Apologies to nationalistic Belgians, but magazine writer Morgan Meis hasn't really found many out there. In fact, there seems to be so few that the Belgian National Holiday passed by several months ago with "little fanfare," and the only people who paid attention were those were looking for an "excuse" to take the day off.
Which leads Meis, in a essay published last month in The Smart Set, to a logical conclusion: Belgium isn't really an obvious candidate to be a unified state, so why not just dissolve it into the larger European Union? It doesn't even need to happen overnight: "It could take two or three nights." Here's why Belgium, in particular, is a good fit for dissolution:
It can be difficult, in Belgium, to find anyone who simply identifies as Belgian without immediately qualifying that Belgianness with other linguistic or geographical markers. That's not to say people do not try. I've spoken to many people in both the North and the South who want to believe in Belgium. They are understandably annoyed with the rhetoric of division and the finger pointing that goes back and forth between Flemish and Wallonian Belgium. But asked to define that greater Belgian identity, they are often at a loss.
And why being absorbed into the larger E.U. might not be such a bad idea:
You may recall that there is a new transnational entity in the world. It is called the European Union. As a political experiment, it is every bit as scary and exciting as the project the old boys put together in Philadelphia lo those many nights ago at the end of the 18th century. The dream of the EU, the insane proposition of it all, is that a collection of nation states that spent centuries mired in division and war can come together in peace and cooperation. All of them. No real borders. Economic integration. Political unity.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.