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During his “State of the Union Address” last week, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso dropped the F-bomb in front of the European Parliament (we liveblogged his speech here). Despite being appointed to his position as the “most pragmatic” (i.e. least federalist) candidate, President Barroso argued for the first time that the EU needs to federate if it wants to survive the coming decades. “Let’s not be afraid of the words,” he told MEPs, “we will need to move towards a federation of nation-states”.

Barroso also called for the “development of a European public space, where European issues are discussed and debated from a European standpoint”. As part of this effort, the Commission’s spokespeople were taking questions after the speech not just from journalists in the press conference, but also from citizens online (using the hashtag #EUChat on Twitter). The response on Twitter was mostly positive, though some users argued that the experiment would only appeal to people already interested in EU affairs:

You can see a Storify of the #EUChat here. Debating Europe also took part in the chat, and we put some of your comments about President Barroso’s speech to the Commission spokespeople.

Firstly, we began with a question from Davor, who argued that there were: “Too many languages [for a European public space, but] with the accepance of English as a primary one, something can be done.” This question was taken up by Koen Doens, Head of the Spokespersons’ Service of the European Commission:

A ‘European Public Space’ is about content, not language. You can debate Europe from a European angle in any language…

Next, we took a question from Lee, who argued that: “A federation is just as bad as a superstate. A confederation is just about bearable, one with easy mechanisms in place to forego this mental project.” How would Doens respond?

A federation of nation-states is not a superstate. It’s about marrying efficiency with legitimacy.

Finally, we took a comment from Andrew, who argued that: “There is no common European culture or identity and the more you seek to impose it the more people will resist, and rightly so“. Pia Ahrenkilde, Spokeswoman of the European Commission, responded:

The European Union is not about imposing, but working together while respecting the cultural diversity we are proud of.

 

Let’s be honest, these weren’t exactly in-depth answers; the 140 character limit on Twitter doesn’t really allow for much detail or elaboration in a single tweet. However, on Monday the Commission spokespeople also organised a live video chat with citizens, which Debating Europe also took part in, and the answers were a bit more meaty. You can see the full video from the chat here.

We started with a question from Jai about the recent announcement by Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, of a plan for ‘unlimited’ bond purchases to assist struggling eurozone members. President Barroso had said, during his speech, that he supported Mario Draghi’s plan, and Jai’s comment was that: “They may say they are acting within the ECB’s mandate but are they really acting to ensure the stability of the euro?” In other words, has Mario Draghi overstepped his mandate? Simon O’Connor, European Commission Spokesperson for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, responded:

The European Central Bank obviously acts in its full independence, and we welcome the decisions and the announcements that were made ten days ago… The ECB has made it very clear that they are taking those decisions in order to ensure that the transmission of monetary policy can be repaired and take place effectively, because with the current instability in financial markets, the volatility in yields and spreads and so on, the transmission of monetary policy decisions into the real economy is not happening as it should be. So, the ECB sees this as within its monetary policy remit and we fully respect and recognise that.

We also took a related question from Daniel  who argued that: “The criteria by which such intervention is justified need to be very strict, because it the safety net is too safe there will be no motivation for a country to behave.” In his answer, Simon O’Connor gave a hint at some of the conditions that could be expected:

In terms of the conditions that would be attached to this, it’s very important that the risk of moral hazard should be avoided. This is a principle that guides the European Commission also when we draw up the programmes and the conditions that are attached to financial assistance provided through the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and the new European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to countries like Greece, Ireland and Portugal. The financial assistance is tied to commitments from those countries which are agreed between the Commission, the IMF and the ECB and the governments in charge of these countries to ensure that they put their public finances back on track; that they take measures to ensure that, in the future, public finances will be managed in a way that is sustainable, in a way that is sound, and also that they undertake necessary structural reforms to boost competitiveness, to increase flexibility and security in labour markets; that they create the conditions for more job creation and also that the financial sector gets repaired; that the regulation and supervision of the financial sector is improved, is enhanced and strengthened, and that banks are recapitalised when necessary whilst being reformed and restructered.

So, all of the financial assistance that is being provided to countries throughout this crisis by the EU and by the Eurozone has come with strict conditions, and similar conditions would be attached to any requests for assistance that comes through our stability funds and which, in parallel. could trigger an intervention by the ECB. And we’ve made clear that that conditionality would be based on the country-specific recommendations that the European Commission presents every year, and last presented in May this year, and which were then agreed and endorsed by the heads of state and government of all of the 27 member-states, so it would be based on those recommendations which cover fiscal policies, structural policies, employment policies and so on. But it would need to be fleshed out in a memorandum agreed together with the member-state in question, with clear, specific policy objectives and a clear timeline.

