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Viche 2014 4

4, 2014

Regarding the Views of Some Western Scientists on Further Formation of the European Community

The views of the famous British historian C. N. Parkinson and his Dutch colleague A. H. Heineken on further formation of the European Community are highlighted. A new scheme for the
regional division of the continent, based on the principles of the United States state system, is defined as the foundation for future European development. Taking into consideration the analysis which has been carried out, the recommendations on the means of overcoming the efferent tendencies in the territory of Ukraine are given, since, unlike regionalism in most European countries, the Ukrainian version has an exclusive political nature.
Keywords: united Europe, European regionalism, new regionalism, bicameralism

The circumstances under which Ukrainian autho-rities reasonably insist on the national interests of our state to be followed in the text of the Association Agreement with the European Union will become the subject of thorough analysis by both domestic and foreign scientists but, as it usually happens, only in the course of time. However, now it is quite important and timely to consider the views of some Western scientists regarding the future development of the European Community.

At one of the meetings with the famous German marketing expert E. W. Gaile, who introduced the project of the Hans Seidel Foundation in Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University [Fedorchak], the author of this article read a letter from his Dutch colleague A. H. Heineken (dated 1992), in which he praised the ideas of the well-known British historian C. N. Parkinson. The views reflected in the letter could be considered as utopian rather than realistic. However, taking into account recent political events in Ukraine and some cautions urged by prominent politicians and public figures in connection with them, the presentation of these ideas to the scientific community seems to be quite appropriate.

According to A. H. Heineken, Professor Parkinson (who told him about his interpretation of a federal Europe) had doubts regarding the existence of a single unified Europe which would consist of the nations located in its territory, as they would differ by area, population and economic importance. At the same time, he  supported their split into much smaller states of the same area and political weight which could form a harmonious federal integration in the future. In addition, even in 1970, Parkinson noted that the people having power and those of the population falling under that power had dangerously different opinions. That fact was causing a distortion of global political institutional mechanisms and the development of bureaucracy which could not be influenced by the average citizen [Parkinson, 1998]. To prove the existence of exceptions to this rule he suggested giving the Parkinsons Prize to  the best state management. The main criteria for receiving that award included the number of the officials, the levels of state health care, welfare, the total amount of strikes and its economic perspective. In his view, that Prize should belong to the government of the Netherlands (Finland also deserves such consideration) since its management is quite effective due to the relatively small area of the country. In other works, the researcher noted that the areas of some nation-states (e.g., Finland, Sweden or Denmark) almost equal the areas of some separate provinces with a population of 4.7 million people. Therefore, if the population of the country is more than 10 million people, its authorities should be decentralized. When the population of a state equals 30-50 million people, it is influenced by a dying provincial culture and monotonous social life, and is therefore hopelessly unstable. According to Parkinson, a new type of provincial autonomy should become the result of  European unity.

In due time, the Austrian sociologist L. Kohr also expressed similar views in his The Breakdown of Nations [Kohr, 1957] noting that only the size of a state is important for its development. It determines the social and psychological problems of a certain society, i.e. the underlying substances and organisms which have lapped over the natural frames. A new division of Europe would return the continent to a natural state in which each group would be able to retain its originality. In addition, it would become safer. As European wars had mostly been waged in order to establish or preserve unity, or to gain border areas, the re-affirmation of the sovereignty of small states would not only satisfy their insatiable desire for the restoration of their autonomy but also, as if by the wave of a magic wand, eliminate the causes of most conflicts. For example, the problem of Alsace would disappear because if neither France nor Germany aspires to that territory, the latter would become exclusively Alsatian. The wars which may arise between small countries would easily be controlled by bigger states as they would not constitute a significant threat to them.

Taking into consideration the theories of Parkinson and Kohr, Heineken offers his own version of a new administrative division of Europe. He notes that, even if, at first glance, its division into 75 states may seem utopian, after scrupulous analysis this scheme does not appear so unrealistic. First of all, he argues for the need to understand the fact that mo-dern nation-states are rather artificial or often newly created formations. For instance, the German and Italian states had not existed until the second half of the 19th century thats why now the residents of Southern Bavaria still do not consider the residents of Northern Germany as their compatriots. Even in such a small and relatively ancient country as Spain, many residents of Catalonia consider themselves firstly as Catalans and only after that as Spaniards. During the French Revolution (1789-1794), most people did not speak French, and were not even able to sing the national anthem that is now known around the world as the Marseillaise. According to the American historian D. J. Weber, the peasants were turned into the French only at the end of the 19th century. Consequently, the nation-state is often an invention of the intellectual elite who have received the opportunity to promote their views through educational institutions and the media
creating traditions and a national heritage instead.

