Do you see a European federation/superstate eventually being created?

Jan 2017
573
UK
#21
I don't see it happening for at least the next 20 years; as long as the idea of national sovereignty exists european citizens will have too many reservations about handing more of it over to a centralised bureaucracy. A lot of this depends on the current EU overcomings its internal problems to become less reliant on the US and stave off Chinese and Russian influence, "muddling through" hasn't worked so far, doubt it'll work at some distant point in the future.
 
Apr 2018
703
Upland, Sweden
#23
Do you think that the federal structure of the US could also be a good model for a unified European federation?
It would not be a bad model, but I think the US is too centralized in many ways for European purposes (and arguably not enough in others). There are more than a few differences between the US and Europe - even though we are both parts of the West, broadly speaking - most importantly, we do not have the kind of linguistic and cultural homogeneity you do. Sure, you have lots of different ethnic groups but you do a pretty great job at breaking them down into cookiecutter Americans who mostly speak English, and you do not have the kind of confluence between historic cultural/linguistic/ethnic and political diversity that we do. So, if we were to be inspired by the US I think we should take you as you were before the Civil War, constitutionally speaking. In the European "senate" (what the EU today calls the Council, in a way) obviously the different governments of the memberstates of the "EF" should make the appointments, rather than the representatives being chosen by elections. For example. I honestly think the Swiss kind of federalism is a better model for Europe than the American one. They are multilingual and very decentralized, arguably more so than the US. I also like their elements of direct democracy.

Another problem with copying the US institutions is the fact that your country is one part a British inheritance, one part Enlightenment political experiment. A very fortunate experiment (if I wasn't Swedish I'd love to be part of it, maybe I will be one day even we'll see) because it happened to be based on very good ideas, but still this idealistic (meant in the sense of being founded around an idea, not as an insult) notion of Liberty in the abstract as well as Enlightenment values that are so prevalent in your society are not a perfect fit for a European federation I think. Why? This is me venturing into amateur psychology here, but if nothing else then for 1) there is not enough modern consensus or even understanding of history, philosophy etc. among Europeans that such a constitution would ever be developed let alone recieve legitimacy 2) every political community needs some kind of "story" to keep it together, and the United States already owns the very powerful American story, based around your constitution and its eternal values. If we duplicate you we would just become a cheap copy, in the imaginations of most Europeans. It is not enough to create the kind of pride and sense of belonging that is necessary. This is why I find such attempts like when José Manuel Barosso held a "state of the union" address a couple of years ago to be not only tasteless, but also... of so little use.

What does that mean for Europe? Well, there is a "story" we could claim, that is uniquely European. Essentially, it is the idea of the local, the small, the decentralized, the quixotic compromise solutions, the organically evolved, genuine and that which is tested by time. Europe is the only continent in the world that still has vast quantities of buildings standing that are more than a couple of centuries old. We are the only continent that have developed modernity. The US is a product of modernity in many ways, but it is not its source. It is not that you guys don't have a history (you do) or that it isn't important in it's own ways (it is). Obviously you are also still connected to the West, and our cultural heritage. But to me it seems your connection is more philosophical, while ours is more lived. Call it a different way of arriving at a similar destination to the one you guys are in, in the best sense of the word. ;)

Anyway, these European characteristics could be a strength, if harnessed in the right way. Unfortunately these kinds of ideas have not been very popular with the current European establishment, and in some ways they define themselves against these ideas. The EU as it is exists today is a "post-1945" construct. It is obsessed with overcoming what it percieves to be the historic weaknesses of European civilization. This is also why I think so many continental Europeans (especially continental European leades) are anti-American, because they have seized the other strand of modernity compared with you guys. They want to develop an axiomatic, top-down structure based on abstract principles (much like your constitution could be argued to be): however, because they are also normal human beings with a sense of pride who want to be special snowflakes they want to have their own principles, that are different from those of their main rival, the Evil, Heartless, Capitalist Americans.

Unfortunately the principles espoused by much of the progressive European establishment are more often than not fit for reality, but rather draw on the worst parts (or if not, then at least in the worst ways) of the Western philosophical tradition. Because of World War 2 and what happened it is understandable that they did so, as much of the tradition I am defending got soiled by the Nazis, but that doesn't mean it is a good thing.

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Sorry, this was a very long post haha - I probably got more political than historical here
 
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Feb 2019
211
Serbia
#24
Why is being reliant on the US bad?

It is bad to be reliant on anyone, the best for Europe would be if they could be strong enough to be independent of any strong influences. By this I mean a strong, existence-depending influence. Trade agreements and military alliances aren't being ''reliant'' in this way. I believe that Europe really is too reliant and close to the US, some joke that Germany is still occupied by the Americans due to the military bases. Asking ''why is it bad?'' and to that I will respond with a counter question: Is it not good to be independent of an overly strong foreign influence and strong enough to make your own decisions independently of anyone else?
 
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