Saturday, June 19, 2004

Inching towards unity

The EU has agreed its constitution. Now we'll see if the member states themselves will ratify it.

The European project is not like the American project. The sheer diversity of the states involved means that any central government will be far weaker even than that desired by "State's rights" advocates. The aim is not so much to found a new nation, but to grow one - a vast swathe of Europe where people are overwhelmingly rich, happy, and free.

Sure, it has its problems; it is primarily an agreement between states, so decisions are taken by the governments themselves rather than a democraticly elected body - but the same was done in the early US, and greater democracy will no doubt come. And in any case, it's an interesting experiment to watch - a continent inching towards unity. It's not every day you get to see that.