Is the EUROPEAN UNION a CONFEDERATION? – VisualPolitik EN
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Is the EUROPEAN UNION a CONFEDERATION? – VisualPolitik EN


The European Union is the Windows of politics. It´s slow, it doesn’t work perfectly OK and
sometimes it gets “crashes”. Nonetheless, let’s be honest, the other alternatives
are not much better… and can certainly be more costly. At the beginning of this year, it seemed like
the far right was unstoppable. Some political analysts claimed that Brexit
would be the beginning of the end of European Union. And during this time the international media
was full of words like FREXIT or CZEXIT. However, this Euroskeptic furor wasn’t to
last long. France has elected a brand new president,
Emmanuel Macron, who stands up for the European Union like no one else. The same happened in other elections around
Europe. In other words… the European Union is alive
and kicking. At least, for the next four years. But hold on a minute because things are more
complex than what they seem to be… In fact, not all EU fans are the same, many
of them don’t even share the same opinion on what the EU should be. For instance, Macron stands for a fiscal union,
with the same taxes in every country. But Angela Merkel, nor Jean Claude Juncker
are into that. On the other hand, the former Belgium Prime
Minister, Guy (Gee) Verhofstadt, who now is the President of the European Liberal party,
says that Europe should become a FEDERATION, like the United States. But… does everyone agree with that? Well, the answer is, rather unsurprisingly,
no. In fact, the only thing shared by all these
politicians is the fact that EU is a good thing. But… well, what is the European Union all
about? What should it become? Is it a federation… or a confederation? And what are the different models on the negotiation
table? Well, today, we are going to answer these
questions! WHAT IF MARGARET THATCHER WAS RIGHT? Margaret Thatcher is something like Elvis
Presley to Eurosceptics. For decades, this woman, who was the British
Prime Minister in the 1980s, has become the biggest inspiration for many of the movements
that want to end the European project. But then again, reality is seldom simple. Now, it is true that Margaret Thatcher was
a big critic of political integration. Back in the time, the European Union still
didn’t exist. It was just a community of countries that
traded among themselves. Nevertheless, during the 1980s, the different
European governments agreed to deepen this integration. This is when they started talking about a
single currency and new institutions. All of this culminatedn 1992, with the signing
of the Maastrich Treaty. But… what did Margaret Thatcher think about
all of this? The truth is, if we forget about stereotypes
and we, actually, read her memoir, we find quotes like this one: “Britain does not dream of some cosy, isolated
existents on the fringes of the European Community. Our destiny is in Europe, as part of the Community”
–Margaret Thatcher, “The Downing Street Years” But, importantly, this doesn’t mean Thatcher
was in total agreement with all the European politicians – she just wanted a different
model. Unlike those who wanted a United States of
Europe, with the capital in Brussels, she stood for a confederate model. “Certainly, we want to see Europe more united
and with a greater sense of common purpose. But it must be in a way which preserves the
different traditions, parliamentary powers and sense of national pride in one’s own country”
–Margaret Thatcher, “The Downing Street Years” But before we keep going, we really must explain:
What is the difference between a FEDERATION and a CONFEDERATION? An example of a federation would be the United
States of America. Texas and California have their own parliaments,
their own governments, and their own laws. Today, for instance, marijuana is legal in
California but it is forbidden in Texas. However, if Congress (in Washington DC) passed
a law legalizing cannabis, any state law that contradicted the federal law one would be
automatically abolished. In a confederation, states have way more autonomy. Today, there are actually no confederations
in the world. Not even Switzerland. Of course, in Switzerland, the different cantons
enjoy a lot of autonomy and even different taxes… But that doesn’t mean they are a confederation! For instance, if the Parliament at Berna would
pass a law legalizing marijuana, the rest of the cantons would have to accept it. It Switzerland was a real confederation, each
of the different assemblies would have to have a vote to decide if they want to keep
cannabis legal or not. So, despite what a lot of people say, Switzerland
is clearly a federation. And now you might be wondering, well, what
is Europe? Is it a federation or a confederation? Of course, there are a lot of people who stand
for the federal model. In the last few years, the champion of this
idea has been the President of the Liberals, Guy (Gee)Verhofstadt. But let’s go back to the facts. Today, despite what it looks, national governments
have a lot of autonomy. For instance, years ago, Brussels passed a
directive banning smoking in bars. After that, each of the member countries had
