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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

For Europe!

Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Guy Verhofstadt, the most prominent Green and liberal politicians on the European scene respectively, put forward a Manifesto for a postnational revolution in Europe. They see this call for a federal European Union as a natural response to the euro debt crisis brought about by an imbalanced integration concentrating almost exclusively on monetary policy and the single market. Their text entitled For Europe! is a short one, lining out in broad strokes the reasons they see for this step towards a postnational revolution. I very much agree and as most of their arguments are hardly new, they were (in my case) preaching to the choir some.

Still, they bring to the forefront once more an argument that European national sovereignists tend to ignore, namely that with "the so-called G8" consisting of 8 non-European countries within twenty years, individual European states' voices will simply not matter in international negotiations on virtually anything. And yes this includes France, Germany, and the UK, economic and military might notwithstanding. From a Realist perspective then, "the interests of European citizens can only be guaranteed by a strong EU." I do wonder how the nationalists square up this circle, they probably simply deny it away.

Verhofstadt and Cohn-Bendit also remind us that it was only "thanks to the nationalists and populists [that] Europe has in just a single century been transformed from an ethnic and cultural melting pot into a monotonous collection of mono-cultural and mono-ethnic islands." Normatively speaking and from a cultural perspective, I am looking forward to the re-emergence "in the belly of Europe of that mishmash of languages, cultures and [non-]religions."

Finally, "the global financial crisis has proved to us to what extent the nation state is no longer suited to the modern world. While the markets have become globalized, political organization has hardly changed since the end of the 19th century and remains based on the nation."

In total, a short, but interesting read...

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