Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 05:46:23 AM EST
Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Guy Verhofstadt come out fighting with a new book calling for the European Parliament to declare itself a Constituent and draft a new federal constitution for Europe (I'm going on the launch releases and commentary, not having read the book).
Manifesto for a post-national and federal Europe - LSE - Events
" For Europe is a call. A wake up call directed to every citizen. It is an exercise in lucidity that encourages reflection. And it is also an alarm bell. The tone is frank, passionate. The arguments hard hitting : “Europe must once and for all get rid of the navel gazing of its nation-states. A radical revolution is needed. A large European revolution. And a European federal Union must emerge. A Union that enables Europe to participate in the postnational world of tomorrow. By laziness, cowardice and lack of vision, too many of our Heads of State and Government prefer not to see what is at stake. Let’s wake them up. Let’s confront them with their impotence. And give them no respite until they have taken the European way, the way to a Europe of the future, towards a Europe for Europeans. The era of empty summits and statements is over. Now is the time for action."
They quite rightly bash the appalling display of member-state egoism which is encouraged by the current EU set-up, neither national sovereignty nor federalism. They're quite right that Europe cannot, will not, go on this way. And personally, I'm all for a federalist revolution. But this bothers me:
The federal revolution | New Europe
The authors paint a picture of the EU as 27 squabbling nation states, with an aging population, too dependent on fossil fuels and unable to compete with the “political and economic powerhouses of the caliber of China, India, Brazil or the United States.”
Scathing about the EU being blamed for the euro crisis, austerity led recession and alienating people from politics, an accusation they describe as “absurd” and “nonsense” the authors state “It is the Member States who bear the full responsibility for today’s debacle.”
Speaking about the Eurozone crisis, the two lawmakers explain, “The essence of today’s crisis: a shared currency is incompatible with the continued existence of the old nation states, at least in their current form.” They argue that the solution is a European federal state or “the European currency must disappear.”
If the essential nature of the federal state is to enforce the current version of the single currency, it isn't going to work. And if Germany only sees federalism as an enforcer of its own obdurate and self-seeking line, what use will federalism be?