The European Union finds itself trapped in a reality not unlike the Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Former friends are turning into mortal enemies at a frightening rate.
In fact, the EU is stuck between a rock and a hard place: Russia actively seeks to destabilize the Union from the east, and from the other side of the Atlantic, the Trump administration seems keen to do the same. Ted Malloch, president Trump's pick as U.S. ambassador to the EU (1), has compared the European project to the USSR – and expressed a desire to see it end in a similar way:
“I had in a previous career a diplomatic post where I helped bring down the Soviet Union. So maybe there’s another union that needs a little taming”.
And then there is the UK, which has decided to leave the Union. Some hope (and others fear) that its 'Brexit' is the first of several member state exits from the EU – thus potentially precipitating the end of the Union.
Such a scenario would have sounded impossible just over a year ago (i.e. before the British referendum on Brexit). But perhaps the EU should get ready for some worst-case scenarios. What will come after Brexit? Here is a map of portmanteau descriptions for other member states leaving the Union – some funnier than others.
- If Portugal decides to leave, will it be Abortugal or Departugal? Our money is on the shortest option, Portugo.
- With Geert Wilders' populist politics popular in the Netherlands, a Dutch EU exit has often been pondered in the press. Nexit seems the consensus term so far, but Ditch and Nethermind are a lot more fun.
- Italeave sounds like a winner, much more than Italexit; but Quitaly has a pretty nice ring to it as well.
- If Prague ever votes to leave the EU, the name for it is pretty much guaranteed to be Czech-out.
- The map shows quite a few options for a Polish exit, the best one being Pole-vault.
- France, had Marine Le Pen won the presidential elections earlier this year, would probably have opted for a Frexit. But to give their departure a bit of je ne sais quoi, she could have chosen to call it, a bit more imaginatively, adi-EU (although the French abbreviation is UE), or Fruck-off.
- Could Cyprus ever leave? If they do: Nicoseeya is one of the better names on this map.
- The Romanian suggestions – Bucharrest, Roamania – need some more work.
- The Luxembourg name is a bit hard to decipher. But then the home country of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is one of the most europhile countries in the club, and possibly the least likely to leave. How long before they are the last one left?
Strange Maps #822
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(1) News of Mr. Malloch's candidacy for the job caused strong disapproval from EU officials. He was not appointed, and the position of U.S. Ambassador to the EU remains vacant (as of October 26, 2017) since the resignation of Anthony L. Gardner on January 17, 2017.