United States of European Chaos

It used to be a lot worseWhat with Kosovo’s recent declaration of independence, we are witnessing the rapid balkanization (forgive the irony!) of Europe. Unification often spells fragmentation in the long run. And this is the very real danger facing the future European Union. The map shows how bad the fragmentation can really get…

Variety is the Spice…
At present, the EU numbers 27 states. If we’re honest about it, the infrastructure is wearing thin and the political and administrative structures of the EU are finding it hard to cope with the divergent demands of a body which has a joint population of nearly 500 million people speaking 170 languages (including regional and minority) with a variety of world views. The idea of a Union here seems bizarre at the very least.

Regional Interests
There will come a time in the near future that the five major institutions of the EU (the Parliament; the Council; the Commission, the Court of Justice and the Court of Auditors) will no longer be able to cope with the demands of such a varied population. In the near future Croatia, Kosovo and perhaps Serbia will join the EU. Perhaps even Turkey and Ukraine. There will come a time when the right hand will not know what the left hand is doing. Mini alliances and pacts will form to support regional interests. The idea of the EU will go out the window.

Balkan Problem
The motivation of joining the EU (i.e. the carrot) is one of the main reasons why the Balkan area has become relatively peaceful of late. But what happens when the Balkan states suddenly find themselves (yet again) in one (pseudo-) state? Why should the interests of a greater Europe be of more importance than the interests of Serbian nationalism, or even the interests of a ‘Greater’ Albania (with populations in Serbia, Kosovo and Macedonia)? The EU were unable to prevent previous conflicts. How will they cope if a future conflict develops.

Reform & Constitution
The people arguing against an EU Constitution have no idea what is at stake. We need far-reaching and deep reforms of all EU institutions and we desperately need a constitution to regulate the future laws of a common European Union. The member states (and future member states) of the EU must decide whether they wish to work together as the members of a relatively weak alliance of countries, or as a more tightly-woven confederacy of states, or as a fully-fledged union of autonomous states who make decisions in unison for the greater good of the people living on the Old Continent. Either way, we, the citizens of Europe need to decide which way will secure a safer future.

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14 thoughts on “United States of European Chaos

  1. You exaggerate a little, old stick, Thuringia and Connaught are not seething at the gills with the desire for independence. The historical situation with the Balkans’ ethnic patchwork, which has dated back centuries, has no real parallel in most of Europe (although a quick check of the list of EU countries which oppose recognising an independent Kosovo reveals that there are still quite a few places where separatism thrives – Spain, Slovakia, Cyprus, among others).

    And what would it matter, if all those entities managed to separate in peaceful fashion, à la Czech Republic/Slovakia, Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania? Slovenia has gone from a component of Yugoslavia to an independent and fully-fledged EU member in two shakes of Paddy Ashdown’s tail (after shooting Slobo’s men for eight or ten days first, but that doesn’t have to be compulsory). Why not a Europe of small states, confederated with their neighbours in local defence/trade pacts, and all subscribing to an EU-wide code of social and economic practices? A Scotland or a Silesia within that kind of framework could regain an identity and de facto independence long denied it.

  2. There are no parallels here with Thuringia or Cannaught. The Kosovans generally want to ‘return’ into the arms of Albania and see independence as a step towards this. We all know that this isn’t going to happen in a hurry but we separate two ideas here:
    1) What the indigineous people want
    2) What ‘Europe’ wants

    I have nothing against a confederation of small states but I think it’s about time we decided what it is we want, don’t you think? Bring on the next referendum! USE or not.

  3. Maybe I’m a bit naive but somehow I don’t think the Balkan states will be any more worried about finding themselves in another pseudo-state than any other member of the EU. Firstly, the vast amounts of EU cash flowing in will ease the pain and secondly, at least they’ll be in it together with everyone else. I share your concern about how the EU institutions will cope though.

  4. The creation of a uniform body with the same economy and political aims is very difficult. There is no example in the world that could tell Europe how to do it; or at least I think there isn’t. There’s much upheaval coming still but can’t blame EU for trying to make this Babel look solid. I really like the map and especially the Western Territory of Kipchak Horde to the east:)

  5. I don’t know who did this map, but is a little bit too exagerate. Infact, who knows if the actual countries will split or join together and build larger countries.(Romania and Rep.Moldova)I actually live in Romania and I can say that the “split” that is made in that region is not quite correct. If you can correct the map I will suggest to make Transsilvania a little bigger into Hungary, a northern part of Transsilvania you should make it to “Autonomous province of Székely”, make in the west of the actual Romania another country Banat with the capital at “Timisoara”, unite Severin with Wallachia and make Moldavia into the whole space where there white is. Perhaps the one that made the map was not too good informed, I know the problems here, and when a split like this happens, it will almost surely like I said here. Thanks 🙂

