A United States of Europe?

Twitter was alive yesterday with speculation that a ‘United States of Europe’ had been declared on the sly. People who know my politics, and know I am a committed Europhile can imagine my excitement on hearing this news. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really true, what is being proposed is a long-way short of full political union. However, it is a clear step along that road – it is not hard to imagine how the ‘economic governance’ that both France and Germany seem to want will soon extend into the political sphere.

The real thrust of the proposals is to establish French and German hegemony over the process of European integration. In the long run, this might well mean a smaller but more tightly knit Union.  It is quite clear that German capitalism, in particular is getting royally ticked-off at having to continually bail-out the likes of Greece and this is another driving force behind closer integration. This is being made an especially pressing concern by the fact that the German economy is starting to grow at a sluggish pace.

Meanwhile, over here I suspect they will be welcome for these proposals from both George Osborne and Ed Balls, albeit for different reasons. Osborne and the Conservatives would doubtless welcome this because it finally lances the boil of Europe. Britain can remain the fringes in the second-tier of; allowing Britain in his eyes to essentially cherry-pick Europe’s best bits without getting too involved. Balls, who I credit with more economic sense than Osborne, realises that if Europe sinks then it will have a huge detrimental effect on the British economy (to be fair, Osborne might be dimly aware of this too).

So, what should the left do about it? Well it’s quite that further European intergration is going to be done in a totally undemocratic and unaccountable way, so we need to address that. However, part of that is putting forward a programme for full political integration but on democratic, as opposed to bureaucratic terms. This would include demands such as:-

  • A European President elected by the entire citizenry of the Union using universal suffrage
  • Full legislative powers to the European Parliament,elected on a similar basis
  • A radical curtailment and democratic reform of the European Commission
  • An end to national vetoes and a similar curtailment and reform of the Council of Ministers
  • An end to fiscal austerity and the construction of a social Europe.

It is not surprising that people feel isolated and alienated from the European project given its current structure. However, the creation of a United States of Europe remains a progressive project and the left should be fighting to shape it’s direction, not roll back it’s frontiers in favour of petty and backward looking nationalism which is, as we speak, already being consigned to the dustbin of history.

 

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About darrellgoodliffe

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12 responses to “A United States of Europe?”

  1. Graham Gillis says :

    The European Union is clutching at straws.
    Ask the people of this country.
    It’s only a few politicians who want to stay in, and they are all deluded in thinking they can change it. How do you propose to change something you can’t vote for. A riot?
    Tell us who in the UK has any influence on EU decisions about our lives?
    You don’t, so why do you want more of it?

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  2. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Graham,

    Well, I propose that a political party adopts a program of democratisation of the EU, then they can be duly voted for, and the frustrations you mention duly addressed. Sound ok to you?

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  3. Graham Gillis says :

    What is the name of this political party?

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  4. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Well since i’m a Labour member, it would make sense for me to advocate it as a course of action for Labour really…

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  5. Graham Gillis says :

    Labour lied to the country about the Lisbon Treaty.
    Is Milliband lying about not allowing the people a referendum on membership of this corrupt unnecessary slime of bureaucracy?
    Democratise your country first.

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  6. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Well as you probably know I supported the call for a referendum on Lisbon. Having said that, when are you going to drop this?

    Like

  7. Graham Gillis says :

    I will never drop it while Britain has liars in government.
    Anti Europe in opposition and tongue stuck firmly up the EU arse when in puppet power.
    We are expected to believe we would be worse off out of the EU, while we are borrowing money to bail them out.
    Your party can never run this country while this corrupt deception is unresolved. It will lead to more and more rebellion.
    Trouble is voters won’t believe anything Labour say anymore.

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  8. darrellgoodliffe says :

    We will have to see at the next election won’t we 😉

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  9. Graham Gillis says :

    Milliband says no referendum. Will he be your leader in 2015?

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  10. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Who knows, who knows the election will be then? I certainly dont see this government lasting that long personally (im thinking 2012/13)….

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  11. Graham Gillis says :

    Like

  12. Graham Gillis says :

    What are we doing in this sordid alliance? The rest of the world wants to trade with us. We have no common language with any European Country. We have Language in common with America north and south, Canada, Australia, New Zeeland, Hong Kong, South Africa and anyone else on the planet who can see that communication is the key to global harmony. The EU themselves calculate that the combined direct and indirect cost of EU membership to the UK in 2010 amounted to £77Billion. No wonder Labour repeatedly refused requests from both houses to do a cost analysis of membership.

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