European Union to expand to include countries from all over the world, a Global Union

European Union to expand to include countries from all over the world, a Global Union

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The EU has been a success but is now stagnating and beginning to unravel

The European Union has been a success in getting 28 countries together and getting them to rise above petty nationalistic feelings. However the project appears stalled and not moving forward. There is the view that "this is as good as it gets" and compared with that, nationalistic parties can always offer hope of something different, as was the case of Brexit. Therefore following current strategy, leads to an EU that has peaked with the only way forward being downhill.

Increasingly our problems require a global approach

Increasingly the problems of our time require a joined up and global approach. Issues such as Climate Change, pollution of the seas. There has also been a disturbing trend towards economic nationalism and moving away from the international rules based system.

Initial countries to be invited to become full members of the new global EU

I propose that the following countries be invited to join the new Global EU as full members:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • South Korea

Create a Tiered/ Staged system to encourage further entrants

Between the start of the process of joining the GU to finally becoming a full GU member can take many years. During this period governments may change and politicians pushing for GU membership have little to show and their electorates will only put up with the “Jam Tomorrow” message for that long. If new governments get elected they may entirely take the GU membership off the agenda, as has happened with Turkey.

A Staged system is proposed where the stages represent partial membership of the GU. Each of the stage would have defined criteria that need to be met for the country to be given this partial stage of membership. The decision of which stage the entrant has reached would be a technocratic decision and not a political one, and as the candidate nation progresses in its civil systems and governance it would seamlessly move up the stage ladder.

Four stages of S20, S40, S60 and S80 are envisaged corresponding to a 20%, 40%, 60% and 80% membership, with the next stage after S80 being S100 or full membership of the GU.

As countries progress up the stage ladder, the progressively gain further GU benefits, eg a progressive lowering of barriers to trade and free movement of people with the rest of the GU. Thus an S20 stage country would have some limited free movement of people but an S80 would have far greater free movement of people.

Once the Staged System is in place, it makes the GU attractive to a wider audience as the politicians in potential candidates can see that they can get benefits within the term of their own government, without having to wait for long protracted times. It also protects the GU against having to give full membership to countries whose civil systems and governance are not yet matured sufficient to allow full GU membership.

This strategy and approach creates a powerful force for innovation and change in the entrant countries as although G100 (i.e. full membership) may be many years or even a decade or two off, they can aspire to G20 and achieve it within a single parliament term, and it allows them to see a progression and route map.

The Staged System will grow GU Influence in Emerging Markets

Once this staged procedure is in place, countries from emerging economies could be invited to enter talks and move towards becoming S20 members, including the following:

  • India
  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Mexico
  • South Africa

As these are all emerging economics with growing populations this would help them to further develop but also help the GU to maintain and grow its influence in more rapidly growing economies, and is a win-win for both parties.

The impact of this new Global EU strategy on the EU and the World

Rather than managing an eroding influence and relatively speaking a slow and gradual decline, as would be the current status quo, this new global strategy is positive and with growth and expansion allows the new EU (GU) to increase its influence and presence around the globe as well as its economic heft.

The founding fathers of the EU had wanted “ever closer union”, this clause created the hope of continuous improvements and benefits, however as that is pretty much defunct now, the hope of continuous improvement and benefits can instead come from “ever larger union” i.e. move from attempts to deepening the existing union, to enlarging the surface area of the union by bringing in new countries and expanding geographically beyond Europe.

The proposed strategy of creating a broader EU would provide a strong emotional message and engage citizens as well as creating a positive narrative and hope of significant future improvements.

With many problems being cross national and global in nature, it would uniquely position the new global EU (GU) to play a leadership role in setting the agenda and resolving these issues, such as climate change, military / nuclear build up, trade, migration etc

This strategy enables the GU to be a huge and powerful catalyst and agent of progress towards better democracies and civil societies around the world creating a powerful upward spiral of change and progress and benefit to all the citizens within the GU nations. In effect it is directly exporting good governance around the world with huge benefits to all.

With the current rules based systems coming under attack by major powers such as the US placing their own interests first, the new strategy of expanding and creating a Global EU (GU) will act to create a powerful and stable international rules based region as a counterbalance to the vagaries of the current superpowers.

It would in time allow the enlarged global EU (GU) with its increased demographic and economic heft to become a more powerful and influential integrated unit than the current so called super powers of United States, China and Russia which would in time stand out like dinosaurs and as legacy relics of history, until who knows, perhaps one day they too may face the inevitable and join the GU.

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