The Benefits (or Otherwise) of a United States of Europe

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
I thought this might be an interesting discussion to have in its own right.

The year is 2025 and the "Treaty of Farage" has just been signed, creating the United States of Europe.
  • Final power is now vested in the European Parliament, although any issue requires a 55% majority to pass.
  • National governments now control what have become EU regions.
  • Heads of state can collectively block a proposal, although only if they can muster a 2/3 majority using the current QMV rules
  • All countries are now in the euro.
  • The euro has been restructured, and the weaker members are now being subsidised by the stronger ones.
  • Much of the national taxation is assigned to Brussels, which reallocates it as decided by the European parliament.
  • All national embassies are now trade missions and there is only a single EU embassy in each country.
  • The French have agreed that their seat on the UN Security Council is now the EU's
  • An EU army has been formed with all national armies subordinate to it.
The United States of Europe now has a central government, central financial management, conducts its own diplomacy and has its own armed forces.

How well does it work?

Please try and confine your points to the above scenario, or we'll end up refighting the other threads.

Wordsmith
 
Snippity . . .
  • National governments now control what have become EU regions.

  • All national embassies are now trade missions and there is only a single EU embassy in each country.

How well does it work?

. . . snip.
Badly, I suspect, given that trade missions are (historically), sent by and received into, Sovereign nations and not from one region to another if both regions are subordinate to a central government.

Or are you suggesting that, almost immediately after the de facto annexation of those previous Sovereign states, certain regional powers are devolved back to them?

I believe something similar was attempted over 70 years ago. I recall that it ended badly.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
Badly, I suspect, given that trade missions are (historically), sent by and received into, Sovereign nations and not from one region to another if both regions are subordinate to a central government.

Or are you suggesting that, almost immediately after the de facto annexation of those previous Sovereign states, certain regional powers are devolved back to them?
I had it in mind that the European parliament would negotiate a trade treaty with countries around the word. The old embassies/new trade missions would then deal with individual orders. For example the French/German 'trade missions' would try and agree future Airbus orders.

If that escalated into a trade war with Boeing, that would be a problem for the European parliament to sort out.

Wordsmith
 

4(T)

LE
I just don't see how the EU federalisation project can peacefully overcome the tribal differences of a multitude of different peoples.

There are only four very large federations/empires in human society - USA, Russia, China, India. Two of these are repressive tyrannies, the other two are oligarchies. All four only acquired their modern form after a process of violent subjugation of large parts of their populations.

In Europe, it seems that the other favourite tool of empire-building tyrants has been tried - that of major demographic manipulation (in this case mass immigration, instead of mass deportations) - but, so far, this has only led to a vast increase in social stress across the continent.

I just wonder what will happen when more EU peoples begin to become aware of what it will mean to have a remote and substantially "foreign" federal government, instead of their own flawed-but-familiar local administrations? What is going to happen when, say, over-indulged minority movements (Scotland, Catalonia, et al) find that, instead of being an awkward fish in a small pond, they are irrelevant plankton in a vast ocean? People react badly to sudden change, particularly if the democratic distance has extended.

(p.s. just what is going to happen to all those devolved powers in a new federation where taxation, law and regulation are all being centralised?)

Thus far, the EU has largely masked itself as a chummy, co-operative trading block and, indeed, many people - particularly in UK where political deception has been historically much deeper - seem to still believe this the be all and end all of the EU. Now, however, the political convergence process can only accelerate - particularly given the unsustainable situation of a shared currency, and the stresses of unaligned economies.

Looking at the dull, technocratic and somewhat messianic nature of the EU political group, it hard to see where unifying and inspirational leadership is going to come from in order to overcome the growth pains of a new federal state. One wonders whether, when faced with rising waves of political crisis, EU leaders will default to the same negative cultural behaviours that were the alleged reason for trying to form a federation in the first place...
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
The idea genuinely fills me with horror and an absolute belief that within one decade there will be widespread civil war within the USE.

The people of northern European countries are in no way like the people of southern Mediterranean countries and the mix will not work. At present it is kept in hand by the fact that each member state is just that, a state with its own politicians, traditions, customs (not border customs) and most importantly, National Identity as a Greek, German, Pole etc.

IMO a USE is unworkable and wont be for a long time to come. Any attemnpt at starting up a full United States of Europe is a recipe for disaster - regardless of that the EU elite want.
 
I just don't see how the EU federalisation project can peacefully overcome the tribal differences of a multitude of different peoples.

There are only four very large federations/empires in human society - USA, Russia, China, India. Two of these are repressive tyrannies, the other two are oligarchies. All four only acquired their modern form after a process of violent subjugation of large parts of their populations.

In Europe, it seems that the other favourite tool of empire-building tyrants has been tried - that of major demographic manipulation (in this case mass immigration, instead of mass deportations) - but, so far, this has only led to a vast increase in social stress across the continent.

I just wonder what will happen when more EU peoples begin to become aware of what it will mean to have a remote and substantially "foreign" federal government, instead of their own flawed-but-familiar local administrations? What is going to happen when, say, over-indulged minority movements (Scotland, Catalonia, et al) find that, instead of being an awkward fish in a small pond, they are irrelevant plankton in a vast ocean? People react badly to sudden change, particularly if the democratic distance has extended.

