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The United States of Europe (sometimes abbreviated U.S.E. or USE) is a name given to several similar hypothetical scenarios of the unification of Europe, as a single nation and a single federation of states, similar to the United States of America, both as projected by writers of speculative fiction and science fiction, and by political scientists, politicians, geographers, historians, and futurologists.
Various versions of the concept have developed over the centuries, many of which are mutually incompatible (inclusion or exclusion of the United Kingdom; secular or religious union, etc.). Such proposals include those from King George of Podebrady of Bohemia in 1464; the Duc de Sully of France in the seventeenth century; and the plan of William Penn, the Quaker founder of Pennsylvania, for the establishment of an "European Dyet, Parliament or Estates."
Felix Markham notes how during a conversation on St. Helena, Napoleon remarked, "Europe thus divided into nationalities freely formed and free internally, peace between States would have become easier: the United States of Europe would become a possibility."
United States of Europe was also the name of the concept presented by Wojciech Jastrzębowski in "About eternal peace between the nations", published May 31, 1831. The project consisted of 77 articles. The envisioned United States of Europe was to be an international organisation rather than a superstate.
The term 'United States of Europe' (États-Unis d’Europe) was used by Victor Hugo, including during a speech at the International Peace Congress held in Paris in 1849. Hugo favoured the creation of "a supreme, sovereign senate, which will be to Europe what parliament is to England" and said "A day will come when all nations on our continent will form a European brotherhood... A day will come when we shall see... the United States of America and the United States of Europe face to face, reaching out for each other across the seas." Victor Hugo planted a tree in the grounds of his residence on the Island of Guernsey he was noted in saying that when this tree matured the United States of Europe would have come into being. This tree to this day is still growing happily in the gardens of Maison de Hauteville, St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Victor Hugo's residence during his exile from France.
The Italian philosopher Carlo Cattaneo wrote 'The ocean is rough and whirling, and the currents go to two possible endings: the autocrat, or the United States of Europe'. In 1867 Giuseppe Garibaldi, and John Stuart Mill joined Victor Hugo at a congress of the League for Peace and Freedom in Geneva. Here the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin stated "That in order to achieve the triumph of liberty, justice and peace in the international relations of Europe, and to render civil war impossible among the various peoples which make up the European family, only a single course lies open: to constitute the United States of Europe". The French National Assembly, also called for a United States of Europe on March 1, 1871. Trotsky raised the slogan "For a Soviet United States of Europe" as early as 1923. "The United States of Europe" was also the title of two books published in 1931: by French politician Edouard Herriot and by British civil servant Arthur Salter.
During the World War II victories of Nazi Germany in 1940, Wilhelm II stated that: "The hand of God is creating a new world & working miracles.... We are becoming the United States of Europe under German leadership, a united European Continent."
The term "United States of Europe" was used by Winston Churchill in his speech delivered on 9 September 1946 at the University of Zürich, Switzerland. In this speech given after the end of the second World War, Churchill concluded that
|“||We must build a kind of United States of Europe. In this way only will hundreds of millions of toilers be able to regain the simple joys and hopes which make life worth living.||”|
In this speech, Churchill does not comment on his earlier disapproval of British involvement in a European community. Before the second World War, Churchill favoured an isolationist attitude towards continental Europe. On 15 February 1930, Churchill commented in the American journal The Saturday Evening Post that a European Union was possible between continental states but without Britain's involvement:
|“||We see nothing but good and hope in a richer, freer, more contented European commonality. But we have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not compromised. We are interested and associated but not absorbed.||”|
Churchill's was a more cautious approach ("unionist position") to European integration than was the continental approach that was known the "federalist" position. The federalists advocated full integration with a constitution, while the Unionist United Europe Movement advocated a consultative body, and the federalists prevailed at the Congress of Europe. The primary accomplishment of the Congress of Europe was the European Court of Human Rights, which predates the European Union.
Geographically, the term Europe describes one of the world's seven continents.
The word 'Europe' is widely used as a synonym for the European Union, but only 27 of 50 European nations are EU member states. In 2008, bankrupt Iceland announced they adapted the euro as its official currency and voted to apply for the EU.The culturally European but geographically Asian country of Cyprus is an EU member state and there is much debate about Turkey's application for EU membership. The western part of the Russian Federation is in Europe and ethnic Russian culture is undoubtedly European, but it has shown no interest in joining the EU. Other neighbouring eastern European nations such as Ukraine have shown such interest at times but have had little encouragement.
