I have always assumed that the EU and its core, the Euro, will eventually be swept away by powerful senses of identity in some individual counties and regions of its vast rambling empire. Might it be the UK who tires of EU meddling in its affairs? Will it be Germany, refusing to pay the bills for its expensive currency union with the neighbours? Or will it be smaller countries and regions who want more self government?
History tells you that’s what will happen. The Roman empire united by force fell when that force met its match from nationalist revolts. The Catholic hegemony was undermined from within, mainly by the successful transmission of heretic thoughts allied to national self belief in parts of the old Catholic union. The Holy Roman Empire fell to pieces under the weight of opinion wanting more local identities. The Scandinavian unions broke owing to strong loyalties to the individual countries. The Latin and Scandinavian currency unions broke up over disputes on how to spread the debts. The USSR empire was destroyed by a series of public revolts state by state, and its currency union split up relatively peacefully and successfully afterwards.
I hope that this false union will go peacefully, through the ballot box. The paradox of the EU is the way it is splitting some of the larger countries of Europe through its own passion to build a Europe of the regions. On the way to power the EU decided that it would good to appeal direct to regional governments below the level of the member states. It set up a series of programmes where regions could apply for EU monies ( money originally sent to the EU by their national taxpayers and those of the other national states), to strengthen regional government. It was happy building the governments of Catalonia, southern Italy, Scotland, and other regions around the EU.
Now the EU has much more power it is becoming more wary of what it has created. The EU was not helpful to those who wanted Scottish independence. The EU is helping the Spanish state deal with rising Catalan nationalism. Just over the EU borders, the EU is far from amused by the demands for autonomy or independence in parts of Ukraine. The issue for the next few years is can the EU help suppress the nationalisms its has helped unleash? What will the impact be on the EU if some of these states within a state, countries trying to get out of larger countries, have their way? I will look at more of this soon.