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May 1 EU Enlargement: History In The Making  
User currently offlinePHX-LJU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 3250 times:

We are just days away from May 1, when the EU will formally welcome ten new members to its club. EU Commision President Romano Prodi will attend a ceremony on the border of Gorizia, Italy and Nova Gorica, Slovenia -- two parts of what is, in effect, a single town. Many other festivities are planned throughout the continent to mark this historic occasion.

So what are your thoughts about this historic EU enlargement? Remember, the EU is expanding, so debates whether it should expand probably don't make too much sense at this point, especially as there was a recent thread dealing with that issue. But what does the future hold for the continent?

Feel free to mention any interesting articles about this topic!

Here is a list of the new members with some basic statistics. I first posted this six months ago, it's a good guide to the new countries, so here it is again:

CZECH REPUBLIC

Capital: Prague
Comparative area: "slightly smaller than South Carolina"
Population: 10,249,216 (July 2003 est.)
GDP per capita: $15,300 (2002 est.)

CYPRUS

Capital: Nicosia
Comparative area: "about 0.6 times the size of Connecticut"
Population: 771,657 (July 2003 est.)
GDP per capita: "Greek Cypriot area: purchasing power parity - $15,000 (2001 est.); Turkish Cypriot area: purchasing power parity - $6,000 (2002 est.)"

ESTONIA
Capital: Tallinn

Comparative area: "slightly smaller than New Hampshire and Vermont combined"
Population: 1,408,556 (July 2003 est.)
GDP per capita: $10,900 (2002 est.)

HUNGARY

Capital: Budapest
Comparative area: "slightly smaller than Indiana"
Population: 10,045,407 (July 2003 est.)
GDP per capita: $13,300 (2002 est.)

LATVIA

Capital: Riga
Comparative area: "slightly larger than West Virginia"
Population: 2,348,784 (July 2003 est.)
GDP per capita: $8,300 (2002 est.)

LITHUANIA

Capital: Vilnius
Comparative area: "slightly larger than West Virginia"
Population: 3,592,561 (July 2003 est.)
GDP per capita: $8,400 (2002 est.)

MALTA

Capital: Valletta
Comparative area: "slightly less than twice the size of Washington, DC"
Population: 400,420 (July 2003 est.)
GDP per capita: $17,000 (2002 est.)

POLAND

Capital: Warsaw
Comparative area: "slightly smaller than New Mexico"
Population: 38,622,660 (July 2003 est.)
GDP per capita: $9,500 (2002 est.)

SLOVAKIA

Capital: Bratislava
Comparative area: about twice the size of New Hampshire
Population: 5,430,033 (July 2003 est.)
GDP per capita: $12,200 (2002 est.)

SLOVENIA

Capital: Ljubljana
Comparative size: "slightly smaller than New Jersey"
Population: 1,935,677 (July 2003 est.)
GDP per capita: $18,000 (2002 est.)

Facts and flags: www.cia.gov

...and here is a map showingthe new members (light blue):


Source: www.ecdel.org.au

58 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21521 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 3229 times:

Cool!  Big thumbs up

Welcome, everybody!

It´ll mean more hard work in overcoming separations and even prejudices, but I think the peaceful and voluntary cooperation of a whole continent of different nations is a historic achievement that deserves to be celebrated.

And opening the borders between the peoples of those formerly divided nations makes this a happy day, indeed!  Big thumbs up


User currently offlineSolarix From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 3223 times:

That map has a hole on it which looks like Swiss cheese  Big thumbs up

User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16365 posts, RR: 56
Reply 3, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 3205 times:

I feel both good and bad about it.

Good -- new members will reduce the relative bullying influence of France & Germany.
Good -- new members will permanently move them into the Western orbit away from Moscow.
BAD -- I do not believe that Communist nations can transform themselves in only 10 years to be necessarily non-corrupt EU members.
BAD -- the new entrants have little to offer the existing EU members, they will be net recipients of EU aid for decades to come.
BAD -- more members means in theory more EU bureaucracy.





Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineDamirc From Slovenia, joined Feb 2004, 726 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 3176 times:

Come on, dude. Get your facts straight.

Go check the corruption levels (studies have been done to analyse that and it has been found that we're on average with the EU countries).

We have little to offer? Am... Cheap labor, a far larger market? Ability to cooperate EU-wide? Synergy, my friend - synergy is the magic word.

Net recipients? Okay. If you claim that we're supposed to be a net recipient I'll go down to our parlament, bribe some of our corrupt communist bureaucrats and demand that we become a net recipient (instead of the net contributor we're going to be) and persuade them that Yyz717 should pick up the tab for us.

Yes, there will be more bureaucracy - but there's no such thing as perfection.

Actually, Yyz717, why are you so bothered by the new EU members? Are you afraid, that the new EU may beat the c*ap out of NAFTA?

D.


User currently offlineMrwayne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 8 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3149 times:

Oh great more people coming to our country with no money,who is going to support these people and set them up a new life in the west we don't need more Eastern block countries in the EU it is corrupt enough as it is.
I will not look forward to my taxes going up.


