A Europe of regions – in which larger European countries break into 75 smaller, more ethnically and linguistically homogeneous states, and a British Isles of 15 – I stumbled across this idea again today, 28 years after I first read it in 1992 and thought it seems much more plausible now than it did then.
This description from Frank Jacobs has the essential details and lots of maps and tables for those of us who like them:
Freddy Heineken (1923-2002), the Dutch tycoon who made his beer into a global brand, also was a dedicated Europhile. Towards the end of his life, he proposed reshuffling Europe’s national borders to strengthen the supranational project whose stated goal is an “ever closer union”. Heineken collaborated with two historians to produce a booklet entitled “The United States of Europe, A Eurotopia?” The idea was timely, for two reasons. Eastern Europe was experiencing a period of turmoil, following the collapse of communism. The resulting wave of nationalism led to the re-emergence of several nation-states (i.e. the Baltics) and the break-up of several others (Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia). And in 1992, the Maastricht Treaty would transform an initially mainly economic “European Community” into a more political “European Union”.
Jacobs doesn’t mention this, but Heineken proposed an independent Scotland and a united Ireland in 1992. He was ahead of his time on this as he had been, with remarkable accuracy, on the break-ups in Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.
The divisions on the map above result from another clever piece of analysis dividing the British Isles into quite similar-sized states based on population.
As with the division of the rest of Europe into fairly equal-sized regions, this would reduce the ability of any one to dominate the others.
Dear reader, what do you think?