Finally, we took a comment from Gerry, who argued that: “To put a fast end to this Eurozone crisis, there must be a Eurozone budgetary union [and] Eurozone Bond“. This comment was taken up by Olivier Bailly, Coordinating Spokesperson of the European Commission:

Well, it’s part of the debate, and [Gerry] rightly point to two real blocks. The EU budget is one aspect; we consider that there is no credible budgetary policy for the EU. There is not a credible budget of redistribution and investment from the EU, and we consider that in times of crisis it is even more important when member-states are cutting their national budgets that the EU can still invest in growth and jobs. So, that is one aspect.

But the mutualisation of the debt, or how to make sure that the member-states take responsibility for each others’ debts – for part of it or the totality of their debt – is actually a second type of answer that we see in this debate. Simon has just referred to the green paper, certainly this debate will continue.

President Barroso said last week that he will present some ideas about how to deepen the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), and I also mentioned that a possible treaty change in the future would be linked to these eurobonds. But, let’s be clear about this debate, because not all the member-states see it from the same angle. If you have a lot of debt, of course you would be happy for someone else to cover part of your debt. If you have less debt, of course you’re not interested in covering someone else or taking the risk of bad fiscal policy in these countries. So, this is why I think it is crucial to refer to fiscal discipline, and these are the two sides of the same coin. Solidarity will come with more responsibility.

What do YOU think? Is EU Commission President Barroso’s ‘European federation of nation-states’ just as bad as a superstate? Or is it the only way to marry efficiency with democratic legitimacy? Are there too many languages for a common European public space? Or is a public space more about content than language? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.


50 comments Post a commentComment


  1. Redjade InHungary

    It should be a federation based first on democratic and human rights, NOT organised for the purpose of banking regulations first – which is what Mr Barroso is basically proposing.

  2. JAlberto Barbosa

    Yes, EU should be a Federation because is the best solution to creat a strong group of states with the same rules, laws, duties and rights running all in the same direction and to increase a strong power and influence against the others big countries in the world. (China, India, EUA, …) All for all

  3. MandyandPj Leneghan

    As Redjade said but I am surprised that the EU still exists. Because of the destruction of the idea of an EU by the financial globalists, it probably does not exist except in a manner similar to a WTO, IMF kind of thing. Which is a pity because it was a good idea as it could have protected Europeans from those globalists, that basically work to a mafia formula…pj

  4. Francesco De Florio

    ogni paese neo costituito deve passare dalla votazione dei propri cittadini per imporre le proprie regole costituzionale e leggi

  5. Phạm Lê Quốc Việt

    I remember words of Prof. Vito Tanzi “We have been spending to much time looking down from the central government, It is time to lookup from that layer”. Member state government should learn this, repair the origin sin of EUro as criticized ” Currency without State”

  6. Hans Metzke

    A federation is the only way to go forward from this point. The only way back is dissolution of the union and that’s something we shouldn’t want.

    Let the nations keep the laws that divides them (like the Dutch softdrug laws and the French laïcité) and create common laws that matter to any of them, like the freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the right to vote etc. Also give people a pan-European market when it really helps them, like in telecom or online entertainment. If there’s one place where we need a single market it’s online, for crying out loud.

    The European people must be the foundation of the federal Union, only then it can and will succeed. Give the people the right to choose their own president, parliament and laws. That’s the only way to make Europeans feel European.

    Just look at the United States of America en see what made them succesful. And don’t forget to learn from their mistakes.

  7. Хуан Баскес Гарсия

    No, we shouldn’t. We are not like the United States and most Europeans don’t want to be like the United States. The European Union is broke. How in the hell are we going to pay federal taxes? Nobody wants to pay more taxes to create more bu
    reaucracy and more laws that makes doing business and earning money more difficult. No, thank you. You already pushed us into embracing the euro. I remember the propaganda in 2000. If you pay in euros you’re cool, if you don’t then you’re just plain old-fashioned. It was the monetary propaganda that led us to accept the euro and look how many problems it has caused us. Each European country should focus on its own domestic affairs and let others be. We have different traditions, different languages and different mindsets. The European Union won’t work, get this once and for all!

