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Friday, 23 December 2016

Federal Republic of Europe (3)

All roads lead to Rome, a proverb meaning that different paths can take to the same goal (Wiki). This is just one of the thoughts that I had, after seeing a Backlight episode on the Republic of Europe. In this public TV documentary, the German political scientist Ulrike Guérot explains her way forward to a European Republic. While I agree on her goal, I disagree with her path.

In several of my blogs, I have advocated for a United States of Europe (part 1part 2), similar to the Federal Republic of the USA. This model allows for maintaining cultural identity (eg, language, religion), political identity, and the resulting differences in cost of living, income, taxation, wealth and welfare. Nations would become semi-independent states in a Federal Republic. The Federal Republic mostly controls the outer layer (eg, borders, defense, Supreme Court).

Ulrike Guérot's proposed path is a European Republic of 50 regions and universal taxation and welfare, despite the huge European differences in cost of living. The result would be an enormous redistribution of wealth from northern to southern European countries. Hence, her idea will never happen. That is a pity as I do share her goal of a European Republic.

Today's political situation in Hungary and Poland shows the limitations of the current European model. There is no political union, just an economic and monetary union (eg, EU). Sovereign nations can basically do whatever they want. In the worst case, the EU could restrict their voting power or kick some countries out. 

Perhaps a Federal Republic of Europe would initially also need an Electoral College model in order to guard the interests of less populated states. A popular vote model would benefit urbanisation and thus the most populated states. The lifespan of an Electoral College model should probably be limited to one full generation (or 100 years) to prevent hijacking elections, like in the US (230 years).

A Federal Republic of Europe would still allow for some situations like in Hungary and Poland. The intriguing Netflix series Designated Survivor shows the limitations of the U.S. President when it comes to State legislation (eg, episode 4, IMDb, Wiki). Ulrike Guérot's model would not have such limitations which is another reason why it will not be implemented.

A Federal Republic of Europe can neither be labelled Left or Right, nor can it be labelled Nationalist or Internationalist. It would provide lots of Power which would and should make it interesting for all political parties. A Republic of Europe with 50 regions could easily be politically "hijacked" by the most populated State which is another reason for non-implementation.

The German Federation of 16 federal states shows that this federal republic model works. It allows for diversityidentity and unity. It would probably even allow for other countries to merge into that German federation (eg, my 13 February 2015 blog on a Dutch-German merger). I think, feel and believe that I will see a Federal Republic of Europe in my lifetime.

Nena - In Meinem Leben (2010) - artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2