Across The EUniverse – Number Twenty five
There are some in the UK who argue that the dream of a united Europe is dead. They say that the attempts to recreate the Roman Empire with the Holy Roman Empire or with the Hapsburgs or Napoleon or even Hitler were always doomed to failure. The argument goes that Rome was a voluntary aggregation that can never be repeated and that Europe is best when it is a group of independent competing states. There are those that say that Brexit has a precedence when England left the Roman Empire and even got a dispensation from the Emperor to do so.
This version of history is about as clear headed as the contradictions inherent in Brexit. They forget that Caesar boasted that he came, he saw and he conquered. Sicily was taken from the Carthaginians. There was not a tribe in Italy that was not beaten down from first the Sabines to last the Sanniti.
The EU is not trying to be the Roman Empire. And it is not trying to conquer the individual states that belong to it. The EU is a voluntary aggregation of states sharing values as to the rule of law and the relationship with citizens and the state. It is not a super state. France remains France. Italy Italy. But to the extent that we can do things better together then we should. That is the value known as the ever-closer Union.
The UK wants to go back to something that cannot be. It wants to ignore 70 years in which the whole world has changed. And the other 27 member states understand this. None want a break up. It is true that many have gripes against particular policies. And it is true that the EU faces enormous challenges like Migration and Growth and Climate Change and the maintenance of the social state in a world of hard competition. But the willingness to find answers together remains.
At Across the Universe we try to do out bit to contribute to the debate as to how the EU should move forward. We do not hesitate to be critical or to be radical.
In this month’s Across, we look at the UK idea that regulations can be classified into three baskets in the article headed the UK Regulatory Basket Case. We then look at how the EU can help Southern Italy in the article on The southern Special Economic Zones and the EU State Aid regime. We look at EU Company Law for digital solutions and cross-border operations, the Whistleblower protection in the Italian private sector and the implementation of the Barnier directive in Italy. Finally we show that Italy has significant potential for investment according to Islamic Financing principles.