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Future of EU: Federalism, or United States of Europe?
#1
Future of EU: Federalism, or United States of Europe?




Does it start here :


Solemn Declaration on European Union (Stuttgart, 19 June 1983):

The Heads of State or Government of the Member States of the European Communities, meeting within the European Council,
 
resolved to continue the work begun on the basis of the Treaties of Paris and Rome and to create a united Europe, […]
 
considering that the European idea, the results achieved in the fields of economic integration and political cooperation, and the need for new developments correspond to the wishes of the democratic peoples of Europe, for whom the European Parliament, elected by universal suffrage, is an indispensable means of expression,
 
determined to work together to promote democracy on the basis of the fundamental rights recognized in the constitutions and laws of the Member States, in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and the European Social Charter, notably freedom, equality and social justice,[…]

resolved to accord a high priority to the Community's social progress and in particular to the problem of employment by the development of a European social policy,
 
convinced that, by speaking with a single voice in foreign policy, including political aspects of security, Europe can contribute to the preservation of peace, […]

have adopted the following:
 
1 Objectives
 
1.1 The Heads of State or Government, on the basis of an awareness of a common destiny and the wish to affirm the European identity, confirm their commitment to progress towards an ever closer union among the peoples and Member States of the European Community.
 


Or did it start here:

Victor Hugo, le 21 août 1849, à l'occasion du Congrès international de la paix de Paris:
Un jour viendra où les armes vous tomberont des mains, à vous aussi !
Un jour viendra où la guerre paraîtra aussi absurde et sera aussi impossible entre Paris et Londres, entre Pétersbourg et Berlin, entre Vienne et Turin, qu'elle serait impossible et qu'elle paraîtrait absurde aujourd'hui entre Rouen et Amiens, entre Boston et Philadelphie.
Un jour viendra où vous France, vous Russie, vous Italie, vous Angleterre, vous Allemagne, vous toutes nations du continent, sans perdre vos qualités distinctes et votre glorieuse individualité, vous vous fondrez étroitement dans une unité supérieure, et vous constituerez la fraternité européenne, absolument comme la Normandie, la Bretagne, la Bourgogne, la Lorraine, l'Alsace, toutes nos provinces, se sont fondues dans la France.
Un jour viendra où il n'y aura plus d'autres champs de bataille que les marchés s'ouvrant au commerce et les esprits s'ouvrant aux idées.
Un jour viendra où les boulets et les bombes seront remplacés par les votes, par le suffrage universel des peuples, par le vénérable arbitrage d'un grand sénat souverain qui sera à l'Europe ce que le parlement est à l'Angleterre, ce que la diète est à l'Allemagne, ce que l'Assemblée législative est à la France.
Un jour viendra où l'on montrera un canon dans les musées comme on y montre aujourd'hui un instrument de torture, en s'étonnant que cela ait pu être.
A day will come when the weapons will fall from your hands, to you too!
A day will come when war will appear as absurd and as impossible between Paris and London, between Petersburg and Berlin, between Vienna and Turin, it would be impossible and it would seem absurd today between Rouen and Amiens, between Boston and Philadelphia.
A day will come when you France, you Russia, you Italy, you England, you Germany, you all nations of the continent, without losing your distinct qualities and your glorious individuality, you will merge closely in a higher unity, and you will constitute the European fraternity just like Normandy, Brittany, Burgundy, Lorraine, Alsace, all our provinces, have melted into France.
A day will come when there will be no other battlefields than markets open to trade and minds opening to ideas.
A day will come when the balls and the bombs will be replaced by the votes, by the universal suffrage of the people, by the venerable arbitration of a great sovereign senate which will be to Europe what the Parliament is to England, what the diet is to Germany, which the Legislative Assembly is to France.
A day will come when a cannon will be shown in museums, as we now see an instrument of torture, astonished that it could have been.