  8. eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Sim a Europa deve criar uma federação e baseada nos direitos democraticos os estados membros devem seguir as politicas da federação para que a europa seja forte e com poder para influenciar os outros grandes paises do mundo

  9. Bastian

    Neither classical federation nor coexistence of isolated nation states. The EU establishment should remember the idea of a political structure “sui generis”, considering the special features of Europe with its many different cultures, traditions and history. Unfortunately, in the euphoria of the post-Soviet era the EU establishment increasingly forgot and suppressed this prerequisite for solving the problem of individual European nations without destroying their productivity. Instead of a “sui generis” solution old concepts of state (super state) and empire (non-imperial empire) guided the discussions since the Nineties. The €uro mess with its current members is a result of such false thinking. To avert further damage from its members, the EU establishment must return to this idea of “sui generis”. Maybe Barroso’s term “Federation of Nation-States” implies that the EU cannot be a copy of historical federations like the US or former Yugoslavia, but this is not clear. Most recent policy decisions by the EU point to the EU becoming a heavily centralized state of autocratic rule without broad legitimation in the population of its members. To avoid such regressions which actually could lead to pre-national political conditions, I would suggest to take up again the concept of “net-work state” as a possible future of the EU. But, of course, this would be more intellectually demanding than just copy paste the US, which more or less happened in the bygone two decades.

    • Dimitrios Katsoudas

      As a former official and theorist on European Affairs I single out your particular view Bastian. The E.U. is certainly a sui generis formation with ABSOLUTELY no historical precedent of consequence, though many have been put forward to make exactly this point, from the Amphictionic League to the Holy Roman Empire (which was neither holy, nor Roman, neither the legitimate continuation of the Roman Empire proper, as Byzantium certainly was). It is natural in times of crises, though, for both officials or just citizens interested in E.U. affairs to resort to established cliches or use the most commonly known succesful examples (e.g. the U.S.) for envisaging the future; but it is EXACTLY because we are living in a period of crisis that we need to go deeper and study carefully the sui generis nature of the ‘European project’, proposing solutions pertaining to Europe’s peculiarity and uniqueness as a formation. Our two guiding ideas should be: first, that we can’t make it alone in a world where Europe is annually becoming less and less important; second, that we should preserve Europe’s stunning national, cultural, and democratic diversity (and even encourage it to become even more distinct). British, or other, eurosceptisism is not unfounded, neither illogigal, but in my humble opinion it is narrow-minded (no offence eurosceptic friends!). Besides our national, cultural, etc differences there are by now in Europe attitudes, trends and beliefs shared by the vast majority of Europeans and these are-and should become even more so-the common denominators of our Union.

    • caterhine benning

      @Dimitrios Katsoudas:

      I could not have written it as well or better. I go along with your written analysis above.

      Europe is too important to the world to allow it to be destroyed by narrow thinking. Where else on the planet is there such a harmony of like minds.

      Even if you cite North America, that in itself was and is a European concept. Although it has now taken on a disproportionate leaning toward military expansionism and moved itself further away from true democratic thinking.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DVaZrW2-kk

  10. Giannhs Panourhs

    I can’t see how each state alone could achieve anything the way the world is heading (BRICS, US etc). I really believe the only way to move forward is by making a federation. The most democratic of course and by that I mean that from the beggining, we should start voting in a pan-European level about things that matter to us (Europeans) like which system we should have (Nordic model, Coordinated market economy etc). Also I recommend for the common goods (electricity, telecommunications, railroads) to be taken by the european public sector so that the profit returns to european citizen or they might be used for european educational projects or whatever we like…

  11. Nikolai Holmov

    In a word “no”. There is a big difference between a confederation and a federation.

    The dysfunctional system of the USA as currently bemoaned by many US citizens I meet is a testament to the fact that many US citizens when speaking individually are no fans of the federal system they have.

    Many consistently complain of the inequality between States within the US over sales taxes in some State and not in others, different laws and age requirements in some States and than others etc but would rather have that than the Federal government crushing local democracy and local laws on a whim.

    Ergo they prefer the confederation rather than federation when you take the time to sit and speak with them at length.

    With a confederation then there would at least be commonly agreed areas where resources are pooled, very much like the many existing military EU battle groups that already exist.

    To stick with the military example, a federation would, if following the US system, remove the right for a sovereign State to act independently militarily. A confederation would not.

