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Saturday, 10 January 2015

United States of Europe

In some ways I envy the United States of America as its nature can be most impressive. Seeing the Grand Canyon is something beyond imagination. Hearing and actually seeing the sound of hot air in the midst of a prairie is almost impossible to explain. The idea of combining 50 individual states into one Federation still appeals to me as I am confident that only this is the way forward with Europe. 

Each US State has it own identity which is stressed by the short phrase on most car license plates. The identity also stems from the languages, the climate, the tax system, and national parks. The federal government is solely responsible for citizenship, national defence, foreign policy, and monetary affairs. Nevertheless, in most policy areas the individual States are still leading.

While I appreciate that it is difficult to hand over power to someone else, the pros of the USA blueprint more than outweigh the cons of the current European chaos. 

In the 1970s Henry Kissinger, then US Secretary of State, asked his famous question: "If I want to call Europe, who do I call?". In 2009 Mr Barroso, then President of the EU's executive European Commission, proudly announced that the EU had solved Mr Kissinger's question. 

Former EU leaders have expanded the EU without any voter consultation and with countries that had little to no sympathy amongst voters. EU inefficiency is legendary. EU bureaucracy too. In my view, Turkey's application of EU membership may have caused the pendulum to start swinging the other way. Anti EU protests have only grown since then. EU and national leaders should only blame themselves for this EU antipathy. 

Today the EU faces the risk of a Grexit and - more serious - a Brexit. After a departure of Britain from the EU (Brexit), some political parties in other nations will most likely leverage on the UK exit route to ask national voters in a referendum for their exit consent too. Rather sooner than later this would jeopardise the legitimacy of the entire remaining EU. 

There are 2 options: either break-up the EU (and possibly go back to the 6 original members of the EEC being Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Germany) OR use the US blueprint and create the United States of Europe. It would imply huge shifts in power: from Brussels back to the member states and from national parliaments to Europe. Not shifting back the regulation powers from Brussels to the member states would create a European Soviet Union and thus a total disaster.

It's still possible to sell the European dream to the public but not this way forward. Europe is now a monstrum for which no voter has ever expressed his or her opinion. This is a dead end road. 

I believe in a United States of Europe similar to the USA blueprint though the abbreviation sucks...

Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi! Angela Merkel for President !