World History/Eu And Econ Transformation term paper 13553

World History term papers
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The Swedes think it's great and so do the Danes, the Dutch and the Finns. But the French and the Germans are more doubtful and the Austrians andBelgians most skeptical of all. The issue is the enlargement of the European Union (EU) to bring 11, 12 or even 13 new member states into the club, most of them newly emergingdemocracies from central and eastern Europe. As for the outsiders, the Romanians are hugely enthusiastic, although they are likely to be among the last to join. The Poles are the second most positive, andthey are still among the front-runners, but full membership is likely to be rather more painful and protracted a process than most of the population believes. The confusion is predictable. Detailed enlargement negotiations began in Brussels only two weeks ago when 21 foreign ministers sat down to thresh out thedetails of what is likely to be the biggest change in the character of the EU since it was founded in 1957. Representatives of Hungary, Poland, the CzechRepublic, Slovenia, Estonia and Cyprus will in coming weeks be wrapped up in the nitty-gritty of the 20,000 pages of EU rules and regulations that willmake up the first seven of the 37 chapters. And yet few, if any, have the haziest notion of what it will look like. In EU capitals, the reality of sitting down to talks on the first seven relatively easy aspects of membership - questions like industrial policy,telecommunications and common foreign and security policies - has suddenly focused minds on the much-bigger questions they have left unanswered. Theyinclude: * The internal reform of the EU, to make it manageable with 25 or even 30 member states. If EU institutions are not reformed - reducing the number of

commissioners, and reweighting votes in favor of the biggest member states - the future of the union may become unmanageable. * How to finance it fairly. If new financing is not agreed, along with reform of EU farm policies and regional spending, enlargement will be unaffordable,and the process indefinitely delayed by internal wrangling. * How to ensure stable external relations with those left outside. Without flexible thinking on external borders and relations both with new neighbors likeRussia, Ukraine and Turkey, and second-wave applicants like Bulgaria and Romania, enlargement could create a new iron curtain and long-term instability. * How to ensure the new applicants do not bankrupt themselves in the rush to join. They also include what may prove the most stubborn political issue of all: ending the confrontation over Cyprus between Greece and Turkey. Within the early applicant countries, officials are less focused on such strategic questions than on immediate targets, above all securing their own country'sentry. For them, time is all important. They realize the danger of the accession talks running out of steam. The countries all expect to join in 2002 or 2003 atthe latest. If the timetable slips significantly, the scope of disappointment and anger will be enormous. But anyone who believes in this timetable wouldbelieve in the Wizard of Oz. Formidable though the problems are, they are not insurmountable. But reconstruction after half a century of communism will take longer than thespeechmakers have proclaimed. The first wave may not be full members for another 10 years; the second wave substantially later. It is always well, beforeembarking on a journey, to have a realistic idea of how long it will take.


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