Sunday, February 10, 2013

From a confederal to a federal Europe

A few days ago, the meeting of the European leaders to approve a new budget, finished with an insatisfactory agreement, because it failed to launch a coordinated program of egalitarian and balanced growth. The national media focused in each country on the advantages or disadvantages of the new budget for the local finances. Unfortunately, the debate did not focus on the long run implications of the difficulties to make progress towards a more coordinated, federal, democratic Europe. Of course, it will not be easy to advance to this from the current confederal Europe, where each member state has veto power, as it was not easy in the US to advance form a confederacy of states to a federal Union. But a true integrated market will only be possible if, like in America, there is a federal government with a federal budget, with taxation powers, with a substantial transfer of sovereignty from the states to the Union, where resources are pooled and transfers are made at the right scale. National debates are a bit ridiculous against the background of this challenge. National debates will be absolutely irrelevant if Europe is not able to evolve to a clear federal, integrated structure. It will be irrelevant in the new geo-strategy of economic and political powers, and its dream of a large multicultural community where nation-states belong to the past will come to a halt.

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