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EU:s utvidgning

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EU om utvidgningen

EU Observer about enlargement

- To Be, Or Not To Be A Country - that is the question
Sir Oliver Wright, GCMG, DCVO, DSC, April 2001 .... more

Highly recommended
Ingmar Karlsson: Europeisk nationalstat ett dödfött projekt
Europa och folken en europeisk nation eller nationernas Europa?
Wahlström och Widstrand, 1996,
Ur kapitel 8. Europa och folken - EU:s demokratiska underskott och den europeiska identiteten click

Günter Verheugen: Welcome to my website!
I have been responsible for Enlargement of the EU within the European Commission since 1999 and
since 2003 my responsibilities have been extended to the „New Neighbourhood Policy“.

EU official site: An unprecedented enlargement


Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:
It appears the EU is fulfilling its mission as it expands eastward and accepts new countries devastated in the past century by war, genocide, and authoritarian regimes.
But recent events have caused many to claim the EU is in a state of emergency.
At the end of May and beginning of June 2005, voters in France and the Netherlands rejected the European Constitutional Treaty.
Read more here

EU Constitution


German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck, deputy leader of Social Democrats,
"The world will never be as it was before the crisis,"

"The United States will lose its superpower status in the world financial system. The world financial system will become more multi-polar."
Reuters 25 Sep 2008

"The International Monetary Fund should become the controlling authority for the application of worldwide financial market standards," he said.

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$700 billion rescue plan

Deutschland (Tyskland)


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10 countries - the 13 applicants minus Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey - should be invited to join the EU by 2004.
BBC News Online presents a guide to the runners and riders. Click


BORDERLANDS OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION
A History of East Central Europe by OSCAR HALECKI
click

Central European Free Trade Agreementclick

BBC Historical maps of Europe
Excellent.


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news

The Battle of Balaclava and The Charge of the Light Brigade
Place: On the southern Crimean coast in the Ukraine.
Combatants: British, French and Turkish troops against the Imperial Russian Army
Klicka här


The territory that is now Ukraine has a long and painful history as a bloody borderland between East and West.
But it came into being as an independent nation only in 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed.
Combining lands in the west that had once been part of Austria-Hungary, and a Russian-speaking south and east,
the new country always had its doubters.
The Economist print edition Feb 22nd 2014

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Rome, Habsburg and the European Union

Början på sidan


Steget från gatan till parlamentet – inte sällan vägen över kaféet – är en av den europeiska demokratins och modernismens stora och vackraste berättelser.
Detta steg brukar ta några generationer på sig. Länge ville vi gärna tro att det enbart var en fråga om just tid, att kursen var utstakad och utvecklingen bara kunde gå i en enda riktning.
Men det var ett misstag: också när det gäller vår egen samtid.
Richard Swartz, kolumn DN 22 december 2012

Sedan kommunismens fall befinner sig sydöstra Europa i ett slags ingenmansland mellan å ena sidan auktoritär nationalism med planhushållning eller klientelism och å den andra parlamentarisk demokrati med marknadsekonomi. Den riktning vi antog som självklar var förstås från det förra till det senare.

Men oroande nog och alltmer tydligt befinner sig denna del av Europa på reträtt, tillbaka mot vad vi trodde man lämnat för gott. Denna reträtt kan kallas lokal eller balkansk, men drabbar också EU. Hälften av de stater som finns i regionen (bland dem de utan jämförelse största) är redan EU-medlemmar eller, som Kroatien, på väg att bli det. Men om redan inne i värmen eller fortfarande i väntrummet: alla är de uppslukade av en djup gränsöverskridande samhällskris som Europa ännu inte riktigt upptäckt.

Den omfattar stater som Ungern, Rumänien, Bulgarien och vad som en gång var Jugoslavien, ända bort till Grekland och Albanien.

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Sveriges underklass vände Europa ryggen
Richard Swartz, SvD:s medarbetare i Wien, SvD 24/9 2003

Det var Europa som uppdagade sanningen om oss. Underklassen vill inte ha med detta Europa att göra; inte folk på landet, de utan utbildning, de som lever på bidrag, inte "nejtanter", inte de offentliganställda. Det hjälpte inte att överklassen var för Europa, folk i stora städer, de som reser och far, akademiker, LO och industri, eliten i de etablerade partierna. För första gången sedan - ja, sedan när? ATP-omröstningen? - blev ett svenskt val en klassfråga och så hätskt i tonen att vi själva förskräckta ryggade tillbaka.

Efterklokt kan man säga att utgången var given på förhand. Det går inte att med Europa vinna viktiga val här i landet: inte sedan vi avskaffade det och Sverige vände sig inåt, avsade sig sina tidigare europeiska ambitioner och snickrade sig en egen kolonistuga i form av folkhemmet. Underklassen ville ha det så.... Mer här

Början på sidan


Sarkozy:
You cannot make a single currency without economic convergence and economic integration. It's impossible.

But on the contrary, one cannot plead for federalism and at the same time for the enlargement of Europe. It's impossible. There's a contradiction.

We are 27. We will obviously have to open up to the Balkans. We will be 32, 33 or 34.

I imagine that nobody thinks that federalism — total integration — is possible at 33, 34, 35 countries.
Charlemagne, The Economist Nov 10th 2011


Enlargement of the European Union
Wikipedia

Greece joined the EU in 1981 and Portugal and Spain in 1986.


En rödgrön regering kommer inte att genomföra en folkomröstning om införande av euron.
Vi respekterar folkomröstningsresultatet och de utfästelser som gavs i samband folkomröstningskampanjen 2003.
Avsnittet om Europeiska unionen ur rödgrön slutrapport om utrikespolitiken


Runt bordet vid toppmötet i Warawa sitter företrädare för sex länder i öst
Ukraina, Vitryssland, Georgien, Moldavien, Armenien och Azerbajdzjan – som bjudits in för att förbättra relationen med EU.
Pappor till detta så kallade östliga partnerskap är två goda vänner, Sveriges och Polens utrikesministrar Bildt och Sikorski
Annika Ström Melin, DN 30 sept 2011


Sverige måste aktivt verka för att Turkiet, Kroatien, Makedonien och andra kandidatländer genomför nödvändiga reformer så att de kan bli fullvärdiga EU-medlemmar
när de och deras befolkning så önskar, och att de uppfyller Köpenhamnskriterierna.
Det är vår förhoppning att också övriga Balkan-länder så snart som de önskar kan bli medlemmar av EU.
Avsnittet om Europeiska unionen ur rödgrön slutrapport om utrikespolitiken.

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Mona Sahlin


Big dog attitude

Ett EU som innefattar också ett demokratiskt Turkiet kommer att vara en starkare och bättre union.
Det skriver ministrarna Carl Bildt och Birgitta Ohlsson gemensamt på Europadagen.
SvD Brännpunkt 9 maj 2011

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Birgitta Ohlsson - Carl Bildt


I rapporterna efter förra veckans stormiga toppmöte i Bryssel
drunknade nyheten om att EU håller på att få sin 28:e medlem.
Ett anslutningsavtal undertecknades med Kroatien och
om allt går enligt plan blir landet en del av EU den 1 juli 2013
DN huvudledare 18 december 2011

I kön bakom Kroatien står dessutom många fler länder som vill komma med. Ytterligare nio stater har antingen inlett förhandlingar eller fått ett slags inledande löfte.

Island har redan kommit en bra bit på väg och i slutsatserna från toppmötet förra veckan sägs att Montenegro snart får påbörja förhandlingar. Men Serbien får vänta till mars på ett besked. Och när det gäller Turkiet verkar samtalen ha kört fast riktigt ordentligt.

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Efter första världskriget och Österrike-Ungerns fall uppgick Kroatien i det som 1928 skulle bli Jugoslavien. Under andra världskriget invaderades Jugoslavien av Italien och Tyskland. Under den italienska ockupationen blev Kroatien en fascistisk marionettstat under namnet Oberoende staten Kroatien. Efter krigets slut blev Jugoslavien en socialistisk, federativ stat under Josip Broz Titos ledarskap.

Kroatien var tillsammans med Slovenien, Bosnien-Hercegovina, Serbien, Montenegro och Makedonien en av delrepublikerna i federationen Jugoslavien fram till 1991 då landet efter demokratiska val beslöt att lämna federationen.

År 1991 förklarade sig Kroatien självständigt från Jugoslavien vilket ledde till ett krig, känt som det kroatiska självständighetskriget, med den jugoslaviska armén (JNA) och serbiska separatister. Det kroatiska självständighetskriget varade i fem år och avslutades formellt år 1995 då fredsavtalet i Dayton slöts

Källa Wikipedia

Serbien och Kroatien har mycket att bevisa
Peter Kadhammar, Aftonbladet, 13 juli 2011

Tyskarna var medvetna om sitt lands brott. De ville förstå och sona. Det sönderbombade västra Tyskland var en motor för att skapa den europeiska gemenskapen, vilken ännu inte var en rik klubb som alla vill bli med i.
I Serbien, däremot, åtnjöt den efterlyste Ratko Mladic beskydd ända till i maj i år.
I Kroatien utbröt massdemonstrationer i april när general Ante Gotovina av tribunalen i Haag dömdes till 24 års fängelse för krigsförbrytelser. Premiärminister Jadranka Kosor sa att domen var oacceptabel och utmålade generalen som en hjälte.

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Europakten


Sveriges utrikesminister är en av få som öppet argumenterar för fortsatt utvidgning av EU.
Turkiet, Kroatien, Island, Makedonien, Montenegro, Serbien, Albanien, Kosovo och Bosnien/Herzegovina.
Annika Ström Melin, DN 16/12 2010

Förhandlingarna fortsätter om medlemskap med Turkiet och Kroatien – och sedan i somras också med Island.
Makedonien är kandidatland – vilket också Montenegro ska kallas efter toppmötet i Bryssel som inleds i dag.
Dessutom ska förhandlingar så småningom även inledas med Serbien, Albanien, Kosovo och Bosnien/Herzegovina.

Så ser planen ut. Men verkligheten är betydligt mer komplicerad.

Som om inte allt detta vore nog har också den franska konstitutionen ändrats på ett sätt som kan sätta stopp för utvidgningen. Innan Frankrike accepterar framtida EU-medlemmar måste regeringen ha fått ja, antingen i en folkomröstning eller av tre femtedels majoritet i parlamentet.
Det är inte svårt att gissa hur det kan sluta.

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Romar-riket

Rome, Habsburg and the European Union

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Släpp in Balkan och Turkiet
Byt kronan mot euron

DN-ledare 2009-09-19

Från början var de bara sex, sedan blev de tolv, så femton och nu är de tjugosju.
Men ska det stanna där, eller ska EU fortsätta att vara en öppen organisation?

Ingen medlem säger nej rakt ut, däremot vill Frankrike och andra dra en gräns vid Bosporen – Turkiet är inte Europa, hävdar de. För att ge eftertryck åt denna uppfattning lovade förre franske presidenten att fransmännen direkt ska få säga ja eller nej till nya EU-medlemmar. Möjligen kan man vara villig att smussla in Kroatien under någon förevändning av typen tidigare givet löfte.

EU:s grundidé ska inte förfuskas på detta sätt.
Svenska regeringars stöd för turkiskt medlemskap är praktiskt klokt och teoretiskt rätt.

Länder som vill gå in i Europeiska unionen och underkasta sig de gemensamma reglerna för demokratiska rättsstater och öppna marknadsekonomier – och som är geografiskt belägna så att de rent praktiskt kan höra till – ska få göra det.

Det handlar om hela Balkan och Turkiet, men också om Island och Norge och till och med Schweiz.

Euron har för länge sedan bevisat sin styrka.

I den senaste ekonomiska krisen framstod euron som en säkrare tillflykt än dollarn.
Den svenska kronan däremot fick flyta upp och ned (mest ned) på de internationella orosvågorna.

De ekonomiska och snävt nationella skälen för att avstå från den gemensamma valutan har alltså blivit svagare.

De politiska skälen för att anta euron har däremot blivit starkare.

Den EU-medlem som trots att den fyller alla kraven för fullt EMU-deltagande likväl står utanför har en halvhjärtad inställning till hela EU. Dess röst försvagas. Och att inte utnyttja ett medlemskap fullt ut är en dumhet. Just så uppträder Sverige.

Det är hög tid att ändra på det. Euron bör ersätta kronan under kommande mandatperiod

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Sverie, Västra Balkan, Turkiet och nya Östeuropa
SvD-ledare signerad Claes Arvidsson 9 februari 2012

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Slovenien ger upp sitt motstånd mot att Kroatien blir medlem i EU
Slovenien blev 2004 medlem i Europeiska unionen och är fortfarande
den enda tidigare jugoslaviska republiken som är med.
DN/TT 2009-09-11

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Kroatien


EU vill ingå stora samarbetsavtal med Georgien, Azerbajdzjan och Armenien.
Avtalen är en del av det östliga partnerskapet, som EU lanserade 2008
efter förslag från Polen och Sverige.
Anders Selnes, Europaportalen / 2009-09-18

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A special report on EU enlargement
The Economist print May 29th 2008

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Bosnia’s future is crucial to greater Europe
Following the stalling of talks on the future of Kosovo,
a political crisis has now gripped Bosnia.

Tomas Valasek, FT November 28 2007

Bad news never travels alone. Following the stalling of talks on the future of Kosovo, a political crisis has now gripped Bosnia. The country’s central government has not met for more than five weeks and one of its main constituent parties threatens to leave it altogether. This would incapacitate the government and could touch off Bosnia’s disintegration. The consequences would be dire, not only for the Balkans but also for Europe. Since the end of the 1992-1995 war, the European Union has provided billions of euros of aid, thousands of peacekeepers and the “office of the high representative” to restore unity to Bosnia and to set it on the path to EU membership. If the country fragments now, nobody will take EU foreign policy seriously.

EU needs to be ready to strengthen its military presence in Bosnia if needed. The force has dropped to 2,500 troops from the 60,000 Nato initially deployed in 1995.

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Ett ja till Kosovos självständighet är det enda möjliga, moraliskt och praktiskt och ett samlat europeiskt ja är det enda politiskt möjliga.
PM Nilsson Expressen 25/11 2007

Anna Lindh


Foreign Secretary David Miliband has suggested the European Union should work towards
including Russia, Middle Eastern and North African countries.

BBC 15/11 2007


Nine member states from central and eastern Europe join EU Schengen border-free zone in December.
Checks at internal land and sea borders will be abolished on 21 December,
with air borders to follow in March 2008.
Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic
EU Observer 8 november 2007

The first cornerstones to the zone were laid down in Schengen, a small Luxembourg village at the geographical meeting-point of Germany, the Benelux countries and France in 1985. Thirteen EU countries, plus Norway and Iceland, have since joined the passport-free area.

Britain, Ireland as well as Cyprus have chosen to stay out, while Bulgaria and Romania have yet to meet the necessary requirements.

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*

Motion av Margit Gennser (m)
i anledning av Prop. 1999/2000:64 Polissamarbete m.m. med anledning av Sveriges anslutning till Schengen
Klicka här

Början på sidan


– Vi kan tänka oss att lämna idén om konstitutionellt fördrag, som ju ibland tolkats som ett slags superstatskonstruktion, till att nu tala om ett tilläggsfördrag
att man moderniserar och utvecklar beslutsmetoderna.
det viktigaste är att ett nytt fördrag inte innebär något hinder för utvidgningen
Reinfeldt och Sahlin, Ekot 26/4 2007


Under 90-talet var det drömmen om federationen som dominerade sinnena och euron fick symbolisera den nya europeiska staten.
Trots att den europeiska integrationen präglats av vardaglig, gråtråkig pragmatism har EU hela tiden också varit ett utopistiskt projekt.
Den eviga freden! Europas förenta stater! En motvikt till USA! En social union! En klimatunion som ska rädda världen! sa man nu i februari.
PM Nilsson, Expressen 25/3 2007

Under 90-talet var det drömmen om federationen som dominerade sinnena och euron fick symbolisera den nya europeiska staten. Eller som Tysklands utrikesminister Joschka Fischer sa på ett föredrag i Berlin 1999 och svepte med handen över publiken:
”Ett mynt, en lagbok och ett svärd över hela kontinenten”.
Det är i huvudsak den utopin som nu ligger dystert sönderslagen av fransmän och holländare som inte ville – och av skandinaver och britter med för den delen.
Därav sorgen. Statens grundande är uppskjutet på obestämd framtid.

Europa behöver sina visionärer för att vara Europa. Så vad är nästa vision? Jag har ett blygsamt förslag: Afrika.

Länderna utmed Medelhavets södra strand bör på sikt bli medlemmar i unionen.
PM Nilsson, Expressen 25/3 2007


Slovenia's plan to adopt the euro on New Year's Day is one change too many
"We are an independent country," she lamented. "We should have our own currency!"
Herald Tribune 28/12 2006

Slovenia's plan to adopt the euro on New Year's Day is one change too many for Rihtar, who works in Ljubljana's open-air fruit and vegetable market. She opposes Slovenia's adoption of the euro, which will make the former Yugoslav republic the first of the European Union's formerly Communist members to join the currency union.

"We are an independent country," she lamented. "We should have our own currency!"

Such skepticism about the euro, whose banknotes and coins were introduced with great fanfare just five years ago as an economic means to unite the Continent, is spreading across the EU's newest member states, many of which once viewed adopting the euro as a badge of honor.