The second reason for considering the proposed scheme as being effective, is the supposition that a new European structure could include the administrative units which exist now, in particular, the federal states of Germany, countries (counties) of Great Britain, provinces of the Netherlands, and regions of France. The necessity to establish new institutions would disappear accordingly. The existing admini-strative authorities could immediately assume the responsibilities of governing the new states.

Thirdly, it is clear that in modern Europe social forces are aimed at the formation of smaller states as the movement to decentralize individual units or even to gain their independence has strengthened in almost every country of the continent (e.g., in the UK, Spain or the former Yugoslavia). So, it is probably wiser to accept these changes rather than to resist them. Furthermore, the proposed scheme fully takes into account the mistakes of the past: in a new Europe one nation could not dominate the others. For instance, it is quite clear that Russian dominance within the former Soviet Union or Prussian rule in Germany at the time of O. von Bismarck surely led to the destruction of those established federations.

In line with this scheme, new countries would approximately have the same size and population of 5-10 million, as advised by Parkinson. The creation of units with identical parameters seems to be impos-sible due to the historical and administrative heritage of the Old Europe. Thus, Iceland would remain a state with an existing population of 252,000 citizens while the Isle-de-France (including Paris) would have more than 10 million inhabitants. However, this scheme has two exceptions which are Monaco and Liechtenstein. These small units would become member states of a New Europe without the right to vote in its structures (analogous to the District of Columbia in the United States which does not have the right to vote in the House of Representatives).

However, this division of Europe is not a categorical version of the continents continuing existence. 75 new states would create a European federation. Its federal bodies would manage the issues of foreign affairs, defence, and the financial system, as well as ensure the activities of basic social services and the division of income between rich and poor areas. Each member state would have the same right to vote within the framework of the federal government structures; the Senate, which would include the heads of states, and the House of Representatives would be elected by direct vote. The institutions which exist nowadays (for example, the European Court) would continue to perform their functions, and the Constitution elaborated on the basis of the American state system would contain a clear scheme of gover-ning a federal Europe.

At the same time, several unresolved problems still remain. For example, what would be the tasks of the royal families in a new Europe? They might play the role of supreme powers of the newly formed states without having the formal duties of heads of state. Indeed, the populations of some of the 75 new states (such as Hannover, Burgundy or Navarre and Aragon) may wish to have monarchies as their titular heads of state. Strasbourg or Brussels could obviously become the capital of a federal Europe but, perhaps, it would be better to locate the federal institutions in seven major European cities. Thus, Brussels or Strasbourg would play the role of  political capital, and Frankfurt or London could become the financial one. The European Court could be situated in Luxembourg, and the individual ministries could be located in other cities of the continent. Paris, having the highest number of ancient and avant-garde cultural centres amongst all the European cities could, obviously, become the cultural capital of the federation.

However, there may be different opinions on the exact method of dividing Europe according to this plan. Should, for example, Portugal be united? Would Sardinia and Sicily create one state? Is it not better to separate Baden and Wurttemberg? Nevertheless, these issues are only details that could be improved upon in future as the basic principles of such a scheme would be understood by the whole population of the European continent.

According to Heineken, the advantages of Europes division into 75 states are obvious, and have partially been studied by Parkinson and Kohr. European inhabitants would have more opportunities to control their governments and in turn, governance of their states would be more effectively carried out as they would not have the need for a bulky bureaucratic apparatus. The latter, of course, would surely perform its functions but, in the case of the implementation of the existing plan, its format would not expand. Having smaller state areas would assure the greater efficiency of the governments, and the fe-deral institutions created would continue implemen-ting their tasks in accordance with the established structural distribution. The countries would also reduce defence expenses: European wars would recede into a thing of the past. Internal requirements would be satisfied by the police forces, and modern rapid reaction forces would act for crises management.

