A look at Europe's future

21 January 2017 11:57 am

Take a look at this map. It shows areas in Europe with strong nationalist tendencies. Some have active separatist movements, others are demanding increased autonomy but not independence

In many of these regions, secessionist movements may be favored by a minority of the population. In all these regions, there is some degree of national consciousness that is dissonant with the current boundaries of Europe’s nation-states.

What does this mean for the future of Europe?

It shows that the European Union is a flawed institution. Its members could never decide what they wanted it to be.

The EU is not quite a sovereign entity. But it claims more authority than a free trade agreement because European nation-states gave up some of their sovereignty to Brussels… but not all of it. So when serious issues arose (such as the 2008 financial crisis or the influx of Syrian and other refugees), EU member states went back to solving problems the way they did before the EU. Instead of “one for all and all for one,” it was “to each their own, but you still have to buy German products.”

Brexit shook the foundations of the EU in 2016. And in 2017, we will have elections in France and Germany and domestic instability in Italy shaking the EU foundations. But Brexit also opened the doors to a deeper question: How will national self-determination be defined in the 21st century? Not all of Europe’s nation-states are on stable ground. The most important consequences of Brexit may end up being its impact on the political future of the United Kingdom. And in Spain, Catalonia already claims it will hold an independence referendum this year.

Brussels, meanwhile, keeps trying to speak with one voice. But the European Union, if it still exists, is going to look very different five years from now.

2017

September

16 Sep 2017 - Australia’s energy crisis shows the stupidity of privatisation

09 Sep 2017 - Why climate change will devastate Florida

July

16 Jul 2017 - Laws of mathematics don’t apply to Australia: Malcolm Turnbull

June

17 Jun 2017 - Political backlash over the Grenfell fire

11 Jun 2017 - A win for Macron is a lesson for Theresa May

04 Jun 2017 - Attacks in London could change the election

May

28 May 2017 - Why Donald Trump will survive and be re-elected in 2020

20 May 2017 - Will the Mueller probe examine Trump’s Russian business ties?

13 May 2017 - Hypocrisy over Chloe Shorten’s necklace

06 May 2017 - Macron vs Le Pen: France is no longer one country

April

29 Apr 2017 - Turnbull government attacks banks over Adani

23 Apr 2017 - Why the French election is important

08 Apr 2017 - Russian navy moves in

01 Apr 2017 - Australia is one of the world’s worst money laundering property markets

March

19 Mar 2017 - Peter Dutton goes poofter bashing

04 Mar 2017 - Trump will take the market to a fiscal bloodbath

February

26 Feb 2017 - Trump’s mental condition

18 Feb 2017 - Adani’s results tell us the company will not develop in Australia

11 Feb 2017 - Why the Coalition’s “clean coal” plan is crap

04 Feb 2017 - It’s Trump versus the courts

January

27 Jan 2017 - The cost of Trump's wall on consumers

21 Jan 2017 - A look at Europe's future

20 Jan 2017 - Can Trump make America great again?

16 Jan 2017 - Trump parallels with Iraq


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