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Politics The European Union (EU)

Sim

Registered Member
As you may or may not know, many different European countries are united in the European Union (EU):


(Member states in blue)

Currently, the EU has 28 member states, 19 of which use the common currency of the € euro. More than 500 million people live in the EU, and if it is counted as a block, it is the strongest economy in the world.

The EU is a mix of a federation and an alliance of independent member states, in a unique form that has never existed before. There are some institutions and offices on European level, such as a European parliament and the European commission which is kind of an executive, but the main organ of the EU is a summit where all heads of state of the member states gather.

In some fields, the EU is almost like a national state, like the economy: Many members share a common currency, the entire EU is a free trade zone, and every EU citizen is allowed to travel, move, work and invest in any other member state freely.

On other fields, the EU is not united, but the power remains with the member states, such as the armies and military, or social spending.


It started as a small core of only 6 countries in the 1950s. After World War 2, several European politicians had the dream of uniting Europe, to make war in the future unlikely, and to make all Europeans brothers. Especially many French and West-German politicians felt that way.

Over the decades, more and more member states joined, and the mutual ties grew stronger and deeper too.

But what should the EU become? Shall it eventually become a federal state like the US, a kind of "United States of Europe"? Is the EU in a similar situation as America was in the 1760s, maybe?

Some certainly dream of that, but there are many more who are sceptic of such an idea. After all, the different European countries and peoples speak many different languages, they have a different culture and many citizens are afraid they would have to give up their national identity -- would you still be a proud Frenchman or German, if Europe became a national state? Is this even desirable, or would that destroy our cultures?

So some are very much against more power for the EU, and want their national states to remain as sovereign as possible. Also because they fear that such a super-state would result in a horrible bureaucracy, and reduce the power of the voters over decisions made in the capital. They often want the EU to be just a free trade zone, where trade is made easier for all members, but all important decisions remain national.

But most people are pragmatic, I guess -- they don't hate the EU nor do they love it or want it to expand. As long as it makes life easier, like going on holidays or paying abroad without having to exchange money, and as long as it benefits the economy, they are okay with it.

However, the EU is also facing severe economic problems, because some member states have very high debts. The richer countries are reluctant to pay for the poorer, and many poorer blame the rich for their selfishness. You can see that these days when it comes to Greece, their debts and the negotiations with Germany and other countries.

What do you think?

Is it a good idea that former enemies who often waged war against each other, now peacefully unite in a union? Do you think it could become something like the US some day? Or do you think that is impossible, because the European peoples are too different?
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
This is a question I most likely don't have a real answer for. In some ways yes it would be beneficial for Europe to be united like the US. It would make you much more powerful in the world as far as military and economics. Another country would think twice before attacking Germany because it would be seen as attacking the whole EU and they would have to deal with the EU.

On the negative side each country wouldn't have as much control as they do now when it comes to their own business. For instance some of our states are against same sex marriage but I look for the Supreme Court to overrule states on that. You would probably face such issues. You would have a federal government, or something like that I assume, like we do. They would be given power over what each country, or state, does.

You would also have to support this government through taxes. These taxes sent to the federal government could be sent to states that are less fortunate so German money could end up helping or even supporting Greeks. Its really according to how much control you would allow over each individual country. Sometimes though once something starts control ends up lost.

There is a lot of pros and cons that would have to be given ample consideration before I would make such a move.
 
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C-Mach

Registered Member
Countries with a wide variety of fiscal and domestic economic policies, as well as economies themselves, in a currency union, as well as being a part of an international body that can control areas of domestic policy when the political cultures of member states can vary widely, was a terrible idea from the start. Want a customs union? Great. Want a free trade agreement? Go for it, but if a supranational organization acquires as much power as the EU has when member states vary as much as those within the EU, then it's just dangerous.
 

Dr4gon

Registered Member
V.I.P.
well it would be a very helpfull way to resolve a lot of issues and especially the ones related to defense. With federalization then western Europe could have a federal military protecting a single federal border so the smaller and weaker States would be more safe from invasion. Also the federal government could create programs to help them get stronger.
Culturally it would be another "melting pot" like Usa but basically it already is anyway.

sorry about typos but I'm using my kindlefire because cant get to my desktop Pc yet.
 
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idisrsly

I'm serious
V.I.P.
I'm no political expert, but great topic Sim.

I think, from what I've seen in Europe myself, the differences from one country to the other are too great to try and make it more united than it already is. I think the differences are unique to each country and should be guarded and respected and not be changed in any way.

I think standing together as a whole does also have it's benefits though. I just think it shouldn't be over done.

However, the EU is also facing severe economic problems, because some member states have very high debts. The richer countries are reluctant to pay for the poorer, and many poorer blame the rich for their selfishness. You can see that these days when it comes to Greece, their debts and the negotiations with Germany and other countries.
This is exactly why a "United States of Africa" would never work. Well, that, and "USA" is already taken. I can see how this creates animosity, and also why I say it shouldn't be over done. One country or a collection of countries should not suddenly be responsible for a financial deficit that's come with another country over decades.
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
We have to remember each state in the US was never an individual country. I'm not sure how that would play out if countries suddenly found themselves being states when they are use to running their affairs the way they want.

I'm wondering how its working for countries in the EU that have had people moving to their country for the benefits.
 
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