    Moving to energy, France is almost entirely nuclear. Other nations are entirely atomic energy free when it comes to production. When eventually, and it would happen, a federal decision on atomic energy came to the top of the agenda, who wins or loses and how does that effect the federation?

    In a confederation, that decision would remain sovereign.

    In short a confederation relies on negotiated relinquishing or pooling of certain sovereign policy areas but not all. A federation makes a sovereign entirely subservient to a central decision maker for everything as time passes by and most everything reaches the top of the federal agenda.

    A confederation would work well if the EU and EU institutions had the power to actually enforce the areas of policy that are surrendered but then ignored by all member states when it suits.

    Just how many EU member states have ECfHR rulings against them that are still unactioned for example? What is the mechanism for enforcing ECfHR rulings on a sovereign nation that does not impose the ruling of the court?

    It seems there is asking them to comply or the nuclear option of Article 7. There is absolutely nothing in between. It is pointless asking a sovereign to comply when it has already defended its position at the ECfHR and inherently thinks it is within its sovereign rights to act as it has.

    Thus the EU structure is flawed and we all accept it is flawed, but the US federal system is also flawed. Just how many States end up in court fighting against the Federal agencies in the US? It is a continual conveyor belt of legal actions where local democracy is continually in litigation with the Federal State. That is where the EU should go? Really?

    Surely a confederation of agreed pooled resources and relinquished sovereignty with mechanisms that have graduated teeth for non-compliance is the more sensible step rather than the US system of state with a small “s” continually in political and legal battle with “The State”.

    All of that said, confederation or federation, it will take the best part of 2 decades for such a thing to come into existence even if all parties are willing as such a thing would need a referendum in many sovereigns and there is simply no way to guarantee the outcomes of that.

    If there is one the the EU is very consistent at doing, it is failing to engage with the EU voter. Governments, civil society, lobby groups etc are all engaged with, but the actual voter? Hopeless!

    To even seriously consider the creation of confederation or federation of existing and/or currently potential EU states is nothing more than a pipe dream until the EU manage to engage with the voter who will decide at multiple referenda. – And the voter will need some serious convincing.

  12. Omar Mateiro

    EU is allready one of the worlds 5 biggest economies and that’s is the way it should stay at all costs, considering the alternative which is to be swalowed slowly or more quicly by one of the other four. Havind said that, EU citizens are not ready yet to look at each other as sharing the same commom space, frontiers having being abolished a long time ago and so on…
    Therefore, we should start by a more soft solution than a Federation to give time to people get used to the idea and make the idea grow within the hearts, the culture, the public admnistration, the educational system and only them move foward to a peaceful solution that will present itself.
    Commom EU infraestructure solutions as the energy smartgrid are to be implemented as well, without barriers so that we feel close to each other in the way of life as well.
    No need to rush, after all we really need right now is overcome the crisis and that can be achieved just by efective ECB regulation and treaties implementation. Lets give the Federation the room to grow more in peoples minds so we don´t have to force it.

  13. catherine benning

    From my point of view, loose federations create a paralysis. This ends up with them reaching a negotiated equilibrium with nothing happening. Stalemate.

    That said, the European States will defer and deter, so federation of any kind, is as another poster wrote, going to take a long time.

    I would prefer federation. I see it as, ‘one giant step for mankind.’ As the astronaut, Niel Armstrong, declared when he walked on that planet called moon.

    The US is not a good example as many States were forced into a federation through civil war. And much of the native population were subjugated in it’s concept. This is not going to happen to modern Europe. However, participants must want to be full members in every sense of the word. Not one foot in and one foot outers. Akin to the UK. And as another poster also wrote, referendum across the board with full knowledge and discussion of what that will mean to each one of us.

    • Bastian

      Agree with you, Catherine – federation as a dream, yes. Unfortunately, the real EU develops differently, more and more to a playing ground of xenophile fanatics protected by rules of political correctness. What mess this creats we can see now in Greece etc. It is not the Europe I am dreaming of.

    • caterhine benning

      @Bastian:

      A dream is an idea before any concept can be reality. And the concept of a Federal Europe has been in the offing for decades.

