In Support of the European Union

Flag ~ European Union

I am a great supporter of the European Union, but it is a democratic structure and it is time for its citizens to become more active and steer their union to greater things. As David Cameron pointed out in his speech, the first two main goals of the union have already been achieved. War in Europe is now a thing of the past. We now have a functional monetary and trade union, with free movement of products and labour within the 27 countries. But where are we going now? What is our goal? Are we just ever so busy making rules about this and that, in order to achieve even greater conformity in our European lives? Are we just ever so busy creating rules and regulations to direct every facet of our lives? 

You may have noticed that I keep saying ‘we’ – and it is ‘we’, not ‘they’. We, the voters, are the political driving force behind the whole massive machinery, which we then criticise and worse – feel helpless against. This is crazy! It is easy for us Europeans to look sideways at the United States of America, but they do have a few things going for them. For a start, being an American means something to them. It doesn’t mean that they are the same – Texans and Californians and New Yorkers are as different as can be, but they are still Americans. They also have a Federal Government, with a Federal Reserve and a variety of Federal agencies. Of course, we have many similar agencies in Europe, but how well do you, as a European, know them?

We in Europe need to take the next step and realise that we are all citizens of the same union. But, for this we need to have a common aim and stop bickering amongst ourselves. Divide and conquer – we have heard it so many times before, but we are doing it to ourselves! The other great unions of the world, meanwhile, with greater feelings of unity, grow ever stronger and more competitive in their business strategies. If we pull together, we 500 million Europeans can be a great union, the United States of Europe, big enough to compete and prosper in the world market.

My vision is this. Each member state does what it does best, and becomes even better at it, for the benefit of its own citizens. Finland (where I live), for example, focuses on its own engineering expertise, becomes even better and creates a national centre of excellence, to whom others look for advice. Meantime, its massive potential for tourism is developed and central government creates a Finnish brand that the world can relate to. However, it should always start locally – improve our street, improve our suburb, improve our town, city, region, province, country and finally, Europe. We should stop there and let the other unions worry about their own affairs (except when they spill their pollution on us, or mistreat their own people).

We can’t make Europe great until we make our own communities more prosperous. This is some kind of natural law of survival – first me, then my family, then my locale etc. The EU doesn’t need to waste energy making macro-rules about how we should all live; we can do that ourselves, at home, where it is relevant. The EU should be planning how this union can benefit its citizens by making the union a centre of excellence, by creating a brand which inspires confidence. “Ah, look, this device comes from the EU – it must be good!”

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. In Support of the European Union « Malcolm's English Pages
    Feb 17, 2013 @ 22:06:58

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