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

Alan Mackie aamackie at gmail.com
Thu Jul 30 15:11:37 UTC 2020

On Thu, 30 Jul 2020 at 15:02, Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl> wrote:

> 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.

This is why I suggested that the more practical solution would probably be
to re-tag all existing admin_level=2 with admin_level=1 except for the EU
ones as there are far fewer elements to be updated. Arbitrarily deciding
that the EU gets its own admin_level not used by other top level entities
breaks consistency with the rest of the world for the sake of local pride.

The EU is not the only entity that has arisen by agreement of neighbours to
clump together, in that respect it is only unique in that it is the most
populous one that happens to be doing so at this particular point in time.
Of course every entity is unique in its own special way, but the uniqueness
of individual trees and mountains doesn't stop us from attempting
consistent tagging.

> 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.
> https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=LEGISSUM%3Al14547

>From the link above: " This principle only relates to certain European
acts. Furthermore, it is subject to several conditions."

So only certain things, the rest continue to behave largely as if the
states had developed them individually.

>> 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.

By the first part of this argument: the EU shouldn't be mapped either
because no one works for an organisation named "Lisbon".

By the second: the presence or absence of border agents (or their
facilities) along a border, (or equivalent rules to mandate that travellers
"check in") is arguably stronger for the "on the ground" rule than many of
the political boundaries we have.

The final statement that the "the presence of immigration officers at the
outer boundary just makes it like any "normal" international border" just
emphasises the fact that any tagging of these boundaries should keep them
on a par with those of independent nations and not elevate them into a
unique category.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/tagging/attachments/20200730/3a39862a/attachment.htm>

More information about the Tagging mailing list