Monday, December 29, 2008

EU being like the USA?

Monday, December 29, 2008
Will the EU ever become like the USA or Australia (or even Great Britain) is with many local states but with a federal Govt over the top?
It was a question I had after I heard about the euro being floated many years back (was it b4 2000???). For us who recently traveled round Europe some things became clearer. I am not sure the locals can see it thou, and if you press them they will most likely deny it. Funny how your own patch and local identity is still more important, then the greater good. I guess this will never change - and if you look hard enough into the States and Australia you will find that local pride does still sit deep within the people. Just ask any self respecting Sydney person what they think of the "Brisso's"!

Then there would need to be some further generations living here with out any war experience in Europe. The common currency and the open border certainly helped in developing a culture of easier communication and travel. Most people in the European countries are now bilingual as a minimum!! That being the local lingo and English as a base and then many will speak another language as well. As people have found it easier to travel and taken up the opportunity the "local" flavor is changing. How easy is it to travel?? Example - there are now 30 German airlines touting for business and if you book early enough you can have some really cheap flights - a city hop of euro $30 is not uncommon. We took advantage of the "Bayern Ticket" a train ride of maximum of 5 people from Salzburg to Munich for $29 euros! If 5 travel together that's almost like catching the local bus!! In price at least.
It is hard to see the EU states to give up their independence totally (like I'm sure it is unlikely that they ever agree to let go of their own military) and yet so much is already being "federalized". Who can forget the ruling from Brussels about the shape and "curve" of the Banana?? Recently the health arm of the EU made a public statement of the chances of all european people getting better or worse in the hospitals (and listed them by State's) and wants each state to list improvements needed to rise the "performance" criteria by such and such date.

Will the EU become similar to the USA or Australia?? In my opinion it has every chance to develop into this direction!! The Question really is - can the people get over the historic differences and accept a greater federal government structure as in opposed to maintain their own independence ?? Give them 200 years of no wars and fighting and who knows???
One other question would be - will this be a good thing for our world???
Time will tell - but yes this traveller and former native to Salzburg can see it happening, with an ounce of luck and a lot of goodwill!!
Feel free to disagree.

Post script
Ok I know that the USA or the Aussies had a different start to their nationhood, as opposed to Europe who are currently all sovereign states in their own rights. Those of you critical enough will note though that the USA had in the past some wars over territorry plus one war on ideology (freedom on slaves).
All I am saying is that it has a pretty good chance to develop into something similar - wether it will - longterm - is another question.

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