Three Cheers for EU Enlargement!

Today (says the BBC), Serbia will submit its application for EU membership.
Serbia is a tragic country with a desperate history of civil war, ethnic violence, pogroms, massacres and terrorism.  We rightly feel sorry for it.  But do we think that these troubles are sufficient qualifications for EU membership?
Croatia is also expected to join the EU, perhaps next year.  I have spent some time studying Croatia — and some time in the country, talking to local and foreign businessmen, to foreign diplomats, to local media and politicians and lawyers.  Croatia is a country were the rule of law is not well developed.  The judicial system is in semi-permanent log-jam.  Corruption is endemic.  Crony capitalism is the order of the day.  Senior politicians are the beneficiaries of “unexplained wealth”.  The country is a centre or staging-post for drug smuggling, arms dealing, people-trafficking and so on.  The country’s major export is organised crime.  And EU membership will simply promote that export trade.  Do we think that this is a country qualified to join the EU?
There is still talk of Turkey joining the EU (though to be fair, the talk has gone on for decades, and may continue for decades).  Parts of Turkey are cosmopolitan and liberal and Westernised.  Other parts are dirt-poor, riven with mediaeval fundamentalism and separatist terrorism.  A relatively enlightened establishment struggles to keep the lid on an Islamic society which is inevitable informed (and perhaps inspired) by the resurgence of militant Islam elsewhere.  Is this a European country?
Already laws governing Britain are made in foreign institutions, where we have no control and little influence, by the French and the Germans and the Italians — and more recently by the Greeks, the Lithuanians and the Slovenes.  Are we content also to see our laws made by Serbs and Croats and Turks?  And remember that Turkey is already more populous than the UK, and by 2020 could be the most populous country in the EU (if it joins).  Not only will the Turks vote on our laws — they may well have the biggest vote of all.
For decades we in Britain have talked of reforming the EU from within.  But it keeps rolling inexorably down the road to statehood and ever-closer-union, aided now by the EU Constitution/Lisbon Treaty.  It is time to face facts.  Either we accept the destination, or we get off the bus.  Now, more than ever, we should be Better Off Out.

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4 Responses to Three Cheers for EU Enlargement!

  1. Greece is now going bankrupt and the Germans are refusing to bail it out. I reckon, myself, that UK ought to leave and let the europeans get on with it.
    And a Merry Christmas!

  2. Animal Magic says:

    Lets face it, the likelyhood of the UK leaving the EU is identical to that of UKIP winning the General Election or of Douglas Carswell getting his referendum bill passed. An alternative approach may be for the UK to continue to support enlargement so that the whole edifice becomes so unstable that it collapses completely. In the Thatcher years I was hopeful that this was indeed party policy. Sadly is was not to be.

  3. Nice thought, Animal Magic. But that’s what we used to say before Greece and Spain joined, and it just didn’t work. You and I and the European Commission share the same diagnosis — that an enlarged and more diverse EU will be more difficult to manage. But we have diametrically opposite prescriptions. You and I would say “Therefore it must be looser and more flexible”. The Commission says “Therefore it must be more rigid and centralised”. The good news: I find your estimate of the likelihood of the UK leaving the EU about as convincing as all those predictions pre-1989 that the USSR would never break up. Intellectually, we all believed that the USSR was unsustainable and would collapse under the weight of its own internal contradictions, but we didn’t believe it in our hearts, until it happened. I think we’re now in the same position vis-à-vis the EU.

    • For me, the ‘collapse’ of the Soviet Empire was far too quick and easy. I think it is more likely that the global elite(s) made it happen in order to form this ‘new world,’ including a continent-wide Europe. All for ultimate unification into a single planetary system that will probably resemble North Korea.

      I am known for my conspiracy theories, but they have been proven true lately, e.g. Climategate, the admittance that New Labour’s mass immigration was partially for reasons of social engineering.

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