Nukes, crowns, housing, euros, birds and Scotts: european choices

europ

The EU is often presented as an organisation that has helped Europe (or at least its member states) to have one of the longest periods without war in history. That is true. But it probably is coming to a point in which it will have to change, one way or the other (not peace, but the architecture on which it rests).

Of the five title items, the only two things that have created some sort of consensus in Europe are euros and birds. Two states have nuclear weapons, but this is something that is not subject to negotiation (and somehow displaces the military issue to NATO, an altogether different framework). And there are also nuclear weapons in some others, provided by NATO.  This is defined by each State.

Seven are monarchies, which indicates that in the past some people were deemed to have been chosen by God to manage their national flocks; so they are inherently different from an elected president, creating potential future frictions.  But the form of the State is defined by each of them

The European Parliament has recently passed a resolution on social housing (11 june 2013), but this is not a Directive, and it seems difficult to attain a compromise on that matter. To be sure, there are some Directives covering energy efficiency on buildings, but it is not exactly the same thing. As the right to housing and how it is provided for is a prerogative of each State.

Euros have come into physical existence and this is no doubt the sign of a consensus among all States, as they have yielded one of the traditional prerogatives of independence: currency. The extent to which the currency is seen as a good thing by citizens is perhaps not as widespread due to the economic crisis. Even if you keep your currency, the Union’s policies are strong as economy goes.

Europe has enacted a birds Directive, which is one of the rare instances in which the EU says something approximately concrete on land uses. We seem to love birds… (don’t take me wrong, I like birds too).

Scotts are holding a referendum this year on a potential independence from the UK. They want independence, but they also want to stay in the EU and NATO. But independence is not what it used to be in its days. The issue is not why do Scotts (or Catalans, for that matter) want to cut the tie while remaining in Europe and countries such as Serbia or Albania want to be also part of these families. It is rather which is the administrative level to be disposed off now that Europe is acquiring so much clout. And nationalism will play a role; for instance, UKIP wants the UK out of Europe, but not an independent Scotland. Which in its turn would be a state, but a much weaker one than what they have grown up used to think.

How this translates into architecture and regional and urban planning, the reasons for this blog? To be seen in next posts.

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