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Old 12-12-2002, 09:48 PM   #1
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Expansion of the EU

Warning, European content inside…

As you all might know, the 15 current members of the European Union (EU) are presently having talks in Copenhagen with candidate-members about the terms on which these countries might join the EU. These countries include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia (entering in 2004), as well as Romania, Bulgaria and (Greek-) Cypress (entering 2007). I was wondering what people over here at interference might think about the expansion of the EU and if you agree on the terms on which the candidate-members are allowed to join (and the ones on which they want to join). I would especially be interested in what people from those countries think about the entire situation (U2girl?).

Personally, I am slightly worried about the entire expansion drift. I don’t think it’s a very good idea to start expanding such a young organisation at this point because even the current members are far from operating together as a well oiled piece of machinery. I also have my doubts about the candidate’s ability to tackle their problems concerning regulation reforms, corruption and the judicial system (to name but a few…) before 2004 and/or 2007. And we all know how any union which has too many members, i.e. different interests, becomes unworkable (for instance UN and NATO).

On the other hand, the expansion of the EU opens new pathways for companies to invest in these relatively underdeveloped countries (underdeveloped in the sense of the economical situation), creating more jobs and spreading wealth. And a fulltime membership would mean more cooperation with the current members which would make it easier to handle the aforementioned problems with regulation reforms etc. It would also fulfil the dream a lot of people are having about one Europe.

Any thoughts...?
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Old 12-13-2002, 03:41 PM   #2
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I'm generally in favour of EU expansion, even though it will mean that EU money will be more thinly spread. I think its right that more countries should be able to have the benefits of EU membership. I'm also in favour of Turkey joining when they meet the criteria for entry.

I noticed the US were pushing for the EU to accept Turkey's entry, trying to use the occasion for gaining allies for their warmongering policies. I wasnt aware the US were even in the EU
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Old 12-13-2002, 04:02 PM   #3
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Turkey got the hind teat.
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Old 12-13-2002, 04:50 PM   #4
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NATO expansion has been very effective and I think EU expansion will succeed on an even greater level.

On a different subject matter, yep, defending lives and ensuring international security is definitely warmongering, sure.
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Old 12-13-2002, 05:32 PM   #5
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I think it could hurt financially - are there requirements to being in the EU?

Quote:
Originally posted by DrTeeth
Warning, European content inside…

*stops reading*
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Old 12-13-2002, 05:54 PM   #6
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I love Europe. I have always been in love with the concept of Europe, and I hope it only gets stronger.

However, I do not agree with allowing Turkey into this at all.

Vive l'Europe!

Ant.
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Old 12-14-2002, 04:45 PM   #7
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Re: Expansion of the EU

Hello,

I was away from my computer for a couple of days and suddenly an interesting topic comes up. Oh well, I see it's not too late. Anyway...

Quote:
Originally posted by DrTeeth
Personally, I am slightly worried about the entire expansion drift. I don’t think it’s a very good idea to start expanding such a young organisation at this point because even the current members are far from operating together as a well oiled piece of machinery. I also have my doubts about the candidate’s ability to tackle their problems concerning regulation reforms, corruption and the judicial system (to name but a few…) before 2004 and/or 2007. And we all know how any union which has too many members, i.e. different interests, becomes unworkable (for instance UN and NATO).
This is a very good point. Basically, I wholly support other European countries to become a part of the EU. It brings stability and better economic performance to the region. But the Union has to have its organisation in order. And I think there's still a lot lacking in that respect.
The 'decision' issue still hasn't been resolved. At this moment all decisions are made by an unanimous vote. For 12 or 15 countries this works well (12 for the Euro-countries). With 25 countries it's more likely to be unworkable. So every country will have some votes and decisions will be made by majority, in whatever definition of a majority. But AFAIK, there still isn't any decision how the decision process is going to be. Many 'smaller' countries are quite fearful that the big countries will have too much to say under the new process, thus basically hijacking the Union where the 25 members are controlled by 5 or so countries.

