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I think we can all argue about the timing and the exact mechanisms of European disintegration, post EU, but what your scenario painting achieves admirably is to demonstrate how much is at stake should the EU be allowed to disintegrate.

The EU is so much more than a common market or common currency area and those who seek to reduce it to that do us all a great disservice.  Unfortunately the achievements of the past 64 years are easily forgotten or taken for granted, and once things start to fall apart. it becomes increasingly difficult to stop the rot.

In that sense the EU is an apt model for catastrophe theory modeling where a highly optimized system can exist in only one of two states: stable or rapid and irreversible disintegration.  We need to build in a lot of firewalls to add resilience to the whole structure so that (say) a serious breakdown of the Franco German relationship cannot destroy the whole edifice.

This seems to me to require a reduction in German dominance, an increase in the powers (and Europe wide accountability) of EU institutions, and an increase it fiscal transfers and solidarity with less successful regions. The UK is an obvious barrier to the latter two requirements, and may have to be ditched (of its own accord) in the process, but we have to find ways of reducing and reversing the current destruction of the "Social Europe".

My suggestions would be a huge increase in the development of EU competencies and agencies in Education, Healthcare, social welfare, taxation, job creation, defense, policing, the environment, energy policy and infrastructural development none of which is possible without at least indirect fiscal transfers.

The EU has to become relevant again to the felt needs of the populace if it is to survive.  50% youth unemployment in southern Europe is an affront to all of us.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 at 02:04:42 PM EST

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