In a new Europe, the number of amorphous individuals would be minimized. Thus, the fanatical nationalist groups, which now deliver terrorist attacks, would no longer have the grounds to exist. Chauvinism would appear only as a portion of the emotions in sports arenas where athletes represent their regions. Europeans could freely choose states they consider to be their homelands and therefore, give vent to one of the leading human instincts which is the need for living within a clearly defined territorial unit.

As Heineken states, the Treaty of Maastricht on the European Union of 7 February 1992 has contributed to the extraordinary progress of the idea of a united Europe. However, the transformation of the existing nations and the situation in the territory of the former Yugoslavia are only a few unfortunate examples which demonstrate the impossibility of effective governance of a continent with more than 500 million people. Moreover, people surely want to live in a territory they could run an eye over and feel like theyre at home. When I lived in the U.S. in the late 1940-s, Heineken says, I was surprised that we Europeans call this country the United States of America as it is a federation of states whose governments have a much greater impact on everyday issues than we used to think. This creates a situation in which the average American rarely argues that he/she came from the United States, and always says that he/she is from Texas, Kentucky, Rhode Island... or any other state. So, chauvinism is a natural instinct that cannot be eliminated. It can only be limited to a safer level, for example, to the enthusiastic support of the national football team, and so on. The U.S. state system certainly cannot be considered as an ideal one but the fact is that, since the Civil War (1861-1865), all 50 U.S. states have adhered to the principles of peaceful coexistence, and Europe, by contrast, has experienced the three most extensive armed conflicts in its history.

According to Heineken, it is clear that the first reaction of many people to the proposal of creating a federal Europe would be limited to their expression of surprise and a cynical assessment of the project. However, even if one considers the idea of federalization as a European Utopia, it could be tailored and adapted to modern conditions. In this context, it should be emphasized that modern nations are also artificial and, by the way, many of them do not have a very long history. In many cases, their locations are as casual as my ideas seem to be, Heineken writes. Today, independence movements are observednot only in the former Yugoslavia but also in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, some regions of Catalonia, the Basque Country, Central Europe, and so on. At the same time, the existing nations may have to be kept during the formation of the new states government bodies.

Heineken notes that the CIS could also be re-formed according to the same scheme since the differences in size and population, for example, between Russia (over 145 million people) and Georgia (about 5.5 million inhabitants) do not contribute to the establishment of the political harmony that exists in the United States.

Heineken stressed that in formulating these proposals he had been given the friendly support of Dr. H. L. Wesseling, Professor of Contemporary History at Leiden University, Director of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies, Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Mr. H. W. van den Doel, Chair of the Department of History at Leiden University. In conclusion, I once again express the hope that my suggestions will make people think about their future and help them to understand that the current structure of Europe is not the best course for further development. The reformation of old foundations to create a better future is an article of daily necessity. As people say, one must break the eggs in order to make an omelette. Therefore, I hope that the omelette which I have presented as a sort of European Utopia is a step towards a better future, Heineken concluded at the end of his letter.

First of all, it should be noted that, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, the European Union is a classic three-stage system based on the scheme a region (land, canton, province) a state a community of nations. There are some legislative and executive bodies whose powers are clearly delineated at each level. In this case, the regional authorities are assigned with the functions necessary for local self-government; in particular, they have the expanded opportunities to manage the financial sector. So, currently there is every reason to state the existence of institutionalized regiona-lism in Western countries. It was set into the legal framework through the Charter of Regionalization adopted by the European Parliament on 18 November 1988 (herein, by the way, the construct of Europe of Regions was firstly outlined, and now it is essentially the formal model of EU development), and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages of 5 November 1992. In Western Europe, the practical implementation of the idea of regionalism relies on the functioning of certain institutions. So, the activities of the Assembly of European Regions which aims at the comprehensive promotion of regional integration and cooperation beyond the existing European state boundaries are an illustrative example.

