Feature

Switzerland: A call for a United States of Europe

Right now, the European Union does not function; it should go all the way and become &ldquo;the United States of Europe,&rdquo; said Bernard Guetta in <em>Le Temps.</em>

Bernard GuettaLe Temps

The European Union should go all the way and become “the United States of Europe,” said Bernard Guetta. It’s been more than a half-century since the first European common market was created, yet the union still hasn’t decided what it wants to be. Some Europeans accept the idea of a commercial union, but balk at a political one. Others want the whole package, with a common prime minister or president. What we have now, though, serves neither end. We have a common currency and all the bureaucratic apparatus of a federal state, “but no common political process or common government.” Those who think a U.S. of E. could not work because of Europe’s great diversity should look closer at America’s diversity. “California, for example, is not the least bit like West Virginia”—one is rich and liberal, the other poor and conservative. Some states have abolished the death penalty, while others, “such as Texas, apply it with a Chinese frenzy.” Each has its own governor and legislature, yet the country also functions as a whole. And that’s the main point: It functions. Right now, the European Union does not.

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