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My Kingdom for a Beer?
January 31, 2013 6:54 PM   Subscribe

Heineken's "Eurotopia" The theory behind Heineken’s idea is that a larger number of smaller member-states would be easier to govern within a single European framework than a combination of larger states competing for dominance.
posted by Confess, Fletch (33 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fuck that shit. PABST BLUE RIBBON!
posted by Merzbau at 6:59 PM on January 31, 2013 [12 favorites]


I live in the Kingdom of Coopers. We're rivals with The Land of VB and look down ont he unwashed masses of XXXX.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:02 PM on January 31, 2013


I thought y'all just drank Foster's down there.

*ducks*
posted by Navelgazer at 7:12 PM on January 31, 2013


This is a small part of why I'm an English nationalist.* I want the EU to be a sovereign state at some point in the future, but the UK often makes itself into a hurdle against that. Chopping it up into little bits will weaken its ability to resist.

*Of the civic kind, not the magic sperm/egg kind.
posted by Jehan at 7:18 PM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Brussels is proposed as capitol of Flanders? Isn't that an instant fail?
posted by pompomtom at 7:21 PM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


While an interesting conversation piece, Mr Heineken’s proposal is wildly improbable, as no EU member-state is eager to be dismembered or dissolved for the greater good.

Britain or France seem to have too strong a nationalist thread for the EU to be much more than an economic arrangement — Germany, too, where banking is concerned. But I'd be very curious how the younger generation in these countries see this sort of proposal.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:28 PM on January 31, 2013


Bring back the Confederation of the Rhine!!
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:30 PM on January 31, 2013


I'm amused at how Slovenia is essentially absorbed into Noricum Graz. HERE'S A TOTALLY FAIR ARRANGEMENT, GUYS. WE'LL ABSORB YOU INTO AUSTRIA'S PARTS.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:33 PM on January 31, 2013


Portugal gets its own country, though. Somehow that makes it seem like an even bigger insult to Slovenes. "OH YOU WANNA BE YOUR OWN COUNTRY? TRY COOKING UP SOME MADEIRA, THEN WE'LL TALK."
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:36 PM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Good luck breaking up the "RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE, DÉMOCRATIQUE, UNE ET INDIVISIBLE", especially now that French is almost everyone's first language.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 7:41 PM on January 31, 2013


I love how it's more stratified around the Benelux countries and northern France and Germany, and as you go further out where he clearly knows less about each region it's like - fuckit, let's just keep the foreigners the same. Norway? Who gives a fuck it's all fjords and hipsters. Portuwhat?

Eventually Bavaria's gonna want some lebensraum.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:44 PM on January 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, it's not clear if he wants to undermine nationalism, or to just have bite-size pieces of it. Why do Switzerland and Hungary get to stay the same?
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:50 PM on January 31, 2013


Keeping Portugal together makes sense to me; it's really an historical accident that Castille and Aragon ended up having the same rulers at the right time, and that when the whole peninsula came under a personal union, it was too late and the mortar didn't take.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 7:51 PM on January 31, 2013


Sounds about as sensible yet nonsensical as this proposal to redraw the fifty states of the U.S.A. so that they would have equal population for equal representation in the electoral college.
posted by Apocryphon at 7:54 PM on January 31, 2013


And Portugal is juuuuuust right.
posted by TheTingTangTong at 7:56 PM on January 31, 2013


On the other hand, this shit is NOT going to fly with Corsicans.
posted by TheTingTangTong at 7:58 PM on January 31, 2013


jimmythefish: "I love how it's more stratified around the Benelux countries and northern France and Germany, and as you go further out where he clearly knows less about each region it's like - fuckit, let's just keep the foreigners the same. Norway? Who gives a fuck it's all fjords and hipsters. Portuwhat?"

You're right in general, but Norway has 5 million people, of which 86% are ethnically Norwegian, 2% are Sami, and the rest are "other", and the "others" are very geographically intermingled with the ethnic Norwegians. You could maybe make a case for a state for the Sami, but it would be disproportionately huge geographically, basically a bunch of empty tundra.

So yeah, if Flanders is a country with its 6 million, largely ethnically homogenous inhabitants, then Norway probably is too. Can't speak to the others, though.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:00 PM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it's not clear if he wants to undermine nationalism, or to just have bite-size pieces of it. Why do Switzerland and Hungary get to stay the same?
Those guys are still pissed over Trianon. I think Heineken's plan would make them explode if it didn't.
posted by Jehan at 8:07 PM on January 31, 2013


You're right in general, but Norway has 5 million people, of which 86% are ethnically Norwegian

Look, dude, I don't meant to be patronizing but it's obvious that Sweden, Finland, Norway and Estonia should be stratified by subgenres of heavy metal preference. Visiting malls would be much more pleasant and not all 'Bathory? Again? This is the last time I come to Bed Bath and Beyond!'