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- To Be, Or Not To Be A Country - that is the question
Sir Oliver Wright, GCMG, DCVO, DSC, .... more


I stället för att samla ihop kanonbåtar att sända till farvattnen runt Afrika borde de /EU-ledarna/ anta en plan för invandring till den europeiska arbetsmarknaden.
Europa åldras, redan därför behöver vi inflyttare.
DN huvudledare 15/12 2006

Nu tar vi emot Bulgarien och Rumänien och sedan sannolikt också Kroatien, men mer orkar vi inte. Så ungefär resonerar de och hoppas därmed lugna inhemska opinioner som i rädsla för förändringar vill stoppa både globaliseringen, vilket inte står i EU:s makt, och utvidgningen, vilket står i EU:s makt eftersom varje medlem har veto mot varje ny medlem.

Toppmötet som avslutas i dag har en dagordning utan framtidsspänst. Ledarna ska få tala ut om EU:s "absorptionskapacitet", i klartext fleras önskan att sätta en definitiv gräns för unionen. Dessutom ska de mobiliseras för att hjälpa Spanien att hålla afrikanska flyktingar borta, patrullbåtar till havet väster om Afrika alltså.

Europa åldras, redan därför behöver vi inflyttare. Bara tillväxt kan upprätthålla de välfärdssystem som är eurpoéernas skötebarn, och tillväxt betyder fler företag, fler som arbetar och fler som efterfrågar.
I stället för att lägga ut texten om "absorptionsförmågan" borde EU-ledarna ge tydligt eftertryck åt inträdeskraven - en rättsordning lika för alla, ingen korruption, fria medier och öppenhet hos statsmakterna. Och i stället för att samla ihop kanonbåtar att sända till farvattnen runt Afrika borde de anta en plan för invandring till den europeiska arbetsmarknaden.
Dagens agenda är i grunden ovärdig EU.

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Immigration is no way to fund an ageing population
A little analysis shows that even a very large increase in immigration would have only a very small impact on the revenue needed to deal with the ageing population
Martin Feldstein, Financial Times 14/12 2006

The writer, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Ronald Reagan, is a professor at Harvard

Without fundamental changes, the rise in the relative number of older people and the slower growth of the labour force will substantially raise government outlays for pensions and healthcare. A common reaction to this problem is a call for increased immigration. The taxes paid by these new workers would help to finance the benefits of the aged. Although there is general discomfort with some of the social consequences of increased immigration, many have concluded that increased immigration is the only way to avoid a big increase in tax rates or a cut in benefits.

However, a little analysis shows that even a very large increase in immigration would have only a very small impact on the revenue needed to deal with the ageing population. Much of the tax paid by the new workers would be needed to finance the government benefits that they and their families consume – especially for healthcare and education. It is necessary, therefore, to ask how much net revenue is created by immigration and how that additional revenue relates to the increased number of immigrants.

Here are some simple calculations for Spain. The analysis would be much the same for other leading European countries.

The extra immigrants in the next decade would provide net revenue temporarily but would eventually receive retirement pensions and healthcare that absorb the extra taxes that they pay. It would take a continuing increase in the number of immigrants to achieve even the relatively small additional revenue that I have described.

There may be many reasons to favour increased immigration. The new workers would enjoy an improved standard of living for themselves and their children. They and their descendants may contribute to their new countries in many ways. But it would be wrong to advocate increased immigration as necessary to deal with the fiscal consequences of an ageing population, or as a means to avoid large future tax increases or benefit reductions.

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More by Martin Feldstein

Even more by Martin Feldstein


IMF and other lenders to provide Romania 20bn euros (USD 27bn) in aid.
IMF 12.95bn euros, the European Union 5bn euros and the World Bank 1bn euros.
EBRD is to invest up to 1bn euros in Romania over two years.
Romania is the third EU nation to be given IMF aid recently, after loans were given to Latvia and Hungary.
BBC 25/3 2009


Den tyske inrikesministern Hans-Peter Friedrich vill inte släppa in Rumänien och Bulgarien i passunionen Schengen.
På torsdag träffas EU-ländernas justitie- och inrikesministrar i Bryssel. Om då Rumänien och Bulgarien kräver en omröstning om att få gå med i Schengensamarbetet, som ska garantera EU-medborgare fri rörlighet över gränserna, kommer den tyske inrikesministern Hans-Peter Friedrich att lägga in sitt veto.
– Om Rumänien och Bulgarien insisterar på en omröstning kommer utspelet att stöta på det tyska vetot, sade Hans-Peter Friedrich i en intervju med tyska Der Spiegel på söndagen.
Europaportalen, 4 mars 2013

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Början på sidan


EU ger klartecken för Bulgarien och Rumänien
Marianne Björklund, DN nyhetsplats 26/9 2006

Bra länkar


"Vari består egentligen felet med att den borgerliga majoriteten i riksdagen under hösten godkänner EU-konstitutionen?
Utvidgningen har i själva verket varit en jättesuccé,
men med Rumänien och Bulgarien blir det stopp.
Kroatien lär få vänta många år på sin tur.
Expressen 27/9 2006


Rätt åt Cecilia Malmström få ta hand om migration,
gränskontroll, asyl och polissamarbete.


Europeiska byrån för förvaltningen av det operativa samarbetet vid Europeiska unionens yttre gränser (FRONTEX)

Frontex samordnar det operativa samarbetet mellan medlemsstaterna när det gäller förvaltningen av de yttre gränserna... samt erbjuder medlemsstaterna nödvändigt tekniskt stöd till genomförandet av gemensamma insatser för återsändande.

Läs mer här

Europeiska byrån för förvaltningen av det operativa samarbetet

vid Europeiska unionens yttre gränser (FRONTEX)

Frontex


Frontex, the European Union's border protection agency, is demanding more money and equipment to seal off Europe's borders to refugees.
The Operations Center of the European border security agency Frontex is situated in a windowless room on the 23rd floor of a high-rise building in the center of Warsaw.
Der Spiegel 02/21/2011


Med Schengenavtalet samordnades de yttre gränskontrollerna. Oavsett via vilket land en person kommer in i EU, ska kontrollen vara densamma. En gemensam databas ger gränsvakter uppgifter om efterlysta eller utvisade personer, liksom om stulet gods.

Sedan 2005 tas de flesta beslut på asyl- och invandringsområdet med kvalificerad majoritet, istället för med enhällighet. Europaparlamentet har fått stort inflytande genom medbestämmande.

Läs mer här

Början på sidan


EU justice ministers meeting to discuss how to present a more unified front on tackling immigration
have ended up taking side swipes at each other about who is to blame for the thousands of mainly African migrants coming to Europe's southern shores. EU Observer 22/9 2006

However, he got short shrift from Germany, Austria and the Netherlands who criticised both the request for money and a decision by Madrid in 2005 to legalise the status of around 600,000 illegal immigrants already in Spain.

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EU har av vissa kallats för fästning Europa.
Det är nu hög tid att vi slår hål på fästningen och låter mer av den fria rörlighet som vi har inom unionen också gälla för de människor från länder utanför unionen som vill komma och arbeta och bidra till Europas välfärd.
Migrationen i världen ökar. Den främsta orsaken till att människor lämnar sina hemländer är att de vill lämna fattigdom och svåra förhållanden bakom sig, med förhoppningar om arbete och en bättre ekonomisk framtid någon annanstans, kanske i Sverige eller i övriga EU. Dessa människor varken kan eller bör hållas borta genom fler gränskontroller och murar.
Tobias Billström och Cecilia Malmström, SvD Brännpunkt 9 maj 2008

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Recent comments about the accession of Eastern European states and the preoccupation with low paid jobs
shows an astonishing naivety what Bulgaria is really about.

New Economist, 22/8 2006

I cringe when I hear politicians praising Bulgaria's efforts to put its house in order. Those of us who have lived and worked in Bulgaria know that there is a deep malaise here. The fact is that the Government in Sofia (and its predecessor) has lied continuously to Brussels, made promises and given undertakings which it has neither the wit nor the will to keep. Consider these things:

1. Corruption is endemic.

2. Every bit of institutional foreign funding, including the pre-accession funding, which has ever reached Bulgaria has been plundered by corrupt politicians and officials.

3. Organised crime in Bulgaria really is 'organised'.

4. A real war on crime would need a free press and this it does not truly have in Bulgaria.

etc, etc

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EU:s regeringar får drygt två år på sig att försöka enas om hur EU:s kris ska lösas.
Ekot 16/5 2006

Tyskland som är EU:s ordförande från årsskiftet får i uppdrag att under våren 2007 föra djuplodande samtal med medlemsstaterna i denna fråga.
Resultatet ska presenteras i en rapport vid EU:s toppmöte i juni nästa år. Rapporten ska i sin tur utvärderas av EU:s stats- och regeringschefer och det resultatet ska sedan vara utgångspunkt för hur EU ska reformeras.
Vid det laget har det hunnit bli höst 2008 och då är det dags att fatta beslut om hur de nödvändiga förändringarna ska gå till.
Det kan ske genom en ny regeringskonferens som får i uppdrag att förhandla om delar av eller hela innehållet i EU:s författning.

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Den svenske statsministern Göran Persson rustade för strid om villkoren för EU:s utvidgning när han anlände för en andra dags förhandlingar med EU:s ledare.
Sverige gillar inte att Österrike vill föra in ytterligare ett krav för medlemskap i EU.
Marianne Björklund och Ingrid Hedström, DN 16/6 2006


Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel said the leaders had dropped the idea of making "absorption capacity" an additional criterion for further enlargement.
However, the leaders asked the European Commission to produce a report this year to define what the EU's absorption capacity is.
The President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, told the BBC on Thursday that all democracies had to take account of public opinion.
BBC 16/6 2006


Vet folk detta?
En enig riksdag gav på tisdagen grönt ljus till Rumäniens och Bulgariens EU-anslutning.
Enligt tidsplanen ska de två länderna träda in i unionen vid årsskiftet.
Riksdagen Tisdagen den 9 maj 2006

Partierna var rörande överens när frågan behandlades och flera ledamöter talade sig varma för nästa steg i den så kallade östutvidgningen. Det första - och hittills största - steget togs 2004, då tio nya länder anslöt sig till unionen.

Riksdagens protokoll

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EU expansion may have reached its high-water mark
Financial Times May 15 2006

The fact that gangs involved in people-trafficking, smuggling, drug-running and money laundering have been operating beyond the law may once have been of relatively little concern to the wider world. But Bulgaria’s problem is about to become Europe’s problem.

When it joins the EU – as it will in 2007 or 2008 – Bulgaria will be part of a club promising open borders and a high level of cross-border co-operation, including the sharing of police intelligence.

Mr Rehn will warn Bulgaria its entry into the EU could be delayed by a year until 2008 – the severest penalty available to him – unless it starts to get serious in its fight against crime by the autumn.

Bulgaria and Romania, with a combined population of about 30m, are the back markers in the “big bang” 2004 enlargement. Because of their relative poverty and slow recovery from more than 40 years of communism, the EU gave Bulgaria and Romania more time to prepare for membership.

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The EU is quietly wary over the nomination of Agim Ceku, a former Albanian guerrilla general under indictment by Serbia, as the new prime minister of Kosovo
EU Observer 2/3 2006

Belgrade issued an Interpol arrest warrant for Mr Ceku's arrest on charges of war crimes against Serbian civilians in Kosovo in 2002. He was twice captured in Slovenia and Hungary but later freed after interventions by EU and UN diplomats.

Ethnic Albanian Mr Ceku fought alongside Croatian forces against the Serbian army from 1992 to 1995 and became the commander in chief of the Kosovan Liberation Army in the late 1990s.

He took over command of Kosovo's civil emergency structure, the Kosovo Protection Force, comprised mainly of former KLA members, after European and US forces helped put an end to ethnic clashes in Kosovo in 1999.

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European vice-commissioner Franco Frattini has said media should sign up to a voluntary code of conduct on reporting on Islam and other religions.
In an interview with UK daily The Telegraph on Thursday (9 February), Mr Frattini argued that the cartoons in Danish paper Jyllands-Posten "humiliated" millions of muslims.
EU-Observer 9/2 2006

According to Mr Frattini, by agreeing to a charter "the press will give the muslim world the message: we are aware of the consequences of exercising the right of free expression, we can and we are ready to self-regulate that right."

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Bulgaria and Romania likely to join EU in 2007
EU Observer 3/4 2006

The European Commission is to recommend in a report in May that Romania and Bulgaria join the EU in January 2007 as planned, according to German daily Die Welt. The commission will urge both countries to make further reforms in order not to miss out on aid cash when joining the bloc, the German paper reported referring to "high-ranking sources in the EU commission."

Individual member states, as well as current EU president, Austrian chancellor Wolfgang Schussel, have already declared their readiness to start ratification procedures as soon as possible after the report comes out. A final decision on when exactly Romania and Bulgaria will join the bloc rests with EU leaders, expected to deliver their verdict at a summit in June.

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Sarkozy wants freeze on enlargement and slimmer EU charter
But negotiations with Romania and Bulgaria had progressed so far that it would be inappropriate to stop them.
EU Observer 13/1 2006


We have to ask: should Europe have borders? And the answer is yes, it should,"
"A Europe without borders will become a subset of the United Nations."
Nicolas Sarkozy, a presidential hopeful in next year's French elections
EU Observer 31/3 2006

Several high-profile speakers at the congress of the centre-right European People's Party gathered in Rome on Thursday (30 March) made comments about limiting EU enlargement plans.

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Särskilt kritisk är Bildt mot en formulering i kommunikén från mötet som talar om EU:s "absorptionskapacitet" eftersom Bosninen och Makedonien bara har ett par miljoner invånare.
Text-TV 12/3 2006

I den fråga som dominerade tvådagarsmötet, Balkanländernas väg mot EU-medlemskap, tog ministrarna ett resolut steg bakåt, anser Bildt.

Megalomani?
Jag ser ingen annan historisk möjlighet att säkra fred och frihet än att successivt bygga en federation av nationalstater mellan Ryssland och Atlanten, Ishavet och Medelhavet.
Detta är ett arbete utan modell och utan slut.
Steg för steg bygger vi ett gemensamt demokratiskt beslutsfattande i alla de frågor som vårt samarbete omfattar.
Rom byggdes inte på en dag,
Carl Bildt, DN Debatt 19/8 2003

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The EU has explicitly committed itself to "EU membership as ultimate goal" for the Western Balkans
The statement was issued jointly by the 25 foreign ministers of the EU, its three candidate countries (Turkey, Croatia and Macedonia) and the foreign ministers of the other western Balkan countries hoping to join the union (Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania).
EU Observer 11/3 2006

"The EU also notes that its absorption capacity has to be taken into account," the statement reads, referring to the union's own capacity to welcome new members

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När Rumänien blir medlemsland kommer även Moldavien att angränsa till EU. På sikt bör även Ukraina och Moldavien samt ett demokratiskt Vitryssland ha möjlighet att bli EU-medlemmar.
Slutrapport arbetsgrupp Allians för Sverige, jauari 2006

Det viktiga är nu att säkerställa att EU-utvidgningen och fördjupningen av europasamarbetet kan fortsätta så att en fortsatt positiv utveckling i Europa kan säkras.
EU:s beslut att inleda medlemskapsförhandlingar med Turkiet är historiskt. Det banar vägen för ett demokratiskt och marknadsekonomiskt Turkiet som efterlever rättsstatens principer. Det är en utveckling som ligger i hela Europas intresse.

Det är också positivt att medlemskapsförhandlingar inletts med Kroatien samt att Makedonien fått kandidatlandsstatus.
Även övriga länder på Balkan bör på sikt bli medlemmar i EU...
Ukraina och Vitryssland är idag EU:s nya grannar. När Rumänien blir medlemsland kommer även Moldavien att angränsa till EU. På sikt bör även Ukraina och Moldavien samt ett demokratiskt Vitryssland ha möjlighet att bli EU-medlemmar.

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Russian gas monopoly Gazprom raised the price from $50 to $230 and Ukraine refused to pay.
The average price in the EU is $240.
BBC 2/1 2006

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EU-ledarna sade ja till Makedonien som kandidatland natten till lördagen.
DN/TT 17/12 2005

Makedonien???
Vill Du veta mer så fråga CIA

eller Wikipedia

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Det olyckligaste Europa skulle kunna göra vore att stänga dörren för dem som står utanför i stället för att ta in dem i gemenskapen i syfte att försöka skaffa sig grannar att leva i sämja med.
Turkiet och Ukraina borde höra till dem.
Rolf Gustavsson och Richard Swartz, SvD 18/12 2005

Min främsta oro gäller risken för att man nu monterar ner Europas mjuka makt genom att bromsa den fortsatta utvidgningen... Det handlar främst om sydöstra Europa - från Balkan till Turkiet - men i det längre perspektivet också om Ukraina och andra.
Carl Bildt 3/6 2005


"EU-utvidgningen måste fortsätta"
När konstitutionen föll efter Frankrikes och Nederländernas nej i somras blev det tydligt att EU saknar en sammanhållen idé, något som kan ena staterna mot ett gemensamt mål.
Stater som tar sina första steg mot demokrati - nu senast Ukraina - har siktet inställt just mot EU. Om unionen sviker denna uppgift, om den vänder sig inåt och stannar i växten, kan det till och med finnas skäl att fråga sig vad unionen i grunden ska vara bra för.
DN-ledare 5/10 2005

En sådan idé har funnits. Fredstanken var bärande årtiondena efter det andra världskriget. Det kalla kriget skapade en känsla av att sammanhållning var livsviktigt.

