The European Union, a collection of 27 nations throughout Europe politically united to function as a single unified economic market, announced plans to officially disband as of January 1, 2013, and revert to the agrarian economy and lifestyle that defined the continent for centuries before the Industrial Revolution. Formally established in 1995, in recent years the EU has stumbled while wading through the ongoing morass generated by the worldwide economic downturn. Countries from Greece to Ireland have found themselves teetering on the brink of economic collapse, and the ennui came to a head Friday with member nations of the unified Europe unanimously voting to end the experiment.
"They say, 'if it isn't broken don't fix it.' The European Union was just the latest in generations of such misguided attempts," said European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. "Pre-industrial Europe dominated the world; for centuries it was the only place in Earth to find boats that sailed more than a few kilometers. But it's a young man's game, so to speak. Maybe it's time we turn to Asia, up-and-comers like Japan and China, to look for the new big thing. We don't really do digital here."
It is expected that Europe will have little trouble making a speedy transition due to the total lack of infrastructure required to collectively refocus hundreds of millions of workers into a kind of contemporary serfdom.
"Think of it as an amalgamation of modern feudalism and socialism," said United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron, who was instrumental moving the legislation through the European Commission which serves as the EU executive body. "Mother England intends to march back to the front of the line and lead the continent in all facets of farming as well as industries from hunting and logging to leather tanning and iron smelting. We will party like it's 999, I do believe the tune declares," Prime Minister Cameron chuckled.
A number of international experts fear that shifting 27 First World nations into stable economies that rely primarily on agriculture for support and sustenance will be more difficult than the Europeans think. Economists from the United States, the EU's biggest trading partner, say the planned societal shift will have a cascading effect, stifling the slow worldwide financial recovery.
"Regardless of their [current economic struggles], reforming a 21st Century global power away from educated, urban, information-based societies all the way back to cultural infancy is a large step in the wrong direction," warned US Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner.
But by all accounts the EU member nations remain convinced and committed to the idea that their answer to global warming, religious extremism, global food shortages, and more, lies in the superiority of a simpler rural life.
"It worked before, it will work again," former French President Nicolas Sarkozy said confidently from London, England, shortly after the EU's termination was officially announced on Friday. "And who can honestly say they ever liked going to the dentist?"