In his state of the union speech September 12, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso called for Europe to become a “federation.”
“A deep and genuine economic and monetary union, a political union, with a coherent foreign and defense policy, means ultimately that the present European Union must evolve,” he said. “Let’s not be afraid of the words: We will need to move towards a federation of nation-states. … This is our political horizon.”
Barroso also made it clear that forming “this federation of nation-states will ultimately require a new treaty.”
European Council President Herman van Rompuy made similar calls in an issues paper he published the same day. It calls for “a central budget for the euro area.” It also talked about creating a new eurozone parliament.
In his speech, Barroso called for a “federation of nation-states.” Although he said such an entity wouldn’t be called a “superstate,” that’s very much what he was describing. A spade is still a spade even if you refer to it as a blunt-edged horticultural implement.
These calls for a federation and for a new treaty come despite the fact that nearly every nation in Europe does not want a new EU treaty. Even Germany’s traditional allies, the northern eurozone states, don’t want a new EU treaty. It’s just Germany.
Barroso also made clear that he was ready to move on without reluctant states. If nations don’t want to move forward with this integration, they will be left behind.
“No one will be forced to come along,” said Barroso. “And no one will be forced to stay out. The speed will not be dictated by the slowest or the most reluctant.”
Germany is getting its way in calling for a political union as the solution to the euro crisis. Watch for Barroso and Van Rompuy’s vision to become reality. ▪