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

Colin Smale colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Thu Jul 30 14:00:07 UTC 2020

On 2020-07-30 15:05, Alan Mackie wrote:

> On Thu, 30 Jul 2020 at 13:35, Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl> wrote: 
>> On 2020-07-30 14:02, Frederik Ramm wrote: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.

> If this is truly the case then we already have a label for this: admin_level=2 (but see below).

The absolute number of the admin_level is less relevant than the
relative position in the hierarchy. The level for the EU must be above
(i.e. numerically lower) than the level of its members. If the EU comes
in at level 2, then the member states would have to go to level 3 or 4;
as many countries already use these levels, it could cause an avalanche
of changes and cause the tagging in Europe to get unacceptably out of
step with the rest of the world. The EU is a unique construct, so it
should not be surprising if it needs a unique solution in OSM. 

> 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.

EU directives generally have to be transposed into national law by all
the member states. IIRC it is the copy-pasted law that theoretically
holds the power even though the members have all agreed to run
everything through the photocopier. Whether this is a tangible thing or
just a figleaf is for the lawyers to fight over. 

No, it is extremely clear that some EU directives have direct effect,
without any action being required from the member states. 


> 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 territories.

I disagree with this, the agents at the border are very tangible. 

The agents at the border don't work for "Schengen" - they work for their
national organisations. There is no "Schengen" to employ them. What I
meant by tangible was some kind of organisation with people and offices.
It also doesn't have its own rules and regulations - they are now part
of the aquis communitaire. Changes to "Schengen rules" are just EU law
changes like any other. Speaking of border agents, it is actually the
absence of such agents (on the internal borders) that characterises
Schengen; the presence of immigration officers at the outer boundary
just makes it like any "normal" international border. 

(This is why a new EU member state would not have to sign up to Schengen
- it would be automatic on accession. If you wanted an opt-out you would
have to negotiate for that)
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/tagging/attachments/20200730/0b28f08d/attachment-0001.htm>

More information about the Tagging mailing list