Open the Doors; the European Union Will Soon Admit Bulgaria and Romania. Will That Be the End of Enlargement? Not at All. Hello, Albania!
Moravcsik, Andrew, Newsweek International
Byline: Andrew Moravcsik (Moravcsik directs the European Union Program at Princeton University.)
Riots in Hungary? Rising anti-Europe sentiment across Eastern Europe? A resounding "no" to a new constitution in France and the Netherlands, and similar sentiment elsewhere? Never mind. Time for the next round.
This week the European Union will decide when and under what conditions to admit Romania and Bulgaria into that most exclusive club. Governments are almost certain to go along. The odds are that, come New Year's 2007, Europe will thus be that much bigger.
Welcome to the neighborhood? Not quite. Pundits and publics remain deeply skeptical. Critics insist neither country is ready for admission. In these increasingly anti-foreigner times, some hint that they do not really belong--that they're more Balkan than European. Almost everyone is certain about one thing: Europe is tired of adding new members. Enlargement is opposed by nearly two thirds of Germans and French, and almost half of Swedes, Italians and Brits. Last year's ill-fated French and Dutch referendums had little to do with the content of the European constitution, but a lot to do with growing popular resistance to the hoary notion of an ever-larger union.
Experts call it "enlargement fatigue." After bringing in 10 mostly East European newcomers two years ago, the conventional wisdom today is easily summed up: the entry of Romania and Bulgaria will represent the high-water mark of a process begun half a century ago--the progressive enlargement of "Europe." The Union now encompasses more than 460 million people stretching from the Mediterranean to the Arctic, and has a GDP larger than the United States'. Enough is enough, most Europeans say. Time to close the doors.
That's the CW--but it's wrong. Far from marking the culmination of the European experiment, the latest round of …
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Publication information: Article title: Open the Doors; the European Union Will Soon Admit Bulgaria and Romania. Will That Be the End of Enlargement? Not at All. Hello, Albania!. Contributors: Moravcsik, Andrew - Author. Magazine title: Newsweek International. Publication date: October 2, 2006. Page number: Not available. © 2009 Newsweek, Inc. All rights reserved. Any reuse, distribution or alteration without express written permission of Newsweek is prohibited. For permission: www.newsweek.com. COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group.
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