jueves, 14 de mayo de 2015

Federalism, Closer Every Day

Back in the late fifties, a few European States joined forces forming the EEC (European Economic Community). Throughout the last decades, many other countries have joined this highly attractive club due to the innumerable advantages that creating a common European culture ought to bring. Being able to enjoy freedoms in the areas of trading, transport and cultural exchange is a reality that was an unthinkable luxury not so long ago.

Some of the biggest advances towards a European complete unification were made thanks politics that had convenience in mind. For instance, it is thanks to the Schengen Agreement that us Europeans have been able to seamlessly travel across any EU member’s frontiers for three decades now. This facilitates free trade and transit of people by an unconceivable amount. On top of that, the creation of the common currency, the Euro, crowns the project of a common European market. Currency exchange was confined to the pages of history.

It must be pointed out that the European alliance is not only a matter of comfort and convenience: it is also very clearly a necessity. Being unified in a European Federation (the United States of Europe, if you will) would bring a new chance of confronting the future world powers. It is a known fact that Asia will basically rule the markets in a few decades, that’s why it is decisive to act collectively in order to avoid economic incompetence. A European Federation would be the home of more than 450 million citizens, more than the USA and Russia combined. On top of that, it would produce 25% of the world’s wealth and therefore could get to be considered a heavyweight in world trade and economic influence. It seems like a perfect plan, doesn’t it?

The list goes on. There are many issues that cannot be fought efficiently by each country individually, but that can be actively eliminated under a joint venture of powers. For instance, energetic dependence is one of the biggest problems our nations are facing. We simply cannot afford to depend on foreign unstable States for such important concern. Also, it must be pointed out that Islamic terrorism currently supposes a considerable threat to our freedoms and liberties. An imminent reaction is required, and the most powerful it is, the better. Finally, immigration: an issue that not only concerns the southernmost States but also Europe as a whole. These are only a few of the obstacles that an alliance of States could help eradicate. If union makes strength, then federalism makes invincibility.

As the Spanish Secretary of State for the European Union, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo recently stated on a visit to the University of Navarra, during the harsh years of recession the EU members have given up some of their sovereignty in exchange for stability. By yielding power to Brussels, it is true that governments lose some of their power. However, central supervision has proven to be quite positive in terms of security and therefore it has been proven that the upper European government can handle major issues such as economic policy. The next predictable evolution will be a unification of the members’ fiscal policies in order to simplify legal issues by a great amount.

The final step towards definitive federal centralization is still a long time away. There are countless sharp edges that need being taken care of, especially in the social and cultural side. However, we will most likely see a time in history when the citizens of the European Union decide to face the rest of the world together as a team, forgetting about our differences and focusing on competence and prosperity. How does that sound?

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