Another big issue is finance. At this moment half of the EU budget is going to agricultural subsidies (with France being one of the main receivers of these subsidies). When 10 new countries join the EU, countries which are poorer than most of the current countries, then they'll demand a share of these subsidies. And I don't blame them for it, I think the rules should be the same for all countries. And these rules have to change. IMO, it's unheard of that the EU is giving all these subsidies and protecting their own market while a large part of the world (Africa, Asia and South-America) cannot export their agricultural products to the EU, either because of tariffs or because they cannot compete with the subsidised EU products. Making trade fair will be a much better way to attack the poverty in those regions than giving even more devopment help. But no, France does not want to reform its agricultural system as it wants to suck as much money out of the EU as possible, thereby blocking many necessary reforms.

This is the main reason I'm a bit sceptical about the new expansion. I think those countries should join, but you have to welcome them in a system that is workable.

As for Turkey, I haven't made up my mind yet. On the one hand I think they're not an actual part of Europe (well, Istanbul is, but everything on the other side of the Bosporus technically belongs to Asia/the Middle East). On the other hand, they are the bridge between Europe and the Middle East and are quite 'European'. But they still have a long way to go with political and social reforms before their system is compatible with the European.

Oh, and Lily, possible member states do not have to pay to the EU for membership. At least, not directly as an entrance fee or something like that. But they do have to have a certain level of economic prosperity, democratic politics, certain policies in place etc. The EU has a large document with requirements for the different applicants. We're talking about thousands of pages. These requirements cover many, many, many subjects. From abolishing any protectionist measures against goods from other EU members to the testing of the safety of toys, etc. Basically, these requirements ensure that possible member states are compatible with the EU, so there is no conflict in laws and procedures. By setting these standards everyone knows how to value what comes from a EU member state.

C ya!

Marty
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Old 12-16-2002, 02:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Anthony
However, I do not agree with allowing Turkey into this at all.
why not?
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Old 12-16-2002, 04:17 PM   #9
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Well, for many reasons. My main concerns are concentrated around Turkey and their appalling human rights record, and the insufficient efforts in order to improve such. Time and time again they have demonstrated how absolutely backward their government is when it comes to human rights - by principle, they should not be allowed in. They should not be allowed just because of that, and the fact that Bush is pressing for Europe to let them in should make Europe assert their own authority when it comes to choosing who is to be allowed in. As President Chirac noted, it is NOT up to the US president to decide who should be let in the EU. Tony Blair's attempts at paving the way for Turkey is just another example of this wretched lapdog relationship.

To me, its not a question on why Turkey shouldn't be let in, its a question of WHY in the first place? Of course, the policy that 'the more the merrier' has been going round for a long time, much to the detriment of the EU. I do believe in the European expansion, having said that, but I do believe Europe should be careful on who it lets in. A more selective approach to matters would be more helpful and fruitful, and I believe that letting Turkey enter, Non European Turkey might I add, is both uneccessary and wreaking of political correctness.

Also, I believe this will create even MORE political tension between Europe and Muslim countries. Should Turkey be allowed to enter the EU, we will soon have Lebanon and Morocco asking why they aren't allowed to enter, and who knows where this will take matters.

I do not see Turkey bringing anything into the EU, except racial tension, and intergrating EU policy with American Foreign policy. Though I am not labelling American Foreign policy as something negative, I am merely stating that I feel EU policy is something separate and actually not within American jurisdiction and rightfully so. No one likes seeing either parties taking orders from each other.

Ultimately, Turkey isn't even IN Europe.

