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An epidemic of accession talks

Posted by Helen Monday, December 20, 2004

Maybe they are just trying to prove that this blog is right. No sooner do we publish an analysis of the unstoppable enlargement process, there being no alternative strategies, than the Commission announces that it will bring negotiations with Croatia forward by a month if that country agrees to co-operate fully with the Hague war crimes court, whose examination of the crimes carried out during the ten-year long Yugoslav war is threatening to take longer than the actual hostilities.

Croatian Prime Minister, Ivo Sanader, has promised to hand over the main suspect, General Ante Gotovina, who stands accused of the murder of 100 ethnic Serbs and the expulsion of 150,000 more from their homes.

This promise appears to be enough. Commission President Barroso has announced that close co-operation with the international war crimes court was essential to Croatia’s participation in European integration.

Romania and Bulgaria are being invited to sign entry treaties in April, ahead (rather well ahead, really) of their planned entry in 2007.

The whole thing is completely mad. None of these countries have achieved anything remotely resembling transparent and accountable democracy, honourable polity or economic growth. Come to think of it, that makes them perfect EU members. But how exactly are they all going to be integrated and into what?

Barroso is beginning to sound rather feverish in his repeated assertions about the need for the EU to go on expanding and integrating, no matter what the problems are internally and no matter which outside country we are dealing with. The only ones definitively being left out are Ukraine and Belarus, presumably not to antagonize Russia too much. But has he or, indeed, any of his advisers given any thought to what is the ultimate aim of all this neurotic expansionism is?