to vote on their own anti-tobacco law. And do you know what happened? Well… Austria and Czech Republic did not pass those
laws. And during those years, you could smoke in
the cafes of Prague or Vienna while in Berlin and Paris it was completely forbidden. Even the VAT, which is the main European tax,
is different in each country. In Spain, they pay a 21%, but in Hungary they
pay 27%, and in Germany, they’ve got a 19%. tax In other words, Europe is not a federation. But is not a confederation, either. It´s kind of a… “federal confederation.” And now you might wonder… Is this federal confederation model actually
working? Or do we need to move ahead with some sort
of “United States of Europe”? WHAT´S WRONG IN EUROPEAN UNION? We’ve all have heard about the many mistakes
this European integration has made. But the truth is many of these flaws could
have happened in all the member states individually. As an example let us consider the refugee
crisis. Now, it is true that Brussels was incapable
of crafting a common policy to give asylum to all the citizens that are running away
from countries like Syria, Iraq or Libya. But let’s not lie to ourselves! The same happened in every single country. In Spain, the national government of did everything
they could to avoid welcoming the refugees. On the other hand, Madrid’s city hall did
the exact opposite. “The City Hall of Madrid will make a welcoming
project, so the refugees will have a place to live” In other words, we cannot expect Brussels
to solve the problems that nation-states have always had. In politics, such things are simple not possible. But hold on a moment because this doesn’t
mean European Union is perfect either. In fact, there are many problems that are
endemic to this institution. For example, imagine you are a freelancer
living in Hungary and you work for a company based in Belgium. Should you include the VAT on that invoice? According to the EU legislation, you shouldn’t
because it is a service contract. But each country has it’s own tax laws that,
in many cases, contradict the EU laws. But not only that! What VAT should you include on the invoice? The Hungarian or the Belgium one? All this problems could be solved if there
was a common ground on taxation matters. But many countries don’t want to lose sovereignty
on this matter. And no one dares make the first step towards
this… So, as you might imagine, it’s hard for
important decisions to move forward… So, what could be the solution to this problem? A CLUB WITH DIFFERENT KINDS OF MEMBERS? Constitutions are useful. They allow politicians and legislators to
know what they can do and what they cannot. It is like a minimal agreement. This way, a government knows what that it
can pass as a law, it’s a system that time has proven effective. So, what’s the problem? Well, all attempts to release a European Constitution
have failed. In 2005, both France and Netherlands had referendums
where they rejected the proposal for a European Magna Carta. Years later, Brussels politicians met again
to write a new version of this constitution, the so-called Lisbon Treaty. This was a milder version of the previously
drafted constitution. But integration problems persisted… The truth is that each country has its own
interests and it’s hard to get them all on the same page. So… why not recognize the differences? And this is why, the European Commission has
made the European White Book where they imagine five potential scenarios for EU reform. One of them would allow each state to have
a different level of integration. On the other hand, at the beginning of 2017,
The Economist proposed to create a European Union with different kinds of membership. On one hand, there would be the “Premium
members,” those who share a common currency, common fiscal policy, and common foreign policy. On the other hand, there will be the “Silver
members,” who just share a common market and free movement. Other members, let´s call them “Bronze
members”, will have access to just the common market. This way, it would be way easier to convince
every country to pass a common European Constitution. Meanwhile, the idea of a United States of
Europe has lost a lot of supporters. The idea of a Europe with different membership
levels currently enjoys a lot more support. Meanwhile, France’s brand new president
is willing to play a major role on the future of Europe. But what does he really stand for? Well, if you want to know more about Emmanuel
Macron, don´t forget to check out this video. And now the question is… Do you think this hybrid of a federal confederation,
with different member categories, can actually work? Or we should keep trying for a federation
where everyone has the same rules? Please, let us know what you think in the
comments section below. And, by the way! We want to thank the Professor Oscar Sanchez,
a Constitution expert from the University of Valladolid for helping us in making this
video. If you are new to VisualPolitik, please don’t
forget to subscribe to the channel! We publish brand new videos every Monday and
every Thursday so hit that subscribe button and you won’t miss any post. And if you liked this video, give us a thumbs
up. And, as always… I’ll see you next time!