User currently offlineVCE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 8 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3144 times:

This is the most important moment that the Three Fathers of the European Community (De Gasperi, Adenauer, Shumanm) have wished 40 years ago.
With the end of the terrible communist regimes, Europe finds again its unity. Welcome in the Family to all the new member states! Smile


User currently offlineDonder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6660 posts, RR: 21
Reply 7, posted (10 years 8 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3136 times:

And opening the borders between the peoples of those formerly divided nations makes this a happy day, indeed!

The same can't be said for borders between the new entrants and most of the current EU15.


Actually, Yyz717, why are you so bothered by the new EU members? Are you afraid, that the new EU may beat the c*ap out of NAFTA?

How exactly will the new EU 'beat the crap out of NAFTA'?




User currently offlinePHX-LJU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (10 years 8 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3121 times:

Mrwayne wrote:

"Oh great more people coming to our country with no money,"

I'm sure that people from these countries are just lining up to come to the UK with no money.  Yeah sure

Leaving temporary work restrictions aside, some of these countries, such as Slovenia, Cyprus, and the Czech Republic already have relatively high standards of living, so they may actually see immigration themselves.

VCE wrote:

"Welcome in the Family to all the new member states!"

Grazie, VCE!


User currently offlineLeviticus From New Zealand, joined Oct 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 years 8 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3121 times:

Mrwayne, I think you are being just a little bit too over-paranoid  Insane

User currently offlineDamirc From Slovenia, joined Feb 2004, 726 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (10 years 8 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3114 times:

Look at the $/EU ratio, look at the European and the US economies.

Do we agree now?  Smile

D.


User currently offlinePHX-LJU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3081 times:

Just over 10 days to go!

Here are some photos of the ten members' capital cities (from www.eiz-niedersachsen.de):

Prague, Czech Republic:


Nicosia, Cyprus:


Tallinn, Estonia:


Budapest, Hungary:


Riga, Latvia:


Vilnius, Lithuania:


Valetta, Malta:


Warsaw, Poland:


Bratislava, Slovakia:


Ljubljana, Slovenia:


User currently offlineAndrej From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 1039 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (10 years 8 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3032 times:

Hello all,

as mentioned before, I am looking forward to join EU. It is going to be benefitial for both (current and new) members. Search other threads for this topic.

Dear Yyz717,

again, after reading your post, something tells me that you must be biased against Eastern Europe.

I would like to take a time and answer some of your worries!

Good -- new members will permanently move them into the Western orbit away from Moscow.

In Czech Rep. and Slovakia case, we have moved from thier influence some years ago. In my humble opinion, there is no need for any influence, Western nor Eastern. Smaller nations should take from both ideas to get what suits them best.

BAD -- I do not believe that Communist nations can transform themselves in only 10 years to be necessarily non-corrupt EU members.

Yes, there are some problems with corruption. For example, Slovakia is trying to fight it, and hopefuly with EU assistance, (NOT only financial) corruption might be pressed down to un-noticable levels. One can never clear entire nation of corruption, be it Western or Eastern nation.


BAD -- the new entrants have little to offer the existing EU members, they will be net recipients of EU aid for decades to come.

Wrong! New nations have a lot of to offer to EU. Otherwise EU would not accept these new nations if there would not be benefit for both sides. There is going to be a new markets for any type of good. There is going to be more competition and that is benefitial for consumers because it drives prices down. People will be able to travel and see many places they were not aware of. There are many more examples, why it IS benefitial for both groups to join powers.

BAD -- more members means in theory more EU bureaucracy.

There my friend, I have to agree with you. Hopefuly, new EU will find ways of how to cut of un-immportant bureaucracy.

Dear Mrwayne,

not all poeple are going to move to UK. Why? Becuase, not everybody wants to move, they might not be able to speak language and trust me, most people do not wish to leave places where they have securities. (Be it social benefit, family surroundings or other)

You might see some people to travel and get jobs, start new life, but this is not only for UK. (Which BTW forbids people from new countries to work in the UK for another 7 years, as majority of EU) There might be migration from Bulgaria to Slovakia, or to Germany, so UK is not the only country that will face immigrants.

Thanks,
Andrej Lippay


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14139 posts, RR: 63
Reply 13, posted (10 years 8 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3027 times:

A very simple solution against bureaucracy:
Give the EU parliament some REAL powers and make the commision directly accountable to the EU population, maybe by a direct election of the members by the EU citzens. At the moment it is rather used as a place to park former national government members not needed in their own countries until they reach retirement age.

Jan


User currently offlinePHX-LJU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (10 years 8 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3023 times:

In addition to the events in Gorizia/Nova Gorica mentioned above, the prime ministers of Slovenia, Austria, and Italy (yes, Silvio Berlusconi  Big grin), will meet at the point where the three countries meet. For those of you living in or next to one of the ten new members, how will your country celebrate?

I know that there is a major TV event in the works, which will originate mostly from Berlin, Warsaw, and Valletta, and feature performers from the ten countries.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14139 posts, RR: 63
Reply 15, posted (10 years 8 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3018 times:

I´m looking forward to visit Poland some day.