EU uppfattas som ett elitprojekt utan kontakt med människors vardag. I detta perspektiv är det inte märkligt (men nedslående) att röster höjs för att EU måste vara lösare sammanhållet, mindre federalistiskt och mer decentraliserat. Det handlar om ett vägval, om en syn på vilket Europa vi vill ha.

Det kan med fog hävdas att utvidgningen är en av EU:s stora bedrifter. Den har enat det Europa som delades med tvång. Den har spritt demokrati och respekt för de mänskliga rättigheterna på ett sätt som USA aldrig förmått. Och stater som tar sina första steg mot demokrati - nu senast Ukraina - har siktet inställt just mot EU.

Om unionen sviker denna uppgift, om den vänder sig inåt och stannar i växten, kan det till och med finnas skäl att fråga sig vad unionen i grunden ska vara bra för.

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Turkiet

Dagens Nyheter

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Vår generation måste också ha visioner. En dag som denna bör Schuman inspirera oss att tänka längre.
Vår vision i ett femton-tjugoårsperspektiv ser ut så här:
Europa, från Atlanten till Ural och Bosporen, har blivit helt.
EU har 40 medlemmar och över 800 miljoner invånare.
Det innebär att samtliga länder som helt eller delvis ligger i Europa, alltså även Ryssland och Turkiet, är medlemmar.
Lars Leijonborg, Partiledare (fp) och Cecilia Malmström, EU-parlamentariker (fp)
Liberala Nyhetsbyrån 9/5 2000

Balaklava and the Charge of the Light Brigade


Wolfgang Schauble, foreign affairs adviser in opposition leader Angela Merkel's pre-election team
"What we are concerned about is Europe's borders and the support of Europeans for EU integration. They will not identify with a Europe that will border with Iran and Iraq. Europe will not exist if the EU's borders will stretch to Iran and Iraq
EU Observer/Herald Tribune 26/8 2005

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The writer is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington and author of America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism
The EU was beginning to develop a quasi-Roman idea of itself as a kind of soft imperial force, spreading its system to the whole European continent or even – in the dreams of some of its wilder adherents – the world.
Anatol Lieven, Financial Times, 28/6 2005


SURVEY: EU'S EASTERN BORDERS
The Economist print edition, Jun 23rd, 2005

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Consider Kaliningrad, an isolated exclave of Russia on the Baltic Sea.
Since last year, they have been surrounded by the EU, in the form of Poland and Lithuania.
What might be a showcase for co-operation has often been rancorous, not productive.
The Economist 12/5 2005


The leaders of Bulgaria and Romania will sign in Luxembourg the countries’ accession treaties
The ceremonial act on Monday (25 April) will be one of the final formal steps before the two states join the EU on 1 January 2007.

EU Observer 24/4 2005

after the signing of the treaties, Bulgaria and Romania will get a slightly enhanced status of "accession countries" – as opposed to previously being labelled as 'candidates'.Their representatives will start attending the EU's Council of Ministers and parliamentary meetings, without voting powers – as observers.

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Bulgarien, landet på Balkan som nästan ingen vet något om, kommer in i EU-gemenskapen 2007.
En regering ledd av kungen, ja just den ex-kung Simeon som fått lämna landet vid 9 års ålder 1946.
Simeon, under namnet Saxe-Coburg-Gotski, är premiärminister.

rättsväsendet har fått många anmärkningar, främst för att åklagarna har oinskränkt makt och mål kan dra ut i många år. Unga flickor lockas fortfarande till Västeuropa med fagra löften för att säljas till prostitution, smugglingen från Asien går just över Bulgarien, och den organiserade brottsligheten har bitit sig fast i landet. Gummor dubbelvikta av ålder säljer blommor vid kyrktrappan och yngre arbetslösa och utslagna får sälja sina ägodelar i gatubasarerna.
Disa Håstad DN Ekonomi 21/4 2005

Ännu har levnadsstandarden för vanligt folk inte nått 1989 års nivå. Några få är rika (5 procent har inkomst över 150 euro), medellönen är låg och pensionerna förfärligt låga.

Kärnkraftverket tvingas vi stänga för ­ EU:s skull, men folket vill ha det kvar.

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PJ Anders Linder:
Nu också med Rumänien och Bulgarien
Man kan ha många kritiska synpunkter på hur samarbetet inom EU fungerar och vad unionen ägnar sig åt, men östeutvidgningen är verkligen något helt fantastiskt.
SvD Blog 13/4 2005

EU-samarbetet är i svårigheter med en impopulär konstitution, en stagnerad Lissabonprocess och en urvattnad stabilitetspakt.
I det läget får man ta vara på glädjeämnena.

Mer av PJ Anders Linder och SvD ledarsida

CIA about Bulgaria

EU about Bulgaria


In Germany, there is pressure on the Christian Democrats to turn the coming election campaign more or less into a referendum on Turkish membership of the EU
The coming enlargement must cover all of south-eastern Europe.
If Europe is seen as closing its door to Turkey, the Balkans and the Ukraine, it should know it is opening the door for other forces and risks creating instability on its very doorstep in the decades ahead
Carl Bildt Financial Times 1/6 2005


The Economist:
Serbia has been told that it too can start accession talks.
The most contentious issue will be Kosovo.
13/4 2005

Bulgaria and Romania are scheduled to join the Union on January 1st 2007, bringing the number of members to 27 and adding 30m to its population.

Almost 15 years after Yugoslavia began its descent into hell, there is a new determination, on the ground and in Brussels, to ensure that the countries of the western Balkans are heading for membership of the EU, rather than drifting further into isolation and poverty.

For Serbia, war criminals may be the easy bit. More contentious is Kosovo. Technically, the UN-run province remains part of Serbia. But more than 90% of Kosovo’s 2m people are ethnic Albanians, who will settle for nothing short of independence. For six years Kosovo has lingered under UN control, as western policymakers hoped the problem would go away. But since March 2004, when ethnic Albanians rioted across the province, it has been clear that it will not.

Serbia and Kosovo’s Albanians could probably agree on large parts of a future constitution for Kosovo. The problem, says a Kosovar politician and analyst, Veton Surroi, will be what to write in the first article, which lays down whether Kosovo can be defined as an independent state or as part of Serbia.

Since neither side will agree, American and EU diplomats are now mulling the idea of imposing a final status for Kosovo, without the full agreement of the parties. Such an imposed settlement might include several elements, such as that independence would be conditional for years to come, that NATO would stay to guarantee security, and that Serbian areas of Kosovo would be given a large degree of autonomy.

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Carl Bildt är med i den kommission som skall fixa saken

Carl Bildt om EU-grundlagen


Dagens Nyheter
På onsdag röstar EU-parlamentet om Bulgarien och Rumänien ska få gå med i EU som planerat 2007.
Trots allvarlig kritik om korruption, människohandel och organiserad brottslighet, framför allt i Rumänien, väntas parlamentet ge dem sitt stöd.
13/4 2005

Enligt planerna ska de båda länderna underteckna sina anslutningsfördrag med EU den 25 april i år. Därefter har de drygt ett och ett halvt år på sig att leva upp till de åtaganden om bland annat demokrati, rättssäkerhet och ekonomi som slås fast. Tanken är att de ska gå med som fullvärdiga medlemmar i unionen från och med januari 2007.

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Bolkenstein framstår som en ny Djingis Khan
Bolkesteins förslag /tjänstedirektivet/ antogs den 13.1.2004 utan några fundamentala invändningar från kollegerna i EU-kommissionen. Tre av dagens EU-kommissionärer deltog i beslutet, däribland Margot Wallström.
I efterhand betraktar hon presentationen av förslaget som ett åskådningsexempel på en katastrofalt usel kommunikationspolitik. Allt som kunde gå fel gick fel.
Rolf Gustavsson, SvD 12/2 2005

I Frankrike kallades det ”Frankenstein-direktivet”, personifierat av ”den polske rörmokaren”, vars franska yrkesbröder stängde av vattnet till Bolkesteins sommarhus i Normandie.

Kommentar av Rolf Englund:
Margot Wallström gör sin plikt som välavlönad tjänsteman. Kritiken mot tjänstedirektivet sägs bero på dålig kommunikation. Det kan ju vara så också att medborgarna mycket väl förstått vad föreslaget innebar, men att de inte gillade detta.

Margot Wallström

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The proposal for a new European Union services directive, issued when Frits Bolkestein was single market commissioner, is under attack from all sides.
Dubbed the "Frankenstein directive", it has been billed "unacceptable" by Jacques Chirac,

All this excitement is difficult to understand.
By Daniel Gros, director of the Centre for European Policy Studies
Financial Times 6/4 2005

The proposal for a new European Union services directive, issued when Frits Bolkestein was single market commissioner, is under attack from all sides. Dubbed the "Frankenstein directive", it has been billed "unacceptable" by Jacques Chirac, the French president, and is playing a big role in the French referendum on the EU's constitutional treaty. Last month's European summit called for it to be revised "to safeguard the European social model".

All this excitement is difficult to understand. Europe's single market was supposed to come into effect on January 1 1993, providing freedom of movement in four areas - goods, capital, people and services.

Enlargement of the EU last May has fuelled concerns on the part of citizens of existing member states that the directive will lead to "social dumping", if higher standards of social protection in richer member states are eroded by competition from lower-cost countries. The adverse reaction in Germany and France's railing against an EU with a "liberal" bias show how "old" Europe prefers to moan about unfair competition rather than turn enlargement into an opportunity.

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The new constitution, with its nonsense about a "social union", makes the wrong choices.
Within an integrated labour market it is impossible for one region to offer much better benefits than others without generating a ruinously costly inflow of benefit seekers.
That is what happened to New York in the 1970s.
This is why welfare states must work at the level of the entire labour market.
Martin Wolf Financial Times 6/4 2005

European enlargement promises to end the division of the continent, which goes back at least to the second world war. But, as I argued last week, it also creates huge challenges for the continent's richer west. If the west is to cope, it must make big reforms to its labour markets and welfare states.

As Hans-Werner Sinn of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich points out, hourly labour costs in the present wave of accession countries were, on average, one-seventh of the west German level in 2003.

Only if countries have flexible labour markets can migration be beneficial: Israel, the US and today's UK come to mind. Germany is in the opposite category.

A generous welfare state is a magnet for immigrants and particularly for low-skilled immigrants. The higher the quality of public infrastructure and services, the bigger the attraction. It is for this reason that only after a lengthy period do immigrants pay back the general benefits they receive.

Within an integrated labour market it is impossible for one region to offer much better benefits than others without generating a ruinously costly inflow of benefit seekers. That is what happened to New York in the 1970s. This is why welfare states must work at the level of the entire labour market.

As Germany becomes part of a bigger labour market with hugely divergent welfare standards, it will become a magnet for immigrants.

The result must be the harmonisation of welfare across the continent at the level either of the rich countries or the poor ones. The choice would be between economic collapse in the latter and the end of social harmony in the former.

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Ifo Inst: EU Enlargement, Migration and the New Constitution

Tyskland

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More by Martin Wolf


Våra nya landsmän
Bulgaria and Romania should both sign the EU Accession Treaty as planned, on 25 April

EU Observer 16/3 2005

Bulgaria and Romania should both sign the EU Accession Treaty as planned, on 25 April, as separating the two cases would be a mistake, MEPs said on Wednesday (16 March).
"If the signatures [of the Accession Treaty] do not happen at the same time, we will condemn everything that has been done by the Romanian government, and send a very negative signal", Pierre Moscovici, the European Parliament's rapporteur for Romania, said.
"It would be seen badly and could be understood as a humiliation by 22 million Romanians", MEPs agreed.

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By virtue of their size and location, Turkey and Ukraine are much the most important countries now requesting entry. Many in the European Union hope to wake up from these twin nightmares.
If they had been in that hall, they would have realised the magnitude of their delusion.

Martin Wolf FT 2/2 2005

EU's recent economic performance is less dismal than many suppose. Output per hour worked is quite similar in the US and the pre-enlargement EU of 15 members. Employment is rising in the EU, though the proportion of the population of working age at work is still far lower than in the US.

The EU is an achievement for which many, including the US itself, can take great credit. Its attraction to its neighbours is overwhelming. It is now easy to imagine an EU with an aggregate population of well over 600m.

Yes, such an EU would be unwieldy. No, it would not be the great power dreamt of by many Europeans. But it would also be more than a free trade area. Such an EU would be a zone of prosperity, peace, freedom and democracy, stetched across Europe. Turkey and Ukraine believe in it. Why should the rest of us not do so, too?

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Few have realised the most dangerous feature of EMU: it has locked Germany into a seriously uncompetitive real exchange rate
Martin Wolf, Financial Times, March 31, 1999


Romania is on the right track but hard work still needs to be done if the country is to join the EU in 2007, the Commission has told Bucharest.
EU Observer 24/1 2005

Utmärkt info om Rumänien på svenska hos EU

Dock börjar historien år 1946:
"Under flera århundraden var Europa skådeplats för många och blodiga krig. Under perioden 1870-1945 var Frankrike och Tyskland i krig med varandra tre gånger, med oerhörda förluster av människoliv till följd. Flera europeiska ledare insåg att det enda sättet att garantera en varaktig fred mellan länderna var ett ena dem ekonomiskt och politiskt."

Mer om freden som argument för EU och EMU

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The principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia - for centuries under the suzerainty of the Turkish Ottoman Empire - secured their autonomy in 1856; they united in 1859 and a few years later adopted the new name of Romania. The country gained full independence in 1878. It joined the Allied Powers in World War I and acquired new territories following the conflict. In 1940, it allied with the Axis powers and participated in the 1941 German invasion of the USSR.

CIA about Romania


I am often asked where Europe's ultimate borders lie.
EU closed accession talks with Bulgaria and Romania, which will allow them to join the EU in 2007 provided they are ready. And later this year, the Union will open accession negotiations with Croatia and Turkey
Olli Rehn, Commissioner responsible for enlargement, FT 4/1 2004

The European Union took big strides towards further enlargement at the end of 2004. It closed accession talks with Bulgaria and Romania, which will allow them to join the EU in 2007 provided they are ready. And later this year, the Union will open accession negotiations with Croatia and Turkey.

I am often asked where Europe's ultimate borders lie. My answer is that the map of Europe is defined in the minds of Europeans. Geography sets the frame, but fundamentally it is values that make the borders of Europe. Enlargement is a matter of extending the zone of European values, the most fundamental of which are liberty and solidarity, tolerance and human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

A condition for enlargement is the "Union's capacity to maintain the momentum of European integration". Paralysis would be too high a price to pay for expansion. Fortunately, history has proved it is possible simultaneously to deepen and widen Europe. In the past 15 years, the number of members has more than doubled and the Union has taken large steps towards deeper political and economic integration: the Schengen area of free movement of people, economic and monetary union, and a significant reinforcement of European foreign, security and defence policies.

For the countries of the western Balkans - often weak states where institution-building is crucial - we have created a stabilisation and association process that includes the prospect of EU membership.

My goal is that in 2009 the EU will have about 27 members, with half a dozen western Balkan countries well on their way to EU membership, and Turkey on track, through rigorous reforms. If these countries can fully adopt the EU's values, peace and prosperity in Europe will be more secure.

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Only three European nations have been truly democratic sovereign states throughout the last century.
The two that are members of the EU, Britain and Sweden, are among the most eurosceptical.
The other, Switzerland, has chosen not to join.

John Kay, columnist Financial Times 14/12 2004

Crowds in the streets and an assertion of independence by parliament and judiciary seem to have restored democracy in Ukraine. These developments pull the country towards western Europe and away from Russia. The European Union will this week decide whether to begin discussions on Turkish accession. Should Ukraine also be a candidate?

This year's simultaneous admission of 10 new states is a bigger gamble still. Although their combined population is not much larger than the Mediterranean group, the gap in living standards is much greater. There is a high probability that at least one of them will encounter severe economic difficulties or a crisis of democratic legitimacy in the next 10 years.

Mutual support for freedom and democracy is one of the purposes, perhaps the central purpose, of the EU. But such mutual support is a process from which the weak gain more than the strong. Integrity of institutions, like personal integrity, is enhanced or diminished by the integrity of those with whom you associate.

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– Det multikulturella samhället är dömt att misslyckas.
Tyskland har sina rötter i en kristenjudisk tradition
sade Angel Merkel och fick applåder på
CDU:s partikongress, Ekot 6/12 2004

Tack gode Allah för Europeiska Unionen
EU börjar närma sig sina yttersta gränser, vilket spetsar till frågan om vår europeiska identitet.
Signerat Niklas Ekdahl, pol red DN 6/12 2004


Europe must think big to keep growing
The debate on Turkey that has exploded across Europe highlights the urgent need to develop a new grand strategy for the further enlargement of the European Union.
For the time being, we need a comprehensive strategy for the next enlargement, encompassing territory from Drvar in north-west Bosnia to Diyarbakir in south-east Turkey.
Carl Bildt, Financial Times 27/10 2004
"The writer is former prime minister of Sweden, chairman of the Kreab Group and board member of the Centre for European Reform"
RE: And Lundin Oil one might add... Sudan and all that

Bulgaria and Romania are still working to achieve membership by 2007. It is likely that, by the European Parliament election of June 2009, no fewer than 10 former communist states or soviet republics, with a total population of about 100m people, will have joined. But this will not be the end.

