On BBC Radio 4 Today programme 22Jan2016 ~08:50, a journalist expressed her perception that noises from within the governments of France and Germany are notably less keen on federalism, to the extent that they have effectively told the usual European Commission apparatchiks to keep quiet about federalism. It seems that each country’s local political elite is aware that federalism is quite unpopular, and they don’t want the risk of European federalism to upset their re-election chances within the next 24 months.
I have considered this hearsay/gossip and concluded that it does not change my choice in the referendum.
This is because it is only gossip. There is nothing of substance to believe in the gossip and, even if there was evidence for the fact of a demotion of European federalism within France & Germany, there is no substantive deed to support it. By substantive deed, I mean things like:
- Replacement of the most ardent pro-federalist employees of the European Commission;
- The standing-down of the most ardent pro-federalist politicians of the local ruling elites of France & Germany;
- Treaty change, in particular an act by treaty that binds all European Union members to abstain from driving towards federalism for at least 2 decades. As other gossip suggests that no-body in Europe wants yet another European treaty, I consider treaty change to be unlikely in any circumstances over the next ten years.
In all probability, if the gossip has any merit, the likely outcome is that pro-federalist Eurocrats will keep their mouths shut about federalism until both France and Germany have had their elections. Thereafter, the (re-)elected federalists and the Eurocrats will pipe-up again and Europe will once again be on the railroad to unwanted federalism.