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Thread: Northern European Union

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    Northern European Union



    Article posted recently in the most important German conservative newspaper. Die Welt.

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    As UK Moves Toward EU Exit, Envisioning A New Northern European Union
    http://worldcrunch.com/world-affairs...nion/c1s10941/

    BERLIN - Europeans are in a virtual state of paralysis about the future, frozen by a fear that – were they to turn away from Brussels – the result would be a rise of reactionary nationalism.

    Not surprisingly, these new chauvinisms are perfectly suited for some political agendas – on all sides of the ideological spectrum. Still, some thoughtful observers are beginning to flirt with the idea of moving away from Brussels, and weighing the new turns the Continent could take with an eventual exit of London from the EU, particularly in terms of the economic consequences for both Europe and the UK.

    A decisive step on the part of the British could actually give new impetus, and new energy. Many countries that have perceived themselves as too small to act on their own could begin to see the constraints of collective debt and Brussels bureaucracy.

    This renewed sense of possibility would in turn widen the horizons of British strategists. The UK's move would thus no longer be about the pros and cons of departure, but rather about seeking more suitable alliances.

    Would the Dutch still feel the same way about the EU if there was no North-South divide anymore? How much better things would look in Flanders if the issue wasn’t Wallonia but a more viable Union... Scottish independence would also lose its escapist flavor because everybody from Belfast to Cardiff would be part of a new alliance of states.

    A federation of northern countries – Iceland, Scandinavian nations, Belgium, the Netherlands, the British Isles, Ireland – would almost certainly entice the German states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, whose dowry would be the Kiel Canal. After all, Altona lived comfortably with Denmark for some 200 years.

    And the idea that this would somehow be a return to a Teutonic past doesn’t hold water: in such a large alliance, the northern Germans would constitute a minority that none need fear. There are historical precedents – one thinks of the German citizens of the Hansa cities of Danzig, Elbing and Thorn, which in 1454, and then for nearly 350 years, linked up with the Polish Rzeczpospolita to protect themselves from the murderous attacks and plunder by fellow Germans, the Teutonic Knights.

    Most Germans would wish the northern Germans well, follow the development with interest rather than the disparagement that often accompanies separatism, sensing how profoundly anti-chauvinistic their secession was. This would be a match for the nonchalance about the independence of Scotland, which is being left free to decide its own future.

    A new world power?

    Imagine: a territory of over 3.8 million square kilometers (1.5 million square miles), number four in terms of global economy, with 120 million inhabitants, ten languages but with nearly everyone able to understand English – a new and culturally rich space with guaranteed free trade inside its borders, and ever open to the world beyond.

    As all members of this northern federation – with the exception of Sweden – are already NATO members, they would have the know-how to organize themselves as a military alliance as well, with British nuclear potential to back it up. Self-sufficient in terms of energy, with plenty of oil, gas, hydropower, shale gas, it could also play a role in reducing energy-related conflict.

    The regime in Brussels would not be able to stave off its death throes for long after the creation of such a federation: minus Great Britain, the Netherlands, Flanders-Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein, it would lose some 7 billion euros a year.

    The rebels could finance their trim joint bureaucracy with a fraction of what they saved and use the rest for what has become a bitter necessity – seeing to a secure future. Whoever stuck by Brussels would either be asking for even more money or – like Germany, for example – take its leave from further cost overload.

    The result would be that, finally, the undemocratic hyper-apparatus that is Brussels would no longer have the financing it needs to continue.

    Such a federation could also inspire others. Some like the southern Germans, Austrians, Swiss and northern Italians might forge their own federation. Countries excluded from all this would be left striving to achieve eligibility to the club. This could ultimately mean that a significant chunk of Europe teams up again – only this time not to be run by a moldy bureaucracy, but rather to become an alliance of free nations.

    Europe will have learned that the counterweight to yesterday’s ethnic over-independence doesn’t have to be “Europe Above All” – something that Switzerland, with its four languages and cultures, has understood for centuries.
    By Gunnar Heinsohn


    All rights reserved ©Worldcrunch - in partnership with DIE WELT

    Read the article in the original language.
    http://www.welt.de/debatte/kommentar...a-fuehren.html


    -------------

    I don't see how anyone in Northern Europe those days could disagree of it in a short medium term as output for the recent crisis. It would be more fair in terms of financing and tax payer for some of the countries of the North.

