Ming the Mechanic:
EU Expansion

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 EU Expansion2002-12-26 04:55
picture by Flemming Funch

Entry talks were recently completed in Copenhagen with 10 mostly ex-communist countries that soon will be joining the European Union. The countries are Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Cyprus. I've never been sure whether the EU is a good or a bad thing - whether it removes unnecessary bureaucratic divisions and increases cooperation, or whether it becomes a bureaucratic big-corporation-lobbied central government. Junius has some interesting thoughts on how the new countries change the equation:
"My take on this, for what it's worth, is that it gives the UK everything that lukewarm Europhiles/moderate Eurosceptics have always wanted. EU will now be so large and will vary so much in cultural and economic conditions that a thoroughgoing federalist project is dead in the water. The centre - Brussels and Strasbourg - will be fatally weakened vis-à-vis the component parts of the union because twenty-five (or more) states will find it almost impossible to reach agreement on anything but the most anodyne proposals. Moreover, the disparities in wealth within the zone mean that it will be much harder to impose anything like common standards in matters like employment and social security for the EU as a whole. Think about it: a common minimum wage for Germany, France and the UK might be a crazy proposal, but it isn't quite so crazy that there isn't someone who might suggest it. A common minimum wage for Latvia and the Netherlands: the most starry-eyed Euroenthusiast, even fortified by several glasses of champagne, isn't going to entertain the notion!"

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