European Union
Enlargement


Enlargement of the European Union to include the countries of central and eastern Europe (CEE) is one of the most important political and economic issues on the EU's agenda. It is a process that began with the political upheavals almost a decade a go and will not end until the reunification of Europe is complete.

An enlarged European Union will bring increased security, stability, and prosperity for Europe. However, enlargement poses a number of significant problems and threats to the basic operation and policies of the European Union. In the simulation, you will be forced to evaluate the impact and consequences of enlargement on the European Union.

The following areas of are special concern and debate:
The impact of enlargement on the institutions and decision-making procedures of the European Union, in particular:
  • The European Commission - size, number of commissioners, power and responsibility.
  • The Council of Ministers - efficiency (based on voting procedures associated with Qualified Majority Voting), democracy, openness, transparency, and overall power
  • The European Parliament - size, efficiency, power and responsibility, democratic legitimacy.
The impact of enlargement on the current policies of the European Union, including:
  • The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) - How can the EU continue to pay for such a program, given strapped budgets and required fiscal controls?
  • The Structural, Cohesion, and Regional Policies- How can the EU continue to pay for these programs? Will new divisions between northern and southern countries (the largest recipients of these funds - and the South and the CEE - develop?
  • Related, but no less important, the entire EU financing structure. Who will pay for enlargement?

Finally, in what order (or ranking, or preference) for possible new members? While the EU has set out clear criteria for joining and the Commission has gone out of its way to adhere to a neutral and balanced process of review, member states clearly have their own "pet" CEE members tht they would like to see join first.

Links:www.eurunion.org//legislat/indes.htm
EU policy on CAP; Agarda 2000 EU enlargement Economic and Social Cohesion