100 Comments

  • Feministikon Prøjekt

    EU is the new superpower in the 21st Century as the Anglosphere fades. In the next decade NATO will be abolished, UK will dissolve and the today-British countries will join the EU as independent states, NI will rejoin Ireland, Scotland will become an EU member state as a free republic, Gibraltar will gradually rejoin EU…as time passes in the next decade more countries will join and the eurozone will open to new members…at the peak of its power EU will not be just a geographical term but a geopolitical power encompassing states from Greenland to Morocco and Syria. (Syria will become a fast growing economy by mid-century…and don't laugh just check Rwanda, Angola and Nigeria. EU like China are rising superpowers. And how about its defense? Well, its not easy to match with the Europeans…remember that one country only in order to be defeated, it required the collective effort of 3 global superpowers of the era and suffered armed resistance in every single place they occupied. Imagine Germany united with France plus all the periphery around in one unified Army. EU is advanced in every aspect of economy, technology, education, scientific research, culture, skilled human resources. It is unquestionable that a federal EU has all the means to become a central superpower in the 21 Century…

  • Feministikon Prøjekt

    Personally I am more strong Brexiteer than Farage but for different reason. Because I am more pro-EU federalist than Guy Verhofstadt. The worst that could happen to the EU would be a second ref in the UK…EU and UK are incompatible and the UK as it is now should not be part of Europe. It is not just America's Trojan Horse, is a troublemaker is the bad apple in the basket. It needs to get out…and EU needs to introduce more federalization and make official language a continental one….German, French maybe but people could work out this issue…English should be just a communications lingua-franca and gradually should be preplaced. English will not be a majority language even in the USA by the end of the 21 Century…EUROPEANS UNITE…and remember everybody who appears patriotic and nationalist is America's and Russia's best friend who want a divided weak Europe…

  • Anderson Klein

    Two important points of the constitution:
    -Whatever tax rate is set cannot ever be raised.
    -No new taxes shall be created without first eliminating an old one.

    That would mean trending towards a healthy low tax economy with responsible fiscal policy in the long run.
    But I doubt we will see any country passing those points anytime soon…

  • Jiří Churaň

    You was mistaken about ban of smoking. If you come to Prague, you can see that it is banned now. And about the question, I think, that EU is federation in progress. Result – ….. …. the reality is that as Europe is becomimg a federation, it means that all parliaments in different states are becoming useless,

  • Alessandro Marcolin

    A multi-layer EU would be the way to make it function better. Only thing I would be sorry of is that my country (Italy) probably wouldn't qualify for gold membership, silver at best.

  • Vibra Thor

    Verhofstadt(a failure who got a promotion), Junker are all tools for Soros and friends. i hope Russia claims the EU, to show what leadership is about.

  • Florian Pollard

    I think the EU should be more about diplomatic relations and military Alliance than about setting rules for allied country's. I do think Europs army should be united.

  • Feministikon Prøjekt

    Germany in 1871 became one country, back in 1840 people were laughing at the idea of unified Germany….I love the idea of a EU federation and the transformation of the independent countries turned to EU cantons. I don't mind seeing the existing countries breaking up, I believe that this is a matter of time and by 2040 EU will have 50-60 cantons with names Catalonia, England, Bayern, Veneto, Wallonia, Flanders, Alsace, Occitan, Freesia, Saxony, Banat, Moldova etc…there will be countries we cannot imagine at this moment, like Armenia, Greenland, Turkey (and even Syria, Lebanon and the Palestino-Israeli federal republic maybe will be parts of the EU) The currency will be only the euro which will be electronic by then. There will be no monarchs but a president-elect the same as in India, Brazil or the USA and the Prime-ministers will be like governors. Regionalism within the EU with Capital District the city of Brussels  will happen in the next decade. Britain will not exist by then but all its regions like Scotland (will join EU by 2023), Wales, England and Gibraltar will become EU cantons/states in EU and NI will be part of the Irish Republic this is going to happen by 2022 anyway….this is not anti-British sentiment is where I see EU is getting to…a kind of United States of Europe but way more homogenized despite the fact that at this moment it is consisted by different nations. The immigration and homogenization that takes place will bring full integration.

  • Darius O

    I am Lithuanian, I live in Denmark for 6 years. I would like the EU to become a federation, I would like the EU will transforming into The United States of Europe, like The US

  • Piotr Dudała

    Roman Empire, Comonwealth of Both Nations, Yougoslavia, USSR … EU WILL follow the same pattern, willingly or not. This delusion will avoid recession and bloodshed of epic proportions only if China or USA intervene, once everything crumbles.

  • lukasz domonik

    What about Donald Tusk the president ??? Forgot about him lol !!!!! Your Chanel looks like another propaganda!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Beyond Ken

    The United States started as a loose confederation of sovereign states. It was a disaster. The federal union created by the United States Constitution in 1789 worked out better.