At the same time, the phenomenon of European regionalism (Heineken writes based on its abnormal positions) has in fact a dual nature. Firstly, it reflects the deepening of the democratization of the public administration system, and is accompanied by the decentralization of power and the strengthening of the role and influence of local (municipal) government on the lives of territorial communities. This type of regionalism can be roughly defined as an administrative one. It mainly focuses on the optimization of the administration system by means of strengthening the role of local communities. Secondly, in some cases, the regionalism becomes extremely politicized, and strives to reshape the territories of traditional states formed through certain geopolitical processes in the past. This type of regionalism (which can conditionally be called a political one) poses a real threat to the territorial integrity of a number of countries. Thus, the administrative regionalism respon-ding to the challenges of political and administrative modernization has some constructive potential for the continents development. At the same time, the second type of regionalism usually contains a destructive charge provoking political conflicts which destabilize the situation both within the states and outside their borders.

If the regionalization processes taking place in Western Europe (i.e. in the countries belonging to the classic state entities whose territorial boundaries were formed mainly in the 18th and 19th centuries) are analyzed from this point of view, one can determine a close relationship between the two types of regionalism in this area, and identify a minor dominance of the administrative one. France is a typical example. On 2 March 1982 the Law on the Rights and Freedoms of the Communes, Departments and Regions was adopted in this state. According to its provisions, the region is a separate administrative-territorial unit that combines several departments, i.e. districts, which are the main elements of the administrative-territorial division of France. Today, the country has 26 regions managed by the relevant regional councils whose members are elected for six years. The competence of these bodies is clearly defined by law, and exclusively covers the issues of the social and economic policies of the relevant areas. Their activities are controlled by special Commissioners of the Republic who are appointed by the central government. Thus, French legislation does not contain any principles which politicize the functions of the regional authorities which could threaten the stability of the country or its integrity. Nevertheless, this fact does not mean that there are no signs or manifestations of political regionalism in this state (as well as in several other European
countries).

Thus, political regionalism is represented in Italy which territory is known to be historically shared into the economically developed North and the agricultu-ral South. From time to time, the political aspect of French regionalism also appears through the activation of Corsican separatism. Similar trends also cha-racterize the development of the UK in facing the manifestations of the Scottish and Welsh autonomies. These processes are only becoming politicized in the relevant countries. However, they have verged into an active phase of open separatism in Spain where they are accompanied by Basque terrorist attacks. In fact, separatist regionalism has also become a direct challenge to the integrity of Belgium.

That is, the level of the politicization of regional projects, as well as the  prerequisites, depends on the type of state, its economic development and national traditions. It can be caused mainly by economic (as in Italy) or only by historical and cultural (as in France and Spain) factors. Sometimes, the economic preconditions of political regionalization are supplemented with linguistic and cultural components (Belgium) or the processes of a partial revival of the ethnic and cultural identity, historical memory of the population, etc. (as takes place in the United Kingdom) [Mytsyk, 2004: 11-18].

So, one can say that there are different grounds for regionalism in the major countries of Western Europe. All of them usually combine several factors that reinforce each other. In this sense, one can state the existence of a regionalism of a special type which is not limited to cross-border cooperation and does not fit into the Europe of Regions scheme. Its main characteristics are politically dominant and pronounced separatist motives. By the way, the occurrence of this type of regionalism is currently urgent for Ukraine.

The author believes that regionalism is not an expressly negative or destructive phenomenon. For example, in our state, its manifestations have gene-rally objective grounds as they are caused by the processes of the democratization of social and political life. However, combined with the interests of the whole country, regionalism has considerable constructive potential because it focuses not only on national issues but also on the problems of local communities. Therefore, separate political actors should not speculate on the difficulties of the period of reforms to be accompanied by the essential modernization of the democratic institutions and guided not so much by national as regional motifs. The system approach applied to the realia of state- and nation-building processes leaves no doubt that a country is not the arithmetic sum of separate parts (i.e., regions). It is a holistic phenomenon in which every element, being unique and original, operates for its development as a system of higher level. If a country does not ensure the existence of such a system, it will sooner or later suffer from inter-ethnic and inter-regional conflicts, and destructive efferent processes losing that internal unity as the main thing to be inherent in any organic integrity which a nation-state is and should be.

