The Debate Over Europe's Future

EUROPE - The European Union is thinking about the kind of bloc it wants to be. As EU members consider a range of reforms — including measures to help the eurozone better withstand crises and to make European institutions more efficient — the underlying question is whether the bloc should become a federal superstate.

The conversation isn't a new one for the Continent. But given the many challenges facing the bloc, and the differing priorities among its members, the latest iteration of the federalism discussion could deepen the divides among the European Union's constituent states.

Europe's divisions are a product of its geography. The mountain chains, unconnected rivers and peninsulas that characterize the Continent have enabled multiple economic centers to emerge and thrive. Over the centuries, these various hubs have given rise to dozens of nation-states, each with its own strong identity, and many with expansionist ambitions.

European history offers several examples of the integration of small political entities into larger units, but the process usually happened by conquest. In that sense, the European Union represents a radical departure for the Continent, because it seeks to unite Europe's many components by consensus instead. Whether the bloc's bold political experiment can overcome the Continent's natural tendency toward fragmentation is far from settled.

More than a half-century since its creation, the European Union is again facing a quandary that has plagued the Continent throughout its history: how to negotiate the differences among its many countries. The bloc probably won't become a federal superstate anytime soon. Nevertheless, its leaders will continue to spend considerable time and energy looking for ways to stay together.

The debate over reforming the European Union will once again expose the rifts among member states' priorities and strategic imperatives. At the heart of the discussion is the enduring question about whether the bloc can overcome history and geography to become a federal superstate. In the long run, the European Union's main challenge will be to keep its internal divisions from paralyzing it, as challenges in and beyond the bloc multiply.

Our comment

Looking at the problems in Europe it would seem unlikely that unity could ever happen. But a huge crisis will force them to unite, as Mr Armstrong explained in a sermon given on the 7th July, 1984:

“But I believe that some event is going to happen suddenly just like out of a blue sky that is going to shock the whole world and is going to cause the nations of Europe to realize they must unite… Well, now I think I can see what may be the very event that is going to trigger it and that is the economic situation in the world… Now when the financial structure breaks down, all civilization is going to break down.

I just wanted to say that much maybe you can begin to see how serious this thing can become!” (Prophecy Part One)

“Just what is an APOSTLE?”
Just what is an Apostle?

Today we find the Church of God in a “wilderness of religious confusion!”

The confusion is not merely around the Church – within the religions of the world outside – but WITHIN the very heart of The True Church itself!

Read online or contact email to request a copy

Listen to Me, You who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My Law: …I have put My words in your mouth, I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, That I may plant the heavens, Lay the foundations of the earth, and say to Zion, “you are My people” (Isaiah 51:7,16)