Saturday, July 17, 2004

It’s not a superstate… honest!

For an organisation that keeps telling us it doesn’t want to become a state, much less a superstate... honest guv, the EU is suspiciously keen on acquiring the trappings of one.

There is the flag, the national anthem, the constitution, the common external border, the common government, the embassies, the common law book, the passport, the driving license, the single European sky, the single European fishing boat (the last one left) and the parliament… to name but a few things.

But now the ultimate recognition is close to hand as the EU conquers cyberspace. It is to have its own country identify for registering domain names and e-mail addresses. The humiliation of having to add the suffix .int after .eu (as in, which denotes an international organisation) is nearly over.

By the end of the year, internet users will be able to register domain names ending just with the .eu, without having to add the .int, a facility previously afforded only to independent countries.

The idea is, of course, to give "a specifically European aspect to websites and email addresses" and anyone so inclined can now apply to register a domain name or e-mail address to which this treasured symbol of nationhood is attached. At least now we will know who the enemy is.

But, of course, just because the EU has acquired yet another symbol of nationhood does not mean it is a state, much less a superstate. How could you possibly think that?

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