  6. Thuringia was ocupied 531 AC.
    From the later Kingdom of France.
    Thuringian Culture hat survieve in the legends of the
    “Brother Grimms” and others.
    The heart of the Thuringian Kingdom was at the Border of the cold war on point Alpha.
    There between the borderstaates of FRG Countys of Hess and Thuringia now.
    Thuringia was after War 531- under Control of France and in the north under control of Danish triebe Saxe. This danish-saxe dukes had named the ocuppied Thuringian Part as Saxe-Meissen (Thats mean not the Saxe of Dresden!)
    Dresden were a colonysettlement of the Thuringian triebes.
    thuringigans would be powerfull with Martin Luther.
    The Thuringian Duke “Ernst der Weise” saved Luther on the thuringian Wartburg-Castle at Eisenach.
    Because Thuringians help Luther the Dresden-Duke destroy the Thuringian Castle in Gotha.
    But Thuringien freethinking is all the time no death.
    Its the same in Ire an a lot of another old ocupied countries. You have another part of rethinking history and you now it.
    I think as a thuringian, that you can always polarisized triebes and Countrys in parts.
    If it helps to make the world better its good,
    in a lot of ways it produce nationalims…not bad
    in the most ways but not in all.
    Yes i Think you have in Europe a lot of potential Balcans, kosovos. But its similar in all World

  7. even if you “actually live in Romania” you don’t really know Romanian history
    1. you may “suggest” placing of “Autonomous province of Székely” but the only time this existed was during 1952-1968 as the hungarian autonomous regions
    2. another country Banat with the capital at “Timisoara” ???? what? the only time such a thing existed was after Hungary’s defeat by the Ottomans when the turks created an eyalet (pasalacul Timisoara) and in the 18th century when it was a province of the Austrian Empire … therefore NEVER aoutonomous
    3. Severin (Banatul de Severin) was independent, disputed at the time (14th century) between Hungarian Kingdom and Wallachia (only in 1739 it becomes definitively part of Wallachia)
    4. the map represents Europe in 1300

    “Perhaps the one that made the map was not too good informed” … really ?

    this if we want to talk about history, not if we consider imaginary futuristic scenarios that will probably never take place

  8. The situation on the Balkans is heavily exageratted, I guess that G is right and the maker of the map indeed isn’t that well informed. I live in Croatia and there are no regions here nor in Slovenia which have any basis for becoming separate, nor changing the present borders. We are quite homogeneous. And about Banat in Romania, Hungary and Serbia, it indeed has a distinct etnological nature, but i suppose that it should be viewed as a part of a multi-ethnic Vojvodina.

    Besides, the “Balkanisation” of the Federation of Yugoslavia was not random, the modern borders were confirmed in the constitution, like the borders between the States of USA are. Even the modern borders of Kosovo were determined there (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1974_Yugoslav_Constitution)

    And I would never dare touch Bosnia, it is already fragile. The nations living there are quite mixed and it would be impossible to draw an adequate border which would satisfy everyone. I guess the future of Bosnia lies in its integrity, even if some people wanted to split it and redraw the borders, it could bring only unfortune.

    To conclude, border changes are possible only if there is a number of compact statistical regions which have a absolute majority of seperatists (who get something by seperating). And that’s it. Germany will probably not disintegrate into a lot of countries cuz they won’t get anything from seperating. The same stands for its border with Poland. It’s western part was ethnicly cleansed after World War II and there are no German strongholds which would seperate to become a part of Germany. And to make things more interesting, because of immigration, southern France could even become a seperate muslim country xD

    1. Ivan,
      Yup, the map is most certainly exaggerated. Something controversial that I wanted to show everyone. I think it’s good to put these ideas out there so people can express their thoughts (which you’ve done). All I can say is many thanks for the comments.
      Raf

  9. And what so? I mean, how do you want to form a country out of a continent with that many diversity? It is totally impossible. You are obsessed with a project that erases identities, cultures, that violates the rights of the people which speak non-state-official languages and therefore an human right. That violates also the principle of self-determination of both the nation-states and the minorities (really, how Catalan, a language spoken by 11,5 millions of people is a minority language and Estonian is not just because the fact it is an official state language even if it has maximum 1 million of speakers? Or the case of Irish, marginalized and discriminated by its OWN country more than by the United Kingdom, being an official state language and its use permitted in the European Parliament with….. 77000 speakers? How you want to build a union with, as you said, 170 languages? I mean, you want to eliminate them or what? European Union was created embodied in the spirit of French centralism, punishing people that spoke their own languages, etc.

    Also, how you want to have an European Union leaded by a country which waged a war against the whole Europe, exterminated 6 millions of Jews, considered the Slavs subhuman, and believed themselves a superior race? How can you trust a country that has caused most of the wars in Europe to lead it?

    The main problem of the European union is wanting to make a country from countries with different cultures and languages, which in turn have more than one identity or ethnicity in it and that in many cases has been oppressed/discriminated, or marginalized. I mean, we in Catalonia have always leaded the pro-EU movement in Spain, for getting what? We can not even still speak our own language in the fucking European Parliament?

    Also, it seems you are against the independence of smaller countries and you call it balkanization. Really? Then why did you not say that when the Baltic states became independent from the USSR? You just did a few talking telling them to look themselves for a solution inside the USSR or the post-soviet space but you knew that you could not stop the will of a people. So now you talk about Balkanization. Can some countries be independent and some others cannot?

    Come on.

    I support a common army, and a common economic policy orientated to the exterior. That means the Euro should only be used as a common block currency for relationships with other markets. But the national currencies should come back for the use of the member states, because if there is an euro economic crysis it will not affect the member states ( letting apart that ceding sovereignty is not liked by anyone and that currency is a part of the collective imaginary of people.

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