If there is proof of the fact that two countries can be quite close, geographically, but at the same time quite distant, historically, that proof can easily be found on the Iberian peninsula. How different can two countries so close to each other be? Well, for starters, they speak different languages and no matter what some may tell you, they do NOT understand each other. The last time Spain and Portugal were part of the same kingdom that kingdom wasn’t even European, nor Christian. They went separate roads quite soon into their histories.
Speaking of history, the two kingdoms were never allies and actually competed with each other in the activity they both invented and perfected: exploration and colonization. 600 years later thankfully that era has ended, but Spain and Portugal, no matter the year, for the most part have kept their distance. But there is something, although unfortunate, that very recently has become a common condition between the two countries: they both suffer greatly for the economic crisis that has been hitting Europe these past years.
What better chance and moment for a union than right now? Although it could seem like it, this is not a thought I came up with. The political minds behind this thought are two parties, one Portuguese and one Spanish (Movimento Partido Iberico and Partido Iberico Íber). The idea? The creation of a federal union between the two countries, an Iberian nation where there will be a sharing of certain costs and burdens, from public transportations and infrastructures to the creation of a central bank. The objective? The economic resurgence of the two countries and, more importantly, an increased importance on the international chessboard.
The Iberian Community of Nations to gain relevance in the European Community. If anything, after the brexit, hearing talks of union instead of division is quite refreshing, but is this really a viable option? It certainly shows an increasing difficulty for some countries to feel involved and relevant into the matters of the EU, given that it seems like it is always the same few that call the shots in the union.
Considering that Spain, as of now, even lacks a government, talking of anything of this proportions seems a little out of place. But it sure gives us a chance to reflect. Many in the EU are feeling left behind and feel less involved and interested in the politics of the union by the hour. If what happened in Britain is of any indication, it might not be too long before other anachronistic and awkward solutions start appearing in Europe.