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Europe : Regions, Autonomy, Independence 

It has almost been 15 years since 23 June 2016, when the majority of British citizens voted in favor of their country leaving the European Union. The decision was followed by a troubled and difficult period, characterized by lies, haggling, tricks, lack of realism, will and good faith, which culminated in a compromise uncapable of satisfying either side, while at the same time weakening both.

Of course, as previously reminded, the youth of Europe took advantage of Brexit and its consequences to relaunch Europe: a strong European political party was established to democratically put in place similar European policies in each member state; a European constitution presented by the government was approved by a democratically elected European Parliament; the executive power was vested in a European government accountable to the Parliament; an independent judiciary system was established; and the role of President of Europe, currently played by President Forsythe, was created, so as to support the legislative and executive powers in certain circumstances.[i]

THE CATALAN CRISIS SPREADS FURTHER

In this context, the new European leaders were rapidly confronted with a very delicate issue, namely the willingness of some regions to break away from the States that they pertained to. The most spectacular case was the Catalan unilateral declaration of independence from Spain. We all remember the violence emerged from the clashes between the exalted and brave leaders of the secessionist province and the inflexible Spanish government, inattentive to the legitimate claims of the Catalan people; the brutal fights that sunk the popular referendum; the imprisonment of the democratically elected politicians of Catalonia; the exile of the independentist leader in Brussels…. A complicated situation that undermines Europe, stimulates racism in different States, and awakens separatist feelings in places like Scotland, Flanders, Northern Italy, Corse, …. This matter is vital and the moment is crucial.

LUCID AND RUTHLESS FINDINGS

After having studied the claims of these independentist and nationalist movements under the enlightened …, the new European leadership managed to understand several causes and reach a conclusion.

Après avoir étudié, sous la houlette éclairée du président Forsythe, les raisons de ces mouvements indépendantistes et nationalistes, les nouveaux responsables européens concluent leurs travaux par plusieurs constats, causes et conclusions.

The first cause, also permeating all the others, is the lack of knowledge of Europe by its peoples. The peoples of Europe do not feel European, they feel different from the leaders of Brussels and Strasbourg, and, most importantly, they do not see the benefits deriving from Europe in their everyday life.

The national constitutions are « dogmas » imposed in a certain historical period, under well defined political circumstances. Such circumstances have changed and the dogmas, which no longer match reality, deserve to be adapted.

Secession is most often the result of the willingness of richer regions to break free from the “weights” that hold them down. They deny the indispensable solidarity towards the weakest parts of a community, and forget that their current wealth was brought about by national programs financed by the central government, that is, the regions they want to separate from.

Several regions feel cramped by the borders of their State and wish to cooperate more actively with a “sister” region from a neighboring country, with which they share the same culture, language, problems and solutions. Two examples of this are the Eurégion composed by the Flanders and the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, and the Euregio Meuse Rhein, formed by the Belgian provinces of Liege, Limburg and the German-speaking community of Belgium, the German district of Cologne, and the Dutch province of Limburg.

Some regions feel neglected, culturally and historically speaking, “oppressed” by their central governments, and long for respect and autonomy. Others, already respected within their State, have a sister region on the other side of the border which is experiencing such problems and wish to help it.

RADICAL BUT INDISPENSABLE DECISIONS

After several studies and discussions, the officials decided the following.

  • All European States shall allow full cultural, decisional and economic autonomy to the regions that so demand, in the limits of the indispensable solidarity towards the other regions. A just balance between regional autonomy and national solidarity must be sought. If, despite this policy of respect towards regional particularities, a richer region demanded its full independence from its State, such region will not be allowed to apply to join the European Union. Indeed, such region would be violating a fundamental principle of Europe, the solidarity between the weak and the rich.

 

  • The primary aim of all decisions and policies shall be to draw Europe closer to its citizens, both national and regional, and to make them active and respected partners for the well-functioning of our continent, in order to make it more beneficial for all of them. To do so, European leaders will put in place two complementary lines of actions:
  1. The first axis, centralization.

So as to avoid all competition between States and/or regions, all Member States of the Union will share a common policy and identical laws in the domains of general interest, namely foreign policy, defense, social laws and regimes, banks, budget, finances, trade, immigration, …. The European parliament and justice system will oversee the respect of these common policies. une politique commune et des lois identiques dans des domaines d’intérêt général :

  1. The second axis, decentralization.

Everything that transcends the aforementioned domains will fall within the competences of the regions. All European subsidies for regional problems and needs will not be attributed to the States, but directly to the regions. Concretely, the regions will be able to demand and receive aids for specific projects, including transnational ones, that will be managed by them under the supervision of European “missi dominici”.

CURRENT APPRAISAL OF A LUCID AND WISE POLICY

Today, a few years after the launch of this new policy, the results are encouraging. Certainly, it is hard to change radically the old habits and mentality, and there still are some issues. Nevertheless, Europe is on the right track. For example, the Spanish government has revised its constitutions to increase the degree of autonomy of Catalonia (and other regions). In doing so, the independentist inclinations of the old separatists, whose number has fallen dramatically, have been halted. Similarly, the nationalist, and racist, parties of certain countries have lost influence, thanks to this new Europe and the improvements provided by it. In this context of “responsabilization” of regions and citizens, a similar appraisal goes for the Flanders, Northern Italy, Corse, the Basque Country, ….

This lucid and civic vision of Europe, its States and its regions, supported by the charisma of President Forsythe, is currently providing our continent with a new democratic, political, economic and cultural momentum. To the rest of the world, Europe has become an example of peaceful and beneficial coexistence between communities, religions, cultures, languages, …. This harmonic coexistence between European citizens, and between them and others coming from other places, has been characterized by solidarity, peace and dignity.

Bruno Heureux.

[i] European constitution «modeled»  on the Belgian constitution

We will do it! 

These information are not yet real. 

WHAT A PITY.


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