One Saturday morning routine, is to go to the Wilmot Branch of the Pima County Library to read magazines. One of my favourite magazines is The Economist. Yes Virginia, just to be different, I used the British spelling. I enjoy their articles, especially reading about the United States from a different perspective.
Today, there was a series of articles about the European Union.
This is the basic history as I’m interpreting it, as an American, interested in things European. The basic reason for founding the European Union was to prevent another war between France and Germany. It was getting to be a bad habit. It would be French technology for German industry, (actually then West Germany, as East Germany was rather occupied at the moment. No one wanted a united Germany at that time).
I’m calling this a business model. Starting in 1957, there were six countries; (France, West Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy). All could agree to the same rules.
When I read Boris Johnson’s Dream of Rome, he spoke about the United States backing a larger EU of Western European nations to oppose the Eastern Bloc.
Then, the Berlin Wall fell. Well, there was no more Eastern Bloc. Did the EU lose some purpose at that point? It’s nice to say you cover all Europe, but does the 1957 business model fit from 1990 to 2017? Former Communist nations in Eastern Europe are behind Western Europe. The Germans learn this lesson with a United Germany, where the West is way ahead of the East when the two Germanys become one. Countries, such as Portugal and Bulgaria are now members. None of these countries are equal economically. Greece keeps having to be bailed out.
Then came the refugee crisis. Much of the European Union is based on free travel. Now, refugees from outside Europe were passing through all these European countries. Suddenly free range between countries wasn’t looking so good. Not everyone is fortress Switzerland, which has no intention of being an EU member. Angela Merkel allowed one million refugees in Germany, but not necessarily because she has such a good heart, but because Germany needs workers, since Germans aren’t making enough babies.
The refugees are not trying to stay in Hungary. Hungarian is a tough language and Germany is wealthier. Again, a case of “Show me the money.”
Reading the articles, one EU bureaucrat stated they are harder on applicants, than members. Then, the EU was greeted by something they weren’t expecting…
It never occurred to EU officials that anyone would want to leave the EU. The United States is more like the Mafia that way. Once in, you’re in. In the 1860’s, eleven states tried to leave. the United States. Some guy named Abraham Lincoln thought it was a bad idea. You know the rest. The EU isn’t going to send troops to stop the UK from leaving the EU.
The United Kingdom is going to negotiate their divorce proceedings, but the answer comes down to one thing. The European Union needs a better business model.