In Thessaloniki in 2003, the Union reaffirmed its commitment to the countries of the western Balkans. Croatia will start membership negotiations next year and Macedonia has applied.

Many parts of the Balkans are as underdeveloped as parts of Turkey, and in some ways will represent even more of an integration challenge. Here we also encounter the critical issue of different cultural traditions. I lived for two years next to a small mosque in Sarajevo. For me, the Bosnians of Muslim faith were as European as those of Orthodox, Catholic or Jewish faith.
This diversity has sometimes fed civil strife, it is true, but ultimately it is a source of richness.

The same can be said for Europe as a whole. It is the diversity of traditions that is the ultimate strength of the Europe we are trying to build. Muslims neither can nor should be excluded from this.

If the 100m people of the Baltic states, central Europe and the eastern Balkans represent the EU's first big enlargement, the 100m people of Turkey and the western Balkans should be seen as the second. A possible third - and in all probability final - phase would cover the countries between the present Union and Russia.

For the time being, we need a comprehensive strategy for the next enlargement, encompassing territory from Drvar in north-west Bosnia to Diyarbakir in south-east Turkey.

Throughout Europe, there is pressure to submit this coming enlargement to some form of popular endorsement. The demand is not unreasonable in itself, although the motives for it can sometimes be questioned.
A democratic union requires the consent of its citizens for such big developments.

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Carl Bildt och EMU

Carl Bildt och kronkursförsvaret

Carl Bildt i Albanien
Rolf Englund i EU-krönika i NWT 2001-03-22

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The European Commission today confirmed that Romania and Bulgaria are making progress towards joining the EU in 2007.
EU Observer 6/10 2004

Both countries have received the status of functioning market economy and they continue to respect the EU's political criteria.

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EU-kommissionen sa på tisdagen ja till att Kroatien ska få inleda förhandlingar om att bli medlem i EU.
Av de tidigare jugoslaviska republikerna blir Slovenien medlem i EU den första maj.
Ekot 20/4 2004

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"If we believe, as I strongly do, that Europe's strength lies not in a Judaeo-Christian club but in a diversity of traditions underpinned by common and universal values, then we must fulfil our engagements to Turkey".
UK foreign secretary Jack Straw, EU Observer 24/3 2004


Frågan om övergångsregler för den fria rörligheten kan kokas ner till problemet med arbetstagares självförsörjning. Pudelns kärna ligger i EU-lagen med det spännande namnet 1612/68
DN Anders Bolling, 22/3 2004

Här kommer den numera ökända "tiotimmarsregeln" in, den som Göran Persson nu säger sig vilja ändra i EU. Den är ingen egentlig regel, utan en referens till 15-20 år gamla EU-domslut som slagit fast att rätten till uppehållstillstånd i andra EU-länder gäller också personer med begränsade anställningsförhållanden.

Så långt dagens möjligheter. Men ponera att Sverige utnyttjar möjligheten att tillfälligt införa krav på exempelvis arbetstillstånd. Då kvarstår ändå det faktum att från den 1 maj gäller hela EU-rätten för 25 länder i Europa. Allt kan prövas i EU-domstolen. Och den lutar sig inte bara mot faktiska rättsakter utan också mot själva andan i fördragen, syftet bakom alla paragrafer.


Where do the eventual boundaries of the European Union lie?
Mar 11th 2004 From The Economist print edition

GROUCHO MARX famously remarked that he did not want to belong to any club that would have him as a member. The European Union faces the opposite problem. It is a club that does not appear to want anybody who applies for membership. One senior official comments that “the countries that are most attractive to us as future members are small, rich ones like Norway and Switzerland.” Unfortunately the Swiss and Norwegians show no signs of wanting to join. All the would-be new members are poor or big, or both.

On May 1st the EU will formally admit ten new countries. Most of them are from central Europe, and all are poorer than the EU average. Then, 2007 is the target date for the EU to let in two more relatively poor countries: Bulgaria and Romania. That would mean an EU of 27, which would become 28 if Croatia manages, as it hopes, to slip in at around the same time. By the end of this year, the EU is due to decide whether formally to open membership negotiations with Turkey—a country that is not only poor and big, but also Muslim. The betting in Brussels is that, unless the Cyprus re-unification talks go badly awry, Turkey will secure its invitation to start negotiations. And that means that eventual Turkish membership will become almost inevitable—perhaps by around 2015.

And if Turkey gets in, is there any real argument for keeping out Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus or Georgia

In reality many of today's members view the prospect of an ever-expanding Union with a mixture of fatalism and dread. There are several reasons for this. The first, inevitably, is money. The EU redistributes billions of euros from rich to poor members: more poor members means more claimants on the purse. A second is immigration. One of the Union's fundamental principles is that there should be freedom to move from one member country to another. But anti-immigration parties are gaining ground across western Europe; they could make huge political capital out of potential Turkish membership.

Vår vision i ett femton-tjugoårsperspektiv ser ut så här:
– Europa, från Atlanten till Ural och Bosporen, har blivit helt. EU har 40 medlemmar och över 800 miljoner invånare. Det innebär att samtliga länder som helt eller delvis ligger i Europa, alltså även Ryssland och Turkiet, är medlemmar.
Cecilia Malmström, (fp), ordinarie ledamot i utrikesutskottet i Europaparlamentet och suppleant i det konstitutionella utskottet, ur DN 15 maj 2000

Ingmar Karlsson: Europeisk nationalstat ett dödfött projekt
EUROPA OCH FOLKEN EN EUROPEISK NATION ELLER NATIONERNAS EUROPA?

Wahlström och Widstrand, 1996, ISBN 91-46-16890-7
Ur kapitel 8. Europa och folken - EU:s demokratiska underskott och den europeiska identiteten

Turkiet

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Fredrik Reinfeldt: en kortprocess för att få arbetstillstånd för att veta vilka som är här.
Men tillstånden ska i så fall utformas så att alla får dem. Man ska inte behöva ha jobb eller bostad innan

DN 12/3 2004

- För att vi ska nå en överenskommelse med regeringen måste merparten av det som står i regeringens skrivelse strykas, säger Fredrik Reinfeldt. Han menar att regeringen i första hand vill hindra människor från att komma till Sverige och samtidigt vill ha stärkt kontrollmakt för LO. Däremot kan moderaterna tänka sig någon form av arbetstillstånd för de nya EU-medborgarna. - Det kan handla om en kortprocess för att få arbetstillstånd för att veta vilka som är här. Men tillstånden ska i så fall utformas så att alla får dem. Man ska inte behöva ha jobb eller bostad innan.

Frits Bolkestein, the EU single market commissioner:
Turkey should stay outside EU protecting Europe from Syria, Iran and Iraq
Financial Times 8/3 2004


Europe needs a strong Commission
With less than two months to go before enlargement of the European Union, the political temperature is rising and scare stories have started to get more hysterical. Cash is not the biggest challenge to be met over whether this enlargement will banish forever the consequences of the Iron Curtain.
The most important issue is more mundane: will the system work?
Quentin Peel, Financial Times 4/3 2004

Silly tabloid headlines about floods of migrants from eastern Europe scrounging west European welfare payments were inevitable. To have populist politicians jumping on the bandwagon is more disturbing. More worrying still is that our political leaders, after years of mouthing pious platitudes about their commitment to reuniting a divided Europe, are trying to weasel out of paying for it. They want to cap the EU budget just as 10 poorer member states are joining.

In the words of one European commissioner in Brussels: "They have ordered the suit, but they don't want to pay for the cloth." But even cash is not the biggest challenge to be met over whether this enlargement will banish forever the consequences of the Iron Curtain. The most important issue is more mundane: will the system work?

This is by far the most ambitious enlargement undertaken by the EU, at a time when its existing institutions are already under strain. Decision-making with 15 member states is bad enough. Every time there is a government crisis in one country, or a tight-fought election, it tends to stop the process. The 10 new member states, most just learning to live with democracy, have a tendency to produce weak governments and an inclination to throw them out at every opportunity. It is going to make for a decision-making nightmare in the Council of Ministers and the European Council, where the member states negotiate EU legislation.

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Det räcker med en dags arbete i Sverige för att en medborgare i ett annat EU-land ska få rätt till svensk a-kassa.
Det konstaterar Eva Adolphson, Länsförsäkringars specialist på socialförsäkringar, efter att ha studerat reglerna.
DN 27/2 2004


On Thursday in Dublin the Republic of Macedonia submits its application for membership of the EU
Radmila Sekerinska, deputy prime minister of the Republic of Macedonia in charge of European integration
Financial Times Thursdag 26/2 2004

It was at the Feira Summit in June 2000 that European leaders opened the EU's doors to the western Balkans. Along with Macedonia, this region includes Croatia, Serbia-Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania. At the summit we were told "the future of these countries is in the Union." Such promising words were reiterated with renewed strength at the Thessaloniki Summit in June 2003.

CIA about Macedonia

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Den irländske premiärministern Bertie Ahern sade på måndagskvällen att Irland antagligen kommer att behöva göra som Storbritannien och införa något slags begränsningar för de nya EU-medborgarnas rätt till sociala bidrag.
Ekot 24/2 2004


Det enda undantaget är Irland. Där vill ingen införa några övergångsregler.
Expressen-ledare 23/2 2004

Den irländska ekonomin riskerar ständigt överhettning och behöver alltid ny arbetskraft. Irländarna tror att folk vill komma dit för att arbeta och bidra, inte för att utnyttja de sociala systemen. Så har också Irland gått från att vara ett av Västeuropas fattigaste länder för bara 20 år sedan till att i dag vara näst rikast i EU. Det tål att tänka på när EU:s övriga länder motvilligt backar in i framtiden.


Blunkett has failed to wake up to the immigration nightmare
We are at a watershed. Political correctness has finally collided with practical reality.
Andrew Green, Daily Telegraph 24/02 2004

Sir Andrew Green is chairman of Migrationwatch UK

We have been forced by events to rethink the consequences of the massive levels of immigration that have developed in the past five years. And yet the immediate result is a damp squib: the Government's panic measures, announced yesterday, to deter an inflow of immigrants from Eastern Europe will have little effect.

The Government cannot have failed to note the extraordinary events in Holland. Public opinion in one of the most liberal countries of Europe has done a somersault in just two or three years. Now, of all countries, Holland is expelling failed asylum seekers by the thousand.

The British Government already has reason to be nervous. There is a strong feeling here that we are losing our culture, and successive polls show that 80 per cent of the public want to see much tougher immigration controls including, importantly, 52 per cent of the ethnic minority communities.

Eastern Europe illustrates the point. In 2002, some 800,000 nationals of the accession states arrived in the UK. Some will have been the same people on multiple journeys and many will have returned home. But nobody has any idea how many stayed on illegally, although a visit to any building site will provide some clues. What is known is that, over the past three years, a total of 50,000 travellers from the candidate states have been turned back at our ports. It is a fair guess, therefore, that considerable numbers have friends or relatives here who know the ropes, which is always one of the greatest pull factors for new immigrants.

Despite this, the Home Office has been predicting that the number of people of migrating from Eastern Europe will be between 5,000 and 13,000 a year from a total population of 73 million. This estimate must be absurdly low. Indeed, the Home Secretary took care yesterday to distance himself from it.


A BOGUS group posing as an authority on immigration in Britain has become the toast of the right wing press and Tories. Migrationwatch UK is constantly quoted in the Times, Sun and Daily Mail. These are the papers that relish attacking workers on strike as much as they enjoy bashing refugees.

The group's name is supposed to make you think it is a respected think-tank, like Human Rights Watch. It claims, "This is an independent organisation. We have no political axes to grind." The right wing newspapers treat it as a serious group that is just interested in the facts about immigration. But its real aim is to whip up fear and hysteria over refugees.

The men who run Migrationwatch UK are happy to serve some of the most privileged, anti working class people in the country. The organisation was set up just a year ago by ex-diplomat Sir Andrew Green and his sidekick, Oxford don David Coleman. The two reek of the Tories. Both worked for Margaret Thatcher's hated Tory government, the union-busters who systematically tried to smash ordinary working people. Coleman is now a professor at the elite and luxurious St John's College at Oxford University. He was a special adviser to several top Thatcher-loving Tories between 1985 and 1987.

Full text at
http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/1830/sw183016.htm


Det finns minst fyra skäl att säga nej till avsteg från principen om fri rörlighet.
SvD-ledare 24/2 2004

Sannolikt blir en komponent att arbetstillstånd ska krävas för medborgare från de nya medlemsländerna. Tillstånden skulle då kunna kopplas till de krav som föreslogs i utredningen EU:s utvidgning och arbetskraftens rörlighet (SOU 2002:116).

En anställning som ger rätt till arbetstillstånd definieras då som "ett heltidsarbete med en svensk normallön". Det skulle kanske tillgodose LO:s krav på att få fungera som rikslikare på arbetsmarknaden, om än bara under en övergångsperiod.

Det finns minst fyra skäl att säga nej till avsteg från principen om fri rörlighet.
För det första skulle inskränkningar med rätta betraktas som ett svek mot bakgrund av Sveriges tidigare utfästelser för utvidgningen.
För det andra riskerar inskränkt rörlighet att legitimera de krafter som spelar på främlingsrädslans strängar. Redan statsministerns tal om "social turism" är djupt oroväckande. Som om svenskar alltid vore närande och utlänningar alltid tärande.
För det tredje hamnar hela debatten snett. EU:s utvidgning blir ett hot mot vår välfärd snarare än en väg till ökat utbyte, som främjar vårt välstånd.
För det fjärde är övergångsregler ändå bara en tillfällig lösning, och det kommer att ta betydligt mer än sju år för de sociala och ekonomiska skillnaderna mellan Sverige och de nya medlemsländerna att jämnas ut.

EU:s utvidgning har mycket att erbjuda Sverige, men kan också medföra vissa kostnader. Inget tyder på att de blir större än vinsterna, och vi bör i vart fall inte göra dumheter för att försöka undkomma dem.

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Svenska Dagbladet


Romerna är de ideala européerna. De har en transnationell identitet och har släkt och vänner över hela kontinenten. De har genom sin snart tusenåriga historia i Europa ständigt varit på vandring och har därför prövat på den fria rörlighet som är ett av ledorden i det nya Europa.
Det kommer att vara fler romer än svenskar i EU efter utvidgningen.
Kristofer Thelin, Sydsvenskan 23/2 2004

Romerna är de ideala européerna. De är språkkunniga och talar ofta fem, sex språk. De har en transnationell identitet och har släkt och vänner över hela kontinenten. Framförallt har de genom sin snart tusenåriga historia i Europa ständigt varit på vandring och har därför prövat på den fria rörlighet som är ett av ledorden i det nya Europa.

Det finns mer än tio miljoner romer i Europa. Det kommer att vara fler romer än svenskar i EU efter utvidgningen.


Opposition parties have hit out at government measures devised to cope with a potential increase in migrants to the UK when the EU expands in May.
The Conservatives said the scheme did not go far enough while the Liberal Democrats said was an over-reaction.
BBC 24/2 2004

But union and business leaders have welcomed plans to start a registration scheme for migrants who get jobs. The government said its approach would open the door to much-needed workers while protecting the benefits system. The Conservatives said the scheme did not go far enough while the Liberal Democrats said was an over-reaction.


Tony Blair: Migrants from the countries joining the EU in May
will have to work or leave the UK

BBC 23/2 2004

Residents of the eight former East European communist countries will only be allowed to stay in Britain if they can support themselves, he said. He spoke as David Blunkett prepared to outline what measures are planned to deal with potential migrants. "If they can't support themselves, they will be put out of the country," the prime minister told BBC WM.

Mr Blunkett is expected to seek to welcome workers who fill gaps in the UK labour market, but wants to prevent "benefit tourism". The measures were agreed at a hastily arranged meeting in Downing Street chaired by Mr Blair last week.

Ministers have denied the package was put together in a last-minute panic. There is widespread speculation the measures will include some kind of register of those seeking employment. It has been suggested that work permits may be issued, but that has not been confirmed. The length of time someone has to live in the UK before becoming eligible for income support, housing and council tax benefit is also likely to be extended.

Tory home affairs spokesman Humfrey Malins told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the government had had three years to put in place transitional arrangements. "Whilst we don't know how many people may come, the fact is it is an open-ended commitment and this government has actually done nothing to prepare us for it," he said.

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De nya medlemmarna välkomnas med en skylt om att de bara äger begränsat tillträde till EU. De fantastiska möjligheterna har smält samman till ett hot mot ”våra jobb” och ”våra bidrag”. Därför måste vi, anser förespråkarna för övergångsregler, skydda oss med protektionistiska åtgärder.
Är det bara tillfällig eftergivenhet inför populistiska strömningar med botten i välfärdsnationalism och EU-fientlighet?
SvD-ledare 23/2 2004


Expansion jeopardizes EU's founding vision
William Pfaff, International Herald Tribune 21/2 2004

The expansion of Europe means the transformation of Europe. This has been intuitively understood in the founding states of the European Union, as well as those that have since become full members. The consequences of the Union's further expansion in May, however, will put it in a more difficult internal as well as geopolitical situation than it has ever experienced. At the same time, expansion is diminishing the Union's capacity for strategic agreement and common action. This is a more serious threat to "Europe" than usually is appreciated.

