Making the World Autonomous: A Global Role for the European Union

Making the World Autonomous: A Global Role for the European Union

Making the World Autonomous: A Global Role for the European Union

Making the World Autonomous: A Global Role for the European Union

Synopsis

As the 21st century opens there are four key areas of human activity that require attention from a governmental union that embraces most of the world. These include the control of weapons and keeping the peace, the environmental protection of the globe, general enforcement of basic human civil rights, and setting an acceptable floor to poverty. To achieve these aims, together with the financial powers necessary to pursue them, a minimal global democratic confederation is required. These objectives can only be reached through consent. The only way by which confederation is likely to emerge is through a process of 'widening and deepening' as practiced in the European movement since the1950s. The European Union has the potential to be not only the model for this development but also its vehicle. Making the World Autonomous sets forward a path for the European Union to deliver on these goals. The Union must refrain from some actions and encourage others. Above all it must make clear that it is open for any country that fulfills the Union's basic political criteria (democratic, law-governed, observant of basic human rights and protective of minorities) to join.

Excerpt

In international affairs there are so many immediate crises and obstacles that the search for desirable long-term changes in the way the world’s affairs are run has almost gone out of fashion. In particular, the phrase ‘world government’ is taboo.

And yet, fateful developments of many kinds from global warming, to the end of cheap oil, to the proliferation and general availability of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, point inexorably to the urgent need for a dramatic improvement in what is politely called ‘international governance’.

It is therefore refreshing to read in Anthony Clunies-Ross’s new book, a clear-eyed statement of the need to move toward some elements of government at the global level and a practical suggestion of the part the European Union might play in this historic, and very necessary, evolution.

Brian Urquhart Former Under Secretary-General of the United Nations . . .

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