Anybody who has played (or watched their children play) life-simulation computer games, such as “SimCity” or “The Sims”, will know how engrossing they can be.
Countless hours are spent creating an intricate synthetic world, be it a house or a whole city, inventing characters that speak a nonsense tongue known as Simlish, controlling their actions and sometimes visiting disaster upon them.
A similar craze is gripping Brussels: call it SimEurope.
Guido Westerwelle and Radek Sikorski, the foreign ministers of Germany and Poland, have spent much of this year locked away with nine colleagues (almost all boys) engaging in make-believe.
This week they revealed the fruits of their “Future of Europe Group”. It is a world that includes an elected European president, a more powerful European foreign minister, a European border police and perhaps even a European army. The British spoilsports were not invited.
Just a few days earlier, José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, gave his annual “State of the Union” address and spoke of a future “federation of nation-states”, a notion he has repeated in countless op-ed articles since.
Mr Barroso has thus revived the term coined by his predecessor, Jacques Delors, but has not explained what he means by it. He says only that he will present some proposals by 2014.
Charlemagne: SimEurope | The Economist
I Bryssel i dag startar Sverige ihop med Polen, Italien och Spanien ett arbete med att utforma en global strategi för Europa
Vårt uppdrag till de fyra tankesmedjorna är därför unikt ambitiöst:
Det handlar för första gången om att börja ta ett helhetsgrepp på hur Europa och den Europeiska unionen ska förhålla sig till resten av världen.
Tillsammans vill vi fyra utrikesministrar nu ge ny kraft åt Europa som en freds- och frihetsunion
Carl Bildt, DN Debatt 23 juli 2012