polity : What is the "structural" difference between India and the European Union? By structure, I mean the things like economic and political structure.
Here I do not mean the cultural differences. I am interested in other factors such as the centralization or decentralization of powers, freedom of movement, residence permissions etc. Also, are the nations in EU equivalent to the states of India as administrative units? Is EU like a federal republic? What are the similarities and differences?
Answer by Balaji Viswanathan:
For the starters, EU is an association of sovereign nations. India is a sovereign nation.
The Indian government unilaterally decided to split the state Andhra Pradesh. It may make some states go away or create new states. EU cannot make France disappear, nor create a new Spain. It cannot unilaterally decide to split Germany or merge Belgium & Netherlands.
Thelooks like the Parliament of India in structure, but in terms of real powers it has very little. Each nation has its own constitution, legal system, own flag, and own sovereign government.
Germany is sovereign enough to quit the EU at any point of time. No one can stop it from doing that. Also, EU cannot dismiss the elected government of any of the member states.
On the other hand, no state in India is free to quit the union. If Uttar Pradesh wants to quit India for some reason, it has to bear the brunt of the Indian Army. Indian central government has the power to dismiss the UP government and arrest anyone who is looking to take UP out of India.
Where EU looks similar to India is the economic aspects. They have a single currency and pushing for a single market. People can move freely among the member states. Companies can operate freely across the whole system.
EU is a weird hybrid of a multinational organization and a nation. It is in a transitional stage. Many Europhiles want to see EU emerge as a single nation, like the US, but there are a lot more who want EU to be merely a multinational organization along the lines of ASEAN.