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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Is the E.U. a Federal System? Comparing the E.U. and U.S.

The United States and the European Union are not typically thought of on either side of the Atlantic Ocean as commensurate, and thus comparable, at least as of 2015 as I compile the essays in this text. Nevertheless, I contend that both polities are empire-level federal systems—federal in the modern sense, wherein the states and the federal level government share governmental sovereignty. If I’m correct in my categorization, we could evade the mistaken prescriptions that naturally ensue from category mistakes by comparing France, for example, with Texas rather than the entire U.S., and California not with the E.U. but, rather, with Italy. Useful lessons for the E.U. would come from looking at the U.S., and vice versa. Keeping the (member) states distinct from their respective federal levels is rarely if even done in making trans-Atlantic comparisons.

Accordingly, I present a collection of my essays on federalism applied to the E.U. andU.S. so the ubiquitous category-mistakes might finally be viewed as antiquated and useful lessons may be drawn on both sides of the Atlantic to fortify the respective federal empires of (member) states. The essays in Part I emphasize EU-US comparisons. The second and third parts focus respectively on the European Union and the United States, with comparisons and contrasts brought in as needed. I contend generally that both federal systems are in need of improvements to be viable over time. Whereas the E.U.’s risk is dissolution, consolidation at the expense of federalism is the danger facing the U.S. as of 2015. Ideally, a federal system has in its design structures and processes that tend the system itself into having a balance of power between the states and the federal-level governmental institutions. Only thusly can the states provide a check on federal encroachment, and the federal institutions check wayward states. In seeking to realize this benefit, Europeans and Americans could do worse than draw comparisons without committing a category-mistake. 

A Related Audio:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thewordenreport/2013/07/08/the-eu-and-us