Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, March 26, 2009

EU growth

Instead of or in addition to reading the textbook about what comes up in discussion about new members joining the EU, this op-ed piece could involve students in identifying the issues involved.

Viewpoint: EU enlargement woes

"The economic crisis is fuelling opposition to further EU enlargement. Yet the price of delay could be instability and deepening poverty, Katinka Barysch, Deputy Director of the Centre for European Reform argues...

"The queue for EU membership keeps getting longer. The 27-nation EU has accepted Turkey, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, Serbia and other Balkan countries as potential candidates. Recession-battered Iceland may follow.

"Former Soviet countries such as Ukraine and Georgia have been told that they need to improve a lot before the EU will consider them as candidates...

"There are well-known reasons why enlargement is now proceeding slowly. Many of the current applicants are poor and backward; some, such as Bosnia, have yet to build a functioning state; Kosovo has not even been recognised by all current EU countries...

"Various existing EU members have been holding the enlargement process hostage to bilateral spats they are having with some applicant or other...

"EU governments need some vision here. They should conclude a "gentlemen's agreement" about not vetoing accessions because of bilateral grievances. They need to find a way of keeping Turkey's accession process alive, even if no breakthrough is achieved in Cyprus this year. And they should allow the applications of the Balkan countries to proceed.

"The alternative could be a region full of political instability, economic turmoil and disgruntled people dreaming."

What You Need to Know -- a study guide for AP Comparative Government and Politics

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