When Jean Monnet was sent by Robert Schuman, the French foreign minister, to Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of Germany in 1951 with a proposal to put the war-making industrial capacities of the two countries under a common authority, Adenauer replied, "I have waited 25 years for a move like this. ... For me, like you, this project is of the highest importance: It is a matter of morality."

EU expansion to Britain, Denmark and Ireland in 1973 was a matter of practical interests. Expansion to Greece in 1981 and Spain and Portugal in 1986 was again driven by moral conviction, that "Europe" had to include the nation at the source of European civilization, Greece, and two countries that had just awakened from rightist dictatorships. In 1995, after the fall of Communism, expansion incorporated the "neutrals," Austria, Finland and Sweden.

The moral argument for incorporating the former Soviet states of Central and Eastern Europe has been: How can we exclude them after all they have been through? But it must be asked at the same time what this does to the character of the EU, and what risks and responsibilities it entails.

The EU, for admirable and altruistic reasons, runs the risk of weakening itself as a union and annexing serious social and political trouble. At the same time expansion automatically reduces - and in some cases may completely block - the EU's ability to make decisions and take common action.

It is imaginable that the EU will simply lapse into a material and economic association. That would not extinguish "Europe" as a political presence in the world, but would mean that Europe would only exist by way of individual governments, and by its individual members acting together in terms of ad hoc alliances of national or group interest


EU:s utvidgning österut närmar sig med storm-steg, men de positiva tongångarna är utbytta mot ett vagt, stundtals främlingsfientligt mumlande
DN-ledare 22/2 2004

I Sverige började det med statsminister Göran Perssons vulgära tal om "social turism". Sedan följde Byggnadsarbetareförbundets kampanj som målar ut medborgarna i de forna kommuniststaterna som billiga slampor. Budskapet till polacker, balter och tjecker kunde knappast missförstås. Helst av allt skulle de stanna kvar i sina länder, på behörigt avstånd från "svenska" jobb och "svensk" välfärd.

På samma sätt som vissa industrier i Sverige tidigare utsatts för hård konkurrens från billig import, utsätts nu byggbranschen för en sund press utifrån. Det kommer att tvinga ner ersättningarna och leda till att en del måste söka sig till andra sektorer.


Ett folkpartistiskt försök att i sista stund göra om EU:s regler så att särbehandling av arbetskraft från de nya EU-länderna inte ska behövas har rönt en allvarlig motgång.
DN 21/2 2004

Genom den så kallade tiotimmarsregeln anses det räcka att en EU-medborgare har jobb tio timmar i veckan i ett annat medlemsland för att ha rätt till bidrag för sig och sin familj . EU-parlamentarikern Olle Schmidt (fp) har föreslagit att parlamentet ska ändra i ett direktiv som nu är på bordet om fri rörlighet över gränserna. Med ändringen skulle arbete definieras så att det måste räcka till ens försörjning. Men Schmidt misslyckades med att få stöd i utskottet för medborgerliga fri- och rättigheter. "Det är olyckligt, trist och dystert", skriver Olle Schmidt i ett pressmeddelande.

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Göran Persson uttryckte i går starkt stöd för ett turkiskt EU-medlemskap. Visserligen utlovade Persson en "stenhård granskning" av förhållandena i landet, men han förklarade att "vi vill stödja er och vi vill ha ett utökat EU."
Corren 18/2 2004

The report by the IFO economic institute in Germany and the University of Munich, says that the Union is set for a series of economic problems after 1 May, when the EU enlarges to 25 members.
EU Observer 17/2 2004

"Existing studies tend to downplay the importance of the impact of accession on the current EU states ... but the uncertainty surrounding the economic and policy problems in the post-accession phase is enormous", the report concludes.

Many analysts believe that the economic effect of enlargement will be positive for both current member states and future EU countries. But the authors of this report believe that it will take a long time for accession countries to achieve the level of income now enjoyed by the current EU 15.

"Our analysis emphasises that convergence of new countries' income to the EU average will be a very long process with considerable uncertainty about modalities and possible structural and policy problems emerging along the way".

Furthermore, there are warnings over worker migration from the new countries to the current EU and the effect on wages and the wider econony. The authors write,
"we fear that the transition will be unnecessarily difficult for some of the existing EU economies unless they find effective and socially acceptable ways to reform their institutions to allow for necessary wage flexibility in the future".

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Tidningen Daily Express genomför ett "korståg" mot fri inflyttning till Storbritannien av de nya EU-ländernas massor av lönedumpande arbetare och bidragstagare.
Detta "korstågs" stora fiende och fasa är - zigenarna.

Expressen-ledare 13/2 2004

Romer, zigenare, tattare, bohemes, gypsies (egentligen egyptier), mustalainen (ungefär "svartskalle" på finska), hatat barn har många namn, har förföljts och förslavats, stötts ut och stängts in i Europa under mer än ett halvt årtusende. Vår egen Gustav Vasa spottade på dem. På 1600-talet utsattes de för den grymmaste lag som stiftats i Sverige, den zigenare som inte lämnade Sverige direkt skulle saklöst hängas. På 1950-talet var knappt 800 "svenska zigenare" ett slumfolk av fysiskt nergångna analfabeter.

Under nazitiden förintades procentuellt sett fler zigenare än judar, även om Tyskland inte förmådde sig att erkänna det förrän på 80-talet.

Det lever inte fler romer i Europa än att de skulle kunna gå vilse i Norrland allihop. Kanske kring fem miljoner allt som allt, varav några få procent har möjlighet att byta hemland, men i allt fler västländer beskrivna som en när som helst invällande lavamassa som lägger välfärdsbyggen i ruiner på sin väg.

De är inuti sig samma som vi andra, de vill överleva på möjligt vis, bo och arbeta, höra hemma någonstans, dansa.

Romer inom den europeiska unionen är lika mycket EU-medborgare som vi, med samma skyldigheter och exakt samma rättigheter, vilka de nu blir efter all nationalpolitisk byxångest som sprids över Västeuropa. Vi har en stor skuld till det romska folket. Den bör nu betalas med gemenskapens öppenhet och hjälpsamhet. Ett nytt avvisande, ett ännu en gång anstiftat zigenarhat kan leda till ett åtminstone moraliskt sammanbrott för EU.

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The right to work in the west, which was once trumpeted in eastern Europe as a great benefit of EU accession, will almost certainly be restricted for at least two years in 13 of the 15 current EU members.
Stefan Wagstyl, Financial Times 8/2 2004

The key unknown is Poland. With 39m people, half the total population of the 10 new members, and an unemployment rate of 20 per cent, it is the most likely source of any unexpectedly large migration wave, especially as, over the next few years, it will see a surge of young people entering the labour force.

Unice, the European employers' federation, argues that migration will speed growth in both east and west by increasing labour flexibility.

Even if the overall migration flows cause Europe few economic difficulties, the political challenges remain. Almost everywhere migration remains controversial, even if west Europeans are often more tolerant of white east Europeans than of black or Asian immigrants. One danger is that specific regions could be swamped by immigrant workers, notably in eastern Germany and Austria where it is possible to commute daily from the east. This fear lay behind Germany's and Austria's early push for migration controls.

A second potential political flashpoint is the fear of migrations by the 1.5m gypsies in the accession states, mainly in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, plus a further 2.5m in Romania and Bulgaria, which are due to join the EU in 2007. East European governments insist that few gypsies (or Roma) will move. Despite their nomadic traditions, most east European Roma live settled lives. They suffer from poverty, discrimination and poor access to education and healthcare. But few will migrate, if only because most Roma are poor and lack the resources to move. Suggestions that welfare benefits will prove a particular attraction to Roma also seem wide of the mark. If benefits were so important, gypsies already living in the EU - mainly in Spain and Italy - would have moved to welfare-rich north-west Europe. But they have not.

A final, and more general concern is about access to welfare benefits. Welfare officials across the EU worry that opening the labour market could place excessive demands on the welfare system, especially in countries with easily accessible schemes, including the UK, Ireland, Sweden and the Netherlands. Göran Persson, the Swedish prime minister, said last month this was a particular concern. "I expect enormous problems unless we protect ourselves."

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Palestinian foreign minister Nabil Shaath hopes that Palestine could eventually become a member of the EU
EU Obsever 9/2 2004

. According to Spiegel Online, at the NATO conference in Munich Mr Shaath said that after peace is reached with Israel, the country should be taken on as an EU member. "If Palestine could become a member of the European Union after a peace agreement, it would be a wonderful incentive".


Svensk folkeparti. Så tog de steget till slut. Folkpartiet populisterna.
För den som eftersträvar en öppen och human invandringspolitik var tisdagskvällen inte särskilt munter.
Expressen-ledare 4/2 2004

Fram till i går kväll gällde alltså oron hos oss som tror på en generös politik moderaterna. De liberala krafterna inom det partiet gick en hård rond mot de gamla invandringsmotståndarna, och avgick med segern nu i helgen. Då andades vi ut. Nu får väl regeringen inse att den inte har en majoritet för sin flyktingfientlighet, tänkte vi. Men då hade vi inte räknat med folkpartiet.

Det är nu hög tid att partiet byter ut den gamla mossiga etiketten "liberalerna" mot en som passar bättre. Folkpartiet populisterna. Eller varför inte svensk folkeparti. För folkpartiet hämtar sin inspiration från vårt södra grannland. Där har ju ett annat före detta liberalt parti upptäckt hur man kan nå 30-procentsnivån. Och det är väl folkpartiets mål i nästa val.


Främlingsrädsla håller på att bli minsta gemensamma nämnare i EU
DN-ledare 5/2 2004

I går skrev DN på ledarplats om den svenska omsvängningen i fråga om de nya medlemmarna - deras medborgare ska hindras från att "välfärdsturista". Att Sverige är i sällskap med nästan alla gamla EU-länder hindrar inte att statsminister Göran Perssons omsvängning väckt en mindre smickrande uppmärksamhet i internationella medier.

Oginheten och fördomsfullheten begränsas inte bara till polacker och andra nya EU-medborgare, den gäller än mer dem som inte alls hör till unionen. Den svenska asylprocessen ska reformeras, det vill säga fler ska stängas ute, färre släppas in. Att asylhanteringen är mänskligt nedbrytande, ekonomiskt kostsam och en pinsam fläck för ett demokratiskt och humanitärt land behöver inte diskuteras. Vad som däremot måste ifrågasättas är analysen av detta sakernas tillstånd och föreslagna förändringar.

Det välmående Europa är i dag en magnet för massor av människor - förtryckta, fördrivna, offer för sammanfallande stater och inbördes strider. Många av dem söker sig hit av mindre dramatiska skäl - de vill ha en bättre framtid. Alla dessa skäl är legitima, men långt ifrån alla är legala asylskäl.

Eftersom de europeiska länderna i praktiken är stängda för alla utom för dem som kan få asyl, blir asylprocessen ett nålsöga. Några få tar sig igenom det, men mångas försök ändar i mänskliga tragedier och fyller människosmugglarnas plånböcker. Den som ser problemet i dess helhet måste ställa frågan om det är vettigt att ett åldrande Europa lägger ned stora resurser på att stoppa människor i arbetsför ålder. Europa behöver en ordnad invandring, den skulle avdramatisera asylprocessen och den skulle minska spänningarna mellan invandrare och redan bofasta. Och, inte minst viktigt, den skulle bevara respekten för asylmöjligheten.

Så tänker emellertid inte den svenska regeringen. Den vill lösa problemen kring asylprocessen genom att göra processen kortare med de sökande. En ansökan - ett överklagande, - sedan är det slut, underförstått sedan ska du ut.

Oroande är den bild av flytande värderingar som folkpartiets agerande ger. Partiet är i likhet med regeringen oroat av "bidragsinvandring" och tycks under mycket krumbuktande vara inne på samma linje som Göran Persson: särregler för de nya EU-medborgarna. Inget försök att hävda en annan syn, till exempel att den fria rörligheten är en del av själva EU-tillhörigheten och ska gälla lika för alla, för svenskar som för polacker.

Samma gäller asylprocessen: kortare ska den bli som regeringen vill - och så rättssäker. Här finns en försåtlig glidning mot att stryka de välfärdsnationalistiska, fördomsfulla eller främlingsfientliga krafterna medhårs. Från partiets ledning hänvisar man också till förra årets valkampanj och den fränare tonen i invandrarfrågor som partiet då överraskade med. Många uppfattade den som att partiet fiskade i grumliga vatten, andra nöjde sig med att konstatera att de inte kände igen det liberala partiet. Nu fortsätter folkpartiet och det finns ännu större skäl att ställa frågan: Vad håller Lars Leijonborgs parti på med?

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- Skulle vi som ensamt land säga till Östeuropas medborgare att hit är ni välkomna att jobba i tio timmar och sedan få tillgång till våra sociala förmåner? Ja, då är vi naiva, sade Göran Persson.
DN-ledare 4/2 2004

Det är samme Göran Persson som kritiserade Tyskland och Österrike när de ville ha övergångsregler för de nya EU-medlemmarna från öst, det är samme statsminister som med särskild kraft drivit östutvidgningen, som talat om ett historiskt tillfälle att göra Europa helt och fullfölja det fredsverk som EU är. Men nu har han ändrat sig, nu ska Sverige följa efter och släppa sin profilfråga.

Anledningen är generande enkel: LO vill kontrollera svensk arbetsmarknad och anti-EU-opinionen är stark. Dessutom spelar olika krafter på den främlingsrädsla och motvilja mot förändringar som alltid finns i samhället.

Göran Perssons fotbyte är karaktäristiskt för den numera så vanliga politikertypen - den som låter sig ledas i stället för att leda. Det är den sorts politiker som bringar själva politiken i vanrykte.

Men finns det då inte skäl för att sätta upp hinder för en okontrollerad "välfärdsturism"? Göran Persson må ha ändrat sig, men han kan ju ha rätt?

Visst går det att ifrågasätta att en person med blott tio arbetstimmar bakom sig ska ha rätt till ett fullgott och omfattande socialt stöd. Men kvalifikationsgränserna ska i vilket fall gälla lika för alla.

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Göran Persson

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FN varnar för att allt fler asylsökande i EU kommer att hamna i de nya, fattigare medlemsstaterna.
Deras flyktingmottagning riskerar att inte klara av en ökad belastning.
SvD 22/1 2004

- Om vi inte är försiktiga, så finns risken att vi överbelastar svaga och underbemannade asylsystem, sade Ruud Lubbers, chef för FN:s flyktingorgan UNHCR, på torsdagen. Många av dem som söker asyl i nuvarande EU-länder har rest genom eller uppehållit sig i de blivande medlemsstaterna i Öst- och Centraleuropa. När dessa går in i EU den 1 maj, ökar möjligheterna att skicka tillbaka asylsökande dit. En orsak är EU-regeln att flyktingars ansökningar ska hanteras i det land de först kom till.

En annan orsak är Eurodac, en gemensam databas med fingeravtryck på alla som söker asyl i EU. Eurodac gör att personer som söker asyl i flera EU-länder kan identifieras även utan handlingar och skickas till det land där de först lämnade in sin ansökan. Den möjligheten ökar ytterligare när EU genomfört sina planer på en gemensam visumdatabas med fingeravtryck. Många asylsökande tar sig in i unionen via vanligt turistvisum som förstörs.

UNHCR pekar på att vissa nya EU-länder i Öst- och Centraleuropa bara har 10-15 tjänstemän för att hantera asylärenden. Deras system riskerar att "kollapsa" under den nya bördan, befarar Lubbers. Därför efterlyser han gemensamma EU-åtgärder. Han föreslår bland annat att unionen upprättar EU-mottagningscenter och att medlemsstater fördelar vissa kategorier av flyktingar mellan varandra, så att den finansiella bördan sprids ut.

För tio år sedan fanns knappt någon asylmottagning alls i de nya EU-medlemsstaterna. De fungerade endast som transitländer för människor som vill ta sig till Västeuropa. I dag tar länderna emot mellan 60 000 och 70 000 asylsökande per år. Det innebär minskad press bland annat på det svenska systemet.
- Ju färre transitländer vi får desto bättre, säger migrationsminister Barbro Holmberg.


Den nordiska välfärdsstaten förutsätter en kulturell samhörighet som inte längre existerar - och som inte längre kan återupprättas.
Göran Rosenberg, kolumn DN 20/1 2004


Croatia’s recently elected Prime Minister today (12 January) said that he expected his country to be accepted as a candidate for membership of the European Union within the next five months.
EU Observer 12/1 2004


External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten has warned that the European Union will be almost "full" after the next round of enlargement which will see the number of member states rise to 25
EU Observer 29/12 2003

Speaking on the UK's Radio 4 over the weekend (27 December), Mr Patten said there must be a line where the EU ends and that line had almost been reached.

"There is a sense that at 25 or 30 the EU is going to be difficult to run. At much more than that, well nigh impossible", said the UK Commissioner.

"There must be a line somewhere where the EU ends. We have almost got to the line".


