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Risks and challenges of the EU expansion

时间:2007-11-8栏目:公众演讲

</Script>    I. Introduction
For several years now the European Union is discussing a possible enlargement, because several European countries have applied for membership in the EU. These are especially the former socialist countries in Eastern Europe, that have clearly turned towards the west since the collapse of the iron curtain. These countries are Bulgaria, the Baltic countries Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Hungary.

In addition Turkey, Cyprus and Malta are trying for quite some time already to join the EU. These application are not to be accepted without any further deliberation because they do bring along some risks and the consequences are hard to distinguish therefore these countries are not very expected joining the European Union in the near future and will therefore not be included in the following evaluation.
II. Risks and challenges
If we wants to evaluate the risks and challenges of an upcoming enlargement of the EU, we should first take into account experiences gained during previous expansion which were to some extent comparable. Here the southern expansion from 1986 should be mentioned where two economically pathetic countries sought admission to the then European Community. The admission procedure of these two candidates, being Spain and Portugal, were lengthy and considered very problem bearing. Especially the amount of produce that would add to the already existing agricultural over-production of the Community was seen to be a problem since it would increase the load on the European budget.

But seen from a global economical perspective the joining of Spain and Portugal was overall positive for the EC and the two countries, although Spain struggled with a further rise of unemployment and disparities within the Community were further amplified.

The disparities within the Union will most certainly increase when it comes to an eastern expansion, but the agricultural problem will not be an issue, because the candidates have not got their focus on agriculture, already because of their communist heritage which focused on industry rather than on agriculture or the tertiary sector.

In case of the approaching expansion towards Eastern Europe the Union will have to resolve several problems, the most severe being without any dou

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