The United States of Europe

Statue in front of the European Parliament, Brussels (photo by Kevin Van den Panhuyzen)
Statue in front of the European Parliament, Brussels (photo by Kevin Van den Panhuyzen)

The European Union must push for political integration if it is going to survive.

by Juda Jelinek.

George Washington once wrote to his French ally, Marquis de La Fayette, “One day, on the model of the United States of America, a United States of Europe will come into being.” Now, in the 21st century, the European Union is being pulled in two directions at a pivitol crossroads. It faces either futher integration or a splintering collapse.

Along with maintaining peace, welfare, and justice throughout its territory, the concept of ‘growth through economic integration’ is one of the main objectives of the European Union. From the second half of the 20th century up until the present time, there has been astonishing progress made among the economies of its member states. However, in the turmoil accompanying the recent economic crisis, the E.U.’s ability to adequately manage the situation was called into question, and it became evident that the structure of the Union has severe deficiencies.

The theory of economic integration asserts that as economic integration increases, the barriers of trade between markets diminish. A common marketplace, with shared economic factors across national borders, naturally generates demand for further integration — not only economically (via monetary unions), but also politically. From this, it stands to reason that economic communities naturally evolve into political unions over time. If threats like the recession challenge the efficacy of economic integration, however, the E.U. risks being …

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