The problem with founding a political construction called the ‘European Union’ was already present at the negotiations of the Maastricht Treaty. As the former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzales, who was decisively involved in these negotiations, remembers:
Having completed the debate, we baptized the creature ‘European Union’. As federalists, confederalists, antifederalists, or simply supporters of a free exchange area, we did not quite understand that we were building something new, something different. The EU is not and probably never will be a federation as we understand it from the perspective of the power-sharing theories within the nation state. We were not — nor are we now — trying to create the ‘United States of Europe’. The EU is not a confederation. Nor does it even remotely resemble a ‘unitarian state’. However, it was not enough to say what the EU is not. We needed to define what it is, or no one would understand us. Hence, like curious children who question their parents, we asked ourselves, the forefathers of the invention: What is this? (1999, p. 31)
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