    In a scenario like that would be good for my native country Sweden. We would have more relevance than within the currently regional 'northern' EU, considering what we have invested in the current Union, far more than a country like Greece or Portugal. Yet, the weight of the decisions are always the same, totally unfair to our tax payer.

    Also mentioning that all of those countries are more Liberal-oriented democracies.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Hmm, as long as each member could maintain ultimate sovereignty and some other aspects such as immigration and trade be either tailored to suit the entire group or left for each country to maintain, it sounds like not a bad idea. Although i'm wary of becoming involved too deep in this sort of thing. It would undoubtedly be better than the current EU, and assuming global trade was not hampered significantly fro each country, it could be beneficial there.

    Under certain conditions, i would put this on par with complete independence, in regards to the UK at least. I think it should not have as much power by any means as the current EU.
    'Wise men speak only of what they know' - J.R.R. Tolkien

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Surprised that this idea came from the 'conservative sector' of German media. A bit far fetched, for their part, but still with all of reality, can be valid.

    In fact I'd prefer Denmark and Sweden splitting out from the EU . And hopefully a few more so we could get a the Nordic Council updated to a union with like minded and equal nations (Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Norway and Denmark) with a common interest.
    Currently my country has more business relationships with US, Canada, Brazil and China than with all of the nations of southern Europe.

    EU no longer has that utility for my country as it was in the 90s in matter of trade balance.

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    the scenario of another core of Eurozone (the Eurpean union of the North) was discused thourougly after 2010 in Greece,
    as a possible target of Mercel focusing for Eurozone,

    by what i remember that will might be able after 2017-2018, according the way the 'crisis' will take,
    in that case Deutsch Sweden Finland Belgium Netherlands Czechia will be the core,
    France Austria (Scotland) is still unknown and England is outside from today,
    all the rest will be forced to leave Euro.

    yet this is possible and will solve many problems, but what will happen if someone after that decide to put tax (customs) in that EU core products?
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    This looks solid to me. I'm a citizen of the U.S. so I don't have a dog in this fight, but I think the key is to keep ultimate sovereignty for each nation like Jackson mentioned.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    I think maybe Britain would be too strong in such an alliance, and they have a history of arrogance. But I agree that the EU of today is too large (not in square kilometers, but including too many diverse peoples and cultures), so something would probably have to be done to save something of it. I like the idea of an alliance of the Scandinavian countries, but it would have to be an alliance with a high degree of independence - at least if we Norwegians should consider joining it!

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    It would make happy many Southern Europeans (not really me).

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    Quote Originally Posted by agnieu View Post
    It would make happy many Southern Europeans (not really me).
    Why are you saying that? Southern Europeans will not be happy if they are excluded from any possible union. Northern Europeans exist today because of Southerns. It was Ancient Greece together with Ballkans, and later Rome with Ballkans also, that repeaditly repelled invasion after invasion, creating conditions for Europe that we know today. I have heard that Northern countries will try to change the union, because it too cumbersome to run the way it is. The idea is that, France, Italy, Germany, Neatherland and possibly two or three mor countries form the core of a new Union, with the same laws everywhere. So they will make all posible decisions. Others will be in the second circle. They will enjoy all economic benefits of the union, minus political benefits. Somthing like that could happen in the future. I don't think Northern European populations despise the Southerns. They too want the union.

