Europe is not independent. In fact, Europe is highly dependent on foreign powers.
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Without Russian gas and oil, the EU gets cold, and its machines stop functioning. Years of not searching for alternative methods, which are more expensive, have made the EU extremely vulnerable. And now that Russia has started an imperialistic war of aggression on the European continent, the EU cannot continue buying Russian gas. This means losing some comforts, until the EU finds an alternative from within. Switching to relying on another foreign power also isn’t an option. Saudi Arabia especially isn’t an option, as they are actively engaged in a devastating war and a humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which is also supported by the US.
Without Chinese products, our shelves will be empty. We have outsourced virtually all production to China, that we have become dependent on them for all of our basic commodities. Almost nothing is produced in the EU anymore, and now we rely on a country, which is actively engaged in a genocide on its own territory.
Without US protection, the EU is largely defenseless. This is a horrific loss of sovereignty, as our armies are practically incapable of defending us, except if the USA doesn’t provide massive military support. The United States have proven to be increasingly unreliable, especially during their last two presidential cycles.
The way the EU is going to survive the following decades is to federalize. A shared economy, shared social services, a common military, joint infrastructure and urban planning. Of course, major reforms need to be implemented, as there are a lot of things in the EU, which are ineffectual.
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A united Europe would be a superpower, and it would change the balance of the game. And a federal European Union is not farfetched, as we are currently in the transition from nation-states to civilization states.