      Without a forerunner to a concept, nothing is created. Take the simple notion of the mobile phone. The idea was forwarded by the old US TV show, Star Trek. Without that idea being drummed into the mind of the receivers across the planet, as more than a possibility, it would not have been believed possible and taken up to become reality.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wY9NkYGUEyE

      How we dream is how the world uses those thoughts to produce what it is we need and want to progress as mankind. Europe as a united force is a world changer. Greater than the sum of its parts.

    • Bastian

      Agree with your norion of idea. The Star Trek clip is, indeed, an excellent reminder. What I want to say is that the EU as it is developing today does not really match my ideas of a better Europe. Although, I must admit, that it is easier for me to say what I don’t want than clearly what I want.

    • denise

      the moon isnt a planet catherine!

  14. Bastian

    @Homlov
    “If there is one the the EU is very consistent at doing, it is failing to engage with the EU voter.”

    And that is one thing which makes the EU increasingly suspicious. It seems that only the democratic nation state can secure individual political participation. The attempt to replace the voter with “civil society” is totalitarian and flawed.

    The nation state is an evolutionary success story, to replace it by empire or any similar structure is backward and fullish. The success of the EU will depend on its ability to preserve the sovereignty of its nation states and still secure cohesion in European.

    • Nikolai Holmov

      Naturally I do not disagree with you.

      Living in Ukraine I have watch the EU for years engage, quite rightly, with governments but get nowhere very fast regardless of the government in question.

      I now watch it throw hundreds of millions of Euro at Ukrainian civil society which exists in not only a completely alien bubble to any Ukrainian government, but also exists completely alien to Ukrainian society.

      In fact Ukrainian civil society/NGOs/academia, generally speaking, is further removed from Ukrainian society than our politicians. It really is completely alien to almost the entire populous of the country.

      So the EU fails to communicate with the Ukrainian citizen via our politicians. It fails to communicate with the Ukrainian citizen via civil society.

      As for direct EU to Ukrainian citizen communication? Absolutely none. Zero. Nothing.

      I suppose it is hardly surprising given the precedent of the existing EU structures ability to communicate directly with the EU voter also being almost non-existent, but any talk of an EU federation will be simply that – talk – unless the EU can generate the will amongst its voter base.

      A monologue, either directly given or via third parties, quite simply is not a conversation.

  15. Marinescu Daniela

    Did mr. Baroso ever said: sorry Romanian people, I’ve just committed an error”? Did You ever heard him saying something like that?……..

  16. Steve Patriarca

    Just heard Hans Wener Sinn on BBC Hard Talk – amazing – at last an intelligent voice in Europe – why can’t be become President?

  17. Győző Dósa

    the biggest danger for freedom is concentration of power. yes, federation is the next step toward dictatorship

  18. Laszlo Nagy

    With the Schengen area and lots of common regulations, the EU already looks like a confederation. Large parts of the population is skeptic about the EU, so perhaps instead of further deepening of the cooperation, a longer consolidation period is necessary. Let’s see what will be the EU like in 2020 economically and socially, let the EU prove it’s competency once more, if it can.

  19. Christos Mouzeviris

    Well, you know my positions. I wholeheartedly support a kind of federation for all European states, either that is a confederation or a federation of nation states or a federation full stop. Simply because I see that EU politicians are far more bothered to reach out to the people and talk to them, or answer their questions. How many of you have you had the experience in chatting or addressing directly your national politicians in a LIVE debate? Come on! And you vote for them, you give them their seats.

  20. Nico Keppens

    As said in earlier contributions: the only solution to react to the global challenges is to take decisions at the appropriate level. The ‘difficult’ word for this is ‘subsidiarity’. Implementing this principle means also that there needs to be an appropriate level for the domains at local, regional, European and world level. Implementing this means also that the citizens, whose intrests (having an environment that allows her/him to live and work in decent conditions) indeed have to at the centre of all decisions, are involved in the appropriate way. This takes into consideration the level of background knowledge in order to be able to decide and the – even practical need for – representative model of democracy we have. On the latter: in spite of all the requests to be more involved in taking decisions: how many citizens indeed want to take up responsibility, want to inform themselves better on the more difficult issues?

    • Rallan

      “This takes into consideration the level of background knowledge in order to be able to decide and the – even practical need for – representative model of democracy we have. On the latter: in spite of all the requests to be more involved in taking decisions: how many citizens indeed want to take up responsibility, want to inform themselves better on the more difficult issues?”

      Wow. So your argument is that democracy should be discarded because (in your opinion) people are both stupid and lazy?