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    Quote Originally Posted by albanopolis View Post
    Why are you saying that? Southern Europeans will not be happy if they are excluded from any possible union. Northern Europeans exist today because of Southerns. It was Ancient Greece together with Ballkans, and later Rome with Ballkans also, that repeaditly repelled invasion after invasion, creating conditions for Europe that we know today. I have heard that Northern countries will try to change the union, because it too cumbersome to run the way it is. The idea is that, France, Italy, Germany, Neatherland and possibly two or three mor countries form the core of a new Union, with the same laws everywhere. So they will make all posible decisions. Others will be in the second circle. They will enjoy all economic benefits of the union, minus political benefits. Somthing like that could happen in the future. I don't think Northern European populations despise the Southerns. They too want the union.
    Well i dunno, you seem to be being carried by us at the moment. We could just cut you loose and let you enjoy your own inherent superiority...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson View Post
    Well i dunno, you seem to be being carried by us at the moment. We could just cut you loose and let you enjoy your own inherent superiority...
    Superiority is claimed by Northen Europeans. There was a law in 1900 by US Congress ( made up entirely of Northern folks) that restricted the Southerns from immigrating, on inferiority basis. So, Northerns have a history of superiority. Truth to be told, Northerns have been more succesful in modern times. But a Northern Union will not work, my friend. Southerns are a hard bone and vital. Golden age for North is over. Expensive labuor make Northerns uncompetitive. Anyway, you keep your views, I will keep mine. Southerns want a strong Union with North. We value everything good that Northerns bring, and we are capable of enriching civilisation. How, can one, not want a country like Italy in the Union?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson View Post
    Well i dunno, you seem to be being carried by us at the moment. We could just cut you loose and let you enjoy your own inherent superiority...
    you're right, go ahead then, cut lose all those lazy Southerners that you seem to be carrying around. But wait a minute, you can't, can you..!?

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    The answer is really a smaller EU rather than a separate Northern grouping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kamani View Post
    you're right, go ahead then, cut lose all those lazy Southerners that you seem to be carrying around. But wait a minute, you can't, can you..!?
    They are really conscious, smart citizens of Europe up there. They would love to have whole Europe joined together for the maximum strength of Union. But if south gets really messed up, or a strong opposition takes hold, it might be dropped out.
    Just be careful what you wish for, because it is not written in stone....
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    They are really conscious, smart citizens of Europe up there. They would love to have whole Europe joined together for the maximum strength of Union. But if south gets really messed up, or a strong opposition takes hold, it might be dropped out.
    Just be careful what you wish for, because it is not written in stone....
    The English (he responded to Jackson who's English) most definitely do not want that and never did. England has always been the most Eurosceptic country in the continent.

    You make it sound as though Northerners want the union to work and Southerners don't. And it is probably the other way around (most Euroskeptics aren't Southerners)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boss View Post
    The English (he responded to Jackson who's English) most definitely do not want that and never did. England has always been the most Eurosceptic country in the continent.

    You make it sound as though Northerners want the union to work and Southerners don't. And it is probably the other way around (most Euroskeptics aren't Southerners)
    When I listened to the people, I would say that I hear more Greeks opposed to EU (and accusing of EU of wrongdoing) than English folks, not mentioning Germans.

    I don't know EU history too well, but if I could guess who was behind inception of EU, I would say northern and central europeans. Am I right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    When I listened to the people, I would say that I hear more Greeks opposed to EU (and accusing of EU of wrongdoing) than English folks, not mentioning Germans.

    I don't know EU history too well, but if I could guess who was behind inception of EU, I would say northern and central europeans. Am I right?
    I am not sure which people are you referring to. I'm talking about polls. And what you hear from the Greeks is not opposition to the EU, it's opposition to particular measures within the EU. When I'm talking about Euroscepticism, I'm talking about full blown We-Don't-Want-To-Be-A-Part-of-This-Union. That is what it means, to my mind, to be anti-EU. Opposing a particular set of policies doesn't make you anti-EU. And in that sense, there is more of that in the North (again, England being the most extreme example) than in the South - even now in the midst of the crisis (or perhaps especially now).

    & regarding your second point: The European Union was formed with the Maastricht Treaty. Now I am not sure I can answer who was behind it - it was a collective affair. The idea of a united Europe though has multiple sources - most Western (though I said northern as in British or Scandinavian or Baltic not western like French, German, Benelux) but not all. Spinelli, often considered one of the Founding Fathers of the EU, was Italian for example.

    But all this I think is irrelevant. For I don't doubt that the elites in many Northern countries are pro-EU. And it is they that conceived of a united Europe. Rather I thought we were talking about the public - *the* English, for example (I don't think the Germans btw are anti-EU and I wasn't really talking about them) whose views are not really represented by these people.

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    And BTW, I do not agree with kamani and albanopolis, I do not hold their views at all and I understand why Jackson would respond the way he did (though I think he's as mistaken as they are)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    ...I don't know EU history too well, but if I could guess who was behind inception of EU, I would say northern and central europeans. Am I right?
    I'd say you have to go further West to find the answer.

