer states of Western Europe.
The EU is not an organisation that aims to ultimately absorb the individual sovereignty of its members. Streamlining laws, rules and regulations is done to make the EU more effective and manageable, and more widely and easily understood.
The open borders and the euro offer the members a home market as large as, if not larger, than the one the Americans enjoy. Richer members, via the EU, aid poorer members, in order to have a wider European prosperity and a vast market with solid spending power.
Holland has small brewers (Grolsch) and so does Belgium (Maes), while Heineken and Interbrew (Stella Artois) - large world players - are Dutch and Belgian, respectively.
8. Nov 2004 at 0:00