    • Nico Keppens

      No, I don’t want to say that they are stupid or lazy, but 1) that indeed many people do not want to take the responsibility to be part of the decision (see for instance the rections agains the obligation to vote in elections) and 2) that indeed for many issues you need to have too much background information in order to be capable of making a decision. Just like not everyone can assist to operate someone.

  21. Viviane de Beaufort

    Faced with so Urgent matters there is no other way than more integration of Europe. Members States are still reluctant , the EP and the EC should move on and make pressure. We are always talking about Euro but challenges are coming from outside too. It is not about protectionnism it is about fair competition rules : europe should be able to negociate with its partners/competitors and for that we should be ONE!

    • Rallan

      So you think that these ‘reluctant’ nations should be blackmailed or otherwise forced into giving up sovereignty, even though the electorate of those sovereign nations are clearly not willing?

      I am shocked by the arrogant contempt shown by the EU and its supporters toward the peoples of Europe.

      If you cannot persuade the people of the merit of the EU then you must change the offer to something more acceptable.

    • Catherine Benning

      @Rallan:

      It appears to me that what you are missing is the European people are heavily for the concept of Europe. Not against it, or even a federal Europe. What they dislike is the turn it has taken regarding our leaders loyalties.

      What I feel the Europeans sense is that they are on the outside of a movement taking over their traditions and the basis of their civilisation, whilst turning it on its head. And in the process, abandoning their natural sense of self within their comfort zone to a no mans land they cannot understand or want to be a part of. This does not mean they do not continue to hold close to a united European principle. As Bastian said, they dispute the direction it has taken.

      The truth is, Europe’s main players are seemingly no longer interested in the need to preserve the great civilization it is and instead, are hell bent on creating a segmented continent without social cohesion or any understanding of where it is going. We have no vision in leadership. Or, the leadership is so fragmented it cannot form a census to lead the majority as a democracy. And the fear that is created by this emptiness is the fear of tyranny. As those who lead and have a vested interest in proving themselves ‘right,’ find they have nothing in common with the mainstream. This is taking place in the UK right now and it is heading for a crash.

      It is this that must be addressed in a hurry. What we need to stand for is a Europe that the majority want to be part of. Not a Europe of a thousand pixels. Which is what we have become.

  22. Vicente Silva Tavares

    One side of the coin is this Union only will survive if it gets deeper integrated and Federation is the only way. However, the other side of the coin is also valid: Can we say the nations would be worst if the European Union collapse and finish? Southern countries could devalue their currency and transform their economy more competitive. Imports will be more expensive which would stimulate the industry growing. And Germans would be happy again with its new mark.

  23. Alex Papa (@alpawisper)

    The time is getting every day closer for for the EU to become and independent Federation. Let’s imagine the euros that would be saved for investing in research and in modernization of many old industries and toward infrastructures if existed only 1 unified army instead on one per each state. I know it seems a dream, but imagine how better it could be for the workers if private companies start to exchange and sell to each other their names and factories.

  24. Martin93

    The European Union should reform itself as Federal Union. We have to be united if you want strong currency. Take a stick and try to broke it. You will definately succeed ! Then try to collect 10-20 sticks and try to break them at once ! It will be hard and maybe impossible to break them all , right ?
    We have to become one if you want to be competitors to China,USA and the Russian Federation (Which is formed by couple countries). As @Alex Papa said , just imagine how many opportunities will be opened in front of you if we become federation !

  25. Luis300«

    Of course it should be a federation, democracy in its composition is a must, I say even more, it should be revolutionaricaly democratic, with direct democracy, and a permanent popular commission, whose members are anonymous and out of contact by politicians, with the ability to check any representative action, and if proofs arise of corruption, to send the republican guard to arrest the culprit, of course all handling of federal funds should be submitted to their scrutiny.
    This would reduce political corruption to irrelevance.

    Even together the challenges we will face will be hard, namely we have a declining population, a low fertility rate, that is not possible to reverse in a continent without power, without the ability to guarantee policies, to support mothers, fathers, and children, and imagine the power, nordic/german/benelux/french/italian/british tech merged and applied to the whole continent, despite the crisis from lack of population,and eventually being overpassed by China in overall GDP in 2050, we could still remain the main power of the planet.
    Its in our hands.