Lars Leijonborg och Maud Olofsson vill ta bort de nuvarande reglerna som gäller för den fria rörligheten inom EU.
Enligt en dom i EG-domstolen räcker det med tio timmars jobb i veckan för att en EU-medborgare ska få tillgång till det nya landets sociala välfärd. Kravet borde i stället vara att man kan försörja sig, står det i brevet.
Ekot 10/12 2003

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Lars Leijonborg


Svenska politiker är rädda för en växande främlingsfientlighet, när gränserna öppnas för invandring från EU:s nya medlemsländer.
Alla partier kan därför tänka sig skärpta regler när EU utvidgas nästa år.
DN 1/12 2003


The Baltic states, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Slovenia.
In May next year these eight countries will join the European Union, along with the Mediterranean islands of Cyprus and Malta.
Bulgaria and Romania will follow in 2007, if they can reform and modernise fast enough.
A queue of other hopefuls is forming for the years after that, with Croatia at the head, Turkey and the countries of the western Balkans - Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro - some way behind.
The Economist Survey 27/11 2003

Början på sidan


Franco Frattini, the new European commissioner for justice:
Without a plan for luring legal immigration, Europe will not have fewer immigrants, it will simply have illegal ones. Twenty million immigrants are destined to arrive in the two decades after 2010 if trends persist.
And given Europe's ageing population, there is no reason for trends not to persist.
Christopher Caldwell FT 15/1 2005

The writer is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard

Last week, Franco Frattini, the new European commissioner for justice, made a bold attempt to reverse the logic of Europe's stalled immigration debate. Where national ministers and Brussels authorities have sought to impose a Europe-wide regime from above, Mr Frattini proposes a "bottom-up" approach. At a time of growing clamour to tighten borders, Mr Frattini seeks to loosen them.The new EU green paper on economic migration envisages six months of public discussion about how to set "clear conditions and rules for legal economic migration in order to fight illegal immigration". This does not mean interfering with the right of individual countries to limit their intake of newcomers, Mr Frattini stresses

The green card has proved a flexible tool for regulating immigration in an open economy. European countries could gain similar benefits, but only at the expense of surrendering national control over immigration levels. American green-card holders can quit their job, move a thousand miles, and apply for another. But if an immigrant can, say, leave his roofing job in Nice and settle in Berlin, Germany's jealously guarded right to set quotas is meaningless. And on what grounds would a European court consider fair a regime that forbade residents to move within its borders? There is something in the dynamic of the European project that makes it hard for governments to place demands on minorities. The EU's 1.3m Estonian-speakers can settle wherever they like, and in whatever concentration. On what grounds, over the long term, can the same rights be denied the EU's Arabic-speakers? A harmonised immigration policy is hard to envisage unless individual nations cede control over their frontiers.

The trouble is that immigration looks more and more like the first problem that requires Europeans to choose definitively between European and national sovereignty. Nations can lay down the law on immigration, and so can the EU. But any mixed regime of EU standards and local immigration quotas will collapse of its own illogic

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EU har gett Polen uppgiften att hålla ordning på EU:s gräns mot öster
Polens gräns mot Vitryssland, Ukraina och Moldavien är 120 mil lång.
Floden Bug, känd från andra världskriget, kommer att likna Rio Grande mellan USA och Mexiko.
EU:s centrum borde flyttas från Bryssel och Strasbourg till Berlin och Warszawa
Gunnar Fredriksson, Aftonbladet 2003-10-06

EU har gett Polen uppgiften att hålla ordning på EU:s gräns mot öster och stoppa och kontrollera asylsökande, människosmugglare, narkotikahandlare, biltjuvar, bärplockare, städhjälper, sutenörer och horor. Polens gräns mot Vitryssland, Ukraina och Moldavien är 120 mil lång. Nu måste den nya medlemmen i EU ställa upp med visumtvång och taggtråd.

Floden Bug, känd från andra världskriget, kommer att likna Rio Grande mellan USA och Mexiko.

EU omfattar med utvidgningen 25 länder med 450 miljoner invånare. Polen är med sina 40 miljoner lika stort som alla de andra nya medlemsländerna tillsammans.

För mig blir nog utvidgningen och den helt visst konfliktfyllda samverkan med de nya medlemsländerna i Centraleuropa och Baltikum det mest dramatiska och mest spännande i Europapolitiken. Olika kulturtraditioner, historiska erfarenheter och färgstark eller oroväckande nationalism möts. "Europa", som det ofta uppfattats i väst, förskjuts åt öster. EU:s centrum borde flyttas från Bryssel och Strasbourg till Berlin och Warszawa.


New EU members warned against rush to join euro
The 10 new members of the European Union could damage the single currency and themselves
if they rush to join the euro, a senior EU economic official warned on Thursday.
Financial Times September 4 2003

Caio Koch-Weser said he was concerned that some countries had set themselves an "over-optimistic" timetable for trying to join the euro. Mr Koch-Weser, Germany's top finance ministry official, is the new chairman of the EU's traditionally secretive economic and financial committee, which vets bids to join the euro.

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Italien och Tyskland överens om EU-gränspolis
tyskarna ska ansvara för bevakningen av EU:s yttre landgränser
Ekot 25/8 2003

Det pågår diskussioner om hur EU:s gränser ska bevakas i framtiden. Om Italien och Tyskland får bestämma ska man skapa en gemensam EU-gränspolis. Det kom de båda ländernas inrikesministrar överens om vid ett möte i helgen.

De kallade det för projekt Neptunus, tysklands inrikesminister Otto Schily och hans italienska kollega Giuseppe Pisanu, när de båda träffades på Sardinien i helgen. De båda ministrarna är överens om att EU:s gränser måste skyddas bättre mot illegal invandring och smugglare.

I korthet går projekt Neptunus ut på att skapa två övervakningscentra i Medelhavet. Ett som drivs av spanjorer och ett av greker. I Italien lägger man ett centrum som samordnar övervakningen av unionens flygplatser, medan tyskarna ska ansvara för bevakningen av EU:s yttre landgränser.

Personal till de ”operativa enheterna” som det heter, alltså de enskilda gränsposteringarna, ska sedan komma från hela unionen.

– Man måste inse att problemen är samma för alla, från Polen till Spanien. Att försvara sina nationsgränser innebär också att man försvarar Europas gränser, sade den italienske inrikesministern Pisanu på en presskonferens.

Enligt den tyska inrikesministern är enigheten mellan de båda länderna total. Med två av EU:s största medlemsstater bakom förslaget har åtminstone ett litet steg tagits mot ett gemensamt gränsskydd.

Enligt den italienska tidningen Corriere della Sera sa Otto Schily att ”nu återstår bara att stämma av med övriga medlemsländer. Men det handlar i stort sett om detaljer. Vi har redan beslutat om ett gemensamt skydd av våra yttre gränser.”

Så sent som på EU:s toppmöte i Grekland i juni, beslöt de 15 medlemsländerna att avsätta uppemot 1,3 miljarder kronor för en gemensam gränskontroll.


Jag ser ingen annan historisk möjlighet att säkra fred och frihet än att
successivt bygga en federation av nationalstater mellan Ryssland och Atlanten, Ishavet och Medelhavet.
Detta är ett arbete utan modell och utan slut.
Steg för steg bygger vi ett gemensamt demokratiskt beslutsfattande i alla de frågor som vårt samarbete omfattar.
Rom byggdes inte på en dag,

Carl Bildt, DN Debatt 19/8 2003


De nya medlemsländerna tillför unionen 75 miljoner nya invånare.
Totalt kommer EU den 1 maj 2004, då de nya medelemmarnas formella inträde sker, att ha 451 miljoner invånare.

SvT Text 16/4 2003


European Commission:
Croatia, Serbia-Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina
and Albania will be members too

Financial Times 25/3 2003

The enlargement of the European Union is not going to stop next year when 10 new countries join but instead will extend to the western Balkans, according to a report issued on Wednesday by the European Commission.

"The unification of Europe will not be complete until it includes its south-eastern part - the countries of the western Balkans will be the next in line, at their own individual pace," it says.

The countries include Croatia, Serbia-Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania.

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The European Commissioner for Enlargement Gunter Verheugen stated Thursday in Bucharest that by the end of 2003 Romania must have concretely tackled corruption and improved its judicial system.

2003 is therefore a crucial year for the country’s EU membership application - Romania, along with Bulgaria, is hoping to join the EU in 2007. ....... more


Europe risks destruction
/enlargement/
By Martin Wolf

Financial Times, December 10 2002

Turkey belongs in Europe
Dec 5th 2002 From The Economist

"Ge gärna Turkiet en positiv signal"
Sydsvenskan 10/12 2002


Europe risks destruction
/enlargement/
By Martin Wolf
Financial Times, December 10 2002

In 1693, William Penn, eponymous governor of Pennsylvania, wrote an essay on "the present and future peace of Europe", in which he envisaged "an Imperial Dyet, Parliament or State of Europe". This, he suggested, would work on the basis of weighted voting. It would contain all of Europe, including even "the Turks and Muscovites".

For more than 21/2 centuries, Penn's vision of peaceful unification remained just a dream. Then, when the idea was reborn during the cold war, it was restricted to western Europe. Since the end of the Soviet empire, wider European integration has become feasible. This week the European Union will take a huge step in that direction, by taking in 10 new members. But that is not the end. Turkey is also demanding a date for a start to negotiations. The Balkan states are potential candidates, as well. Further in the future may come Ukraine.

The EU is caught between the lure of the desirable and fear of the unworkable. An EU that secures a prosperous, democratic and peaceful European continent is appealing - but one incapable of saying No to ever more enlargement courts destruction. What is certain is that, workable or not, the new Europe will be very different from what now exists and from what most believers in the European project have long desired.

Today's EU - that of the 15 - is homogeneous and rich. In 2000 it had a population of 376m, a gross domestic product, at market prices, of $8,460bn and a GDP per head, at purchasing power parity, of $23,550.

The US, by comparison, had a population of just 282m, a GDP of $9,600bn and a GDP per head, at PPP, of $34,100.

The EU's richest economy (besides Luxembourg) was Belgium, with an income per head, at PPP, of $27,470. Its poorest was Greece, with a GDP per head of $16,860.

The 10 new enlargement countries had a combined population of 74m in 2000, with Poland accounting for 39m. Yet their aggregate GDP, at market prices, was only $338bn.

Income per head, at PPP, averaged $10,550, the richest being Cyprus and the poorest Latvia, on just $7,070.

An EU of 25 members would have had a population of 451m, a GDP at market prices of $8,800bn and a GDP per head, at PPP, of $21,410.

A further Balkan enlargement, to include Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and the rest of the former Yugoslavia, would add seven even poorer countries (at least), with a total of 54m people. These countries had a combined GDP, at market prices, of only $92bn in 2000 and an average GDP per head, at PPP, of just $5,380.

The richest of these countries, Croatia, was nearly as poor as the poorest of the 10 candidates now about to enter. The poorest, Albania, has a standard of living less than half this meagre level.

Now add Turkey, with a population, in 2000, of 65m and a GDP at market prices of $202bn, about the same as Austria's. Its GDP per head, at PPP, was $7,030, close to Latvia's.

With Turkey included, an EU of 33, in 2000, would have had a population of 570m, double that of the US, a combined GDP at market prices of $9,100bn and an average GDP per head, at PPP, of $18,250.

In an EU of 33, the ratio of standards of living between the richest and the poorest would be 10 to one.

This new EU would be a colossus. But culture, history and levels of development would vary enormously. Difficulties will arise even with the existing enlargement. But they will become still more significant if the Balkan countries and Turkey - large, poor and Muslim - are to join.

Most of Turkey even falls outside any historical definition of Europe. The Economist responds that "countries which can subscribe to the core values of democracy and freedom should be eligible as candidates, be they Slavs or Muslims, and no matter how far they are in miles from Paris or Berlin".

This is absurd. Should the EU take Australia, Canada, South Africa, India and Russia, if they wanted to join?

Yet even if we ignore the intractable question of where Europe stops, the consequences of already envisaged enlargements must be recognised.

First, the engine of economic convergence inside the EU may work less well than in the past, because core Europe is so economically sluggish and the burden of EU regulation is heavier.

Second, single market, environmental and labour market regulations could prove inapplicable, unworkable or harmful to poorer countries.

Third, free movement of labour is problematic, particularly with Turkey, since it has a dismal long-term record of job generation, huge internal inequalities and a population expected to grow to almost 80m by 2015.

Fourth, though a single currency area is expandable without limit in theory, the more diverse the membership the greater the stresses within it.

Fifth, without a large increase in the EU budget, resource transfers available to poorer members will have to be shared more thinly.

Sixth, the assumption of a shared view of interests, which underlies any common foreign and security policy, and of competent administrations, which underlies common policies on justice and free internal movement of people, must seem ever more implausible.

Seventh, the workings of institutions will need to be streamlined. That must lead to a more rigorous definition of "subsidiarity", or freedom of action for individual members, as a quid pro quo for the diminished voice of every state, even the largest, in collective decisions.

Does all this make enlargement a bad idea? No. But it is an uncomfortable one. Turkish membership is particularly uncomfortable, even if saying a straight No to a country possibly on the way to becoming an Islamic democracy seems irresponsible.

Instead, the EU must insist upon full and durable satisfaction of the entry conditions - the "Copenhagen criteria". These demand: stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities; the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union; and the ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union.

Turkey remains a long way from fulfilling these criteria. Most of the Balkan countries are in worse shape. Much solid and durable progress is needed before entry can be granted.

Yet further enlargement now seems inescapable. It offers big benefits and equally huge challenges. Making it work will exhaust the energies of Europe for decades to come.

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Statsvetare


"from the Atlantic coast of Ireland to the borders of Syria, Iraq and Iran,
from the Baltic to the Black Sea"
By Philip Stephens
Financial Times, December 5 2002

To sketch the new map, from the Atlantic coast of Ireland to the borders of Syria, Iraq and Iran, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, is to glimpse the immense scale of the project. Within two decades it will have transformed the EU's strategic purpose, remade its cultural and ethnic mix and completely reshaped its economic future.

Don't tell that, though, to the European leaders at Copenhagen. They are arguing about far more important things. What happens to subsidies for French sheep farmers, how much will Italy and Spain lose from the EU's structural funds, how tight are the transitional restrictions on the freedom of movement of Polish workers? Enlargement changes the fundamental purpose of the Union. But no one among the present 15 is admitting it.

Think back to the original aims of the then Common Market. The guiding, and noble, ambition of the deal struck at Messina was to remove the possibility of another war between France and Germany. European integration would put an end once and for all to the belligerent nationalism that fuelled two world wars. There was a second, parallel, purpose. The EU would act as a further bulwark against communism. The evident superiority over the Soviet system of liberal democracy and the social market economy would sharpen the dividing line between east and west.

And now? The prospect of another war between France and Germany is sufficiently remote as to be unthinkable. With the Soviet empire long gone, the strategic imperative is to blur the east-west divide. The strategic threats for the European Union are not those of a war between its members or of the appearance of Soviet tanks on the German plains. The dangers lie on the periphery, in instability in the Balkans, in tyranny and corruption in Ukraine, in the terrorism of al-Qaeda, in chaos in the Caucasus and in conflicts in the near and Middle East.

All this disturbs the self-image of those who built the old Europe. They think that the new map can be forced into the old frame. They cling on to the vain illusion that the strategic geometry of an organisation designed for six rich nations can be superimposed on a Union of 35.

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Början på sidan


European People's Party (EPP) sticks to Giscard's line on Turkey
EU Observer 2002-11-12

Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, chairman of the Convention on the Future of Europe has certainly stirred up a hornet's nest with his remarks Turkey.

However, the former French president may not be alone when he says Turkey is not a part of Europe.

On Tuesday a presentation by the European People's Party (EPP) of a draft constitution built up around Mr Giscard's 'skeletal' structure saw Elmar Brok, German MEP and Wilfried Martens, chairman of the EPP, add their views to the Turkey-in-the-EU question. Different routes to the same conclusion

Whereas Mr Giscard made his comments on Turkey on a geo-political basis saying that "its capital is not inside Europe and 95% of its population is outside Europe" Mr Brok and Mr Wilfried preferred to use the Copenhagen criteria as justification for their criticism. These are political criteria used for establishing if a country is democratic.

But, as Mr Brok said, ultimately "the same conclusions as Giscard" have been reached.

"I thought Helsinki was a mistake" continued the German MEP, referring to the EU's decision to give Turkey candidate status in 1999. Describing the decision as "very opportunistic" he said it was "unfair" that it had been given this status which "raised its hopes."

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Giscard d'Estaing:
admitting Turkey would be "the end of the European Union"

A new superpower is emerging
By Michael Prowse, Financial Times, Nov 01, 2002
Very Important Article

"Större EU försvagar Sverige"
professorn i EU-rätt Ulf Bernitz

DN Debatt 2002-10-30

Ekot 2002-10-04
Nästa vecka ska den ansvarige kommissionären Gunther Verheugen lägga fram en viktig rapport i ämnet. Där framgår att det visserligen fortfarande finns en hel del problem i olika kandidatländer, det är en lång rad frågor, exempelvis rättssäkerhet, matkvalitet och konkurrenshinder. Men allt talar ändå i nuläget för att svårigheterna kommer att kunna undanröjas under hösten.
Därmed kan tidtabellen hållas så att Estland, Lettland, Litauen, Ungern, Tjeckien, Slovakien, Slovenien, Polen, Cypern och Malta blir nya EU-länder från och med år 2004. Cypern kommer att accepteras, också om förhandlingarna mellan den grekiska och turkiska sidan inte är avklarade.


