This is Part 1 of Scenario 5 – Human Federation in 2040
The 10th birthday of the European Federation is being celebrated with incredible pomp for the last few months leading to a formal conversion of the EF into the Human Federation (HF). How quickly have people in 2040 got used to what seemed an impossible dream barely 10 years ago. When back on 1 January 2030, 39 countries were united in one State called the European Federation (EF), there were too many sceptics to count, who prophesized a sudden, perhaps a traumatic, end of the Federation. That was supposed to be the result of external political pressures (Russia and China), economic (even more serious financial crisis than in 2008), and the internal pressures (wish to return by millions of EF citizens to the world that was so familiar and yet now was gone forever).
European Federation, although initially thought as just another large international organization, created for all countries of the former European Union, was adding many countries from other parts of the world to the EF’s four zones. Some said it might soon become a Human Federation but they did not want to change the name yet, in order not to antagonize Russia or China. Nevertheless, the name was finally changed to a Human Federation with all four subsidiary zones having now 138 countries. Its members constitute more than 60% of the global population and 70% of the world’s GDP. HF and all members of the subsidiary zones are still members of the United Nations, which has very limited real powers, since the Security Council is totally dysfunctional.
The Human Federation includes all the previous members of the former European Union’s Eurozone. They are now called nations, or regions, rather than states. Altogether, there are 58 countries in the HF. When combined with 138 countries in subsidiary zones, the total population of HF is now nearly 6 billion. The United Kingdom joined the EF in 2032. Yes, it took a while, but Britain is now a different country, with its own new Constitution and the former King William becoming the Life President of the National Heritage (a kind of Ministry of Culture combined with the British National Trust). Following the new British constitution, from 1st January 2030, Wales and Scotland are directly members of the HF. Northern Ireland was merged with the Republic of Ireland in 2024.
All HF member states’ constitutions have been changed and replaced by new constitutions, which allow for large regions separations which can join the HF directly, if they wish. Over the last 10 years, it has gradually led to some original member states splitting into large regions, each with at least 5m citizens according with the EF Constitution. For example, German lands, Bavaria and Saxony, are now directly regions of the EF rather than Germany. Belgium was split into two large regions: Flanders and Wallonia and each of them has also additionally merged with one former Dutch region and a former French region. There are also two other cross-country regions. The first is Catalonia, which is now much bigger than before by being joined with the previously French Catalogne Nord. The second one is the Basque Country, twice as big as the previous Spanish Region, which was merged with the previously French Northern Basque Country. These cross-country regional mergers follow a model set up in 1996, of the first Euro-region Tyrol-South and Tyrol-Trentino. That was formed between the Austrian state of Tyrol and the Italian provinces of South Tyrol and Trentino.
HF, in line with its Constitution, is a mixture of representational and direct democracy, with a two-chamber parliament. The representatives to the Lower House, the Nations’ Chamber are elected in a two stage system. The first stage is a simple First Past the Post system. The second one is a preferential system based on Alternative Voting System. The Upper House, the Citizens’ Chamber (the Senate) has senators selected using an enhanced sortition system.
The President of the European Federation is a Frenchmen, Maurice Cheval who is now the first president of the HF. He has two ‘shadow’ Vice-presidents, a Hungarian and a Swede, who make most decisions through consensus during the Presidency meetings (2 votes needed to pass a motion). On most significant matters, such as defence and security, or declaring the state of emergency, the President makes decisions alone.
The Prime Minister, Leopoldo Gonzalez, is Spanish. He is a member of the Democratic Liberal Party of the HF, the strongest party in the EF Parliament. His key ministers are all members of the HF Parliament: the Minister of Defence is British (a permanent position granted to Britain for 10 years, as a sweetener to re-join the EF). The Foreign Affairs Minister is Dutch, the Home Affairs Minister is Danish, and the Minister of Finance is German. Other ministers come from a pool of 2000 experts, selected by sortition from all HF countries.
There are 5 members in the Human Federation Convergence Area, which is in Zone 1: Switzerland, Tunisia, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia. The members have signed up to the constitution of the HF, but certain articles of that constitution do not apply to them. Every country in this zone has MPs in the HF Parliament. These member countries will join the Human Federation latest within the next 5 years.
There are significant changes in the Human Federation Single Market area, which is in Zone 2. It has now 30 members, including Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Libya, Armenia, Lebanon, India, Japan and Thailand. The most prominent member is the United States, which joined this year. All member states in this zone have up to five opt-outs of the HF Single Market policies that suit their particular circumstances and can stay in this zone for as long as they want. They are bound by the articles of the HFSM Treaty and each country has representatives in the HFSM Assembly. The members can join the HF, by moving first into Zone 1, once they meet certain economic, social and political criteria (e.g. ratifying the HF Constitution).
There are 22 countries in the Human Federation Customs Union, which is in Zone 3 such as Belorussia and Kazakhstan.
There are 81 countries in the Human Federation Association Area, which is in Zone 4. Most of these countries come from Africa and South America, such as Kenya, Nigeria, Brazil or Argentina. Some of these countries, such as South Africa, had individual Association Agreements with the former European Union before the federalization. The member states in this zone are not bound by any articles of the Human Federation Constitution but have to fulfil the terms of the Treaty of the Human Federation Association membership. Additionally, each of the countries has individual association agreements with the Human Federation. If they fulfil the required criteria, they can move up to Zone 3.
The official language of the HF is English and there are no translations in the HF Parliament. Across the whole HF and its subsidiary zones, English is a mandatory language in official communications and is taught at all HF schools. However, at a member nation or regional level, the official language is whichever language the region chooses, with English being a mandatory second language. Therefore, all signposting, street names etc., are in two languages. On the other hand, language as such is not a problem anymore, as almost all people have Multilingual Translators embedded either in their glasses, aural devices, watches, or chip implants under the skin, which enable simultaneous translations.
People within the HF State have exactly the same rights across the entire HF area. After all, HF is now a single state. This includes benefits, recognition of all qualifications, national health entitlements and pension rights. However, there are regional differences in education, public holidays, regional legal system, (with a caveat that any new laws passed must be compatible with the HF Constitution – that is validated by the HF Constitutional Court), urban and architectural design, culture and regional heritage (as long as the EF general rules are observed).
For comparison I enclose a summary of the closest scenario produced by the European Commission in their document “Global Europe in 2050” called ‘EU Renaissance: further European integration’ (European_Commision, 2012).
“In this EU Renaissance scenario global security is achieved, with the generalized enforcement of human rights and the rule of law. The world undergoes a global democratization of power also as a consequence of increasingly active non-state actors, global public policy networks and the media. The EU is enlarged both east and southwards, and political, fiscal and military integration is consolidated. There is strong public support toward challenging targets e.g. in climate change and energy efficiency. The all-continental integration of energy systems (with renovation and heavy re-investments) boosts the share of renewable energy. Innovation systems undergo major reforms to become increasingly systemic, with more user-integration, more easy-to-use technological systems and services, and more encompassing smart growth oriented technology and innovation policies. Importantly, the EU manages to optimally design its technological and research policies, to target the right domains and methods, and this leads to an acceleration in the pace of innovation and the productivity gains increase progressively until 2050 within the EU, compared to the ‘Nobody cares scenario’, the rest of the world keeping its own pace.”