Ou encore, Victor Hugo, le 17 juillet 1851, à l'Assemblé législative:
Le peuple français a taillé dans le granit indestructible et posé au milieu du continent monarchique de l'Europe la première assise de cet immense édifice qui s'appellera un jour les Etats-Unis d'Europe.
The French people carved in the indestructible granite and laid in the middle of the monarchical continent of Europe the first base of this immense building, which will one day be called the United States of Europe.
 
Et enfin, Victor Hugo, dans le guide de l’Exposition universelle de 1867:
Elle s'appellera l'Europe, au XXe siècle, et, aux siècles suivants, plus transfigurée encore, elle s'appellera l'Humanité.
It will be called Europe in the twentieth century, and in the following centuries, still more transfigured, it will be called Humanity.
 

[All translations with Google Translate.]



Have you, among all the EU27 countries, similar texts ? It would be nice to share them here. All the XIXth, XXth and XXIst centuries texts are interesting.
 
So, many questions to be set today:
  • Is there a difference between an “ever closer Union” and the “United States of Europe” ? or is it only one step ?
  • Would it frighten your country, and be a cause for leaving ?
  • What does that mean in constitutional terms ? Constitutional Monarchy or Republic ? How many chambers in Parliament ?
  • What would be the successive steps to reinforce our beloved Union ?
  • Is there compatibility between the general European progress and a several-speeds Union ? That means : have the States which do not want to go further have the right to stop the ones which do want it ?
  • What does this mean in socio-economical terms ? Taxes, social and health policies, education (beyond Erasmus) ? Industrial management ?
  • A common defence ? An European army ?
  • What ways to deepen our citizenship ?
These are general questions, it would be nice to talk about those topics together. Especially if several of us do not support federalism, or are suspicious about it. Their arguments will be welcome, as far as I think that federalism is a peaceful process, a target that will only be achieved in a distant future.
 
There are numerous individual issues, anyway :
  • Do you think that “United States of Europe” or “Federalism” are Godwin points ?
  • Going further, do you think possible to think together constructively and quietly a way to federalism ?
  • Is the population of your country favorable to federalism ? What part of it ? Is it part of the progressive, or the conservative wing ?
  • Are the federalists seen as targets for the far-right or far-left movements ?
  • What are your difficulties in explaining what means the European federalism to your friends and loved ones ?
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#2
I start answering for my personal view in France (it’s not THE truth, you know) …

Federalism IS a Godwin point, in my family, among my close or distant friends. It is a political minority, which was roughly divided into two camps (Socialists and center-right). Those camps were globally unable to support the “ever closer union”, which was quite frustrating, until Macron appeared.

I think that a large part of the hatred against Macron comes from the fact that he is strongly supported by pro-Europeans, among which federalists. Macron, Loiseau, Buzyn etc. do not, and cannot declare themselves as federalists, so we do not know exactly what is their position.

Most progressive people are indifferent. They have shorter-term or more pragmatic issues concerning the EU. The European election is not seen as decisive, nor is it for the political staff, except Macron and Le Pen, indeed.
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#3
ύδωρ περάσουσιν :
Most progressive people are indifferent. They have shorter-term or more pragmatic issues concerning the EU.

that's a contradiction to me :
- "Progressive people" are active people, not just couch intellectuals
- Progressive people cannot be indifferent to some of the most important aspects of their political investment ( and what could be more important than our future in a federation in Europe ? )
- shorter-term or more pragmatic issues concerning the EU should not prevent progressive people from looking for the medium or the long term.
The idea is to take over one's responsibility for the future. Otherwise we join the couch-intellectual potatoes practicing brain masturbation.
Unfortunately, those seem to be the majority in France.
Moonbeam Rider
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#4
How the Swiss Confederal Model could be applied to a United Europe: Jacques Neirynck at TEDxZurich

[Image: attachment.php?aid=141]

   
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#5
Sites that advocate a Federal Europe
[Image: attachment.php?aid=142]

Union of European Federalists
The Spinelli Group
The New Federalist

   
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#6
The EU is already a federal entity, with defined competences that supersedes the member states.
What is lacking in our 'shy' federal entity is the firm, stable and agile stand in the world stage.