  • John Holt

    This is misleading. In one state it's illegal, in federal law it's illegal, but if it's legal in the state, it's effing legal

  • J C

    Thatcher was and is still right! She did not envision the EU as it stands today and the Iron Lady ALWAYS supported sovereignty, not delegating the United Kingdom’s Parliamentary Democracy to red tape Eurocrats!

  • Tediuki Suzuki

    How old is this video? The right, which is not extreme, is sweeping every election in Europe . The extreme left, globalist, corporate parties are recording record low votes . Macron's popularity is about 19% with 4 months of protests and Merkel has been asked to leave and never come back to her socialist party . Furthermore, there was no mention of the fact that the decision makers in the EU are unelected bureaucrats and any resistance to the Lisbon Treaty was either revoted on or swept away under the proverbial carpet .

  • danthemanxf

    stop the tight zoom in shots, the presenter is very jerky in head movements during talking punctuated with chopping bursty meter to his voice – the frantic camera cuts and edits are not natural and feels a bit manipulative, which reminds me remove the political cartoons unless a bias is intended

  • Victor Waltz

    not citing the fact that the top bras is not elected while shouting about democracy was a fatal flaw of the video… the rulemakers are completely unaccountable for their mess ups

  • Borni Ekellem

    I stand for the Federate model, but only so i can exploit it like Palpatine and create the FIRST… EUROPEAN… EMPIRE !!!

    👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

    "UNLIMETED POWER !!!"
    – The parliament

  • Shannon Love

    This did not age well. It's April 2019. France is rioting. Macron is crippled. Nationalist parties are making shocking gains.

  • Shannon Love

    Europeans don't understand the American federal system. It works because historically, the federal government and state governments had strictly delineated domains. Federal and state functions had virtually no overlap until the 1930s. Likewise, Federal and state taxes are separate and pay for separate functions.

  • Someone Else

    Is Europe a confederation or a federation? Neither, it's a mess. My thought of it is, it should be either a true federation or just a free trade area. Either one, not something in-between.

  • Christian Rehtorik

    And the Swiss are happy with there system or they wouldn’t have it. DICTATORS BRUSSELS NEEDS TO F OFF AND WORRY ABOUT THERE OWN HOME COUNTRY!!

  • Nexus of ice

    Listening to this video now… Especially the beginning… Is hilarious!!! The fact they are championing the French president in comparison to how he's viewed now is pure entertainment. LOL

  • Mark Plain

    For starters, the opposite model (total independent states) as existed before the EEC/ EU has consistently resulted in war. So Europe may not know if this experiment of the EU will work, but they DO know that all alternatives don't work.
    .
    A key reason for economies falling apart is simply BAD politics. Politicians making promises that the respective economy cannot deliver. European countries have a long history of currency failures and economic implosions (often resulting in war). The EU is systematically removing the capabilities of politicians negatively manipulating their economies. The EU is not perfect as the Greek experience showed, but it does offer safeguards … as the Greek experience showed.

  • N. Taranko

    I think only 2 options can work for the EU countries: either full Federation model or back to the Economic union (no political union)

  • Piotr Żwirowski

    I think that the categories are a good idea, because then only those who want the EU beaurocracy would opt in, and those, who don’t will be able to enjoy their four freedoms (free flow of: goods, people, capital and services) in peace, this way everyone will be satisfied.

  • Matt TheChosen

    The idea of junker being in charge if an army is rather unpleasant, seriously the EU was meant to be an economic union, not a central government.

  • CODEX

    The VAT bill should be what the vendor pays in their registered territory – simple. All these problems are centred around the EU and Globalism in general. Further integration to solve the problem it creates would create new problems.
    Immigration is the common asylum policy
    Human Trafficking is caused by the free movement of peoples from the developing world to the first world.
    The banking crisis is caused by tariff-free access and harmonized regulation for banks.
    Increase in estimated Global Warming is caused by the increase in development in the third world.

  • elink1

    You forgot to mention its lack of democracy. It pretends to be Democratic, but the people of Europe have almost no sway on the EUs policies and none whatsoever on its economic policy.

  • Guestar

    Its a SCAM. It was set up in the 1950's with the EXPRESS OBJECTIVE of creating a UNITED STATES of EUROPE. And one that it ANTI-democratic.

  • 스탄쿠플로렌틴크리스티안

    What about a common language? What could that be and why no one is even talking about it?

