60 Ideas for Europe

My suggestion is to reflect on a European Union BEYOND Nation i.e. without the limitation of Nationality. A Europe of Regions, Provinces or whatever BUT without Spain, Italy, Poland, France, Germany etc. These dinosaures are a threat for the prosperity and peace of Europe.
A Europe without Nations belongs actually to the original utopia but was long forgotten.
There is a need to prospect & develop modern ideas in that field for at least 2 reasons:

1. We should think about the best political organisation for the future of europeans. We are talking here about Europe’s perspectives for 2030.

2. Nobody can be sure that the concept of Nations will not collapse one day (e.g. Belgium). So what will we do then?

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  1. Supprimer les pays, d’accord, mais alors, avoir une langue véhiculaire commune.
    La plus représentative est le Français. (200 millions de rancophones)

  2. Excuse me, but a European Union without the “dinosaurs” as you call them is no longer durable. They make up for the biggest economic and political power within Europe. One is left wondering with who you want to build your Europe…

    If you on the other hand mean liquidating the national level and keeping the provincial and regional level… That is completely utopian. The diversity between countries and it’s regions is too big. En plus, the attachment to the regions instead of countries is different in different states. Example: while Germany has a federal system with a lot of power for the regions, that tradition lacks almost totally in France. And most importantly: countries keep on thinking like a country. Even if France as a state dissapeares, the nation keeps on existing. What naitivity to think nations have become irrelevant…

    So if you want to put up something radical, don’t start talking about Europe of regions, it’s utopian and not the best solution.

    In fact, it is even worse. The power differences between regions will be the same as now between nations (cfr. Germany vs. Luxembourg and Bayern vs. West-Vlaanderen) BUT it will be much harder to reach a consensus. You’ve seen decision-making growing harder the more the EU accumulates members. With a Europe of the regions or even provinces as you suggest you quadruple that problem.

    If you want to go radical, go democratic. Give the European parliament the power. Increase the number of QMV-applicable cases. And make the commission a real government (aka remove it’s legislative monopoly and make it, as the executive power, fully democratic by being totally accountable to the European parliament).

    btw: it is not a real problem a nation opts out of the European Union if it wants to… brings a lot of fuss, but not a real problem.

  3. Réponse à Jean-Pol Vandevelde : S’il fallait prendre l’une des langues de l’UE comme langue véhiculaire, ce devrait être la langue la plus représentative dans l’Union Européenne, à savoir l’allemand. (92 millions de germanophones.)

  4. Why are both of you giving so much importance to the governmental organisations? And more their structure..
    Are most decisions that affect our lives not taken by a large number of people working for big and middle size companies?
    Also the fact that we have large and small countries gives me as a citizen a choice. If I want to live in a small country in which one reaches quick consensus and few social problems I move there. If I want to live in a large country with more dynamism I can also do so. Thanks to Schengen.
    As long as a government functions democratically and small languages can live and prosper I see no point in changing structures dramatically. Ever heard of former Yougoslavia? Short memory. Belgium can not be split since their is no other solution for Brussels but living together. Get over it and accept that you do not live in an ideal world. Just live together like your ancestors did for 180 years.
    Regarding Europe, I think that we need to be able to vote directly for at least half of the Commission members in an European wide election on 1 day. Further we should limit as much as possible the powers of such a democratic institution. Keep it small and do only what really needs to be done. Than we can still enjoy the variety on this subcontinent. And fore those who want 1 federal state, go to Australia, US or Brazil.

  5. To Mr vandervelde proposing french (but having a flemish name meaning From the Field) and Mr Voslamber proposing German (flemish name again meaning Fox) as ‘vehicular’ languages both accompagnied by wrong statistics. Please note the following. Both French and German are very difficult languages to learn (as most languages) for people with a mothertongue in a Non Germanic or Non Latin grammar system. Further more French is a very specific language to pronounce, speaking only at the front of the mouth. German sounds very aggressive to many foreigners.
    Hence proposing 1 of those vehicular languagues implies wasting the talents of all those people less gifted in learning these languages is wasted.
    Better not…

  6. Answer to Derfla: I have made my proposal just under the particular condition (“S’il fallait …”) that one of the existing EU-languages were to be chosen as the vehicular language. This solution of the linguistic problem has been suggested by Mr. Vandevelde, not by me. (I actually do not approve it). Only if this kind of solution were adopted, one should choose the widest spread mother tongue of the EU, which is undoubtedly German and not French.

  7. thank you derfla & waldo for your contributions.
    I’m French living in Germany so I can see the advantages of a more federal state. Besides I like very much the mentalities of Nordic countries like Estonia based on a networking of competences. Actually I believe the best for Europeans would be reasonably manageable entities ie one to ten millions people networked together BUT NOT on a national basis (like the web for exemple). So this is beyond a federal organisation. It would also garanty the great European diversity. Personaly I see nations as prison eg France… Sorry 😉

  8. waldo: “One is left wondering with who you want to build your Europe…”

    Waldo – I’d have thought the answer to that question was rather obvious – how about citizens (or the people to use a common euphemism)?

    If Europe is to be built is must emerge as a bottom up construction, founded on the affinities of ordinary people who perceive the overwhelming benefits flowing from unity with those with whom they share many common values in an increasingly uncertain world.

  9. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Miriam

  10. Hello everybody.
    About the language, sure German and French are the most spoken, natively, in Europe. But more people speak English.
    If we want an Europe of the Peoples, not of the Nations, they must equal. Why should the lang of one people be the lang of the Europe of the Peoples ? That’s absurd to me.
    So, I propose to use Esperanto. Because it comes from all the European languages, it is a merge done with cleverness.
    It is also one of the most simple language to learn, because it is artificial. In few dozens of hours, you know all the grammar, and its vocabulary is from latin, greek, french, german, english, italian… The most spoken languages in Europe.
    Don’t scare about Esperanto, we are just people who hope for a better world.

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