The member states of the European Union do have many common policies within the European Union (EU) and on behalf of the EU that are sometimes suggestive of a single state. It has a common civil service (the European Commission), a single High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, a common European Security and Defence Policy, a supreme court (European Court of Justice — but only in matters of European Union law), a peacekeeping force (Eurofor), and an intergovernmental research organisation (the EIROforum with members like CERN). The euro is often referred to as the "single European currency", which has been officially adopted by sixteen EU countries while seven other member countries of the European Union have linked their currencies to the euro in ERM II. In addition a number of European territories outside the EU have adopted the euro unofficially.
Several pan-European institutions exist separate from the EU. The European Space Agency counts almost all the EU member nations in its membership, but it is independent of the EU and its membership includes nations that are not EU members, notably Switzerland and Norway. The European Court of Human Rights (not to be confused with the European Court of Justice) is also independent of the Union. It is an element of the Council of Europe which, like ESA, counts EU members and non members alike in its membership.
At present, the European Union is a free association of sovereign states designed to further their shared aims. Other than the vague aim of "ever closer union" in the Solemn Declaration on European Union, the Union (meaning its member governments) has no current policy to create either a federation or a confederation. However, in the past, Jean Monnet, a person associated with the EU and its predecessor the European Economic Community did make such proposals. A wide range of other terms are in use, to describe the possible future political structure of Europe as a whole, and/or the EU. Some of them, such as United Europe, are used often, and in such varied contexts, but they have no definite constitutional status.
In the United States of America, the concept enters serious discussions of whether a unified Europe is feasible and what impact increased European unity would have on the United States of America's relative political and economic power. Glyn Morgan, a Harvard University associate professor of government and social studies, uses it unapologetically in the title of his book The Idea of a European Superstate: Public Justification and European Integration. While Morgan's text focuses on the security implications of a unified Europe, a number of other recent texts focus on the economic implications of such an entity. Important recent texts here include T. R Reid's The United States of Europe and Jeremy Rifkin's The European Dream. Neither the National Review nor the Chronicle of Higher Education doubt the appropriateness of the term in their reviews.
The European Union does not include every nation in Europe and there is no consensus among the existing national governments towards becoming even a Confederation. There is also significant internal opposition to the concept in many member states.
The term "United States of Europe", as a direct comparison with the United States of America, would imply that the existing nations of Europe would be reduced to a status equivalent to that of a U.S. state, losing their national sovereignty in the process and becoming constituent parts of a European federation. Just as the United States of America has evolved from a confederation (under the 1777 Articles of Confederation) into a federation, the term "the United States of Europe" might also be used to describe a potential confederation of independent states. Those who oppose and criticize forming a federation or confederation of European states may be termed Eurosceptics; however it should be noted that opposition to the creation of a European federation does not equate with opposition to the European Union or the process of European integration.
Following the negative referendums about the European Constitution in France and the Netherlands, the Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt released in November 2005 his book, written in Dutch, Verenigde Staten van Europa ("United States of Europe") in which he claims - based on the results of a Eurobarometer questionnaire - that the average European citizen wants more Europe. He thinks a federal Europe should be created between those states that wish to have a federal Europe (as a form of enhanced cooperation). In other words, a core federal Europe would exist within the current EU. He also states that these core states should federalise the following five policy areas: a European social-economic policy, technology cooperation, a common justice and security policy, a common diplomacy and a European army.  
The short book is a summing up of the condition the EU 'idea' consequent to the 'No votes' on the European constitution, in referendums held in 2005 in France and the Netherlands. In this book the author enunciates his case forcefully for a stronger federal approach to the economic and political challenges the EU member states will face in the future.
Verhofstadt's book was awarded the first Europe Book Prize, which is organised by the association Esprit d'Europe and supported by former President of the European Commission Jacques Delors. The prize money was €20,000. The prize was declared at the European Parliament in Brussels on 5 December 2007.
Swedish crime fiction writer Henning Mankell was the president of the jury of European journalists for choosing the first awardee. Mankell said, "The jury was sensitive to the political courage showed by the current prime minister of Belgium. In a Europe which has a lot of self doubt, which has a lot of questions about its own future, he offers a clear proposal for the future and gives reasons to believe in European construction."