Our 'federal' leaders have weak mandates thus weak stances.
To strengthen the EU in the world stage, it needs more competences and to deal with them, a matching budget (EU states 1% vs US states 18,3% in 2015).


Which competences should lay where, is a dispute at every level of governance whether it is municipal, regional or state. Handing over state competences to Brussels, is not something easy to do by national politicians, who will also see the money getting out of their control. Progressive politicians should 'give away' powers to where they are more effective, for the well-being of the citizens.

Some will argue with the loss of independence and sovereignty (UK taking back control), Mario Draghi this year in a speech in Bologna (Sovereignty in a globalised world) explains it well why Independence and Sovereignty is not available to small states "True sovereignty is reflected not in the power of making laws – as a legal definition would have it – but in the ability to control outcomes and respond to the fundamental needs of the people"

The EURO might have been introduced in an hasty manner, but it is a strong piece of unity, it makes the countries work together to address the issues that belong to all the members, no one can just leave. More of these pieces of unity like Galileo, ESA are needed, so that we all can say it's ours, to continue building the sense of EU citizenship.
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#7
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EU chief Tusk slams utopian 'illusions' of united Europe MAY 30, 2016 Reuters

“It is us who today are responsible for confronting reality with all kinds of utopias — a utopia of Europe without nation states, a utopia of Europe without conflicting interests and ambitions, a utopia of Europe imposing its own values on the external world,” the former Polish prime minister said.


“Obsessed with the idea of instant and total integration, we failed to notice that ordinary people, the citizens of Europe, do not share our Euro-enthusiasm. Disillusioned with the great visions of the future, they demand that we cope with the present reality better than we have been doing until now ... Euroskepticism (has) become an alternative to those illusions.”

"the citizens of Europe, do not share our Euro-enthusiasm" 
It is for the Union to make the EU institutions shine, the enthusiasm will arise with the success of the project. 
Mr. Tusk's statement was before the UK Brexit referendum, this issue opened the eyes of many europeans and showed the relevance of the EU in our daily lives, I believe that the "Euro-enthusiasm" after the Brexit referendum has changed.
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#8
I'm not impressed by this kind of talk. I'm impressed by the EU as it is.  'Works well enough' is a complement, not a put down. I'd rather the people who joined in the Nineties were allowed the time to learn how good they have it. 

The first ten years of membership is a transition. The second ten years is upheaval. The third ten years is rebuilding. (Some of that group need to add a bit for finishing off their post-communist jiggery-pokery.)

That's been Ireland's experience.
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#9
(18-03-19, 07:55 PM)smellybeard Wrote: I'm not impressed by this kind of talk. I'm impressed by the EU as it is.  'Works well enough' is a complement, not a put down. I'd rather the people who joined in the Nineties were allowed the time to learn how good they have it. 

The first ten years of membership is a transition. The second ten years is upheaval. The third ten years is rebuilding. (Some of that group need to add a bit for finishing off their post-communist jiggery-pokery.)

That's been Ireland's experience.
The EU was not as it is a decade ago, someone had to dream.
The EU as you rightly say must be buid step by step, the path has been set (political, economic and monetary union), the pace is much too slow for the needs in this globalized world, don´t forget that neither the US or China have 28 (27) hurdles to overcome before anything is decided, and we the citizens are the ones that are going to lose.
Can't see any harm in dreaming of a United States of Europe, where all the states and citizens are happy with the compromise. The Americans and the Germans are happy with their federal sates, why can't we?
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#10
(18-03-19, 12:42 PM)SwaziKing Wrote: The EU is already a federal entity, with defined competences that supersedes the member states.
What is lacking in our 'shy' federal entity is the firm, stable and agile stand in the world stage.

Yes, a federation can be many things, from a very loose to a very centralised system.

So I think in this debate just saying I like/do not like federal EU is too vague. The devil is, like in all democratic systems, in the detail. So we should debate in some more detail the substance - what kind of a 'federal' EU = future EU we want - what should be more/less integrated, how should the governance system work, how should funding, defence, foreign policy be organised etc. In the end, it does not matter whether we call it a federation or not.  Smile
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