Immediately after the presidential elections of 2004, political analysts talked seriously about the obvious political regionalization of the Ukrainian electoral field. This conclusion can be agreed in ge-neral, but its detailed analysis raises a number of issues. For example, is any difference in political views really caused by the social, economic and historical characteristics of the regions? Are the number of such differences sufficient for the politicization of regional issues, that are in fact the existence of reasons to separate some parts of the Ukrainian state? In analyzing the experiences of European countries, many of which have directly faced the challenges of political regionalism, and comparing it with the Ukrainian realia, we conclude that the existence of differences is only a pretext to form a particular ideo-logy and advance claims against the central government. All the regional elites unconsciously consider the latter as the embodiment of a dictatorship of state bureaucracy concerning the certain territories and the inhabitants who live there. This is the way to build up a pretty shaky but, at first glance, quite attractive politological construct of center peri-phery rigid dichotomy. On the one hand, it involves state power representing the political unity of the country, and on the other hand, includes the local  power which is known to perform only administrative but not political functions.

Thus, the transition from dominantly vertical to mainly horizontal interactions between the state and actors of local and regional development; from the mono-centric to the poly-centric model of state regional policy based on the self-organization of local and regional administrations, has caused Ukrainian researchers to hit upon the idea of a logical link between the development of the concepts of power, the formation of the elements of the information society, and the appearance and spread of the theory of a new regionalism grounded on the following:

the recognition of social capital, information and knowledge as the key factors of territorial deve-lopment that act as the basis for the spread and introduction of new technologies and innovations;

the feasibility of the establishment and functioning of special institutions (organizational structures) that would purposefully solve local development problems;

the well thought-out decentralization of regi-onal policy as the transfer of most responsibilities for its implementation from the central to regional and local (especially local communities) levels;

the urgent need to move from the practice of selective and generally haphazard financial support and the formation of an infrastructure of separate administrative units to the policy of spatial development as the balanced development of all the countrys territory through the creation of relevant regi-onal networks (partnerships);

the prior orientation of regional policy at the macro and meso levels where the programmes of spatial development can be implemented in the most effective way;

the introduction of basic polycentric principles (the principles of multi-level decision-making) and variability to the processes of the formation of strategic and ongoing regional development programmes, becoming a response to the multivariate social and economic situations in the regions, and satisfying the aspirations of preserving the specificity and ensuring the sustainability of local economies;

the institutionalization of collective interests, the introduction of a contractual culture of relations between the state, public administrations of local and sub-national levels, and the systemic actors of the inter-regional relationships that are the foundation for enhancing social capital and setting up an effective social partnership between government authorities, businessmen and the public sector.

Taking into account the particular difficulties of the social and economic and ethnic and political processes in some regions of Ukraine, the regional security policy should foresee the elaboration of specific strategies and programmes for the development of problematic regions and, this is the most important thing, the existence of clear organizational, legal, financial and economic mechanisms to implement them, and the methods to trace the critical exponents. In this context,  Ukrainian specialists in ethnic national studies point to the urgent need of establi-shing a state programme to prescribe conducting systematic scientific research on the state and the peculiarities of the ethnic and political processes in dif-ferent regions of Ukraine, as well as conducting carefully prepared forecasting of their future development [Rymarenko, 2000: 479].

In analyzing the various aspects of the new regionalism and its domestic implications, we conclude that this phenomenon is a heterogeneous and ambiguous part of the modern political history of different countries. Under European conditions, and with rare exceptions, it does not pose a significant threat to the states territorial integrity but enhances the role of certain lands and communities in the processes of state governance. In Ukrainian terms, the excessive politicization of the regional factors has caused the emergence of some challenges and dangers that could destroy the foundations of the state [Panova, 2008: 48-49]. In order to neutralize such a scenario, it is necessary to develop a holistic concept of regional policy which takes into account the processes of political modernization and the integration of our state into the European economic and political areas. This is, in particular, stressed in the Annual Address of the President of Ukraine to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Modernization of Ukraine is Our Strategic Choice of 7 April 2011 [1].

