“The era of small nation states has passed.”
- German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, January 2007.
“The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe.” - Schumann Declaration, 9 May 1950, announcing the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community.
Article titled “EU Should Become Union of European Regions, Expert Says”
published on DW World, 31 July 2008:
The nation-state has had its day, writes political scientist Winfried Boettcher. He calls instead for a Europe built along regional lines that would help meet people’s cultural and economic needs.
The approach towards unifying Europe has not changed since the founding of the Coal and Steel Community over 50 years ago.
The future is federal
By contrast, I believe that Europe will only have a future if a federal concept places the normative question at the center of the debate. According to Johan Galtung, this is a process in which two or more political protagonists come together to form a new protagonist. Correspondingly, Europe could be united politically, judicially, economically and socially[…]
This is conditional upon the relinquishing of national, power-oriented sovereignty and submitting to a common will. The nation-state has fulfilled its historical function. Nowadays, it is one of the major troublemakers in the European integration process. […]Our counter model, which is based on a concept of a Europe of the regions.
Regionalism and subsidiarity are inherently interdependent. However, in our understanding of subsidiarity we go far beyond what is stated in article five of the Treaty of Amsterdam. We define subsidiarity as “actively supporting a nation-state or the European Union, to develop local and regional subsystems[…]”
Breaking open encrusted power structures
To sum up: the future of the European Union can only survive both domestically and internationally, if the bloc develops a constitution that aims to set up a regional, federal system. The structural principle of subsidiarity will break open encrusted power structures and lead to an efficient overhaul of existing power structures.
Daily Mail, 23 April 2008:
The change splits England into three and lumps those parts together with chunks of other countries to create “transnational regions”.
Under the programme, known as INTER-REG, counties along England’s south coast form the “Manche Region” along with northern France.
The “Atlantic Region” takes in western England, along with Ireland, Wales and parts of Portugal, Spain, France and Scotland.
Meanwhile eastern England is part of the “North Sea Region”, which covers areas of Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands.
“Acceptance of these elements calls for a reinterpretation of the concept of national sovereignty. Participation and social control suggest a functional rather than a territorial interpretation of sovereignty, or jurisdiction over determined uses rather than geographical space . Conceptually, this interpretation will make possible the progressive internationalization and socialization of all world resources - material and non-material[…] It also permits the secure accommodation of inclusive and exclusive uses of these resources. Ultimately, we must air for decentralized sovereignty.” - Reshaping the International Order: A Report to the Club of Rome Think Tank, 1976 (p82)
“The European Union is a very visible demonstration of how the pooling of
sovereignty by national states can contribute to facing today’s challenges of globalisation.” - Former Irish Prime Minister, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi, 18 January 2006