One nation, five counties. Check out our cutting-edge* vision for a new map of the continent where it’s croissants for breakfast, sauerkraut for lunch and we’re all neighbours.
When you think about it, we’ve only ourselves to blame for the distinct lack of cohesion between the 50 countries that make up Europe. After all, when was the last time you did your bit and pointed your satellite dish towards Poland, or sent a box of scones to a lonely Estonian trawlerman?
But what we lack in neighbourliness, our forefathers lacked in vision. Those leaders who did see a more unified Europe tended to want to rule the place themselves, and chose the bloody knuckles route. And they totally missed the point. The fact is that if you were to show everyone the “prize”, then there’s not a European alive who wouldn’t want to be part of our new maptweaking deal. Because that prize is beyond belief. The bounty is that New Europe rules the world!
Imagine a Europe that functioned as a single country, the richest on the planet. Imagine a Europe where you could take in amazing beaches, mountain peaks and unspoilt forests, all without ever needing a passport (or paying outrageous tourist taxes). Imagine if New Europe was the new America – only better!
Europe version 2.0. One nation, five counties. It’s unstoppable.
CAESAR’S VISION REBORN!
COUNTRIES: Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, the UK, Ireland, Liechtenstein and Austria.
LANGUAGE: English, but with a Geordie accent (because Rome sounds lovely as “Raumme”).
COUNTY SEAT: Marseille – in the heart of the “county”, and already as cosmopolitan as European cities get.
THE THEORY: As globetrotters go, the country-baggers of Rome took some beating. By AD 117, the Empire had taken over half of Europe and a fat chunk of North Africa, which means a jobbing Roman soldier might have dined on snails one week and couscous the next – much like you now can in Waitrose. Just like Noel and Liam, Rome got a bit cocky and let things slide, but we think Caesar deserves another album, sorry, chance.
THE CASE FOR: Should all but eliminate foreign football riots, and almost certainly force Jamie Oliver’s “Italian” restaurants out of business.
THE CASE AGAINST: It’s 2,400km between northern Scotland and the tip of Italy, which might make it tricky for couriers promising same-day local deliveries, especially those eco-cheapskates on pushbikes.
PURE AND MAGICAL, AND THE WORLD’S LARGEST NATIONAL PARK!
COUNTRIES: Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and if Iceland wants in then Iceland.
LANGUAGE: English, with a Scando accent, yesh? COUNTY SEAT: Gotland, the hard-to-get-to island off the eastern coast of Sweden, nice and slow.
THE THEORY: The US has Alaska, but Americans have to cross Canada to even get there. Here’s a county that trounces anything the Yanks have, and – taking a long hard look at the Big Book of International Stereotypes – every woman in town will beat Sarah Palin in the hotness stakes. The country formerly known as Norway will provide free gas and oil to every home on the condition that all residents make one eighth of their garden available to hibernating bears.
THE CASE FOR: Listen, they’re probably plotting this in Brussels as we speak. Tundratica will give skint Sami people access to all sorts of local grants, and it also makes Denmark feel less of a mapping error. Best of all, it ensures the future wealth of our new country thanks to near-endless natural resources off the Kola Peninsula.
THE CASE AGAINST: Iceland might be a bit of a liability with all those bad debts. Is there anyone out there who can formally shift it to North America?
LAPPED BY THE SEA AND CARESSED BY THE SUN GODS – TRULY PARADISE FOUND.
COUNTRIES: Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, FYROM, Turkey and Cyprus.
LANGUAGE: English again.
COUNTY SEAT: Split, Croatia, but as that’s such an ugly word it will be renamed. Please write in with suggestions.
THE THEORY: Often thought of as the forgotten corner of Europe (have you met a man who’s been to Albania?), this vast swathe on the Med is revitalised by a new-found unity and funding for the world’s longest “lazy river” water ride, which meanders from The City Formerly Known As Split all the way down to Mersin in southern Turkey. At about 1,000 miles long, it embodies Medea’s laid-back way of life, and Europeans get to ride it for free (Americans: €500).
THE CASE FOR: Albania needs a break – their national hero is Norman Wisdom (no, really!), and they failed to win a single medal at the Beijing Olympics, although weightlifter Romela Begaj came in sixth.
THE CASE AGAINST: Greek national pride and, we suspect, political tensions may put a dampener on things. Still, if you don’t try, you get nowhere, right?
MOUNTAINS, FORESTS AND THE GOOD, HONEST HEART OF HEAVY INDUSTRY.
COUNTRIES: Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and the Czech Republic – anywhere where it’s common to see a man with a spade or a moustache.
LANGUAGE: English, naturally.
COUNTY SEAT: Prague – one of the nicest cities in the world, and where the remit of the new, improved Czech Film Commission will be to overtake Hollywood within five years. A hotline to Pinewood Studios in the former England will be mandatory.
THE THEORY: A vast and sprawling county, this is the East Anglia of Europe, where farming and industry merge in perfect harmony and a man with dirt on his hands is greeted like a returning Viking warrior.
THE CASE FOR: While staunchly proud, many of the nations that make up Boris are a bit overlooked in the grander scheme of things. None are really nailing it economically, but we think that a fresh identity – plus the chance to see Tom Cruise and Megan Fox every now and again – is exactly what’s needed.
THE CASE AGAINST: That name might be a bit racist.
NEW EUROPE’S CAPITAL!
LANGUAGE: Gbe (as spoken in western Nigeria).
COUNTY SEAT: Marsaskala.
THE THEORY: People have inhabited Malta for over 7,000 years and, given the damn place is in the middle of nowhere, that’s all the proof we need that it’s worth visiting. Due to it being the capital, the island will soon be swollen to bursting point by holidaying Tundraticans and Romans, and thus require a land bridge – which would keep the Borisians in work for years.
THE CASE FOR: All politicians would be bloody miles from the rest of the country, and the language barrier would make visits from foreign dignitaries as funny and gaffe-prone as if Prince Philip were in charge. It might just put the brakes on Nigerian email scammers, too.
THE CASE AGAINST: Valletta might have something to say about losing its role as Malta’s capital. But Marsaskala sounds like a nice fruity liqueur, and we think the 9,000 people who live there will rise to the challenge.