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European sovereignty-loss fears 'amusing'

BRUSSELS, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- European fears of sovereignty loss are "almost amusing," former German Foreign Minister Joseph Martin Fischer said in urging a United States of Europe.

"It's almost amusing to see how Europeans worry about a sovereignty loss (to the EU, while) day by day, we lose it to emerging powers," said Fischer, a founder of a group that seeks to federalize the 27-country European Union so it would be more like the United States.

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"It is no longer Uncle Sam ... but the Chinese old uncles from Southeast Asia" who are stepping in to help Europe with sovereign bond purchases, the EUobserver newspaper quoted him as saying at the European Parliament.

So European countries could, in fact, be losing sovereignty, or supreme, independent authority over their territories, to the world's emerging markets, he said.

Those markets are organizing, creating a free-trade area among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' 10 member states and China a year ago. That area has become the world's largest regional emerging market, statistics indicate.

"To say that Europe is in a bad way would be euphemistic," Daniel Cohn-Bendit, another member of the pro-federalist Spinelli Group said.

The Spinelli Group, founded by former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt in the European Parliament Sept. 15, seeks to create a network of citizens, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, academics, writers and politicians who support a federal and united Europe.

It is named for Altiero Spinelli, a 20th century Italian political theorist who was an early advocate for European integration.

"Federal" is used in Europe to describe those who favor a common government, with distributed power at regional, national and supranational levels. Most European federalists want this development to continue within the EU.

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