Just go ahead and pull your head out of your ass next time. Just try harder. Come on.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:10 PM on January 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


If it weren't for all the numbers and the fancy map, it would sound like an obvious setup for a "divide and conquer" joke.

I guess since Mr. Heineken is no longer with us, maybe we'll never know if there was a good punchline.

(Heineken beer tastes like the smell of old roadkill skunk, and I happen to be drinking some PBR right now, commenter #1. Yup.)
posted by timfinnie at 8:21 PM on January 31, 2013


I'm opposed. Risk already takes to long.
posted by bonehead at 8:40 PM on January 31, 2013


Would the PBR European plan be to make Athens the capital of Europe, because that would be ironic?
posted by tservo at 9:28 PM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


2020 Schleswig-Holstein Hamburg 6.100.000 Hamburg 6.100.000

Schleswig-Holstein? I don't understand.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:52 PM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


If I was European, I'd be reluctant to take advice from people who think that putting beer in green bottles is a good idea.
posted by neckro23 at 11:09 PM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Schleswig-Holstein? I don't understand.

Well, only three people ever did and they're all dead.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:26 PM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm opposed. Risk already takes to long.

Yeah, I was immediately struck by the thought that this would make playing Diplomacy a Hellish nightmare. Even moreso, I mean.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 11:27 PM on January 31, 2013


As a Lombard-Badenwuerttembergian born in Brandenburg and living in Holland-Zeeland, where would I get my passport renewed? It was absurdly complicated the last time I replaced my driver's license, and that was with the current system.
posted by dhoe at 1:07 AM on February 1, 2013


Heh, I saw this coming. Amsterdam-based Heineken is the quintessential "Hollander" company. Holland != The Netherlands, and deep within the Hollander "id" there is the feeling that they would be better off without what they see as peripheral, "ethnic" provinces of the Netherlands outside of its Randstad urban, mostly "Hollander" core (never mind that Calvinistic Frisians and Catholic Limburgers, which are dumped in a single non-Hollander country in this map, don't like each other much).
And, of course, not so deep within the Hollander psyche is also the feeling that what is good for them would also be good for everybody else in Europe if not the world...
posted by Skeptic at 2:31 AM on February 1, 2013


If one was pulling utterly unreachable fantasy maps out of a hat, wouldn't it make sense to partition Switzerland along cantonal lines? The cantons are largely autonomous, with their own languages and customs.

And yes, I can't imagine highly centralised France ever countenancing such a scheme. And this scheme also wouldn't go down well in eastern Europe, where nationalism has been a survival mechanism for centuries. (Few Poles, for one, would consent to having their country partitioned yet again, regardless of how well-meaning the partitioners are.) Federal states like Germany may be easier to convince. (IIRC, some Bavarians were making noises about secession a few months ago; it was largely empty rhetoric about taxes or subsidies or something similar, though backed up by assertions of the distinctness of the Bavarian language/dialect and culture.)
posted by acb at 3:13 AM on February 1, 2013


Yeah, no way you could split up Portugal. As much as Porto and Lisbon hate each other, Lisbon doesn't really want to give up Port and, even if it was a necessary price to get rid of those northerners with their funny accent, it'd still be a huge fight as to who gets the Douro wine valley. (Just as interesting is that Galicians (just north of Portugal) have always contended that they are more Portuguese than Spanish.)

These maps are interesting because it forces you to think about cultures, customs and languages rather than only modern nations. The Cornish in England and the Bretagnes in France probably belong more with each other than either do to their respective country. The Basques in Spain belong with the Basques in France, of course. So, there is a lot of fine-tuning to be made in this map.
posted by vacapinta at 3:40 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


acb, I had just the same thought about Switzerland. At the very least they could split it along the Röstigraben.

As a southern English person with no connection to my partially-Irish ancestry, who is pink and blonde enough never to have encountered the sharp end of nationalism or racism, I have no personal problem with this idea. Split up my country all you like. My identification is on both a larger and a smaller scale (I'm an EU citizen and I come from Southend-on-sea. Pronounced Sarfend, of course). I imagine that wouldn't be the case for lots of people in Ireland, Macedonia, Poland, etc.

Does anyone know more about Heineken's book? I'm on my lunch break so I can't research more myself. Does it seem like it was a serious proposition or more of a thought experiment?
posted by daisyk at 3:48 AM on February 1, 2013


So Northern Ireland is part of the Republic of Ireland now? Good luck with that.
posted by Acey at 5:16 AM on February 1, 2013


It might be worth noting that Freddy Heineken was kidnapped and held for ransom for three weeks in 1982. After his release/ransom, Freddy apparently was never quite the same... One notion he tried to promote was selling beer in square bottles so that they could be used as glass bricks to build houses.
posted by CCBC at 2:02 PM on February 1, 2013


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