"Enlargement is one the most important opportunities for the European
Union as it prepares for the 21st century. It is a unique, historic
task to further the integration of the continent by peaceful means,
extending a zone of stability and prosperity to new members."
European Union Enlargement
At its summit in Luxembourg in December 1997, the European Commission
decided that the enlargement should encompass:
Â· the European Conference, a multilateral framework bringing together
ten central European countries, Cyprus and Turkey, launched in 1998 on
the 12 march;
Â· the accession process, covering ten central European countries and
Cyprus, launched in the same year on the 30th march;
Â· the accession negotiations, which the European Council decided to
open on the 31st march 1998 with six countries recommended by the
European Commission: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary,
Poland and Slovenia.
The European Union has already had many successful enlargements such
as the United Kingdom in 1973 and also Greece in 1981 and most
recently Sweden in 1995. So therefore there should not be any problems
with expansion again. However the expansion under consideration today
is different then before. It is unique because the area would increase
by 34% and also the population would increase by 105 million that will
also involve the membership of different cultures and histories.
Eastern Europe and the Balkans would benefit significantly by the
enlargement because of the single ...
... middle of paper ...
... prosperous and also more likely to merge with the European Union
without many problems and mainly be able to keep most of their workers
there or even pull new investors into the area.
So in conclusion as long as the integration and the European Union
Accession Partnership before integration takes place and is followed
carefully and all goes well then the Balkan area and even all of
Central and Eastern Europe could integrate and not become peripheral
but prosperous memberstates instead.
Word Count: 2,100
Peter Coffey "The Future of Europe".
Agenda 2000 for a Stronger and Wider Union
Brian Hill, "The European Union", 2nd edn, Heinemann Educational, 1994
1991-1999 EU assistance to South-Eastern Europe & Western Balkans -
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