September 4, 2012
I find myself increasingly often, when presenting the case for Federal Europe, faced with the ghost of empires. For some reason, that is what most people assume under the flag of the federation – when I add multiethnic to the equation, that’s where all bets are off. In some way I can understand this fear – Europe has seen it’s fair share of empires over the time, and none stepped out of history on a happy end basis.
European empires have been created, all through time, by use of war. No empire came into being because a benevolent emperor extended his protection over some territory, without claiming titles, money, goods and submission. No, empires have been created by will power, man power and the ability to wage war in more successful way. Some imperial extensions did happen by way of the political, but it involved a sort of treason, albeit at a moral level.
A Federal Europe can only be created on the fundamentals of free association. We all have to be willing for this to work. It’s probably why the eurosceptics are so utterly convinced that this will never happen. When dealing with such a rich history, with so many nations, cultures and languages, consensus seems like a white elephant, that nobody has ever seen. Experience shows that it can’t be achieved.
There are many levels to tackle here. The political level is, in this writers mind, the cornerstone. Because the political level is primarily fueled by will. Political will needs to be supported by the will of the people. It’s crucial we understand that both are equally important and both poses the power of moving things forward or blocking everything indefinitely.
Currently political will begins to manifest itself on the Federal subject. It’s the first step as a political debate will turn this subject from something only a few optimists, such as myself, deal with to an important subject on the public agenda. It is key for the political to bring this to the public agenda, spark the debate and fuel the interest.
Once on the public agenda, the Federal case can be easily built. Admitting to more direct democracy and more local power ( and this is beneath the national level, regions are the force here) is something everybody wants. There is no doubt in my mind that if fairly presented the Federal move will grow naturally.
That’s why to so many it’s scary – because it has the potential to outgrow a national frame. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that a Federal Europe will change the status quo. Many on the political scene will disappear in a federal environment. We have to be realistic and admit the fact that some people put their position above the interest of the many. This is not new, and it has been a political conundrum since the beginning of time. History abounds in examples, and there are current examples in the world also.
How we deal with these issues rests entirely with us. We have to understand that it’s easier to drink water with a cupping palm than to suck it of a finger. All the faults a Federation is accused of, also exist within the Nation, and it’s not necessarily a fault of the political system. A Federation will be built on the people, by the people, with the people.