My good friend and colleague Angelo Micallef wrote a very interesting article in regards to Martin Schulz’s idea of a United States of Europe that he posted yesterday on Facebook.
I would like to start by stating my personal opinion on this subject that has been debated for many years before us, and will continue to be debated for many years after we’re gone. It’s my dream to have the United States of Europe. A united, strong Europe with different states united together under one federal government. Similar to the United States of America, with each state being independently governed, yet all answering to one Parliament, Supreme Court and President. I strongly believe that Europe will be much stronger like this and a country like Malta will have a much bigger voice because now we won’t be a small country in a larger group, we will be a single state in 1 large country.
Yet, having said that, I must agree with Angelo Micallef here. Martin Schulz’s comments that he wants to have a 1 size fit all approach and those that doens’t agree with it will automatically be kicked out is (quoting Angelo in verbatim) “at best premature and ill-thought and at worst undemocratic, arrogant and completely out of touch with reality.”.
At this stage in history, the European Union is arguably at its weakest. Britain is on its way out of the Union, Euro-skepticism is on the increase and far right legislators are being elected in every country that they contest. That clearly means that the European Union as it is today is not at its strongest and before we seek to change its foundation, we need to strengthen it. Before we ever dare to dream bigger, we need to check what we currently have and ensure that the current rot stops. That is something bigger than any single politician on his own merit and in order to do this we need to put our heads together and discuss a way forward.
The European Union as we know it today is a a sick patient. A sick patient can’t run a marathon or morphs itself into something bigger and better. Only once we handle the skepticism that we’re seeing can we start dreaming of uniting the continent into one country.
Apart from all that, Martin Schulz idea that a United Europe must be imposed on everyone goes against every democratic fibre in my body, and I dare to say that this same feeling is shared by many Europeans out there. If we’re ever to get to that stage diplomacy needs to play a big part of the process. We need to be humble, we need to be accepting, we need to allow concessions and most of all, we need to be respectful of different country’s traditions. We must keep in mind that although when compared to other continents we’re very small, we’re still very much different from each other. If we ever want to unite, we need to show respect to each other and than we can start talking about living together as one.
I dare to dream that maybe one day, maybe even in our lifetime, we will see this next great chapter in Europe’s history. However we’re not ready yet and sadly we won’t be ready for many years to come.