01 September 2003

Growing pains: EU expansion

What will Europe become after the addition of ten new members to the European Union next year? The smaller members quite naturally do not wish to see it become a Franco-German empire, as indicated in the following article: "Small EU states prepare for new constitution." The dilemma is a difficult one. The larger states prefer to continue down the path of streamlined decision-making, which would seem to be key to making a united Europe work, particularly one with 25 members. But the smaller states fear having their interests overlooked in EU institutions dominated by the larger states. Thus the smaller states are seeking a common strategy to advance their own interests. Surprisingly, however, Cyprus and Malta were not invited to a meeting of 15 smaller EU and future EU states in Prague.

As for Cyprus itself, the republic's president, Tassos Papadopoulos, expresses the hope that Turkish-Cypriot voters will repudiate Rauf Denktash at the polls in December. Most observers believe Denktash is the primary obstacle to the island nation's reunification. The EU remains a potent force for settlement of the nearly 3-decade-old stalemate.

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