L'Ampliació de la Unió Europea cap a l'est. Després de Niça, què?


  • Benjamí Bastida Vila


The new world order has a special significance in Europe where the European Union is expanding from 15 to 27 members. This is a crisis in the original Greek meaning of risk and change. The Nice Summit failed to settle the strategy. The old Soviet block members are very different, with backward economies and institutional failure. The road map establishes realistic priorities, catching up policies, and lists the degree of difficulty of reaching the objectives. In theory the first countries could join by 2002, but first the European Union must reform its institutions. The new members must have political and economic stability and an ability to adopt European policies. However the expansion only represents an increase of 5% in European GNP and 3% in foreign trade. It is a political more than economic decision. The European Union will increase population by 105 million, but also the amount of poor regions which will halve their average European income. Unsolved questions still remain, of the old Soviet Union and the Balkans.