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ragingloli's avatar

How likely is the formation of the United States of Europe?

Asked by ragingloli (35275 points ) September 15th, 2012

It has been put out there that the only two ways out of the “Euro Crisis” are kicking out the weaklings (Greece, Spain, etc.) or a complete political union in addition to the currency union.
The fact is that Greece and Co. do not have the necessary economic strength to have a strong currency such as the Euro, so they have to either leave the currency union, to have a currency befitting their economy, or become part of a political union, to align the political and social systems necessary to uplift their economy, so that they can afford to have the Euro.

I do prefer the political union, but how likely do you think it is that this will happen, and would you be in favour of that?

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17 Answers

PhiNotPi's avatar

I don’t think that a political union will ever happen (at least not for a very long time). Social and ethnic tensions have always existed between countries. Some groups of people, while they might agree to a financial union, will be unlikely to give up their ability to rule themselves as an independent nation.

If a political union is formed, there will certainly be some countries (Germany, France, etc) that will be more powerful than others. Many citizens of less powerful countries will feel that those countries are politically controlling them. Greece still hold some spite for Germany from WWII, and the idea that Germany will eventually hold some political power over them is understandably disliked by many. It makes if feel as if Germany won. Not all Greeks are opposed to the unification, but I believe that there is enough resistance to prevent Greece from joining.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Never. Too much history, too many differences in education, population, work ethic, even race.

janbb's avatar

I don’t see it happening – there is already so much dissension in the EU as it is constituted. Too much national pride is invested,

squirbel's avatar

Not likely at all.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I’ll go with not likely at least in the next century, but also not necessary. A properly built united economic union would be more than sufficient to address the majority of the needs and if done would remove any pressure to form a political/cultural USoE. Though it would be nice to see and an excellent and idealistic step forward. Provided they don’t rush into it, glossing over everything too bothersome to be done, and ignore their own rules when it suits.

oratio's avatar

I think it depends on that one means by “United States of Europe”, and the – to me – obvious and purposeful alluding to the name and abbreviation to the USA as an inevitable result of where federalisation would take us. But there are many shapes and breeds of a federation and I think it unlikely that the EU could turn out as an American copy even if we wanted that, even though our history and cultures are intertwined – America being an all-European creation with it’s own unique history.

Here in Europe, we are creating our own future, and the EU is like every new invention a recombination of old ideas, and we are competing as much as we are cooperating, or rather we are cooperating to compete better.

Politically I think we can safely say that no democracies are the same, and regional culture is a collective force changing through time but not at will. If we look at the political systems of the various states of the European Union they differ greatly and this is reflected on the Union level.

I think that the EU is unlikely to become what we today call a country and I think it is our semi-continental Union will always consist of separate nations but with less defined borders in this emerging “civilization state”. It is increasingly common to be multilingual in Europe, and the generations that now grow up does so in a European context, entirely different than the frozen continental terror balance I grew up in.

The multi-speed European confederacy of today is already a union of different levels of integration around what some would call “core Europe”, and suggestions of wider or deeper integration of certain areas of common interests is nothing new.

I am confident that the European currency endures – that even Greece will stay with it – and that we will see federalisation in the Eurozone. I think that any concern that this will leave parts of Europe behind integration-wise as a problem is exaggerated, as this has been – from a continental perspective – the case from the birth of the project, whereas national states have been free to join later on. I believe though, that it is necessary that as many of the Big Six go forward into a deepened union – as I am sure it will happen – but I don’t believe in a new all-European treaty. The British anti-European trenches are too deep for that, even as the British union itself is changing.

It seems to me that some believe Brussels to be a hive of conspiring federalists wanting to create a dystopian society. I see a pot-pourri of people representing a wide range of views on the future of EU, from EU-skeptics to fullblown federalists, socialists and conservatives. Rather, I think we have emerged from a terrible reality symbolized by certain years and dates. 1914, 1917, 1933, 1939, 1945, 1989, 1991, 1995. These years are European, but most of them affected the whole world. We are better off today than ever before. We have never been as free as we are today, and the EU is not threatening that. It is created by and for for those very values that we hold sacred.

I agree with what people like Verhofstadt is saying, that we need a deeper integration in the Union where we create common federal institutions while still applying the maxims of subsidiarity and proportionality.

But I think it’s too early to read in that support for nationalist parties is waning, even though the recent election in the Netherlands is very positive. We’ll see how the coming elections turn out throughout Europe.

Looking at the EU-barometer from the spring – with the autumn survey not yet published – confidence in EU institutions is still generally positive. Even so, I don’t think the European soil is very fertile for great treaty changes in the nearest years, but that what will happen is a tighter and stronger Eurozone.

ucme's avatar

I’m happy with us staying our own little island, away from all the assorted eurotrash.

oratio's avatar

correction: I think it depends on WHAT one means by “United States of Europe”

ragingloli's avatar

@ucme
Worry not, we do not need you islanders in the civilised world :D.

ucme's avatar

Oh i’m not in the slightest bit worried, quite the opposite in fact.

ragingloli's avatar

Stukas will fly again, mark my words.

ucme's avatar

Focke-off!! I hear the people cry.

Nullo's avatar

@ragingloli The Stuka was a technological marvel for the late 1930s, but would you really want to introduce it to the modern world of jet planes and guided missiles?

ragingloli's avatar

It would of course be a modern adaptation and reinterpretation employing the latest in anti gravity technology.

ETpro's avatar

Draghi and the European Central Bank are beginning to take a more active role like our Fed in reviving credit markets and stimulating their economy. That plus the Fed’s QE3 here are what powered Wall Street to a 5 year high this week. The need for a central bank willing to use deficit spending when necessary to level out the boom and bust cycle of the free-market system is what the EU has been missing that has stopped them from managing the crisis that George W. Bush’s monumental economic incompetence led the world into.

It would be a massive undertaking to develop a common language and ethnic customs that would really unite all of Europe in a single United States of Europe. The time will come. Europe’s experiments with multiculturalism were poorly managed to start, but once you start down that road, it’s hard to reverse course. In time, Europeans will see themselves less as natives of their own country and more as natives of the EU. Regional differences will always remain, just as they do in the American South versus the rest of the Union. But the language and cultural barriers separating carious European nation-states today are far greater than those that divide the US industrial states from those whose primary industry is agriculture.

Response moderated (Spam)
Nullo's avatar

@ETpro There are plenty of non-South regional differences.

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