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11 September 2013

Graham Bishop: President Barroso's State of the Union Message 2013: 'Political Union or Bust'

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This note analyses Barroso's speech in three policy areas: politics, finance and economics.

I have argued for several years that the economic crisis has already forced Europe into economic governance arrangements that are tantamount to a political union. The democratic accountability of this will be filled in during the term of the 8th European Parliament 2014-19 and a de jure political union will be created.

This movement towards a genuine political union will be a huge test for Europe. It will be played out amidst a plethora of commemorations of the dreadful events that began in 1914. Exactly a century later, governance will be settled by the massed votes of electors, rather than the massed bayonets of armies. At the end of the process, the type of political union that President Barroso seems to envisage will certainly need to be legitimated by the peoples of Europe, and that will be a proper moment to seek ex post legitimation of the effective union that has already been created in response to the crisis.

Will the people accept this proposed political union? If not, the world will experience a shock that will dwarf the sub-prime crisis of the US as the euro explodes and the EU unravels.

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© Graham Bishop

Documents associated with this article

Barrosso State of Union_ 11 September 2013.pdf

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