Can today’s EU stand a new wave of Enlargement ? - commentaires Can today's EU stand a new wave of Enlargement ? 2010-10-09T10:34:58Z 2010-10-09T10:34:58Z <p>Dear Caroline and Edith,</p> <p>thank you for your comment. Certainly, as it is the case for any project, we need to have clear in mind what it is, before being able to sharing it successfully.</p> <p>On your second point, you might have overlooked the paragraph « Quo vadis EU ? » where I say : « the hope that the Union can continue its enlargement ad infinitum while maintaining the same degree of effectiveness is misplaced, especially if this is expected to be done under the same institutional framework. »</p> <p>As for the « values » issue that you raise towards the end, the membership of any country to the EU is conditional to their respect of the Copenhagen criteria. These embody what we consider the « European values ». So if a country respect those criteria, it means that it shares our values.</p> Can today's EU stand a new wave of Enlargement ? 2010-10-07T19:41:48Z 2010-10-07T19:41:48Z <p>We agree on the fact that Europe definitely needs a united vision. Let's see what we have first, and work with that, before sharing a half-baked vision with any new member states. We wouldn't go as far as to say that the past enlargements weren't successful, but maybe the EU has been a bit too optimistic when it comes to adding new members, especially considering the united identity that the EU tries to create will be more difficult to achieve when the pieces of the European puzzle are so divers. The 'European feeling' is not even shared by the current member states, let alone that we are able to convey a message of unity to new members.</p> <p>However, we disagree on the fact that further enlargement will not affect the effectiveness of the EU. This, from our point of view, is very implausible. When you add new ingredients to a meal, the flavour will change. Having the new members follow 'our' vision and expecting them not to have a say in it, is nothing short of naive. We're not saying that this will lead to irreconcilable differences, but a tension-free, harmonious enlargement just seems too good to be true. A simple example is the need of new treaty, for we believe that the current Treaty of Lisbon will not fully cover the consequences of further enlargement. The more elements one has to take into account when making a new treaty, the more challenging this will be.</p> <p>Than there is the willingness of the candidate states to join the EU. The 'core' EU supposedly has a shared understanding of what European values are – or at least should be. But we cannot close our eyes to the obvious differences just to act like one big happy family. We say no to enlargement, not because of xenophobic or conservative reasons, but because we believe that unlimited enlargement, according to us, would strip the EU of its meaning. And because we first need to work with what we have. If the EU was a solid construction, it would be a whole and other story, but we need to fix the foundations before building a new wing.</p> <p>Caroline Bauwens & Edith Salminen</p>