BCal Dc10 wrote:
Thanks for that Dutchy - I'm learning every day. I hope my questions aren't annoying - I am fascinated by this process, and learning from you (and others who contribute) is giving me an insight. I shall go away and google "bondeslander" (apple helpfully auto corrected to "blonde slander" - could also be worth a google ahahaha - so as not to waste your time.
In the grand scheme of things - I hope this sensible level of question and answer is helping others understand the issues - rather than flinging insults at each other which seemed to be preoccupying this thread, I hoped that asking some sensible probing questions might help everyone understand a bit more about the way each party is coming at this.
Let me push you one step further - you say you would favor a USE. How would any country with such strong sense of identity even go to that stage. Culture, language, all those things - Mr Junker gave an interesting speech saying English is no longer the language of the EU. I know it was probably a joke, meant at giving Mrs May a little needle, but that must rankle with Germans, Irish (last time I checked English was their language), Italians, Spanish, Dutch, (apologies to countries I have left off - ahem) - its all a big melting pot of so many things - I can't see how it can integrate any further - without starting to royally piss off some nations with strong sense of their national identity..... and where does that go?
Bundesländer (my German sucks, sorry for that): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/States_of_Germany
not unlike the states of America I guess.
You do raise some interesting points and challenging ones
I am too fascinated by this process.
"you say you would favor a USE. How would any country with such strong sense of identity even go to that stage." that is interesting. I think I have much more in common with someone living in Madrid, than with someone living in East Groningen (rural country, as far as that is possible in The Netherlands). If you would drive from north of the Netherlands to the southern tip, you really can feel and see the difference. Above the river Rhine, the culture is Calvinistic, protestant, south of the river Rhine it is Catholic. You can hear and see it in the accent, in the identity, in the culture, yet we are still one country. One may ask the question if one's identity isn't more closely linked to a region, than a more or less arbitrary line on a map. Freddy Heineken (yes, the one from the beer), made a map once which made much more sense, the division of Europe within much smaller regions:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unite ... rotopia%3F
The plan gives a division of Europe in regions. Heineken went to Henk Wesseling for advise on the division, who was Professor of History at the University of Leiden. The designs from the plan were left to the Leiden historian Wim van den Doel. Eurotopia takes ethnic sensitivities into account, to cause the least possible amount of friction. The basic idea is a Europe that is completely composed of states with roughly 5 to 10 million citizens. According to Heineken, the absence of a powerful state would lead to a chance of more stability, equality and peace. While under the motto of small is beautiful, administration in the states could be more efficient.
I kind of subscribe to that point of view. That would dissolve nation-states in favor of the smaller regions, taking into account the multi-ethnical sensitivities. And if you could have one government above it, doing all the thinks the smaller regions can't, like defense, foreign policies, internal marked etc., than you have a USE. Give these states as much power as possible, give some support to regions which really needs it (Flevoland (Provence of The Netherlands) gets support from the EU, which it kind of ridiculous).
You have to remember the history of Europe. We had the Roman empire once, stretch out from the Netherlands / England in the north to Egypt. After the collapse of that Empire, cities became the predominating power, after that more regional powers were formed and than the countries. So it might just be the logical next step to move towards a single Europe again.
But Europeans share a common history and do share common values. So I think that this is the way forward, but it might take another 100 years. We have come so far, we travel so much around the continent, all walks of life, so we can see and experience it for ourselves. I believe that meeting each other will bring us closer together.
"Mr Junker gave an interesting speech saying English is no longer the language of the EU." Mr Junker can say what he wants, most spoken second language is English. Perhaps he meant that within the EU it isn't one of the six languages which are being translated anymore, since only the Irish will speak it as a first language, after the Brexit.