[Tagging] Should admin_level=1 tag be applied to EU?

Colin Smale colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Thu Jul 30 12:33:01 UTC 2020

On 2020-07-30 14:02, Frederik Ramm wrote:

> Hi,
> On 30.07.20 13:32, Colin Smale wrote: 
>> The EU is «composed-of» whole member states. It has all the attributes
>> of a governmental administrative body - with the executive, parliament
>> and justicial branches impacting citizens directly.
> To me as a citizen of a EU country it does not feel like the EU is a
> higher-level administrative body than the country. Yes, countries have
> decided to contractually transfer some rights and responsibilities to
> the EU but that doesn't (in my mind) mean the EU is some form of
> super-state. Quitting the EU if you don't like it is much easier than
> seceding from a country.

Ask the Brits how easy it is to leave... 

You might not like it, but the EU is already a super-state that acts as
one, with a federation of states below. I know the whole idea of a
"United States of Europe" and a formal federal constitution is toxic,
but basically we are already there. What is left to do is to remove the
opt-outs and other exceptional treatment afforded to certain states. 

> I would prefer to map the EU as a contract than as an administrative
> boundary. There are many such contracts around the world, where smaller
> countries pool their defense or other typically national capabilities,
> and I would not be surprised if there were situations where countries
> pool their defense with one group, and their currency with another.
> Mapping these things as "areas on the map" is old-style cartographic
> thinking. We can do better than that.

The EU has laws with direct effect, which override national laws. This
pooling of capabilities you refer to would not have any laws of its own
- only treaties between countries, which may implement certain measures
in their national laws as a consequence. The EU is not like that, it has
its own laws, that our representatives get to vote on. 

On the other hand, if you are actually questioning the inclusion of
administrative boundaries in OSM as a basic principle, that would be a
different can of worms entirely. 

> Even *if* a boundary was mapped, it would probably more pragmatic to map
> the outer boundary of the Schengen region than the outer boundary of the
> EU states.

The Schengen region is DEFINITELY not an admin boundary..... It does not
actually exist in a tangible form, only as EU law and treaties of
association on paper. It covers only part of the EU, and several non-EU
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