While receiving the reward Verhofstadt said, "When I wrote this book, I in fact meant it as a provocation against all those who didn't want the European Constitution. Fortunately, in the end a solution was found with the treaty, that was approved." 
The United States of Europe is widely hypotheticised, fictionalised, or depicted as a superpower as powerful as or more powerful than, the United States of America. Some people such as T.R. Reid, Andrew Reding, and Mark Leonard, among others, believe that the power of the hypothetical United States of Europe will rival that of the United States of America in the 21st century. Leonard cites seven factors: Europe's large population, Europe's large economy, Europe's low inflation rates, Europe's favourable climate, Europe's central location in the world, the unpopularity and perceived failure of American foreign policy in recent years, and certain European countries' highly developed social organization or quality of life (when measured in terms such as hours worked per week and income distribution) Some experts claim that Europe has developed a sphere of influence called the Eurosphere.
Herbert W. Armstrong of the Radio Church of God (later renamed Worldwide Church of God), had prophesied the coming of a United States of Europe before the close of WWIII, and he later went so far as to name the German conservative politician Franz Josef Strauß as its future dictator. (Strauß had written a book titled The Grand Design, in which he set forth his views of the future of Europe). Strauß seemed to play along with this portrayal, by becoming a guest of Armstrong in 1971 in his home and at his Ambassador College campus in Pasadena, California where he even agreed to appear on The World Tomorrow television programme. According to a document written by Armstrong in 1983, he became lasting friends with Strauß, but he could not understand why Strauß had returned the friendship.
Carole Carlson, identified in print as C. C. Carlson, is a professional writer and ghostwriter "coauthoring" many books in print. In 1970, when scandals began to rock the Worldwide Church of God, she teamed up with Hal Lindsey to write a religious best seller called The Late, Great Planet Earth. This book, which sold millions of copies in the 1970s, was made into a movie starring Orson Welles. It followed much of the same prophetic storyline concerning the rise of a powerful state in Europe, as previously told by Herbert Armstrong.
In the fictional universe of Eric Flint's best selling alternate history 1632 series, a United States of Europe is formed out of the Confederation of Principalities of Europe, which was composed of several German political units of the 1630s.
Sci-fi has made particular use of the idea: Incompetence, a dystopian novel by Red Dwarf creator Rob Grant, is a murder mystery political thriller set in a federated Europe of the near-future, where stupidity is a constitutionally protected right. References to a European Alliance or European Hegemony have also existed in episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987 - 1994). In the "Spy High" series of books for young adults, written by A.J. Butcher and set around the 2060s, a united Europe exists in the form of 'Europa' and in Andrew Roberts's 1995 book The Aachen Memorandum details a United States of Europe formed from a fraudulent referendum entitled the Aachen Referendum.
Since the 2000s a number of computer strategy games set in the future have presented a unified European faction along side other established military powers such as the US and Russia. These include Euro Force, a 2006 expansion pack to Battlefield 2, and Battlefield 2142 (also released in 2006, with a 2007 expansion pack). In Battlefield 2142 a united Europe is shown as one of the two great superpowers on Earth, the other being Asia, despite being mostly frozen in a new ice age. The disaster theme continues with Tom Clancy's EndWar (2009) there a nuclear war between Iran and Saudi Arabia destroying the Middle Eastern oil supply prompts the EU to integrate further as the European Federation in 2018. The only game not to make bold claims of full integration is Shattered Union (2005); set in a future civil war in the US with the European Union is portrayed as a peacekeeping force. The video game series WipEout on the other hand makes a clear federal reference without a military element: one of the core teams that has appeared in every game is FEISAR. This acronym stands for Federal European Industrial Science And Research.
The 'United States of Europe' figures as the goal of secret cabals in various conspiracy theories, see Priory of Sion - the cabals apparently preferring to borrow their constitutional structures from the USA.
Conservative Christian apocalyptic/ end time fictional scenarios used to include the ten nation European Union of the eighties as an allegedly 'prophesied' 'future' superpower that serves as the initial power base for the Antichrist before he achieves global domination. As the European Union expanded to include subsequent members far beyond that initial plateau, however, that fictional device fell into misuse.