Will Europe ever be fully united

This thread got me thinking once the argument got the EU involved. More and more, as time goes by, the European Union is becomming stronger and stronger. It’s own army (small as it may be), it’s own currency, laws, regulations, etc. Perhaps even more, as I am not the most educated on this topic.
Is it possible that the EU will morph into a Federal type of goverment, with all the european countries as sort of states like the US?
I realize that this is certainly not an original idea, but I did a search on Europe, united and a couple other variations and nothing came up. What I wonder (and the reason it is in GD), is how possible would it be in 10-20 years, of Europe being a “United European Nation” and the world’s superpower? What steps would need to occur before such a transformation was possible, and is it forseeable?

A strong leader. Someone not afraid to push aside a few pesky national boundaries to unify Europe under one flag. Onward, for the Euroland! A greater Europe is the world’s destiny.


Are you suggesting a Germany, France, Russian alliance to compete with US ‘hegemony’? Or, are you suggesting that the European nations up their defense spending and do more in the way of peacekeeping through the UN and the EU?

I am wondering if the EU will possibly ever become one nation, and in doing so, if they will have the economic, political and military power to be the worlds new super-power.

I’m not sure I can see the EU united through one leader, but rather due to circumstance become united. A republic of nations that are more united than they are currently, but perhaps not as strongly as our states are united (no federal goverment, just the council to dictate the overall laws)

Epimtheus, I think you need to be more specific in your question.

Are you asking if Eurpoe will become what is, in effect, a REALLY BIG STATE, like the United States? Where Germany and France are treated like California and Alaska? This would need a stronger unitary central government.

Or, are you thinking more along the lines of a federation, along the lines of the US before the Civil War or Germany before Bismarck? I think they’re just about there now.

IMHO, they will emerge as something other than a state. A form of government different than anything we’ve seen before. States replaced kingdoms, city-states, city-leagues, and feudal societies. It’s possible that whatever comes out of Europe will begin to replace the state system.

But, again, that’s just my opinion.

ShoNuff: Well, it isn’t really a question, and more than just a “IMHO”. (though opinions are welcome) I basically am wondering what is likely, not something easy to pin down. Either a big unified goverment, or more of a federation. I see your point about being something we haven’t seen before- but there isn’t much fun in debating a color we can’t see. :wink:

What sort of changes have occured so far and how does the EU effect the day to day lives of the general population? (universal currency is one, but how implimented is it?)

Basically I am wanting a bit of debate on the possiblities that the EU will bring us, if they can someday replace the US as the most powerful “nation”, and hope to learn more about the EU in the process.

How close is the European union to a federation? Is it more than just NATO currently?

Just so we know what we’re talking about…

NATO Member Countries:
Belgium, Canada, Czech Rep, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.

EU adds:
Austria, Finland, Ireland, Sweden

EU subtracts:
Canada, United States, Czech Rep, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Turkey

NATO is an organization based on collective security. Meaning that security was and is the primary focus of the organization.

The EU, on the other hand, began as an economic institution. By sharing banks, a currency (for the most part), and economic laws, a great deal of integration has happened. Any political and military integration has been secondary, and almost accidental. The level of integration on this level is minimal, but admittedly growing.

Remember that the UK is especially hesitant to integrate. They are not a member of the common currency. Also, national identity and past conflicts play a large role in keeping the conutries apart.

But, what will happen in the future is a very good topic for discussion. I just wanted to provide more context and information. :wink:


Hmm, some ponderings.

Has any sort of universal drivers license been discussed at all?

If I was a citizen of Belgium and I wanted to get a job in the Netherlands, would I have an easier time becoming a citzen there or just getting a work visa? (or equivilant?)

In the US, many identity conflicts still occur. I hear people dissing other states, cities, schools, etc all the time. I can’t see this as a problem, other than just slowing down the process.

Strange that the UK is so hesitant to integrate the EU currencey. Perhaps they just need a good pounding. :wink:

The UK’s official policy on the Euro is “wait and see”, that is to say they will not make any commitment until they feel it would be definitely advantageous for them to join.

A citizen of Belgium would not need any sort of visa to work in the Netherlands as one of the fundamental rules of the EU is freedom to move (and work).

Europe is already more “united” than most other conglomerations of adjacent countries. They’re about as united as the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

They’ll grow closer in time. They probably won’t ever become as united as, say, the counties in California, but they probably will become as united as the states in the U.S.

They’ve already participated in one of the greatest mass voluntary surrenders of sovereignty in history; don’t ask too much more, too fast.

The U.K. will always be a bit of a hold-out and a stick-in-the-sea, sort of like Alaska or Hawaii in the U.S. Geography plays a big part in that sort of thing.


The whole issue of European unification has been an issue for thousands of years, but it takes a very powerful unifying force to actually maintain. There has been for some time a movement towards unifying Europe as a single Federal position.

However, the highly entrenched national identities makes this very difficult to achieve in anything but the very, very long term. Also note that this causes a terrible amount of political differentiation.

There has been some surrender of sovereignty, but the EU (not Europe) is nowhere near as integrated as “proper” countries such as the USA etc. And it probably never will be.

I don’t think it will ever be as United as the US is. Maine and California might have a lot of differences, but there’s only a couple of hundred years of history seperating the two.

There’s groups in Europe whose history extends back thousands of years and features rivalries that are more intense and have existed much longer than those between US states, even those between the North and the South.

Dane who moved to Germany for a few years checking in:

Driver’s licenses are recognized EU-wide, no problem at all. At worst, you may need to replace the actual physical license (if it’s been, say, 20 years since it was issued) with a new one before leaving. But no new tests or anything of the nature is required.

If you’re a Belgian citizen wanting a job in the Netherlands - you take the job, you move there, you drive on their roads, you get treated at their hospitals, you get locked up in their jails, you collect unemployment benefits.

There’s obviously paperwork, but it’s not a matter of getting permission, it’s just the basics of getting settled into a new country. When I moved to Germany, I filled out about half a dozen forms to register with the police, the tax office (darn!), the semi-public health insurance etc. etc. ID cards etc. arrived in the mail within weeks. Piece of cake.

Were you required to pay both Germany taxes AND Denmark taxes?

Ah - now on that issue it can get complicated. Apparently.

I would say that shayna would of only had to pay German taxes. Countries will generally recognize you as a non-resident citizen of that country as long as you are paying taxes to the country you are resident in. This gets more complicated when you are living in a country that is not recognized by the country that you are citizen of. In this case you would probably end up paying taxes to two different countries (speaking from the experince of living in the TRNC)

The post was of course by me, not by Shayna. <Hits self.> Feh!

One pays only local taxes when moving inside the EU - in my case, I paid German taxes only.