Ant.
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Old 12-16-2002, 05:07 PM   #10
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My sisters company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, has a new chart in this weeks Economist called "the EU enlargement barometer"

The countries, EU members or hopefuls, are ranked on an index of four characteristics: macroeconomic stability, ecojnomic structure, infrastructure and integration with the rest of Europe. A single number is produced which the "Index of suitability to be an EU member based on the above factors. Here are the results:

CURRENT EU MEMBERS

Luxembourg 2.7
Sweden 1.8
Netherlands 1.75
Denmark 1.7
Finland 1.7
Belgium 1.65
Spain 1.63
Ireland 1.6
Britain 1.6
Austria 1.5
Germany 1.45
France 1.4
Portugal 1.35
Italy 1.15
Greece 1.0

CURRENT EU HOPEFULS

Slovenia 1.45
Czech Republic 1.15
Hungary 1.15
Estonia 1.0
Poland 1.0
Malta 1.0
Cyprus .95
Slovakia .7
Latvia .7
Lithuania .4
Romania .2
Bulgaria .05
Turkey 0.0

As you can see from the above chart, EU hopefuls Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Poland, and Malta are already ahead of or equal to the EU member GREECE! Cyprus, Slovakia, and Latvia are about to catch Greece. The only countries I'd be concerned about adding to the EU are Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.

Lets not forgot that many of these countries are NATO members and all ready have very similar foreign policies to the USA because of this long term and continuing relationship. While there is definitely overlap, when looking at foreign security policy, NATO is the organization to look at rather than the European Union which is more involved with economic policy than security. When it comes to foreign security policy, Turkey has been tied to Europe for decades through NATO. Turkey's large military played a key role in helping to defend Europe from a possible Warsaw Pact invasion during the Cold War.
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Old 12-17-2002, 03:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Anthony
Well, for many reasons. My main concerns are concentrated around Turkey and their appalling human rights record, and the insufficient efforts in order to improve such. Time and time again they have demonstrated how absolutely backward their government is when it comes to human rights - by principle, they should not be allowed in. They should not be allowed just because of that, and the fact that Bush is pressing for Europe to let them in should make Europe assert their own authority when it comes to choosing who is to be allowed in. As President Chirac noted, it is NOT up to the US president to decide who should be let in the EU. Tony Blair's attempts at paving the way for Turkey is just another example of this wretched lapdog relationship.

To me, its not a question on why Turkey shouldn't be let in, its a question of WHY in the first place? Of course, the policy that 'the more the merrier' has been going round for a long time, much to the detriment of the EU. I do believe in the European expansion, having said that, but I do believe Europe should be careful on who it lets in. A more selective approach to matters would be more helpful and fruitful, and I believe that letting Turkey enter, Non European Turkey might I add, is both uneccessary and wreaking of political correctness.

Also, I believe this will create even MORE political tension between Europe and Muslim countries. Should Turkey be allowed to enter the EU, we will soon have Lebanon and Morocco asking why they aren't allowed to enter, and who knows where this will take matters.

I do not see Turkey bringing anything into the EU, except racial tension, and intergrating EU policy with American Foreign policy. Though I am not labelling American Foreign policy as something negative, I am merely stating that I feel EU policy is something separate and actually not within American jurisdiction and rightfully so. No one likes seeing either parties taking orders from each other.

Ultimately, Turkey isn't even IN Europe.

Ant.
I totally agree that the US president should not dictate EU membership, and that a country with human rights violations should also not be given entry.
However, I think the point is that when they meet the entrance criteria on human rights and everything else, then they can start talking about EU membership. I dont see a problem with that.
True Turkey is pretty much borderline between Europe and the Middle East, the same is not really true for Lebanon and Morocco.
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Old 12-22-2002, 02:31 PM   #12
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Normal argh i wasn't reading FYM for weeks!

Sorry Dr. Teeth for not replying to your thread sooner.

(warning: not sure how useful this will be: I'm not that interested into politics)

I think it's good that EU is expanding, IMO it will increase its stability. As for the terms...I don't think the countries hoping to get in have a choice regarding terms - if you want in, you have to meet the terms. I think most of the public here are for this entry (unlike NATO which has divided the public opinion but that's another story).
I wonder what will happen to our economy though, once we enter and lots of EU competition will be around.
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