  26. EuroBrit

    Yes it should become a federation, and I hope my country (UK) is part of that. Europe is going to need to stand together to compete with the US & BRICs – individually we’re too small. We need to unite to assert ourselves as the globe becomes a multi-polar world of rising superpowers that compete for power and influence. Otherwise, Europe risks becoming a sphere of influence to be fought over.

    Already the weakness of nation-states has become apparent – in the UK for example, our military has been more or less seized for use in US imperialistic adventures against our wishes and national interests. It is unacceptable that British soldiers should be sent overseas to invade a sovereign state and give their lives in the US national interest. We rely on America to maintain our Trident nuclear deterrent system, they have the right to base troops here but not vice versa, receive all MI6 intelligence yet are not obligated to share their own and can extradite any UK citizen yet we cannot do the same. We are pretty much a vassal state in the US empire already.

    Small states cannot be independent. They always fall under the control of empires. Larger nations have had to emerge as the world grows – England for example used to be divided into many kingdoms before it was united to form one country, and then England itself formed a union with Scotland, Wales and Ireland to stand as a larger country able to assert itself and maintain independence. Every other European country has the same story, from France to Germany.

    Now the globe has shifted again; other European nations now share our interests and rising superpowers threaten them. The logical step is to do what we’ve done before – unite. A European federation need not destroy national identities – I am British and live in a United Kingdom, yet that does not make me feel any less English. If I can be English and British, I can be European too. Which I am of course, and proud of it.

  27. Tommy

    In reply to M. Kolev.

    I am sorry you seemed to have had a bad experience of British people in the UK, which is not representative of the entire country. I have gotten myself into physical danger and harm before for standing up for foreign people from racist people, the majority are not racist, but many people do not stand up against racism while racists can be very potent in displaying their views. Do not do what you hate others for doing, discriminating on ignorance. So please welcome a British traveler not assume they are as bad as some people who you met.

    You ask how long there will be racists and what is being done to stop discrimination. You did not specify where but as you talked about Britain I will assume you mean the UK.

    A symptom of racism is discrimination. People in this context act on their views and effect others negativity. Therefore the law now clearly states discrimination is illegal. But the punishment of law is often not effective in preventing crime. In this case law, as you rightly say, does not stop it. To stop discrimination we must stop people obtaining racist views.

    Racists are people who do not understand the importance and moral authority equality has. Education is the way to do this. I do not want to say that generally, however, I could not isolate all the variables which make someone believe in equality or racist. I believe I understand the basics though. Philosophy and the study of ethics and morals is the direct way to address this. There are other ways to directly address it outside this channel but in essence in school we should learn how we are equal and more importantly why. We should learn how crazy it is to discriminate on grounds of were someone was born. None of us chose where we were born. People are born in other countries, some people are born and raised to believe certain regions and some people are gay or bisexual. It is sad the world we live in raises people to think you can treat people as less people on these variables.

    I believe change is always happening. In the UK and the world, we are getting better. Europe is nothing compared to what it was 100 years ago and American has changed dramatically since the 1960′s. Even in China if you seriously study China politically is having adjust to reform. Progress does not mean we are near our goal or that regression does not occur. While there are bad practices in the world bad things will happen, and there will be exceptions to progress all the time but please appropriate your part of a changing world, do your part to help change it for the better and appreciate the limitations our time places on us. In my lifetime we will never reach anything near, dare I say… a utopia. That, however, should not discourage us from trying to bring change.

  28. Anne

    Why stop at a Federation? Why not make it one World Government with the UN as it’s Government then there is the WTO, the WHO etc to help with the Governing. And when we are all fed up of it, find another World? What I am making sure you understand is, by marrying all states together, where and what are you going to do when you find out what you thought would work, doesn’t? The people in the UK are fed up of paying two full Houses of Parliament that have to put forward laws made in the EU. The people already see there is no point in ELECTING people to govern when they too have to obey the order of others. Look at the wars that are going on at the moment? Think World Government will take care of no more wars? Too many deaths already through different life styles here in the UK already. What if those life styles are all decided by that one World Government? Perhaps you may realise that all these dreams/nightmares will not work?

  29. Anne

    I do not care one jot what the EU becomes AS LONG AS THE UK IS NO LONGER IN IT!

  30. Sasha

    Yes, a federation, I hardly wait for that. Britain and the rest of the sceptics: step out!

  31. chumachil

    It’s better for the EU to dissolve for good. After all, the euro is the culprit.

    And hey, why not give the Euroskeptics the chance to speak the bitter truth?

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