The Context: The Eutropian Federation and Eutropolis
|The name "Eutropia"
has been used for centuries to describe a particular geographical region;
however, it has only recently come to refer to the political Federation
of which the individual nation-states are now members.
Eutropia has a very long history of human settlement and migration; over the centuries, many different ethnic and religious groups have come to the region, and most have brought with them their own language, life-style and belief system. Over time, progressively larger political and social institutions have evolved, resulting eventually in the nation-states of the 19th and 20th centuries. In the late 20th century, motivated by the expectation of significant economic benefits, the nations began to put aside their long-standing mutual enmities and joined together to form a single economic market.
Now, in the early years of the new Millennium, the nations of Eutropia are, strictly speaking, both economically and politically united. One of the clearest expressions of this unification so far has been the introduction of a common currency, the eutro.
Before its introduction in the 1990s, many Eutropians were worried about the economic consequences the change to a single currency might bring. They were also reluctant to trust the decisions made by the then-new Eutropian Parliament and Council, partly because both institutions seemed so far removed from daily life. For many citizens, the importance and interrelationships of the various governmental agencies and organizations were unclear and to a large extent, they remain so today, despite the progress made in developing a constitutional framework for the Federation.
The situation was further complicated by the economic and social dislocations of the late 20th century. These were caused by a number of massive structural shifts: the transition from industrial to post-industrial (high-tech) economies, which brought with it intolerably high levels of structural unemployment; the rapid growth of competing economic alliances in the world's other regions; an influx of economic and political refugees from poorer, often war-torn nation-states; and an exodus of highly trained, innovative young people who found life in Eutropia stifling.
As elsewhere in the world, political dissent has a long tradition in the Eutropian Federation. To a certain degree, the multi-party political systems found in the member countries institutionalize dissent by providing avenues for different views to find expression. In addition, political protests and acts of civil disobedience are accepted by those in power if sometimes unenthusiastically as an inherent feature of democratic systems.
Throughout history, however, groups have occasionally emerged in member countries whose political agendas include goals which are diametrically opposed to the underlying economic or political values and principles on which the host country's system is based, and who resort to violent means in an attempt to realize these goals. These groups rarely enjoy broad popular support outside their home area and thus have little chance of achieving their goals; thus they pose a limited threat to the Federation as a whole. Nevertheless, they are a persistent irritation. They tend to be very close-knit, highly motivated and dedicated cadres and are difficult to infiltrate. Thus, law enforcement and intelligence-gathering agencies often spend many years trying to put an end to their activities.
In recent years, global terrorist networks have also become a major concern to those responsible for guaranteeing security within the Eutropian Federation. For a number of years, international terrorist cells have used various member countries as a safe haven for fund-raising, recruiting new members, and planning and launching terrorist activities directed at non-Federation countries. More recently, a series of bombings in Northland and Calderland have been linked to international terrorists.
Eutropia in the New Millennium
Despite these challenges, the
Council of Ministers and Parliament of the Eutropian Federation want Eutropia
to continue to grow together, economically, politically, socially and
culturally. They are convinced that a truly Eutropian citizenry can only
develop when Eutropia's citizens begin to see themselves as Eutropians
in a political sense. At the same time, the goal of "Eutropianization"
must not be cultural and political homogeneity gained at the cost of Eutropia's
richly diverse heritage. On the contrary, all of these identities must
continue to find expression in the Eutropia of tomorrow. The road to political unification is long the Federation still lacks a constitution, and much of the real power still rests with the Eutropian Commission rather than the democratically elected Parliament. However, there are signs that on some international issues, the Federation is beginning to act as a single entity.