Märkliga bud i EMU-frågan
SvD-ledare 2002-10-04
Blottas nu en lucka i den socialdemokratiska ledarkaderns hyfsat entydiga EMU-stöd? Något lurt är i alla fall på gång i Rosenbad vad gäller EMU-frågan.

Riksdagspartierna om EU:s framtidsfrågor
EU 2004-Kommittén har riksdagspartiernas svar på fem frågor om EU:s framtid.
Av svaren framgår bland annat att moderaterna inte tycker att EU ska ha en egen konstitution. Socialdemokraterna säger varken ja eller nej till gemensam konstitution medan miljöpartiet och vänsterpartiet är emot med samma motivering: En konstitution kopplas till en stat, ett inte önskvärt Europas Förenta Stater. Folkpartiet, centern och kristdemokraterna är positiva till en konstitution och menar att det tydliggör vad som är EU och vad som är nationellt.
Folkpartiet har t o m utarbetat ett eget förslag till författning.

What to do if the Irish say No
By Kirsty Hughes, Financial Times, August 5 2002 21:06

Än lever Europa vid Europas aorta
Erik Zsiga SvD 2002-07-15


Staten vill övervaka e-post och nätsurfning
DN 1 juni 2002
Sverige och övriga EU-länder vill registrera medborgarnas e- post och all annan datakommunikation. EU-parlamentarikern Charlotte Cederschiöld (m) varnar för storebrorssamhället.
- Medlemsländerna är ute efter att avlyssna medborgarna för att spara polisresurser. Så enkelt är det, säger hon. Efter en hård kraftmätning mellan EU-parlamentet och det spanska ordförandeskapet nåddes i torsdags en uppgörelse som banar väg för övervakning av e-post, besök på hemsidor och annan telekommunikation som mobilsamtal.
http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=554&a=23453&previousRenderType=6


EU:s asylpolitik på väg mot ett misslyckande
Aftonbladet 2002-05-31

The euro has bought Blair's silence on Europe
Anatole Kaletsky, The Times, February 28, 2002

As Europe’s constitutional convention starts this morning in Brussels, as France and Germany move towards their most unpredictable elections in living memory, as rifts widen in the transatlantic alliance, as the EU prepares to embrace 100 million extra citizens from Eastern Europe in less than two years’ time, this is a decisive moment in the history of Europe and indeed of the world. It is a moment that Tony Blair ought to relish.


FT 2002-04-03
On the face of it, the Czech spa of Karlovy Vary has good prospects when and if the Czech Republic joins the European Union. Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud and Le Corbusier are among those who have stayed in the resort's luxurious hotels. With freer borders and a common currency, Karlovy Vary should profit from EU enlargement.

But the resort's hopes have been disturbed by ghosts from the past: the claims of Germans expelled from the city they called Karlsbad and the surrounding Sudeten hills at the end of the second world war. These claims have been revived by the approach of EU membership for the Czech Republic and nine other states, mostly former Communist countries.

Full text

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Verheugen pledges roadmap for Romania and Bulgaria
EU Observer 2002-03-06

The European Union will offer Romania and Bulgaria by the end of the year a tailor-made roadmap for completing accession negotiations, European commissioner for enlargement Gunter Verheugen told EUobserver on Wednesday.

The roadmap, likely to be proposed to the two countries that would fail to join the Union together with the 10 countries in 2004, would take into account the progress achieved by the two countries by that time.

Moreover, commissioner Verheugen ensured that Romania and Bulgaria would enjoy the same financial conditions when they join the EU as the countries that will join in 2004.

"It is clear that the same rules and programs must be applied to all candidate countries. There won't be any second class treatment, it is impossible to impose on Romania a treatment that falls behind what has been offered to other candidate countries," Mr Verheugen added.

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Lägst EU-stöd i Baltikum
DI 2001-12-13


EU issues enlargement warning
BBC, 23 November, 2001

The European Commissioner responsible for EU, Guenter Verheugen, said support for the process was not overwhelming in the current member states.

He also spoke of growing scepticism about the benefits of membership in the applicant countries.

He described the problems as "psychological", and called for more political support for what he said was an historic process.

Support for EU enlargement:

Austria 33%

France 35%

Germany 35%

UK 35%

Netherlands 42%

Luxembourg 43%

Belgium 44%

Finland 45%

EU average 43%


EU rapid reaction force will be ready in 2003
EU Observer 2001-11-18
The preparations for setting up of a European rapid reaction force have progressed considerably the last year allowing the force to be ready for deployment in 2003.

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Commission studies creation of EU border guards
EU Observer 2001-11-18

The European Union is currently studying the possibility of setting up a common European Border Guards corps in a move to step up security within the Union and fight illegal immigration.

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EU enlargement - The door creaks open
The Economist Nov 15th 2001

There are still no promises. All of the ten countries that aspire to finish negotiations next year have big hurdles to jump. Apart from the political bargains that need to be struck, the sheer technical slog of converting some 80,000 pages of EU law into domestic legislation is enormous. What is more, the applicants must convince the EU that they have not only enacted the laws but can actually apply them. Some of the candidates may yet fail to keep to the timetable over the next year.

The biggest dampener to the EU's current optimism is that the really big issues, in particular the future of agricultural policy and regional-aid funds, have yet to be dealt with. These questions will rattle the EU hardest because they cost most money. Together, agricultural and regional aid account for almost 80% of the EU's euro96 billion ($85 billion) budget. And since the applicant countries are on average much poorer than the existing members and have a great many farmers, they could be a big strain on the EU's budget.

Getting around the problems of agricultural and regional funds will be next year's great task. It will not be made any easier by the presidential election in May in France, the biggest beneficiary of the EU's current system of farm subsidies. And the fact that Spain, at present the biggest winner of regional funds, is to hold the EU's agenda-setting presidency for the first six months of next year will make it harder to concoct an EU offer that will be palatable to the applicant countries.

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EU heads for 'Big Bang' enlargement by 2004
Financial Times, November 13 2001 20:33

The European Union is heading for a "Big Bang" enlargement of up to 10 countries that could take place as early as 2004 after negotiations are wrapped up by the end of next year.

The scheme was spelt out on Tuesday by Günter Verheugen, the EU's enlargement commissioner, after he issued the long-awaited annual progress reports of candidate countries as well as a strategy paper for helping these countries get ready for accession.

"The aim of achieving the first accessions before the European parliament elections in 2004 remains a demanding one. But it is not a utopian dream; it is a realistic and feasible challenge."

Such an enlargement would be the biggest single expansion since the EU - then the European Coal and Steel Community - was established half a century ago. If it takes place, the new borders of the union will stretch to Russia.

Moreover, said the Commission, after the terrorist attacks of September 11, "a strong and united Europe is more important than ever before to ensure peace, security, freedom and prosperity for all its citizens".

Enlargement, however, will put considerable pressure on member states to speed up outstanding financial and institutional reforms.

These include the structural (regional) and agricultural funds which together account for 80 per cent of the EU's annual budget, which new member states expect to have a share.

Reforms also involve institutional questions, especially over voting procedure. An enlarged EU will make it even more difficult to reach decisions unanimously.

Then there is the question of Cyprus. Unless a compromise is found, the EU will take in the divided island, whose northern part was occupied by Turkey in 1974 after a coup in Greece.

The separate Commission reports on all 13 candidate countries concluded that the three Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Slovakia, as well as Malta and Cyprus, could be ready to join by 2004.

This timetable was already agreed by EU heads of states at the Nice summit of December last year and endorsed at the Gothenburg summit of last June.

However, the Commission had been determined to stick to a timetable that also included completing negotiations with the best prepared applicants by the end of this year.


FT, Editorial comment: EU expansion
November 13 2001 19:22

It is not just a question of difficult negotiations with big financial implications, on issues such as agriculture.

A big bang enlargement of the EU will aggravate a host of political tensions about the distribution of power between big and small, north and south, rich and poor.

For a start, the prospect of economic recession in Europe will make EU voters less enthusiastic. Free movement of labour will look more threatening.

The need to share a finite pot of regional and social funds with the accession candidates will look distinctly less attractive.

The present members are fudging the issue by postponing difficult reform decisions - especially concerning agriculture - until after the negotiations have been done. They are saying, in effect: "Sign up to the present deal - but we may change it before you join." That will store up problems for the future.

The most difficult negotiations are with Poland, which boasts the largest farm sector and is facing a sharp downturn. Demands for further painful restructuring will be hard to stomach. But Poland will have to compromise if it is not to hold up all the other candidates.

Cyprus is the other potential stumbling block. Greece will veto any enlargement that does not include its closest ally. But failure to heal the division of the island before it joins the EU could provide endless cause for dispute in the future, quite apart from infuriating Turkey. A peace deal is essential.

The accession candidates have made huge efforts to qualify. The present members must now do more to prepare. The Nice treaty was a feeble effort to improve decision-making. The reality of a big bang enlargement means more radical reforms are needed to keep the EU both effective and democratic - and the accession candidates must be involved in deciding them.

More about it at EU Observer

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The Gothenburg summit of the European Union on June 15th
The Economist 2001-06-13
was meant to mark the progress made towards bringing as many as 12 new members into the EU. But an Irish referendum rejecting the treaty which provides the basis for the EU's enlargement has been a setback, sowing dismay and confusion

IF IRISH voters were concerned about their loss of influence in an expanding European Union, they must be rather gratified by the splash they made in their vote last Thursday. On a low turnout, of 35% of the electorate, 54% of voters—a mere 530,000 people—have managed to throw a serious spanner in the EU’s works: the only country to require a referendum to ratify the Treaty of Nice voted to reject it.


The lure of enlargement
Percy Barnevik, Financial Times, June 8 2001

The writer is chairman of ABB, AstraZeneca, Investor and Sandvik and chairs the Enlargement Working Group of the European Roundtable of Industrialists

The EU successfully created the internal market in the 1980s and monetary union in the 1990s. Failure with enlargement, the next big project, in this decade would be a blow to the EU's standing and belief in itself.

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EU går mot kris i Göteborg
Rolf Gustavsson
i SvD 2001-05-15


A leader ready to rock the EU boat
Daily Telegraph 2001-05-15
SILVIO BERLUSCONI has put himself at odds with Chancellor Gerhard Schröder by dismissing German proposals for a European government as unrealistic and politically impractical. His comments, in an exclusive interview given shortly before polling, demonstrate that Italy's new prime minister will bring plenty of fresh thinking and outspoken comment to the European debate.


Expressen, ledare
2001-05-07

Kandidatländerna har redan vädrat sitt missnöje och besvikelsen är lätt att förstå. Den stängda gränsen för östeuropéer skapar ett A- och ett B-lag inom unionen; folken i Slovenien, Tjeckien, Estland med flera blir ett slags andra klassens medborgare.

Oron för en invasion av billig arbetskraft från öst är av allt att döma kraftigt överdriven. Erfarenheten hittills visar att språk- och kulturskillnader utgör effektiva hinder för jobb-sökares rörlighet. Trots välståndsklyftan inom EU har det fattigare syd vägrat att flytta på sig till nordligare breddgrader. Ett land som Slovenien har för övrigt högre BNP än EMU-landet Grekland.

Rädslan för invandrad arbetskraft är dessutom irrationell. EU-länderna är i desperat behov av fler händer när Herr Schmitt och madame Duval går i pension. Europas befolkning åldras i snabb takt samtidigt som vi blir allt färre. Det finns bara en lösning på denna demografiska självsvält: ökad invandring.

Att släppa in östeuropéerna räcker inte; EU behöver öppna upp sig mot världen i stort.

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- Historiskt, sade utrikesminister Anna Lindh
när avtalet med EU på måndagen undertecknades vid ett utrikesministermöte i Luxemburg. Makedonien hade sänt sin slaviske premiärminister Ljubko Georgievski och sin albanske vice premiärminister Ibrahim Bedredin till ceremonin. Men högtidligheten grumlades av att det albanska oppositionspartiet PDP hade vägrat att komma.

EU kräver bland annat att Makedonien förbättrar de mänskliga rättigheterna och skapar ett rättvist, multietniskt samhälle..... mera


Klyftorna växer i stor-EU, DN 2001-02-18

Få länder är mogna för EU, Johan Schück, DN

Utvidgningen börjar urholkas SvD-ledare 2000-12-21

Balkan nations - Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Federal Yugoslavia, Macedonia and Albania - win EU backing
Financial Times; Nov 25, 2000

BBC

Mandat i Europarlamentet, före och efter Nice

"This is a big day for Europe", said Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson. "We are ready for enlargement".


"For the sake of enlargement" Daily Telegraph 2000-12-11

In the run-up to Nice, we were endlessly told there had to be a treaty "for the sake of enlargement". As the summit got under way, this became not so much a contention as a slogan: a way to silence any criticism.

Why should we give up our veto? For enlargement. Why should we accept EU jurisdiction over justice and home affairs? For enlargement. Failure to agree on a new tranche of powers for Brussels would, it was claimed, be the biggest betrayal of Eastern Europe since Yalta.

How odd, then, that the one thing Nice has utterly failed to do is prepare the EU for eastward expansion. Even federalists are angry. Senior MEPs are actually threatening to veto the treaty.

http://www.dailytelegraph.co.uk/dt?ac=000659276559150&rtmo=qxqteub9&atmo=QwQzk0OR&pg=/00/12/11/dl01.html


How to combine a deepening and widening of the European Union
Speech delivered by Christian Noyer, Vice-President of the European Central Bank,
at the Oxford University European Affairs Society
, Oxford, 22 November 2000
Ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure for me to come to this prestigious university and to address the members of the European Affairs Society tonight.


Dagens EU-modell vid vägs ände, Rolf Gustavsson i SvD 2000-09-18


Fischer inbjuder till debatt - Carl Bildt på SvD:s ledarsida 2000-05-27


Utvidgningen i högtidstalen
Ur DN maj 2000

Inget högtidstal i EU blir komplett innan talaren framhåller vikten av unionens utvidgning österut.

- Det är viktigt att utvidgningen genomförs så snart det går, förkunnade således Frankrikes premiärminister Lionel Jospin pliktskyldigt när han i onsdags talade om EU:s framtid inför parlamentet i Paris.

Jubelropen inför sådana utfästelser är numera ganska svala från de ansökarländer som köar för att släppas in i gemenskapen.

Stämningen i kön är dyster. Visserligen hör det fortfarande till god ton att, liksom Lionel Jospin, regelbundet hylla utvidgningen som en nödvändighet och plikt, men den som lyssnade på Jospins tal kände igen ett mönster som blir allt tydligare i EU-sammanhang.

Inte bara utvidgningen är viktig, framgick det. Väl så viktigt är att klara ut de interna samarbetsformer som blivit förlamande tungrodda redan med nuvarande 15 medlemmar.

Och Frankrike gör numera lika lite som Tyskland någon hemlighet av att man betraktar den senare uppgiften som långt mera akut än en utvidgning.

Delvis är detta en självklarhet. EU har för länge sedan vuxit ur sitt regelverk, och för varje ny medlem ökar risken att hela systemet ohjälpligt proppas igen. Men det finns en biton i de signaler som kommer från exempelvis Paris och Berlin och som borde stämma ansökarländerna till djup oro.

Borta är den euforiska utvidgningsyra som uppstod efter Kosovokriget. I dess ställe finns en växande benägenhet att vända blicken mot de skavanker som misspryder unionen i dess nuvarande form.

Få EU-länder tycks längre ha särskilt bråttom med utvidgningen.

Den 1 juli tar Frankrike över från Portugal som EU:s ordförande, och inom ett ordförandelands mandat ligger att i varje fall föra ett antal hjärtefrågor högt upp på dagordningen. För Frankrikes del är sysselsättningen en sådan hjärtefråga:

Lionel Jospin kommer att ta varje tillfälle i akt att inför sin hemmaopinion marknadsföra sig som ledande i kampen mot arbetslösheten. En ny EU-grundlag står också mycket högt upp på dagordningen. I december samlas unionens regeringschefer i staden Nice för att fullborda ett nytt EU-fördrag, och det är en brinnande fransk önskan att detta ska gå till historien som "Nice-fördraget".

Utvidgningen har varken nu eller tidigare omfattats av något särskilt djupt franskt intresse.

En fjäder i den franska hatten vore att få till stånd en enad EU-front om unionens budget, och de diskussionerna är svåra nog utan att en dyr utvidgning förs in i bilden. Eurons fall är om inte annat en politisk pinsamhet för de 11 EMU-länderna och tilltron till euron lär knappast öka inför utsikten av att en rad stödkrävande länder tar plats i gemenskapen.

Östeuropas ansökarländer kan se fram emot ett franskt ordförandeskap under vilket de i bästa fall får lyssna till högtidliga försäkringar om att "så snart det går" få tillträde till klubben.

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Enthusiasm for a larger Europe starts to wane
Financial Times; Jun 6, 2001
By JUDY DEMPSEY

It's been a difficult few weeks for Gunter Verheugen, the European commissioner responsible for EU enlargement. On the one hand, he has had to reassure candidate states in eastern Europe concerned over plans to deny granting their workers the right to work in the rest of the EU for up to seven years after enlargement. On the other, he has had to fend off attempts by Spain to link enlargement negotiations to a discussion with the existing members of the EU on the future distribution of regional development funding.

Either way, as far as public opinion polls in both camps are concerned, enthusiasm for enlargement is waning. In the candidate countries, less than 55 per cent of Poles and 45 per cent of Czechs would support membership in a referendum. Among member states, only 26 per cent see enlargement as a priority while 35 per cent oppose it.

