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This map premiered on the pages of UK’s Guardian newspaper this weekend.
Welcome to the bright future of Europe. The year is 2022, five years after the (what future historians would refer to as) Great European Schism, ending the dream of European political and economic unity. Sounds shocking? Well, it shouldn’t. There is a law in history stating that Europe can never be truly united. It always splits in the middle like bacteria yearning for propagation. The Eastern and Western Roman Empires, the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, the Communist East and the Capitalist West – each of those were a result of a failure to unify the continent, politically or spiritually. 2022 is the time when the dissolution of today’s Europe becomes final.
The gays will get tired of the Pope’s homophobia and invade Rome to shut his mouth. He will be forced to learn samba.
The current Eurozone will shrink to a federation-like entity called Merkelreich and will include Germany, France, Austria and Luxembourg. Italy, Spain and Belgium will split into different smaller countries, out of which Spain’s Basque regions, Belgian Wallonia and Northern Italy will retain the Euro and join the Merkelreich.
Spain will disintegrate and Galicia and Extremadura will join Portugal to form a new country called Portugalicia. Andalusia
and Murcia will form a single state in the south which is labelled “Sleepy Hollow”. Castile, Spain’s central region, will transform into the new Vatican. Most of the truly devout Catholics live there even today, so it would be only natural for the Catholic church to relocate completely. The rest of Spain will go to the Catalan Empire, which will be politically under the influence of Merkelreich.
Italy will shrink to what is today the southern part of the Apennine Peninsula. Sicily will become Europe’s Alcatraz, where the most hopeless criminals are deported for life; Sardinia will simply be a resort destination with relaxed laws, where people from Central and Northern Europe will go once a year to relax a little bit from their busy lives. The region around Rome will be under gay occupation because at some point all gay people will get tired of Pope Benedict’s homophobic remarks and will invade the city to shut his mouth forever. He will spend a year under house arrest and will be forced to learn samba. After that, he will escape to Spain, where the New Vatican will be proclaimed.
The Second Kalmar Union will officially have 3 kings, 3 queens and a single royal bedroom.
The Western Mediterranean will be renamed German Nudist Sea because given the extreme prosperity of Merkelreich, there will be even more German tourists visiting. Because of their superb financial discipline and devotion to saving, no German citizen will ever buy a bathing suit, which will be considered just a frivolous Anglo-Saxon accessory.
Belgium will split, or more accurately, fail to unite and Flanders will finally join the Netherlands, which will drop the Euro just because the Dutch won’t like the Merkelreich idea. They will continue to be the Courthouse of the world and their judicial ambitions will take them even further, turning them into a nation of lawyers, who will offer their services across the continent. Legal services will constitute more than 50% of Dutch exports and form a significant part of their GDP.
Because Eurozone leaders will finally realize they suck at banking, the European Central Bank will be relocated to Switzerland, which with its unique financial expertise, will become closely integrated with Merkelreich, although retaining its independence.
The new capital of Merkelreich will be Paris. It will be officially renamed to Neuberlin.
Hungary will become an empire and Viktor Orban – its first emperor. His daughter will marry Prince Harry.
To the North, the Scandinavian countries will finally unite merging their royal families together in some form of Scandinavian marriage concept in which people are allowed to marry as many individuals as they want. The new country will be called the Second Kalmar Union and will officially have 3 kings, 3 queens and a single royal bedroom. Finland and Iceland will enter the union as dominions of Sweden and Denmark respectively. Because they aren’t monarchies, they won’t be represented in the ruling family.
The remains of the European Union as it is known today will include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria and Macedonia. The latter one will be allowed to enter mainly because Greece will be forced out, therefore it’s going to keep its original name. This European Union will expand further to the East, including Belarus and Ukraine and Moldova. It will also include Vojvodina, which will split from Serbia because the Hungarian and Romanian minorities there will get frustrated by all the protraction with Serbia’s bid to join the EU.
The capital of the European Union will be Warsaw, which will be a homage to the late Warsaw Pact and the Communist Comecon.
There will be 3 officially neutral buffer states in Central Europe, between Merkelreich and the European Union. First, the Czech, who always insist on doing things their own way, will finally drop their EU ambitions. Next, the authoritarian tendencies in Hungary will deepen and lead to its exclusion from the EU. At a later date, it will be transformed into an empire with Viktor Orban as its first emperor. His daughter will marry Prince Harry.
Scotland will vote for independence and become a republic just to piss off David Cameron. When he is finally driven to insanity, they will return to the crown.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro will merge in one common chaotic state called Serbia and Herzegovina, where nothing will ever be certain, pretty much like it is today.
Albania will annex Kosovo and both will continue to be the poorest countries in Europe.
To the South, Turkey will remain the constant EU candidate. Greece will go totally bankrupt, financially but also morally and that would lead to its colonization by China. Greek people will be forced to produce cheap statues for the booming luxury property market in China and Southeast Asia.
The Eastern Mediterranean will be renamed South Chinese Sea because together with Greece, a large part of the states in Northern Africa will also either fall into the Chinese sphere of influence or become actual colonies.
On the British Isles, the UK will finally split in two when Scotland votes for independence and becomes a republic just to piss off David Cameron. At a later date when Cameron is finally driven to insanity, they will return to the crown once again but remain an independent country. Ireland will tear itself apart between the desire to remain closely associated with Merkelreich and the desire to retain its associations with the UK. That will result in a stalemate and the status of the country will be undefined. On paper, it will be part of the Eurozone but in reality, it will be ruled separately. Angela Merkel will officially pursue a “Two Systems, One State” policy but the UK will oppose it.
That’s pretty much how Europe will look like 10 years ahead. On a larger scale, the continent will be dominated by 2 superpowers – Merkelreich and Russia, which will heavily influence the European Union. (Edit: Just saw a suggestion on Zerohedge for a new title, Gazpromia, which is even better). The UK will be isolated on the periphery of the continent at least until the personal union with Hungary comes in effect about 20 years later. Then, only God knows what will happen. :)
Behind the Scenes
I don’t remember exactly how I got the idea to make a satirical map of a future Europe but It was around the time when the Greek crisis went through one of its unexpected twists. There was a lot of talk about collapse and I thought it would be funny if I make a map on which Greece is totally missing with a note on it’s place saying Disassembled and transported to China’s art museums. I left the initial sketch to marinate on my hard drive and never looked back until I started discussing a possible publication with the Weekend team from the Guardian. They wanted to write an article about my Mapping Stereotypes project and asked if I had a new map that could premiere in the newspaper. I had two planned, the future Europe being one of them, but none was actually finished. It took me about two weeks to complete them and they finally premiered online on February the 17th.