The Euro is Essential
By Steven J. Grisafi, PhD.
Too often I read commentaries written by Europeans from all four corners of the continent expressing their frustration with the euro currency and lamenting the harm they believe it has done to their nation’s economy. There appear to be opponents to the currency within all nineteen nations that have adopted the currency. The euro is too weak for Germany and the Netherlands but it is too strong for both France and Italy. While various opinions exists as to how to remedy the situation, the consensus appears to be that political unity of all nineteen member nations would be required. However, political unity means different things to the peoples of differing nations.
Again too often, one can find commentaries from citizens of the smaller member nations of the European Union expressing their mistrust of what they perceive to be a domineering, if not condescending, attitude toward them from the largest member nations: both France and Germany. I suspect that much of the apparent grief expressed by the smaller member nations toward the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union results from their perceived loss of the British as a counter-weight to the wishes of both the French and the Germans. But the United Kingdom had not adopted the euro currency and would have been extremely unlikely to abandon the Pound Sterling even if she were to remain within the European Union. As such, the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union is essential for any sort of Federalism to arise within the European Union. Regardless of how that Federalism may come to be defined within the European Union, the sine qua non for any sort of political unity is the euro currency.
After confronting what they had perceived as unreasonable stinginess from the Germans, Greece has sought to exploit their strategic geographic position along China’s proposed new Silk Road to overcome their imposed austerity. After recent clashes with the European Commission in Brussels, regarding their proposal to pay the poorest five million Italians a basic monthly income from an allocation of seven billion euros in an extremely over-stretched national budget, Italy also seeks financial enrichment through cooperation with the Chinese venture. Consistent with this pattern is the effort of Poland to acquire enhanced military interaction with the United States; while Bulgaria also seeks to exploit their opportunity to facilitate the transport of Russian natural gas to the remainder of the European Union. As an American observing this pattern, of nearly all European nations attempting in some fashion or another to undermine any appearance of federal authority residing within the European Union, I wonder how long it will take for the Europeans to recognize that they have concocted a flawed structure, which they call the European Union, because they failed to recognize the need to subsume all national identities.
The need to subsume all national identities does not require abandonment of one’s culture or regional identity. In my previous article entitled “Unity” I expressed the thought that we ought to build upon the sentiment inherent in the Treaty of Aachen endorsed by France and Germany. What would be required as the next step is the merger of France with Germany. One way of doing so would be to hold a constitution convention with representatives of the regional governments of both France and Germany, not the national governments. At this drafting of a new constitution for the merged, unified nation, let us call it the Central European Republic, the entire territory would be divided into states of approximately equal population. For example, the former Federal Republic of Germany would be divided into eight states of approximately equal size while France would be divided into six states of approximately equal size to that of the German states. These fourteen new states would become the signatories to the constitution. With all French national authority invested within the six French states and all German national authority invested within the eight German states, the ratification of the constitution by these fourteen states empowers the federal authority of the Central European Republic. Although it has changed considerably over the past two centuries, this was the method for the creation of the United States of America: all authority resides with the states except for that which is expressed explicitly within the constitution and transferred to the federal government by ratification of said constitution by the states.
As I see it, the stunted development of the European Union results from the unwillingness of all member nations to abandon the recognition they enjoy on the world stage. It appears that the Europeans had hoped to achieve the stature and recognition that the United States of America enjoys without having to abandon their privilege of being individually recognized as a member of the world community. Americans can have little sympathy for this attitude and it becomes fertile ground for our attitude of America First!