  • Mat Sibley

    The EU Is a failed project member states are going bankrupt and cities are burning they just passed article 13and 14 to shut down dissent they want to stamp out national values and history and traditions
    the EU is more like a vile dictatorship but now you've got the alliance of people's and nations closing borders and uniting
    Failed failed failed

  • Jacob White

    I’m a bit tired of the Europe bashing. Frankly no one ever agrees on everything. In any nation, political system, corporation or family. Of course people have different opinions – they always will be and listening to the different POV’s is the WHOLE point of democracy. If it wasn’t, well, then bring back the Queen, Ceasar, Führer, Empereur already.

    Thatcher is a wanker who didn’t get the first thing about Europe. Of course it is a confederation. That’s the whole point. The question isn’t whether it is a confederation- the question is: how MUCH federation or how far.

    Bla bla bla

  • NihilistSolitude

    The part of the USA is false a state can equal or strengthen a federal law they can't ignore it. So right now Texas is following the federal law while cali is in violation. If the fed legalize it, Texas can still have it outlaw

  • Josh G

    The EU should just be an economic union.
    You going to do a video on the yellow vests is france? Macron is still oppressing and killing his opposition, and is even sending is military after them. (thats wat dictators do, right?)

  • Rhys Meredith

    England has had a Union with Scotland for 300 years and they are still go on about it! Unless you have comon language, culture and customs you will not have unity that is the human animal if you reconise that and work within that frame work than you can be succsesful (if you ever find out how let the world know, you may just become a living god).

  • Jason Groombridge

    Federation. Same rules. Enforcement of English as the primary language everywhere with also the use of whatever traditional national language there is in each country. One curreny. No option to cecede like brexit. Europeans are effectively all the same race. Yes we look slightly different and speak different languages but we all use the Latin alphabet and if you trace back thousands of years you will see that every European nationality today has derived from roman, Greek, and germanic tribes.

  • craig davidson

    Hate the EU but love Europe. Sooner the EU fails the better it will be for European identity and individuality, but to want that means I must be labelled "far right" it will be a price I am glad to pay.

  • Fred

    The EU's goal is to become a unitary state, like France.. The first big job for the EU Army will be to support the dissolution of national governments. The EU goal is structuring the European population into 100 or so EU Regions, modeled on the Regions of France, that is without real power.

    For example, the UK already has 12 EU regions with their own (powerless) assemblies. Dissolve the UK Parliament and the Scottish, Welsh and NI assemblies and it's 1066 all over again.

  • Fred

    The EU's goal is to become a unitary state, like France.. The first big job for the EU Army will be to support the dissolution of national governments. The EU goal is structuring the European population into 100 or so EU Regions, modeled on the Regions of France, that is without real power.

    For example, the UK already has 12 EU regions with their own (powerless) assemblies. Dissolve the UK Parliament and the Scottish, Welsh and NI assemblies and it's 1066 all over again.

  • janusx66

    Ever wandered about election fraude ?
    Last EU elections we had that in the Netherlands, some districts had more voters then passes were given out. So Timmermans was the winner… that is called Fraude!

  • Allen Walker

    Well Europe shouldn't accept refugees at first instance, and looking nowadays, just need to see what they did with France and mainly in Paris

  • whatwhat3432523

    Europe have lived in a bubble for 70 years, all these small wealthy/spoiled countries who depend on their exploitation of 3rd world countries with US protection, will be completely fucked as soon as the world turns for the future. Most inhabitants of Europe have no idea how fragile their standard of living is, NO CLUE whatsoever. There is a reason for the closer cooperation, and desire for a closer Union. It`s not rocket science, but when you know a large part of the EU population don`t believe in climate change because they took a degree on youtube(much more entertaining to school yourself this way, yes?) you know you are fucked. Europe is the new Alabama.

  • Mikołaj Kuziuk

    In Poland (where a right-wing party is in power), the opposition claims that the government wants Polexit… (>90% of the Poles want to stay in the EU according to a recent survey)

  • Michael Adkins

    Abolish the EU 🇪🇺💶
    Or, at least a Confederation. Federation doesn't make sense. They don't speak the same language even. It'd be like one country ruling the rest from the top-down.

  • Bruno Luis

    I think the 3 categories seems to be a very good idea. Since I don't believe there is the individual will for Europe to become a Federation, it would allow countries to choose the level of integration they are willing to accept… not a bad idea at all

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