    Not England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland though. A little bit further West than that. :)

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    why do westeuropeans think they are so much better and want to seperate themself from easteurope??
    without illyria or so called old europe you would be nothing

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boss View Post
    And BTW, I do not agree with kamani and albanopolis, I do not hold their views at all and I understand why Jackson would respond the way he did (though I think he's as mistaken as they are)
    Well, there are not many choices left for Southern Europeans. Union with North or Union with Turkey. Since Union with Turkey was tested for 500 yrs, the only option remains Union with North. Northern Union is not going to happen. My view is that the design of union should change. Its getting too popular and too many participants. Its like Eurovision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by albanopolis View Post
    Superiority is claimed by Northen Europeans. There was a law in 1900 by US Congress ( made up entirely of Northern folks) that restricted the Southerns from immigrating, on inferiority basis. So, Northerns have a history of superiority. Truth to be told, Northerns have been more succesful in modern times. But a Northern Union will not work, my friend. Southerns are a hard bone and vital. Golden age for North is over. Expensive labuor make Northerns uncompetitive. Anyway, you keep your views, I will keep mine. Southerns want a strong Union with North. We value everything good that Northerns bring, and we are capable of enriching civilisation. How, can one, not want a country like Italy in the Union?
    They are not my views as such, i was merely turning your own views on it's head to put you in the position i feel when reading your posts. I do not think that southern Europeans are inferior, and i do not want a northern European Union, although it seems that most of northern Europe and most of southern Europe would be more compatible with the rest of their group than with each other, economically at least.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kamani View Post
    you're right, go ahead then, cut lose all those lazy Southerners that you seem to be carrying around. But wait a minute, you can't, can you..!?
    No, i can't. I'm merely a poor maligned peasant who can't even do much to sort out the bad politics in his own country let alone others. :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson View Post
    They are not my views as such, i was merely turning your own views on it's head to put you in the position i feel when reading your posts. I do not think that southern Europeans are inferior, and i do not want a northern European Union, although it seems that most of northern Europe and most of southern Europe would be more compatible with the rest of their group than with each other, economically at least.
    O.k then, we are both for a strong European Union. My country is still not part of it, but I want to be. In my post I did not intend to express any Southern superiority, since there is not such, but I was stating an historical fact: Rome is largely responsible for the shape of todays map. Without them might have been different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by albanopolis View Post
    O.k then, we are both for a strong European Union. My country is still not part of it, but I want to be. In my post I did not intend to express any Southern superiority, since there is not such, but I was stating an historical fact: Rome is largely responsible for the shape of todays map. Without them might have been different.
    Ok, maybe i misunderstood. You are right about the Roman Empire. Personally i think the EU would have to change substantially before i'd accept it, although i never would in my own country just because i am fundamentally opposed to the basic principle of power being ceded out of the nation, but i think the most important thing is that if the EU is going to succeed, it needs to have strong support from the people, and they must also all (or most) want and support unification. The EU either needs to not exist or become fully federal to succeed in my opinion. I am against 'Europe' becoming effectively a national entity, but i am aware that it is heading in that direction whether i like it or not. My primary concern is for my own nation, but if the people in other nations in Europe feel the same as me i would support them. Last i heard about 1/3 of Germans are against it, or at least the Euro. It's probably gone up since then, though.

    I honestly just see it as another attempt to unify Europe, only by non-violent/expansionistic means this time. I do not think we are ready for it now, although i don't know what it will be like in the future. I guess it depends on the ideology, whether people feel more with their national identity or European identity, and i know the EU is strongly pushing for people to start considering themselves as European first.

    It could be a lot worse, that is true. But i am still not in favour of it. I'm not in favour of the EU because i am pro-European nation states. I'm very much in favour of cooperation with other European countries, i just think that political and monetary union is far too extreme, and may not be in the best interest of the European peoples.

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    Quote Originally Posted by albanopolis View Post
    O.k then, we are both for a strong European Union. My country is still not part of it, but I want to be. In my post I did not intend to express any Southern superiority, since there is not such, but I was stating an historical fact: Rome is largely responsible for the shape of todays map. Without them might have been different.

    Are you sure?

    Name one modern successor state of the Roman Empire.

    Please don't say Italy, which was divided from the year 568 (Langobard invasion) till 1861 (new Kingdom of Italy).

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