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The State of the European Union: On the road to a more political polity?

Looking at “The Week in Bloggingportal“, the summary of last week’s euroblog posts, many of which have covered Barroso’s “State of the European Union” (SOTEU) speech, one may ask: So what is the state of Union?

Well, what I can see is an ongoing vibrant political debate around the crisis and the anti-crisis measures, this week catalysed through the speech of one of the five relevant presidents of EU institutions (if we include the Central Bank). One may therefore say that despite the dangers that such a crisis brings to our continent, at least we can see a political sphere, online and offline, that is clearly becoming transnational and in which strong national views compete with strong federal views, in which support for leaders like Barroso comes with opposing voices doubting their ability to solve the Union’s problems (plus the shades of grey in between).

This debate is not abstract, about how the Union should look like for the sake of being a Union, but this debate is clearly tied to an economic and monetary crisis. The question is which kind of Union, what kind of leaders and which mechanisms are best able to solve this critical situation and, ideally, prevent or milden the next one.

Maybe I’m wrong, and maybe it’s masochistic, but isn’t it fascinating to see 27 countries and peoples knit together by joint European institutions struggle together – not without conflict and not without self-interests but still together – to prevent the loss of their collective wealth through political means, discussing the pros and cons of institutions, measures, leaders?

For me, this looks like a genuine democratic debate about people and about ideas, including in the euroblogosphere – and who said that a political Union needed unity of opinions?

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