EU lays foundation of European federal state by taking debt together
German Chancellor Angelika Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron are taking a big step towards a European federal state: for the first time as a whole, the EU is taking on huge debts. The money will be used for measures against the coronavirus and, in addition, a basis for a federal state will be laid.
Why is a federal state of Europe possible?
This moment can be compared with that before the United States was founded. After the War of Independence, the financial system of the American states was so shattered that they began to take on debt together, like the EU now. After that, a loose confederation of states became a federal state.
At the moment, history is repeating itself and it is therefore quite possible that a European federal state will emerge. In order to survive the Corona crisis, there is also a need for a central European headquarters to bail out the states with common debts. This would be another step towards the European federal state.
A joint indebtedness requires a joint finance minister. A new distribution of fiscal responsibilities would thus also be vulnerable. Something must also be done about the shattering euro; an European federal state could save it, as Coudenhove-Kalergi predicted.
Problems to overcome
Of course, America in the 18th century is difficult to compare with Europe in the 21st century. Moreover, there is still no European headquarters with an European finance minister today and probably not all member states will agree with the ideas. Some European countries which, for example, were severely affected by the 2015 refugee crisis and did not receive any help from the EU, such as Italy, have built up a particular rage against the European Union.
From today’s perspective, the European federal state is still far away. If Europe unites, it could become an even greater economic power than it is now. This would enable them to stand up to other economic giants like China. However, since this continent has many different cultures, unification is difficult. Still, the crisis could unite Europe, as cooperation will be a way out.
Incidentally, the Franco-German proposal was an obvious choice, not least because of the recent ruling by the Constitutional Court on the bond purchases of the European Central Bank (ECB), and was not without reason immediately praised by ECB President Christine Lagarde.