(p.s. just what is going to happen to all those devolved powers in a new federation where taxation, law and regulation are all being centralised?)

Thus far, the EU has largely masked itself as a chummy, co-operative trading block and, indeed, many people - particularly in UK where political deception has been historically much deeper - seem to still believe this the be all and end all of the EU. Now, however, the political convergence process can only accelerate - particularly given the unsustainable situation of a shared currency, and the stresses of unaligned economies.

Looking at the dull, technocratic and somewhat messianic nature of the EU political group, it hard to see where unifying and inspirational leadership is going to come from in order to overcome the growth pains of a new federal state. One wonders whether, when faced with rising waves of political crisis, EU leaders will default to the same negative cultural behaviours that were the alleged reason for trying to form a federation in the first place...
As a constitutional republic, with an Executive branch, a bi-cameral Legislative branch and a Judicial branch, the USA is pretty similar to the forms of governments of most "Western" nations.

I'm curious as to whether you are labelling it as a "repressive tyranny" or "oligarchy". I suspect the latter, in which case you also slight the rest of the Western world with similar governmental systems.
 
Hmmm, good question.

I think it would probably, eventually, be a roaring success, but there would be a lot of teething troubles to be endured/overcome before it got there.

The entire political emphasis would have to shift and it would not be to the liking of those that are trying to create the new paradigm

Those current heads of individual nations that think it will be beneficial for their national political successors are dead wrong. National governments would become regional legislatures, as mentioned above, and the fulcrum of power would move to the centre. At the moment all the 'capable' politicians stay in their own countries and the 2nd raters head off to Brussels. That would be turned on its head as the inevitable tectonic shift of ultimate power happened. Who wants to be a county councillor when they have a shot at government?

Once that is largely completed, by a process of evolution, the nations will not control the federation and they will all be in the same boat. Some regions will be stronger than others, but the redistribution of the federal Euro will seek to even out any glaring disparities. The vested political interests we see now will be as good as dead.

The USE government will become much more pyramid like in its shape. One president to rule them all, not seven, with the others becoming equivalent to state secretaries. Federal and state judiciaries with separate but slightly overlapping jurisdictions.

The political structure will be something like:
President of the USE,
Federal cabinet
The federal legislature (Probably a bicameral system)
Regional legislatures.
Local legislatures (Along current county/federal state lines)
Town councils.

With an independent judiciary holding them to account when they can't do it themselves.

It is almost inevitable.
 
The idea genuinely fills me with horror and an absolute belief that within one decade there will be widespread civil war within the USE.

The people of northern European countries are in no way like the people of southern Mediterranean countries and the mix will not work. At present it is kept in hand by the fact that each member state is just that, a state with its own politicians, traditions, customs (not border customs) and most importantly, National Identity as a Greek, German, Pole etc.

IMO a USE is unworkable and wont be for a long time to come. Any attemnpt at starting up a full United States of Europe is a recipe for disaster - regardless of that the EU elite want.
What he said.

Perhaps the USofE is a worthy ideal, perhaps not. One of the joys of travell8ng around Europe is the difference.

But the reality is Europeans are too different to all agree. It would be North v South, Rich v Poor, West v east & many more combinations as it suited.
 
D

Deleted 145301

Guest
The OP tramped the streets selling ignorance to his neighbours.

He was afraid of a USE which could never happen since the UK had a veto as a member of the EU.

Brexit turns a pipe dream of the USE into a certainty.

The lack of logic shown by the op on the brexit threads is staggering.
 
D

Deleted 145301

Guest
Without a common bloc-wide language in daily use, it will never work.
Like English?

Never worked in a European office with an international workforce?

Ever travelled?

Many countries have multiple languages
 
The people of northern European countries are in no way like the people of southern Mediterranean countries and the mix will not work. At present it is kept in hand by the fact that each member state is just that, a state with its own politicians, traditions, customs (not border customs) and most importantly, National Identity
And constituent states of the USA are homogenous?. Apart from Canada of course who think they're different
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
The OP tramped the streets selling ignorance to his neighbours.

He was afraid of a USE which could never happen since the UK had a veto as a member of the EU.

Brexit turns a pipe dream of the USE into a certainty.

The lack of logic shown by the op on the brexit threads is staggering.
You certainly have a talent for spouting pish!
 
It would never work until one language was spoken fluently as a first language, not until everyone thought in the same language, that all their "internal voices" were speaking in the same language.
 
@greenbaggyskin - I'm not going to quote your complete post, if only to save some bandwidth for others: and, yes, I have cherry picked:

"The vested political interests we see now will be as good as dead. . ."

Sorry, chap, but for that one line alone, you are desperately mistaken. IMO.

As much as the current EU leadership may wish to portray it, vested national and political interests are alive and well in every member state: a good percentage of the 'EU' population are not drinking the same Kool Aid as Strasbourg/Brussels.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Care to rebut the conclusion that brexit makes a USE more likely?
I don't think brexit has anything to to with it, the fact we are leaving is not going to hasten a USE, regardless of what some Looney remainers may think.
 
And surprise surprise Baglock disagrees here we go...
 
Would there be an annual competition, perhaps along the lines of the Eurovision song contest, where a pair of contestants from each member state are chosen by lottery and sent to Brussels?
 

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