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In 1987 the Moroccan request for membership of the European Communities (EC) was rejected on the basis that Morocco was not a European country. Where are the boundaries of Europe?

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  1. Introduction
  2. European Communities
  3. Where are the boundaries of Europe?
  4. The Moroccan request
  5. Do you accept the claim that the 'European Social Model' makes Europe different from the USA?
  6. In 1990 Esping-Andersen identified three 'worlds of welfare'; how did he distinguish these worlds from each other?
  7. Can Europe achieve the highly coveted knowledge based society?
  8. Conclusion

The Moroccan request was rejected because Morocco was not considered as a European country. This claim was based on geographical and cultural dimensions. Morocco could not be part of the political boundaries because it did not match geographical ones and because it did not share the so-called European identity and culture. However, we can wonder if such request was so inappropriate, regarding how Europe is generally defined in terms of boundaries. As Bhambra argues it, Europe has always been considered as an idea more than a place (Hayden White). The typical representation we have of Europe is generally a definition in terms of geographical boundaries which are ?natural as they come? (Outwhaite).

Whereas it is generally agreed that the western frontier is the Atlantic Ocean, that the Southern one is the Mediterranean Sea and that the northern one is the Nordic countries, the Eastern frontier is much more contested. Indeed, there is a doubt about the inclusion or the exclusion of Russia and Turkey for example, specifically because their cultural difference is source of anxiety for other European countries. Furthermore, there are other cultural issues in terms of civilization. Why Morocco is not considered as a European country although it was under European domination for decades? Likewise, Algeria was never seen as European even if it was depending upon Europe when it was a French colony.

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