Where to grow the European Union?
The last country currently joining the European Union in 2013 was Croatia. They became pioneers from the Balkan region. There is already an established tendency in the EU to accept several states into their ranks at once, as it was in 2007 with Bulgaria and Romania, as well as with the countries of central Europe in 2004, it has always been this way since the founding of the first version of future European integration when the strongest countries created the so-called "European Coal and Steel Association", which included 6 powers.
Croatia became the first country to be accepted alone, of course, Ukraine was very close to European integration in 2013, but everyone knows how it ended up. And for several years now they’ve been trying to get closer to Europe, but shortly they don’t have to wait for their entry into the union, just like Georgia, they are located close to Russia, so the only thing they could offer was a simplified visa regime with Europe, no more. Albania and Northern Macedonia have also failed so far.
The Union’s requirements are very, very serious and not every country can fulfill them, the economy must be in a stable condition and this is necessary not a year before entry, this trend should be maintained for at least 5 years. The state should not have any disputed territories, no potential problems with the ethnic population, freedom of citizens, freedom of speech should be respected, the country must fully comply with European requirements. At the moment, the union consists of 28 countries, 27 will be after the release of the UK.
This is more than half of Europe and the question arises: is there any way to grow this union? It’s no secret that entering a given Alliance, a country is transforming, economic life is improving, living standards are being improved, new roads are appearing, old roads are becoming much better, for example, Poland, before and after the European Union. But each time there are less and less strong “players” if you look at one of the latest examples - Bulgaria and Romania, at the moment these are now the weakest countries in the European Union. And with the entry into the EU, cardinal, in a positive sense, they did not change.
The level of corruption in Romania is still very high, money from the European Treasury is steadily allocated to the roads, but the roads do not change, the elite is enriched and the Romanians go out into the streets in hundreds of thousands to show the current situation to Brussels. Maybe the mechanism has broken and is no longer working, as before?
The EU already has signed, many years earlier, formal association agreements with candidate members, which are: (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, and Montenegro). The time has come for the Balkans. Albania and Northern Macedonia will probably have a second chance. But if you look at all these countries, not counting Turkey, you can see that all this is the same level of Bulgaria-Romania, none of these countries will improve the economy in the EU, will not increase the average gross domestic product by an impressive figure. Certain questions also arise regarding other aspects:
- Turkey is far from joining, as long as there is an infringement of the rights of citizens in the country, there are almost no free media left in the country, since the beginning of the operation in Afghanistan they continue to push themselves away from the European gates.
- Some members of the European Union, like France, opposed the entry of Albania and Northern Macedonia, in particular, President Emmanuel Macron spoke openly on this subject.
- Serbia is a special case. She's at a crossroads. They have historically well-established relations with Russia, which came to their aid a hundred years ago and thereby gave rise to the First World War, these relations continue to this day, but on the other hand, if we take the geographical position, then, of course, the European Union will more convenient, however, all the conditions of Brussels should be immediately implemented. And, if all countries of the union impose sanctions over Crimea, then Serbia will have to do it. Now it's standing aside.
There are a dozen potential candidates for the current expansion program. After reviewing all the candidates from Europe, the EU leaders turned their attention to the countries of the Middle East, Africa and South America. But does that make sense? Perhaps Europe has already reached its highest point and further progress will only be to the detriment of the union itself. There are currently three agreements in force that imply varying degrees of integration within the union: EU membership itself, membership in the eurozone and participation in the Schengen agreement. Membership in the European Union does not have to entail participation in the Schengen agreement. Not all EU member states are in the euro area. After all, this is a completely different level of responsibility and the country will not be able to conduct monetary policy on its own, and it is also impossible to print new money since the ECB is exclusively engaged in this.
In the EU, it is one of the strongest economies in the world at the moment, but it will begin to crack little with the exit of Great Britain and growing thoughts of other countries leaving. And probably not the best option to patch holes with countries that are more likely to pull down, so it remains only to look for internal resources to strengthen their position.
Prepared by: Alexander Boltrukevich firstname.lastname@example.org