The United European States, 2044

A Glance into the Future

European Commission Flags, © LIBER Europe CC Licence

Following the attempt by the former United Kingdom to leave the Great European Project during the period 2016-2019, now known as the ‘Failed Rebellion’, the Guardians of The Project seized the opportunity to accelerate features of The Project that had previously been vetoed or deliberately hampered by the non-believers. Great strides were taken in a very short time despite small pockets of rebellion which were quickly quashed through financial and other control measures as well as the occasional deployment of the New European Army to any trouble spots. Occasionally, it became necessary to move some of the more troublesome rebels to Centralised Control Centres (anecdotally known as being ‘Triple C’d’) where former citizens remained until deemed fit for return to European society; this usually took several years if they survived. Many died from a mysterious illness that swept through many of the centres in 2025 – 30. This medical mystery still has not been solved despite great efforts by the experts in our European Health System.

The Individual Finance Mechanism (IFM – the UES does love its three-letter acronyms (TLAs)) was the bedrock of the new UES society. After the full implementation of the cashless society model first fully trialled in the former Sweden, it was decided that it would be adopted throughout the UES. This ensured that financial crime was impossible as the UES Finance Control Centre (FCC) in Frankfurt was aware of the movement of all money at all levels and therefore ensured that all correct and appropriate taxes were paid. Initially, individual credit and debit cards continued to be used but fraudulent use became a bigger problem than had previously existed so the system moved to fingerprint technology. Of course it was unforeseen that ‘fingernapping’ became a common method of using someone else’s severed finger to steal their identity and the forearm implant was adopted. Short-term overdrafts to citizen’s credit accounts became a thing of the past and loans became almost unnecessary. Essentially, if you didn’t have sufficient credit for an item or activity, you couldn’t have it unless you applied for a long-term credit loan which was deducted from your credit account each week, with interest determined by the UES FCC. Of course, initially, some citizens who successfully took out loans found themselves without enough credit to pay for food and housing so were moved to smaller units and survived on a reduced food allocation until the debt was repaid. Credit loans are much rarer than they were in the early 21st century. From 2027, the FCC implemented a mandatory charity donation of 10% of gross income direct to a charity of your choice. The list of available charities was maintained by the FCC and all donations to all charities were closely monitored for any indications of fraud or malpractice by a member of the UES Supreme Senate, appointed as head of each approved charity.

In order to fight the growing epidemic of obesity, the UES developed and implemented the Individual Food Allocation (IFA – I did tell you the UES likes TLAs). Far from being what some initially described it as rationing, it provided a healthy and balanced diet providing all the nutrition a citizen would need according to their occupation. Of course, occasional supply problems brought about by inefficient and ineffective non-UES workers in other countries does mean that some items are sometimes not available. Reduced food allocation for anti-UES behaviours is frequently used in order to educate citizens who transgress away from the desired lifestyle path. All IFAs are delivered to citizen’s homes on a weekly basis as all types of shops are a thing of the past with payments automatically deducted from citizen’s credit accounts. The centralised delivery system was trialled throughout former states throughout the early 21st century with a surprisingly huge take-up by the majority of the population without any resistance whatsoever and is now regarded as one of the greatest successes of early UES policies under the then management of the European Union. Centralised distribution warehouses located in regional centres manage and control all aspects of citizen’s needs, including food, approved clothing, UES-standard furniture, electrical and other items.

The housing of citizens underwent radical reform in the early 2020s. Merkel’s Great Migration (named in honour of its creator) of the 2010s did initially cause some problems with housing unit allocation. The migration from Africa and other world regions into the UES was initially resisted but the financial control measures and occasional use of the New European Army resulted in new Europeans being successfully and widely distributed throughout the UES. The taking into UES ownership of all private housing units and the subsequent distribution according to need was developed from an idea put forward by Senior UES Commissioner John McDonnell when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer (later Supreme Chancellor) of the former United Kingdom. Housing units that were occupied by the correct number of citizens according to house size continued to be occupied as previously, but there were some changes in order to allocate units according to need. This measure was resisted by former home owners initially, especially by older citizens and those with units larger than they required, but those who resisted soon came to acquiesce to the policy when their Community Service Charges were significantly increased to take account of the fact that they were occupying a unit greater than their needs. In order to prevent unnecessary disruption, citizens retained the right to limit unit moves to no more than once each year if the number of citizen occupiers changed. The design of new housing units was formally changed in 2025 across the entire UES. Gas was no longer supplied to any units with electricity being the only energy input. New generation smart meters not only controlled the allocation to units but automatically debit citizen’s credit accounts at intervals of 15 minutes according to the varying charge scale. Electricity use at peak-usage times and for long periods attracts significantly larger charges in order to combat the ever-growing threat of climate change. If there is insufficient credit in a citizen’s credit account, the smart meter will automatically cut supply to the unit until the account has sufficient funds.

The adoption and mandatory imposition of the Social Score System (SSS) developed from the Chinese Social Credit System introduced in 2018. The use of facial recognition technology initially trialled in the London area of the former United Kingdom during 2018 and 2019 was deemed an absolute success and this, along with the Personal Identification Microchip Implants (PIMI’s) which were trialled throughout the former Sweden from 2015 onwards, formed the basis of the SSS. The vast majority of citizens freely adopted the SSS into their lives and those that initially refused found that sourcing food, water, housing and any form of travel was almost impossible without it. The second stage of the SSS was the adoption of the social credit aspect where a credit score for citizen behaviour where behaviours deemed appropriate for the good and benefit of the UES are rewarded with privileges and anti-UES behaviours result in a poor score and loss of privileges. Loss of privileges could include reduced food allocation, travel bans and a reduction in home energy allocation but it has been found that the vast majority of citizens now voluntarily fulfil their legal obligations.

In order to ensure that all citizens have common access to communications systems, a permanent mobile telephone number is issued when they attain the age of 16. Citizens are free to select and purchase their own UES-approved design of mobile telephone but ownership or use of a telephone system by any other person other than the permitted holder is strictly forbidden. The use of the UES Internet system is permitted once citizens have undertaken Internet browsing training. Usually, this is part of the compulsory element of education beginning at age 11 and lasting for three years with a licence and email address issued on completion of exam at 14. Only UES approved computers are able to connect to the UES Internet system and it is illegal to possess or use any that are not approved.

All cars produced after 2030 were compulsorily fitted with AI technology that automatically switched them to a driverless system when on motorways in order to facilitate traffic flow and reduce the number of RTCs. The system was proven to be a great success and it was quickly developed to allow it on A roads once the necessary roadside technology has been installed. In 2035, cars produced before 2030 were banned from all roads and now only feature on track days for enthusiasts. All approved roads throughout the UES are now ready for the great switchover scheduled to take place next year where all cars will be driverless. In addition, private ownership of cars permitted on public roads will end. Cars can be hired at specific centres throughout the UES but the use of the recently increased mass transit systems is the preferred option for citizen’s movement. If a car is available at a central hire point, payment is via direct debit through Personal Identification Microchip Implants (PIMI’s) and based on mileage.
 

© Mr QM 2019
 

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