Plea for a Europe of regions

20. October 2012

The decicion is made. The nobel prize is awarded to the European Union. Immidiatly you can hear the the anti-european voices start to visper. They tell you that the european process is still in progress, that Europe is in a huge financial crisis and that the seperation movements in some union states grow. All this is right. But all these arguments are less relevant compared to the european idea and the fact that the union process is one of the reasons why we have a six decades long peace time in Europe. The nobel peace prize decisions was right. It gives us a clou about how important polical visions are for worlds peace. Let us force this process. Here is my plea for the next step: A Europe of regions.

It is a matter of fact that a lot of european countries have internal problems with the diversity of there people. Just take belgium, for example. The fleming and the walloon people don’t speak the same language. How can they be one country? And the well known example of the basques. Why they have to live in two different political systems? Is it so difficult to give them there own government? It won’t. We just have to tear down the construction of national states. Who need germany, france, spain and belgium? I live in Berlin. That’s my region.

That sounds crazy in the first place. But let’s take a look in the history. The national states are a construction of the modern times. The time when the capitalistic system rose. One of the main reasons of it’s success, was the growing of economic power and there issues. The new system needed states with a inner free trade zone to grow there GDP. And it needed states which act like a political union to trade with each other. The idea of national states arranged this setting.

But a lot of national state based on myths. When the united kingdom was build, for example, the kelts, the gaelic and the english people had not much in common. Just the fact that they live on the same island. In the 17th century they took the protestantic religion and the liberal bill of rights as the national myths. The late german union used the myth of the king friedrich barbarossa. Nothing than politic and economic reasons stuck the countries together, in this time.

Sure there is much more that connects germans from freiburg to flensburg and british people from plymouth to aberdeen, nowadays. That is because they live together as one country for a huge amount of time. It whould be possible to create a similar community in Europe. If we start now!

In my vision Europe needs one government for the whole Union. The Idea that the german minister of finance Wolfgang Schäuble mentioned is one step. But I want more! Every political issue that affects the whole Union must coordinated by this highest political level. Foreign policy, defence, environment, economy and parts of education, for example. Subordinated we have the regional governments. They need to be strong enough, to create there own cultural system, but so weak that they’re not able to act autonomous in economic questions.

This regions would give us the cultural background to say I’m a part of Berlin, the Cornwall, Catalonia or Silesia. The EU add the political background to say I’m a part of Europe. Two hearts in one body. Sure that is a vision. But some days visions can come true. Or would you have thought about a peaceful European Union without border controls, a common parliament and one currency, in 1930? Thanks to the nobel prize commitee to remind us how crazy this idea six decades ago sounded.