Fervent defenders of enlargement fear that solidarity - extending the EU's prosperity to the east as was done to Spain, Portugal and Greece in the mid 1980s - has become replaced by national self interest, underpinned by a reluctance to share financial resources with the poorer regions of an enlarged Europe.

"The problem is that the broad sense of the advantages of enlargement among member states have not been debated," says Mr Verheugen. "The political leaders know it. The economic elites know it. But we still have the problem to convince public opinion that enlargement, not only for strategic reasons but also for economic reasons, is an absolute must. We have no choice. We have to do it. The elites must fight for it.

"If we do it right, enlargement will be a real win-win situation for both sides," says Mr Verheugen. Some estimates show it will add 100m consumers to the single market, create 300,000 new jobs and boost foreign direct investment in new member states, a key to integrating their economies with the EU. With 13 countries knocking on the EU's door, some member states believe the candidates are only in it for the money. But negotiators from the applicant countries, spanning eastern and central Europe as well as Malta and Cyprus - and Turkey which has embarked on pre-accession talks - all echo similar aspirations. They want their countries rooted in the rule of law that will make political and economic reforms irreversible.

Mr Verheugen is convinced it will be possible to conclude negotiations by 2002 with the best prepared candidate countries as agreed in last December's Nice summit of EU leaders. Based on meeting the EU's political and economic criteria, and once the treaties are prepared, some countries could be ready to participate in the 2004 European parliament elections. Despite this, he holds out no promises that new timetables for accession will be announced for the frontrunners at next week's Gothenburg summit of EU leaders.

He does not name any countries - although Hungary, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Cyprus and Estonia are the frontrunners. Nor does he want to be drawn into any discussion about what will happen if Poland has not completed the negotiations by 2002, let alone how Turkey will react if Cyprus enters under its present contested status. However, candidate countries ready for accession fear entry will be delayed until Poland - lagging behind - has caught up.

For the moment, Mr Verheugen has other concerns: "The problem is . . . how these countries can implement and enforce European legislation," he says. "There are weaknesses everywhere - even the so-called frontrunners - in administrative capacity, the judicial system, in some cases, corruption. That is why we have started to concentrate our support to overcome these weaknesses."

Whether these concerns amount to a tactical warning that concluding negotiations by 2002 is not a foregone conclusion, or that with more effort 2002 can be attained, remain tantalisingly unanswered, even for candidate states.

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FT Editorial comment: EU enlargement, September 17 2000

When Gunter Verheugen floated the idea of a referendum on enlargement of the European Union in his home country, Germany, he was roundly condemned by colleagues in the European Commission. His popularity also dipped in central and eastern Europe, ever fearful that the EU's commitment to extend membership eastwards is less than whole-hearted.

Now that tempers have calmed, it is worth re-examining the enlargement commissioner's remarks. He was not calling directly for a referendum because, as he acknowledged, such plebiscites are not possible under Germany's constitution. Rather, he was urging Germany's political elite to explain the benefits of enlargement to a predominantly sceptical electorate. Indeed, his parting shot was to warn that enlargement should not be done "behind the people's backs" in the same fashion as the introduction of the euro.

If Mr Verheugen succeeds in concentrating his countrymen's minds, this will be all to the good. As a "front-line" state, bordering the Czech republic and Poland, Germany is crucial in the battle for public opinion over enlargement, especially now that support for the project is slipping below 50 per cent both in the current and the future EU member states.

By some estimates, little more than one-in-five Germans believes that expanding the EU should be a priority. Up to two-thirds of ordinary Germans are worried about the impact of enlargement which, they fear, will bring cheap immigrant labour, lower environmental standards, and impose a heavier burden on the EU budget.

Mr Verheugen deserves a second pat on the back because he has drawn attention to the need to strengthen democratic legitimacy in the EU. In the past, German politicians, notably Helmut Kohl, the former Chancellor, have had a habit of treating public opinion as an inconvenience. For example, Mr Kohl justified the abandonment of the D-Mark and many other big political decisions in the name of Europe.

Like his collaborator, President Francois Mitterrand, he was content to build Europe in a top-down fashion, portraying the European cause as something that only the elite understood but that the people should follow as part of their historical destiny. Mr Verheugen is saying this is no longer good enough. On enlargement, he is surely right.

Ten years ago, the majority of Europe's leaders embraced monetary union. They were true believers. Today, Europe's leaders pay little more than lip service to enlargement. Their virtual silence is an invitation to demagogues on the right and left to whip up opposition. But it also suggests they have yet to make the case to themselves, let alone to the electorate.

SvD om Verheugen

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A greater Europe by reform
Enlargement presents a chance to put right all that is wrong with the EU
By Hubert Vedrine, French foreign minister.

From FT, September 6 2000

With enlargement looming, the EU faces the prospect of doubling its membership from the current 15 member states to 28 or 30.

The debate over the future of Europes institutions is proof of an emerging consensus: it is clear that the EU is increasingly unwieldy in its present form. Because it has become increasingly ambitious, it does not function to the best of its abilities. Hence the widely shared feeling that some of its ambitions have not yet been fully realised. The euro is a case in point: while technically an unprecedented success, as the return of growth to the Continent demonstrates, its political expression needs to be strengthened to uphold its credibility with the markets.

Another example is the EUs external programmes. Never has the EU contributed so much in international support, whether in the Balkans, the Mediterranean, Africa or Russia. But because of the failings of its internal procedures, Europes political clout in these regions does not reflect the level of its foreign aid.

To many observers and decision-makers, the EU is too often still characterised by its questioned legitimacy, its lack of dynamism and the cumbersome nature of its procedures. If we enlarge the Union while ignoring these criticisms, we will be doomed to failure. We will run the risk of undoing everything that we have achieved over the past 40 years.

Far from achieving an ever closer union, we will water down the EU to a loosely co-ordinated trade area.

Yet we must not drag ourselves into a war of words. Nor do we need a theological dispute on the ultimate goals of the EU.

Federalism, sovereignty, supranationality, intergovernmentality and variable geometry are all entrenched pre-conceptions that some may find attractive and others repulsive. The present 15 members should be wary of concepts such as hard-core or avant-garde which, as slogans do, can divide as much as unite. We must cast aside any proposal resulting in arbitrary or rigid divisions among member states. The last thing we need is more ideological divisions.

The EU needs a clearer division of responsibilities between the Union and its members as well as between its institutions. It needs to strengthen the democratic legitimacy of its decisions.

The stakes are high. As Jacques Chirac, the French president, remarked in his speech before the Bundestag, they are, in the true sense of the term, existential - they go to the core of our nations and our peoples, their history and their identity. They concern the very organisation of our societies.

In this respect, the outcome of the Intergovernmental Conference in Nice this December is of paramount importance.

We need to reform the Commission in order to restore its ability to provide new impetus and an efficient management of common policies.

We need to extend qualified-majority voting to avoid institutional paralysis and unravelling.

We need to reassess the weighting of votes to make majority-voting decisions more legitimate and, more fundamentally, possible at all.

We need to ease the mechanisms and rules that allow for closer co-operation in order to be more pro-active and to prevent the risk of paralysis that an EU of 30 members could cause.

These are not simple issues. If they were, we would not have failed to solve them in Amsterdam three years ago.

Time is short. The absence of significant reforms or an agreement just for the sake of appearances would both signify failure.

A failure at Nice would jeopardise our achievements thus far, unleash centrifugal forces and probably derail or delay enlargement. Faced with such bleak prospects and a great likelihood of dwindling support in public opinion, the EU would be left with little choice but to go for stop-gap measures to consolidate its crumbling system.

Just any agreement in Nice will not do. What the EU really needs is a substantial agreemen on meaningful reforms.

Achieving that would set the Union back on track. New endeavours could be built on solid ground. Only then will we be able to pursue the EUs new ambitions and develop fully the euro, the common foreign and security policy and a strengthened European role in the world.


Nice

Frankrike/France

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The euro is changing the face of the EU
by Tony Blair and José María Aznar
FT, June 12, 2000

Commission proposes Greece to become the twelfth member of the euro-zone

Consequences of Enlarging the EU Must Be Debated
Jan Marinus Wiersma

International Herald Tribune, May 3, 2000
The writer is vice president of the Party of European Socialists, with responsibility for issues raised by EU enlargement. He contributed this comment to the International Herald Tribune.

German industry calls for moderate pace in EU eastwards expansion, 25 April 2000

Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and Helmut Schmidt: Time to Slow Down and Consolidate Around 'Euro-Europe' International Herald Tribune, April 11, 2000

Cultures collide as Turkey meets Europe
Turkey is going to join the European Union, and neither will be the same again.
By Quentin Peel, Financial Times, 8 Mar 2000


Prodi: "We must tranquillise our public opinion and the public opinion of the applicant countries"

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Consequences of Enlarging the EU Must Be Debated
Jan Marinus Wiersma

International Herald Tribune, May 3, 2000
The writer is vice president of the Party of European Socialists, with responsibility for issues raised by EU enlargement. He contributed this comment to the International Herald Tribune.

There is a deceptive calm on the EU enlargement front. Silence reigns where an important new debate about the impact of enlargement on people's daily lives should be under way.

Leaders are concentrating on treaty changes to make way for a much larger European Union in 2002. Decision-making procedures have to be reformed, and the aim is to complete the task this year.

For many citizens this is an obscure, technical issue that they gladly leave in the hands of politicians. The real issue is that enlarging the EU will have consequences far beyond mere enlargement of the present treaty.

It is time we began that debate. European socialists and social democrats will hold an enlargement conference in Prague this Friday to kick-start the debate.

Many of our citizens understand the great importance of offering EU membership to the new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe, to Cyprus and Malta and (with a very different timetable) to Turkey. Some will have heard about negotiations in hand with 12 countries.

But what will be the overall effects of enlargement for present and future EU citizens?

Over time we must have decent social conditions in the candidate countries. This means social security, jobs and reasonable incomes.

Only with social convergence will a common, open labor market flourish.

Although the EU has substantial experience in promoting social cohesion and regional development, if there are doubts we should not hesitateto make transitional arrangements for the membership of new countries.

Crime and corruption are more and more a problem in parts of the former Communist bloc. There is a fear that this will spread our way - and crime already has. Some candidate countries have a transit role, and critics say that letting these countries into the border-free Schengen zone would help organized crime.

An enlarged Europe will help crime fighters, but it is clear that there is an urgent need for two sets of measures: strengthening the police forces in the candidate countries, and increasing European police cooperation. All this is in the direct interest of present and future EU citizens.

Corruption destroys societies. It is a cancer that spreads easily. A major effort is needed to improve the performance of some candidate countries. We cannot and will not accept new member states which do not meet international transparency standards.

These are just two issues to be addressed in preparing the EU for enlargement.

There are more - migration, discrimination, nuclear safety, agriculture or financial questions, for instance. All must be openly debated in order to assess the depth of the problems and work toward solutions.

Only in this way can we create more sympathy for the plight of our fellow European citizens.

Without compassion and solidarity, we will never make a success of EU enlargement.

This process of course attracts much more attention in the candidate countries themselves. People suffer because EU conditions have to be met through strict budgets and economic restructuring. It takes much courage, especially from social democratic parties, to carry through such policies.

Through their waning support for EU membership, candidate countries' citizens show that they, too, believe that the price is too high.

There is a danger here. By forcing countries of Central and Eastern Europe to adapt their economies as fast as they can to EU rules, we suggest that the EU is no more than a free market where competition is everything. This impression is strengthened by our emphasis on property rights, privatization and foreign direct investment.

In our enthusiasm to help them speed up their transition, we often forget that the EU has a social market economy and that it cannot be compared to the United States. Only by insisting on more attention for the social dimension can we secure sufficient public support.

Poverty lines are drawn differently in the candidate countries. It will take time and money to alter them. We could at least show some solidarity with people's plight and make visible the human face of European cooperation.

And what about citizens of the present EU? They are also beginning to hesitate. Some politicians consider this to be a gold mine for anti-European sentiment. We cannot let them exploit that. We will have to counter half-truths and rumors.

What belongs together should grow together. We prefer cooperation to confrontation. We want to enlarge the EU with countries that are a part of our common history.

The process will not be easy, and people are right to be concerned. But we must make clear that we are not only expressing broad intentions but that we are also addressing the concrete issues and problems that are linked to enlargement.

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EU: A unanimous decision
FT-Leader, January 28, 2000

In Helsinki last month the leaders of the European Union made decisions about enlargement that will transform the nature of their club. Now begins the task of adapting the EU’s institutions to cope with the change.

The European Commission has kicked off the process with a set of proposals that will feed into this year’s intergovernmental conference. The speed at which the changes are being pursued is admirable; the Commission’s proposals, though, are flawed.

One of the big concerns about expanding the EU into a club of up to 28 members is that the current requirement of unanimity for a significant number of Council decisions will become unworkable. Achieving consensus is hard enough when just 15 governments have to agree.

The Commission suggests that qualified majority voting should become the normal way of making decisions in the EU. The need for unanimity, it says, should be restricted to a limited number of special circumstances, such as decisions on the workings of European institutions. All matters of taxation that affect the functioning of the internal market should be decided by qualified majority voting.

Majority voting would indeed make an enlarged EU far more workable; and the co-ordination of taxation in some areas is important for the single market. But the Commission’s proposals go too far.

Taxation is the responsibility of national governments. Co-ordination is a legitimate and useful aim, but it cannot be imposed.

Depending on its scope, the measure might also open the door to harmful tax harmonisation. According to Commission president Romano Prodi, qualified majority voting would extend to corporate taxation. If that were the case, it would create the possibility of pro-harmonisation, high-tax governments imposing a minimum rate of corporation tax - despite the Commission’s insistence that this is not on the agenda.

Ironically, in many other ways the Commission has not gone far enough. It is tinkering with the EU’s existing structure, rather than asking whether the structure itself is robust enough to support a broader membership.

The paper does not consider ideas such as new categories of membership for countries not ready for the full requirements of the EU, although it gives a nod to flexibility by considering the possibility that some countries may wish to push ahead faster than others with co-ordination.

Enlargement of the EU is a huge project, requiring bold institutional reform. But taking away governments’ right to set taxes is not the way achieve it.

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I Nådens År Noll (Kaliningrad)
Rolf Englund i Nya Wermlands-Tidningen 2000-12-23


EU:s asylpolitik på väg mot ett misslyckande
Aftonbladet 2002-05-31

Arbetet med EU:s asyl- och migrationspolitik hotas av ett misslyckande.Under tiden hårdnar klimatet för flyktingar i flera av EU-länderna. Det kan öka trycket på Sveriges flyktingmottagning.

När EU satte upp målet om en gemensam asyl- och migrationspolitik till 2004, så var det tänkt som en motvikt till att de inre gränserna avskaffats inom passunionen Schengen. Med lika villkor och regler överallt skulle asylsökande stanna i det EU-land de först kom till och inte resa vidare till medlemsstater där förutsättningarna är bättre.

Bland annat den svenska regeringen hoppas på en hög och jämn standard på flyktingmottagningen i hela EU, så att strömmen av asylsökanden fördelas jämnare. Det gör även den brittiska regeringen, som inför EU-toppmötet i Sevilla betonat vikten av ett gemensamt asylsystem.

Storbritannien och Sverige är de länder som de senaste tio åren tagit emot flest asylansökningar i förhållande till folkmängd.

Men arbetet med den gemensamma asyl- och flyktingpolitiken har nästan kört fast. I våras kom visserligen migrationsministrarna överens om miniminivåer för hur asylsökande ska behandlas under tiden de väntar på besked om uppehållstillstånd. Nivån är dock satt så lågt att stora skillnader mellan länderna kommer att vara kvar.

En annan viktig del i den gemensamma asylpolitiken är Dublinkonventionen, som innebär att en person ska få sin asylansökan prövad i det EU-land denne först kommer till. Det har dock visat sig vara svårt att använda konventionen, eftersom flyktingarna inte uppger hur eller var de tagit sig in i EU.

Förhandlingar om att förändra Dublinkonventionen pågår. Länder som i dag tar emot många asylansökningar hoppas på en överenskommelse som gör det lättare att avvisa flyktingar till det EU-land de först kom till. Italien och Grekland bromsar dock ett sådant avtal - det är genom de länderna många asylsökande tros komma in i EU. De flesta tar sig dock vidare norrut. Italien tog förra året emot mindre än hälften så många asylansökningar som Sverige. Grekland tog emot en fjärdedel så många.

Det spanska EU-ordförandeskapet hade planerat att nå en överenskommelse om Dublinkonventionen i juni. Det ser inte ut att lyckas.

Samtidigt stramar bland annat Danmark och Storbritannien åt sin nationella politik. Därmed kan trycket på Sveriges flyktingmottagning komma att öka.

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Moderaterna om migrationsfrågorna:
Utformningen av invandringspolitiken, det vill säga reglerna för att få flytta in i ett land, är alltid en balansakt. Öppna gränser kan lätt leda till bakslag i form av sociala problem och motsättningar. Men stängda gränser leder i stället till att vi låser ute dynamik och förbättringar.

Öppenhet måste vara huvudregeln. Europeiska Unionen är det första stora projekt där öppenhet omsätts i praktiskt handling. Den fria rörligheten i Europa ställer stora krav på medlemsländerna.

En gemensam hållning till invandring och migration måste skapas i EU.

Mer av moderaterna om migration


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