Firstly, it is quite essential to carry out administrative and territorial reform  which is based on the actual natural and economic characteristics of the regions due to the fact that the region is not a goal in and of itself but a means to implement a more efficient management scenario. Secondly, the scientific discussion about the new regionalism should be moved out of the political to the administrative plane with the emphasis on governance decentralization and the simultaneous maintenance of the strict control over it on the side of the state leadership. Thirdly, it is necessary to solve the problem of substantial inequality regarding the social and economic development of the territories which creates conditions of social and political tension at the central and local authoritative levels. Fourthly, it is necessary to carry out an active and most importantly, a balanced humanitarian policy aimed at the formation of a nationally conscious individual, a responsible citizen who is a competent professional of a new generation. Without solving these and a number of related problems, the regional card will be played in the political landscape of our country. Moreover, it will have ethnic and political colours, and could lead to unpredictable consequences for the independence of Ukraine.

Taking into account the launching of the Constitutional Assembly, the idea of bicameralism needs special attention in the context of the studied issues. Its introduction to Ukrainian practices was sharply debated in March 2003 when the initiative of the President of Ukraine on political reform was announced. According to its concept, the members of the second Chamber of the Ukrainian Parliament (the Chamber of Regions) were to represent the economic positions of all the regions of Ukraine, as well as the interests of their citizens including the representatives of national minorities and ethnic groups. Indeed, in exploring the risks and problems of the implementation of bicameralism in Ukraine, scientists recognize that the current configuration of the national political system does not promote an adequate representation of regional interests and their balancing at the state level. According to them, a bicameral structure of Parliament is able to ensure the stability and transparency of political relations between the centre and regions (due to the possibility of their sustainable representation in central government bodies) in the most effective way, as well as improving the essential content of the local self-go-vernment for the creation of an optimum system. At the same time, the specialty of the Ukrainian interpretations of bicameralism is the desire of certain political forces to take advantage of the formation of an Upper Chamber of Parliament to get key opportunities for the redistribution of the powers and resources of the political authorities [Zaichuk, 2006: 116-117].

The author believes that bicameralism would contribute to an increase of the role of the regions in society and the state, rather than restrain it. The se-cond Chamber could be a means of making a definite impact on the actions of the government to overcome the depression of some areas, to intensify inter-regional cooperation according to a donor region recipient region scheme, and so on. The current concerns of some politicians and scientists as to the acceleration of the federalization processes when introducing a bicameral parliament also do not have proper justification. In fact, according to the provisions of Articles 2 and 132 of the Constitution of Ukraine, our country is a unitary state with a strong central government. On the other hand, how can the economic and cultural interests of different regions such as Galicia, Donbas and Crimea be protected? In European countries whose territories are equally co-lourful in the economic, cultural, social, ethnic and political senses, this problem is solved by the formation of an upper chamber of parliament which oversees the consideration of regional interests both in the parliament and in the government. This is the objective regularity. However, in the case of the rea-lization of the idea of electing regional leaders or forming the executive bodies of regional councils, the upper chamber of parliament would be a kind of counterbalanceto the executive and representative branches of power at the local level, settling the eternal conflicts between the regional councils and administrations.

In summarizing, we want to express our hopes that the work of amending the Constitution of Ukraine attracts more attention to these problems within the framework of the subjects of politological and interdisciplinary research on not only the phenomenon of bicameralism but also on those of its features which depend on the modernization of the national political system. However, in any case, the basic sense of bicameralism is the appropriate response of parliament to the actions of the subordinated bodies and officials, as well as the application of the relevant constitutional and legal sanctions to them. In the case of the existence of the parliamentary or mixed republican forms of state systems, their resignation is considered to be the main sanction. It may occur, particularly, as a result of the application of the mechanisms of the political responsibility of the government to the parliament (in general, it also coincides with the primary goal of any parliamentary opposition). That is, the control over the executive branch of power to be carried out with the participation of the opposition is amongst the main functions of the modern parliaments of the world. This mechanism allows for the detection of abuses in other state institutions, and often leads to their prevention.

The conclusion of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union would inevitably sharpen the problems of so-called new regionalism to be manifested through the dominance (as proved with the examples of most of the European countries) of the efferent forces. Therefore, it is quite important to take into account the experience of European countries in eliminating these trends which includes both the strengthening of the basic principles of local and regional governance and the introduction of a modern model of bicameralism to domestic practices. In fact, along with the ability to eliminate the significant inequality of the development of certain state territories, the need for such transformations is caused by the do-minant specialties of the contemporary, ethnic, and political development of Ukraine.

Igor ZVARYCH