With all the attention given to the growing unity of Europe, it remains a fact that Europe has not yet fully united. A "United States of Europe" doesn't exist. The beast power has not formed yet.
Europe is in no way ready to challenge the United States militarily. Not even close. The United States, though weakening, is still the most powerful nation on earth today.
Yet Bible prophecy predicts the rising of the beast power and the fall of the United States, probably in less than about two decades. And it is clear that the United States is weakening fast, mostly through economic problems and internal divisions.
I usually resist the temptation to speculate, except in my private thoughts. Not always. Maybe 5% or less of my speculative thoughts about the Church or the world make it into this blog. Like now.
How might a final, strongly unified European Empire form?
I think we can see clues in what has been happening in Greece and other weaker nations of the EU with their budget problems. They basically spend themselves into debt they cannot manage in order to provide "government benefits", or welfare, to the people, more in payouts than they take in in taxes (sound familiar?). And when government tries to cutback welfare spending, the people riot.
So here is a possible scenario.
The stronger nations of Europe, Germany and France for example, which basically have the power to control the Euro, tighten the rules to force smaller, less responsible nations to cut spending. They have to do that or the Euro will be ruined.
Germany will not allow the Euro to go down. It can't afford that. Germany wants a united Europe, and for that to go forward, there must be confidence, confidence in the idea of a united Europe and confidence in one European currency. If the Euro fails, that confidence is permanently damaged or destroyed. No one will be quick to trust the Euro or any other common European currency again, and the very idea of a united Europe will be harder to realize.
So Germany will require nations like Greece to cut welfare spending or leave the Euro-zone, and if they leave the Euro, they will still have to cut spending one way or another.
Now, under current circumstances, the strain may not be too severe. There may be some civil unrest, but it will be manageable.
But if there is a European and worldwide economic crisis, a severe recession or depression triggered, perhaps, by disruption of oil supplies from the Persian Gulf because of a war involving Iran, then hardship in some countries in Europe may reach the breaking point where rioting and internal division outpace the government's ability to manage them.
In that case you could have, in Greece for example, revolution, civil war, anarchy. If that happens, one or more sides may appeal to Europe to help to restore order and end human suffering and death, and Germany could send in the army. This would be a precedent that establishes a central European government, backed by a strong military, which would have real authority - authority backed by force - over individual nations in Europe. And if such an authority is successful, if it restores order, ends suffering, and brings a good result in the eyes of the people, that will tend to establish it firmly and permanently. There will be no going back after that. Independence of individual nations will be lost.