Don’t think it quite works this way

A campaign for the European Union to become a “United States of Europe” will be the “best weapon against the Eurosceptics”, one of Brussels’ most senior officials has said.

Viviane Reding, vice president of the European Commission and the longest serving Brussels commissioner, has called for “a true political union” to be put on the agenda for EU elections this spring.

“We need to build a United States of Europe with the Commission as government and two chambers – the European Parliament and a “Senate” of Member States,” she said.

Mrs Reding’s vision, which is shared by many in the European institutions, would transform the EU into superstate relegating national governments and parliaments to a minor political role equivalent to that played by local councils in Britain.

Under her plan, the commission would have supremacy over governments and MEPs in the European Parliament would supersede the sovereignty of MPs in the House of Commons.

You see, the people of Europe have been asked many times whether they’d like to be ruled in such a manner. Napoleon asked the question, Hitler did, various Bourbons and Hapsburgs have asked over the centuries too. And the general response from the citizenry has always been “No, Bugger Off”.

The French don’t want to be ruled by German bureaucrats, the English do not want to be ruled by either French or German bureaucrats. It’s just not what anyone actually wants.

Except the bureaucrats of course.

21 thoughts on “Don’t think it quite works this way”

  1. The reason she’s saying this is that the logical thing – if anything like this were to happen – would be to have those two chambers, the house of MEPs and the Senate of nations, but no commission. A USE actually makes the commission redundant. Even as an ardent Europhile I concede that is pretty much the only attractive thing about the USE proposal. So she needs to protect her job.

  2. Wouldn’t it have been a good idea if Viviane Reding actually read the history of the US & its Constitution. She’s (?) giving carte blanche for an armed insurrection against Brussels & the rights for states to have independent governments & to cede from the union, unimpeded, at their wish.

  3. You’ve got to admire the single mindedness of the Eurocreeps. They make the ancien regime look like a model of flexibility and popular consent.

    You don’t like the EU? They have a cunning plan: more EU!

    Why, as a British taxpayer, am I funding the maintenance of do-nothing Trident II D5 atomic missiles while Brussels still brazenly exists?

  4. BIS – I may grudgingly accept a USE if Van Rompuy dons a big hat and beard and goes to see a play called “Our American Cousin”.

  5. A referendum on a USE would be the quickest way for England to get out of the EU. With any luck, the lesser UK nations would vote to join so they could be the USE’s burden and not England’s.

  6. JamesV-

    Because any government needs an executive, and that’s what the Commission is intended to be. Chambers legislate and debate. The executive administrates.

  7. I am not sure, Tim, that Hitler really ‘asked’ anyone how they wanted to be governed. And he didn’t have much time for local councils, no matter where they were or how they were chosen.

  8. And if the elections result in a ‘No’, they’ll be held again. and again. Or the EU will interpret ‘No’ as ‘Yes’. Simple really.

  9. “Except the bureaucrats of course.”

    Plus the BBC. Plus the NGOs and most of the “Third sector”. Plus all of the non-thinkers who reflexively support anything opposed by the Right. Plus the drones who will vote in favour along Party lines. Plus everyone else who succumbs to months of BBC propaganda labelling anyone who opposes this as ‘sceptics’, “Little Englanders” and ‘haters’.

    I reckon there could easily by 6, 7 million adults in that group. Believe me, any such vote would be closer than people think.

  10. Rob
    I think you’d be surprised, given the privacy of the polling booth.
    Plenty of socialists, ranging from the “Tory peer” Earl Atlee to Gordon Brown, have tried to construct a client state to get a permanent lock on power.
    It hasn’t worked, or not for long.
    Think of it this way. If you were a parasite, would you vote for other parasites, or for your host?

  11. @IanB,

    So why wouldn’t the executive consist of the “cabinet”, i.e. mainly members of the lower chamber. You don’t need a separate body of commissioners.

    I understand the need for a civil service (the commission’s other role) but as one subordinate to the government, not in charge of it.

    The idea is a complete nonsense unless we start to see the spontaneous formation of multinational political parties, which I don’t expect any time soon.

  12. JamesV-

    Well you can, but we only have that crappy system because the executive in our system is supposedly the Monarch. The “cabinet” simply being, ficticiously, a group of advisors to that monarch. There isn’t even any official title of “Prime Minister”.

    Nobody sane would choose such a system if they were starting from scratch.

  13. Ian B

    A separately elected executive is unusual – the US has it as does France, but Germany, Japan, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Ireland, most of the Scandis all operate on the lower house majority(vote of confidence) = heads of government.

  14. The reason that the USA, Germany, India and Australia work as federations is that they have a common culture and language. There are exceptions of course, Switzerland and Canada have managed to maintain federal systems with different languages and cultures.

    The notion also seems to be based on the idea that to be successful in the world you need to have large trading blocs. So to counter the power of China and the US we need a USE. That paradigm is really a hangover from the cold war and is probably not relevant any more. For example some of the most successful countries in the world are small: South Korea, Switzerland, Singapore, Taiwan, Sweden etc etc.

    It seems to me that it is more likely that in the information age smaller, more flexible states are likely to be more successful. The one thing that the EU has not done is improve flexibility in EU economies.

    I think this is very much last century thinking. The future is to be flexible and competitive, especially in advanced economies with high wages. The EU is not capable of delivering that as all policies are inevitably compromises which suit no individual member state.

  15. The Laughing Cavalier

    What she doesn’t seem to understand is that in the United States of America, the States reserve considerable powers to themselves. Such federal powers as are delegated to the centre are to an elected Federal Government, not to an unelected bureaucracy.

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