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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Report on the Future of Europe: Federalism and Democracy

The report of the Future of Europe Group, released on 17 September 2012, warrants careful consideration by E.U. citizens and their state and federal officials. Beyond the various reforms proposed in the document is the critical notion that not every state need be a part of the enhanced integration (i.e., the additional governmental sovereignty being shifted to the Union from the states). This assumption applies both to the proposals themselves and to the application of a super-majority in place of unanimous consent to future amendments to the E.U.’s basic law. It follows that if the Czech Republic and Britain prefer the status quo, this would not prevent other states from going on to closer union. From an American standpoint, this “dual or multiple track” approach to federalism is quite foreign.

The complete essay is at Essays on Two Federal Empires.

The E.U. flag at the European Commission.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Barroso's State of the Union: Is the E.U. a Political Union?

On September 12, 2012, President Barroso delivered his State of the Union Address. His depiction of the E.U. itself can be regarded as blurry, and his notion of "political union" as being misplaced as something somehow not yet extant. Even so, he does manage to accurately characterize the epoch at the time in terms of the Union being in its development stage. He correctly labels this stage as decisive for Europe.

The complete essay is at Essays on Two Federal Empires.

  President Barroso talking with Angela Merkel of the state of Germany.         NYT