a) EU to-day
In the past 60 years, the EU has grown from the European Economic Community (EEC) with 6 countries to an increasingly centralized and much larger Union with (after Great Britain's Brexit) 27 countries, 24 official languages and a market with around 450 Million inhabitants.
"Brussels" (i.e. the Union's political, economic and social elite) - wants to further integrate, centralize and expand the EU:
The need for democratization of the EU is time and again being stressed also in «Brussels». In the focus are a democratically elected EU government instead of the present Commission and an EU Parliament that would be solely responsible for the Union's legislation.
However, this would require a new EU constitution and thus the approval of all member countries. A first attempt at a new constitution (2003-2009) proved to be extremely difficult. In France and the Netherlands, the draft constitution was rejected in national referenda; however, these plebiscites were largely ignored in the Lisbon Treaty, to the dismay of many Europeans.
EU-wide referenda are flatly rejected by "Brussels" (e.g. on fundamental questions such as the division of powers between the EU and its member countries and the admission of new member countries).
The vast majority of politicians in the EU and in its member states are vigorously supporting the Unions' further centralization with the active help of the European Courts of Justice and of Human Rights - but as ever, without the citizens' having a say in referenda.
Referenda would hinder the Union's inevitable integration process, overwhelm its citizens; they are therefore said to be not suitable to solve complex issues at the European leven. Above all, they would significantly reduce Brussels' power and constantly jeopardise its politicians' decisions (see box "Direct and parliamentary democracy").
In the longer term, the EU+ scenario “Business as usual” should, according to many EU politicians, lead to the United States of Europe (USE). As a new global power, they should play an outstanding political, economic and military role in the world.
If the USE really did copy the USA, the EU Commission, its Parliament and its Council would have much more to say in their new role as USE executive (president and government) and legislative (parliament with two chambers) than today .
As in the USA, the European citizens could elect the parliament and possibly the president, who himself could take many important decisions (incl. about war and peace). Europe-wide referenda, however can hardly be expected, if only because the new world power would certainly not want to jeopardize its ability to act in the omnipresent crises.
The alignment of European nations according to the model of the US states would certainly be much more difficult than in the melting pot USA - given the rich diversity of languages, cultures and the widely different history of European countries, e.g. in the colonial period, in the 1st and 2nd World War and in the Cold War.
The USE has to be based on a new constitution, which could in principle be elaborated and put into effect as in 2003/09, at the first attempt to create an EU constitution.
Because of the less than convincing experiences made at that time, and the immense importance of a new European constitution, a more democratic process, including the active participation of citizens would be paramount, in particular to elect a Constitutional council and to ratify the constitution in a referendum in each country (scenario EU*).