No. 27




Of the European Federation and Its Alternative

  • Ivar Raig

    Doctor of Economics, Member of the VII Riigikogu

Why does Europe need federal government? Can Europe’s strength be achieved through federal government? If yes, then what is the model of federation most suitable for Europe like? If no, then what are the best ways for developing cooperation and increasing competitiveness in the globalising world? So far these questions have not yet received an exhaustive answer that can be effectively implemented. In Estonia, the social scientists and law professors have paid little attention to these issues. But this does not mean that we should not think about them. If we do not, others will think and decide for us, because the establishing of a federation is a topical issue for both the European Union and the elite of its Member States, and at the level of civil society.

It is necessary to look for alternatives to the European federation also because opposition to federal government is increasing in several EU Member States, not only in Great Britain. Ratification of the new, federation-based fundamental agreement of the EU may be a problem in several Member States. Increase of the influence of great powers in the governing of Europe, new evidences of economic crisis in Spain, Italy, France, Slovenia and Cyprus, the possible breakup of the euro area and the planned free trade agreement with the USA also force to look for other possibilities. Due to the free trade agreement, the establishing of a North Atlantic Trade Association (NATA) or even a Global Free Trade Association (GFTA) may turn out to be serious alternatives to the European federation.

Closer and more effective regional cooperation – for example, the cooperation for which relevant institutional structures have already been established, like the cooperation between the Baltic Sea States, the Baltic States and the Scandinavian countries (Baltoscandia) or between the Nordic Countries – may become another alternative to the United States of Europe. Regional cooperation is also being successfully developed between the Mediterranean countries.

In the author’s opinion, the third alternative is Siim Kallas’s proposal to prepare a new fundamental agreement for the cooperation between the states of Europe in Estonia by 2018. This could be done in close cooperation with the British, German and Scandinavian politicians and researchers with whom we have longstanding close relations. The law professors of the universities of Tartu and Tallinn should start closer cooperation with the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge, Berlin and Stockholm and other universities so that by 2018 at the latest there would be a new, modern fundamental agreement with which the stunted Occident that is losing its importance would again become the generator driving the social progress and global economy.

Full article in Estonian