Monday, 24 May 2010

Further enlargement of the EU

As expected, the official Lib-Con coalition agreement contains no commitment for an In/Out referendum on the EU, promising only that
We will amend the 1972 European Communities Act so that any proposed future treaty that transferred areas of power, or competences, would be subject to a referendum on that treaty – a ‘referendum lock’. We will amend the 1972 European Communities Act so that the use of any passerelle would require primary legislation
They also declare
We support the further enlargement of the EU.
What sort of enlargement is in the cards? Let's hear it from the horse's mouth:

A gradual and carefully managed enlargement policy is in the interest of the EU. Future enlargements will concern the countries of south-eastern Europe. These countries are at various stages on their road towards the EU.

Croatia and Turkey are candidate countries. They started accession negotiations on 3 October 2005. In December 2005, the European Council granted the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia the status of a candidate country; accession negotiations have not started.

All the other Western Balkan countries are potential candidates: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia as well as Kosovo under UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99. The EU has repeatedly reaffirmed at the highest level its commitment for the European perspective of the Western Balkans, provided they fulfill the accession criteria.

Iceland recently submitted an application for membership on 23 July 2009.

Quite why the Icelanders are interested, I can't imagine. Perhaps, as Daniel Hannan speculates, there is more enthusiasm for the prospect among their political class than the general public.

Hopefully the whole sordid project will implode before the Eurocrats can do further damage.

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