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Fair enough. The article by Helmut Schmidt (see below), one of the grandfathers of the Euro, has some of the same reasoning about dealing with other major [rising] powers. The EU as the twigs bound together.

It does have a faint [Europe.Is.Doomed™ Alert] aspect to it, numerically justified it may be. Schmidt mentions the demographic shift which will cause the EU to represent only a few percent of world population. He explicitly sees the danger of Europe being "overrun by other people and civilizations" if it doesn't get its act together. Fortress Europe, that's a new one. I'm afraid we will see more of that. A comprehensive immigration strategy would be helpful but don't expect any major initiative in these semi-xenophobic times.

And there is the rub, the "major drainage areas" touch on very sensitive areas of national sovereignty. Economic policy, budgets, immigration, foreign policy, security policy. I could see a little progress on the security policy front if they go beyond protecting the outer borders of the EU. Not much though in how to deal with security challenges South and East. Ditto for the budgets with the Euro clamp now in place.

Foreign policy is a disaster, see Libya, see Iraq etc. Immigration is the hottest button. Try making hard calls with 27 members when (somewhat) unanimous decisions are required, then try to sell it to the national parliaments and peoples. A 'superstate' could maybe do that but who wants to relinquish so much control?

The EU parliament would have to be so much more than what it is now (a muckraking club). There would have to be an explicit EU government beyond the commission. There is a big chance it would sooner or later become dysfunctional because of its own complexity.

'Union' vs. 'Superstate' vs. 'Alliance' vs... I'm all for technical integration, the political part will maybe come over time as a result of that (and the EU constitution etc.) or it probably won't happen at all.

A few weeks back there was the funny spectacle of the German defense minister resigning over his plagiarized PhD thesis (now officially pronounced intentional plagiarism by the university). In the thesis an article was 'quoted'/copied that contrasted the different reactions to the EU constitution on both sides of the Atlantic. The Americans saw the EU constitution as analogous to their union constitution -the founding document of the USA- while the European reaction was much more measured and skeptical. I'm a European.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Mon May 9th, 2011 at 06:38:48 PM EST
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