extent, the institutional problems have been addressed by the Treaty of Nice. However, it is perfectly understandable why certain member states are objecting to any reform of the current financial system since the benefits to them are enormous. Perceived national interests, rather than the grand European federal vision, become paramount for a member state likely to lose the economic advantages it has enjoyed in recent years.
It should also not be forgotten that the enthusiasm for membership among the general populations of the CEECs appears to have dampened as the years have dragged on. This is largely a result of the long drawn-out process of negotiation but also an increasing recognition that whatever budgetary reforms are made within the EU, the CEECs are unlikely to receive the same positive financial discrimination that the Mediterranean states and Ireland have received in the past. There is also a growing awareness among those CEECs in the 'second wave' that they could receive fewer economic benefits than those in the 'first wave' as successive reforms of the EU's budgetary policies take effect. Rather than an integrated Europe, the future could be a multi-layered Europe with a range of internal conflicts and strains embedded within it.