April 1, 2002
BRUSSELS, Eu. -- In a historic decision, representatives of the 15 countries of the European Union have voted to adopt a plan for complete unification. The plan calls for the unification of the member nations into a single sovereign state by 2022. If ratified by all current members, it will create one of the largest and most populous countries in the world, comprising the current countries of the Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
"This is a historic day, a day when the people of Europe begin to embrace a new unity in a single sovereign nation," said the president of the European Council, Jose Marius Aznar.
Although the announcement surprised many, some analysts have believed it was only a matter of time before the complete unification occurred. In its five decades of existence, the European Union has gradually acquired more and more power over its sovereign states. Originally created to reduce economic barriers in Europe, its power now encompasses political, social, and even military concerns.
"At the rate the European Union was encroaching on the sovereign power of its members, I am not surprised that they just decided to go all the way and make it into one nation," said Jessica Hatcher, expert on European affairs at Princeton University. "However, I am surprised at the lack of opposition to the current plan."
Franz Carolius Schultz, professor of international affairs at the University of Berlin, agrees. "We all saw this coming," he said. "It was inevitable. I just didn't think it would happen so soon."
As part of the plan, delegates at the Unification Summit approved several changes that were deemed necessary for the transition to a single unified state. One of the most significant changes was the selection of a capital city.
The city of Brussels, in Belgium, has been the seat of the European Union since its inception in 1952. However, Belgian delegates expressed a reluctance to have the capital of the new nation in Belgium. Addressing the delegation, Belgian delegate Guterius Flutie said, "Belgium has been honored to be the seat of the European Union for 50 years. However, we do not desire Brussels to be the capital of the new Republic. The capital city brings many problems that we don't want."
The delegates considered several cities throughout Europe, including Rome, Berlin, and Agincourt. In the end, they chose Rome to be the new seat of the European Union. The transfer will take place in 2010.
Roman mayor Giovanni Marcus Decius was delighted at the news. "This is a great honor for the city of Rome," he said. "We look forward to being the center of the new Europe."
Another issue concerning the delegates was language. Because the unified nation would encompass people of many languages, the delegation decided that the new government would not operate using the official language of any of the constituent provinces. It was suggested that the government operate in Esperanto, the world's most popular artificial language. However, Esperanto was rejected on the grounds that, being artificial, it was not well-defined enough to function in legal documents. The delegation instead chose Latin as the official language, for the lack of better one. As one delegate, Jacques Tillius Micaelius, put it, "At least that way we can stroll down to the Vatican and talk to the Pope."
The adopted plan outlines the makeup of the new government, although details remain to be decided later. The new unified nation would be a republic, with the current member countries becoming provinces of the republic.
The main legislative body of the republic would be a 600-seat Senate. The Senate, however, does not have ultimate legislative power. Rather, a group of localized Assemblies will decide whether to accept or reject bills coming out of the Senate. The executive power rests in a pair of Consuls, elected by the Senate. Judicial power is held by the Assemblies, who have primary jurisdiction in all cases. However, appellate jurisdiction is held by a group of elected officers called Praetors.
Yet, as delegate Flavilus Pontus points out, the Republic is not set in stone. "A union of this magnitude has never been attempted before, and we're not sure how well the government we've outlined will work," he said. "We think the Republic will work. But if it doesn't, we have a backup plan. The Senate and Assemblies would still exist, but reduced in power. The government would instead be headed by three Triumvirs, elected of course. If the Republic fails, the Triumvirate will surely succeed. And if even that Triumvirate fails, well, we might as well just appoint a dictator or Emperor or something."
The plan still remains to be ratified by the governments of the representative nations. It is expected that most of the 15 members will ratify the plan; ratification is only doubtful in Denmark and the United Kingdom. The plan needs only be ratified by ten of the current members to enter into effect. Once the plan is in effect, all members will have to agree to the unification or leave the Union.
British Prime Minister Marcus Antonius Blarius spoke about the unification plan in the House of Commons soon after it was adopted. "The United Kingdom has, and still does, oppose complete unification of the European Union. We believe it is the downfall of freedom in Europe. We will do what's best for us."
Not everyone is so pessimistic, though. One young delegate, Garius Laecas Jusius, was very exited about the unification. "My ambition," he said, "is nothing less than to be Consul of the Republic. I want to rule all of Europe."
When asked what he thought of the reluctance in London and Copenhagen to the Republic, Jusius was impassive. "It will be advantageous for England and Denmark to join the Republic, so I think they'll do so. But if not, we have ways to make them.
"But it's not just those two countries. Other countries, Norway, Switzerland, and all the remnants of Yugoslavia, will join us also. What audacity they have to think they can be independent of the Republic in Rome! And with Turkey wanting to join us--and they better accept our terms for joining, or we'll make them--we'll expand our Empire into Asia. Then who knows? I find it irksome to have to share the Mediterranean Sea. A conquest of the Carthaginians in North Africa is not out the question.
"And one more thing," add Jvsivs, "If that Triumvirate thingie happens, you can expect me to be there."
One thing is clear: the world will never be the same. Said Hatcher, "This union will form a single, unified, sovereign nation the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be awesome."
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