Since its foundation in the late 1950's, the European Union has seen its membership growing from 6 to 27 countries in 2007, with the accession of Bulgaria and Romania. The process might not stop at this point, as other countries such as West Balkans, Turkey, and eastern countries (former parts of the USSR) are also expecting to join the EU as soon as possible. Six rounds of enlargements have been experienced since the foundation of the EU. While each enlargement has raised its own kind of questions and difficulties, both for the applying members and the existing members, the last two rounds, which allowed 10 Central and Eastern European Countries to join the EU plus Malta and South Cyprus, created a situation in which both elites and the population of the EU start to believe that the enlargement process should have an end. Otherwise, the idea of a well integrated European Union supported by its people would be seriously compromised. The rejection of the Treaty on the European Union by French and Dutch people in 2004, the fact that member states elites avoid referendum on enlargement and the general democratic deficit increasingly felt towards the EU is a clear indication that the European Union needs now to take stock of its past policies before moving forward.
[...] II) The outcomes of last enlargements for new members, previous members and the European Union in general. These new adhesions have not really been welcome enthusiastically among population of previous members of the European Union. Even the new members have shown many signs of dissatisfactions towards previous members' attitude regarding their accessions. Three years after the “massive” 2004 enlargement and fourth months following Bulgaria and Romania adhesions, at a time when European integration seems to be suspended to political changes in France and Great Britain, the question of the limits of enlargement is more than ever clearly raised. [...]
[...] The European Union had to take decisions quickly, in the end of the 1980's, in order to stabilize the region politically and prevent any returns to dictatorship. Once again, the prospect of joining the EU in a reasonable future was a decisive tool which clearly accelerated the economical and political transition in these countries. In order to reduce the enormous economic and social gap between EU members and CEEC as much and as quickly as possible, the EU implemented in the beginning of the 1990's various tools for economic cooperation. [...]
[...] Excluding Turkey of the European Union because of its Muslim aspect could obviously favour extremism. The geographical situation of Turkey, bordering countries such as Iran, Iraq, and Syria is clearly pivotal. Allowing the country in the EU could reduce the rising cultural, economical and religious cleavages between Western civilizations and Middle East”. On the contrary, rejecting Turkey could lead it to find new alliances, religiously orientated, and annihilate all the efforts Turkey has done on its way to democracy and secularity since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. [...]
[...] Bibliography Ian and Pamela Barnes, “Enlargement”, in Michelle Cini European Union Politics, (Oxford University Press, 2007) Desmond Dinan, Ever Closer Union, (Plagrave Macmillan, 2005) Stephen George and Ian Bache, Politics in the European Union, (Oxford University Press, 2001) Wim Kok, Elargissement de l'Union Européenne : Résultats et Défis, Report to the European Commission, (europa.eu/enlargement, 2002) Peter Mair, The Enlarged European Union, (Franck Cass, 2002) Raymond Van Der Putten, Les effets de l'élargissement de l'UE sur les marchés de biens et du travail, (Conjoncture BNP PARIBAS, July 2002) “L'Europe et la Roumanie”, “L'Europe et la Bulgarie”, www.diplomatie.gouv.fr Glenn Segell, The Win-Win of European Union Enlargement, International Journal Org Theory and Behaviour, (Taylor and Francis, 2002) Jérôme Creel, Intégration de la Roumanie et de la Bulgarie dans l'UE : Quelles conséquences économiques (www.lemonde.fr, 05/10/06) Claire Stam, Les entreprises allemandes mettent le cap à l'Est, (www.novethic.fr, 07/05/2004) Harlan Koff, Security, Markets and Power : The Relationship between EU Enlargement and Immigration, Journal of European Integration, (Routledge, December 2005) Natalia Timus, The Role of Public Opinion in European Union Policy Making: The Case of European Union Enlargement, Perspectives on European Politics and Society, (Routledge, September 2006) Meltem Müftüler-Bac and Lauren McLaren, Enlargement preferences and policy- making in the European union : Impacts on Turkey, Journal of European Integration, (Routledge, 2002) Lahouari Addi, Géopolitique du Monde Arabe, course notes, (IEP de LYON, 2006) www.europa.eu/enlargement/ Ian and Pamela Barnes, “Enlargement”, in Michelle Cini European Union Politics, (Oxford University Press, 2007), p 422. [...]
[...] The fact that relocations occur in the European Union rather than in Asia should be a better prospect, as we share the same “single market”. Relocation is also supposed to increase profits, then investments and then employment. The enlargement also helps previous member states companies reaching new consumers more easily. Another point often raised by supporters of enlargement in previous member states is that the migration of workers from the East to the West could help our societies to finance pensions, but one should not forget that countries such as Germany or France are already far away from full employment. [...]
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