Yet another perspective on the European Union, rather original and with which I agree on the main points, except that of the common language. Why would (and should) the European Union adopt the language of a country that has always consistently sit aside the Union’s main decision making processes, when it did not altogether attempt to sabotage them to preserve its interests–namely, English. Like other federations (Switzerland, Canada), a federal Europe could very well work with a few languages. Those could be French and German–the two most important countries in the Union politically and economically, and without whom nothing would have been possible–but also Greek, the only language that has remained alive since Antiquity and the root language of all Western thought and literature, but also a representative of this other Europe of Byzantine tradition. In other words, we must be careful that these languages of domestic law and of diplomacy reflect the European identity, that they speak to us. Simply adopting a language because it is widely spoken or more easily understood in the world today, or worse, because it is the language of commerce and business, would not do any good. It would simply turn the European Union into an appareance, a phantom without substance.


By B. Simms

The similarities with the Holy Roman Empire — which at its greatest extent encompassed almost all of Central Europe — exist at many levels. Today’s European Council, at which the union’s member states gather, reminds one of the old Reichstag, where the representatives of the German cities and principalities met to deliberate matters of mutual concern.
And like the European project, which originated in a determination to banish war after 1945, the “modern” Holy Roman Empire, which was reformed by the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, was intended to defuse the domestic German antagonisms that had culminated in the traumatic Thirty Years’ War.

But most similarities are less flattering. Both the European Union and the empire are characterized by interminable and inconclusive debate. The German phrase for delay, which translates as “shoving something onto the long bench,” stems from when imperial bureaucrats pushed their uncompleted paperwork farther and farther down a long bench in the Reichstag council chamber.

And like the European Union, which is rived by tensions between larger and smaller states, the Holy Roman Empire proved too weak to contain over-mighty members like Prussia and Austria. Fears of partition and collapse abounded. The Reichstag was paralyzed; the emperor was hamstrung by rival princes. (Read entire article here).


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