Jan


User currently offlinePaulc From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (10 years 8 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3004 times:

strange how the former eastern bloc countries who fought long and hard to overcome communism and the shadow of the USSR are so keen to sign up to another all powerful, corrupt, unaccountable organisation.

Sad that freedom won so hard has been given up so easily.



English First, British Second, european Never!
User currently offlineQIguy24 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (10 years 8 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3000 times:

I would also like to welcome all the new members. It's going to be great to see a bigger united Europe.
And I'm really lloking forward to visit some of the eastern countries this year.


User currently offlinePHX-LJU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (10 years 8 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2991 times:

Paulc wrote:

"strange how the former eastern bloc countries who fought long and hard to overcome communism and the shadow of the USSR are so keen to sign up to another all powerful, corrupt, unaccountable organisation."

Maybe because they realize that, despite the EU's very real problems and imperfections (which can always be overcome), further European integration is in everyone's long-term interest.


User currently offlinePaulc From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (10 years 8 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2976 times:

Why not try and do something about the problems and imperfections before expanding. The eu has had a long time to sort the basics out but still fails miserably.

Companies spend a lot of money making sure products are reliable / safe / and more importantly what the consumer wants - why should the eu be any different.




English First, British Second, european Never!
User currently offlinePHX-LJU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (10 years 7 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2925 times:

Paulc wrote:

"Why not try and do something about the problems and imperfections before expanding."

Because the ten new members deserve to have a say in the matter. They've all worked very hard to be included in the EU and have every right to play an important role in determining its future.

"The eu has had a long time to sort the basics out but still fails miserably."

As the referenda in the new members have shown, most people think that, despite its imperfections, the EU has considerably more advantages than disadvantages. They see it as a step towards a more united continent.

"Companies spend a lot of money making sure products are reliable / safe / and more importantly what the consumer wants - why should the eu be any different."

Exactly! That's why you should work to improve the EU rather than just complain about it. Europe wants closer integration, but it is up to each "consumer" to influence how that should be achieved.




We're just days away from the historic event!

[Edited 2004-04-27 08:51:33]

User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8764 posts, RR: 42
Reply 21, posted (10 years 7 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2914 times:

Since when is the EU a business, and its population customers?

Last time I checked, it was a political entity and its population consisted of voters. There are differences between democracy and business, and I dare to say that businesses themselves create a lot of the problems (corruption in the very first place) that have been mentioned.

If people actually cared about the EU and voted in EU elections, then maybe things would change. But as it seems, people are just too damn well off bitchin and too lazy to vote.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlinePHX-LJU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2870 times:

The big event is just hours away!

Here is a rundown of all the special programming on German television for our German-speaking members:

http://www.tvmatrix.de/magazin.php?newsid=4227

And here's special EU coverage from the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/eu/

Check out these articles for an overview of the celebrations, including those on the Slovenian-Italian border:

http://www.eubusiness.com/afp/040430141529.xfbgmkku
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1082844619700&call_pageid=968332188854&col=968350060724
http://www.eubusiness.com/afp/040429163826.0e7f1xas
http://www.eubusiness.com/afp/040429141814.bxw527n5
http://www.eubusiness.com/afp/040427135034.vzfybjv7


User currently offlineL.1011 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 2209 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2865 times:

Damirc,

Actually, Yyz717, why are you so bothered by the new EU members? Are you afraid, that the new EU may beat the c*ap out of NAFTA?

Last time I checked your economy is stagnant and ours isn't. (your referring to Europe)

Look at the $/EU ratio

Yeah It's helping our exports.  Insane

look at the European and the US economies.

Yeah ours is growing, yours isn't.

Paulc,

strange how the former eastern bloc countries who fought long and hard to overcome communism and the shadow of the USSR are so keen to sign up to another all powerful, corrupt, unaccountable organisation.

Sadly, you're right. That's what scares me about the EU.

Aloges,

I dare to say that businesses themselves create a lot of the problems

Yeah like jobs, money, success...  Insane






User currently offlinePHX-LJU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2856 times:

Here is a pic from today's early events on the Slovenian-Austrian-Italian border:


Image:rtvslo.si (Firefighters from the three nations recreated their countries' flags by using colored water)

The border entry signs have already been replaced with standardized EU ones:


Image:rtvslo.si

But the big events will happen in the next few hours! Feel free to post pictures here!


25 CPH-R : Damn, the fireworks sounds impressive - 40 fireworks factories have been busy at work to provide the fireworks. Can't wait for midnight.
26 Post contains images Andrej : Hello all, less than one hour to go for Slovakia, Czech Rep., Slovenia, Poland, Malta and Hungary to go. (Not sure if there is time difference for oth
27 Post contains images Arsenal@LHR : You are welcome Andrej, just make sure you don't read The Sun or Daily Mail.
28 Post contains images Sabenapilot : ALL 10 countries join on MAY 1st at 00:00 Brussels time, so time zone is of no issue, Andrej. Anyway, as the former German secretary of State H.F. Gen
29 Teva : Welcome to all the new EU citizens ! I'll be watching the celebrations on the TV all night. And in 25 minutes, I open the Champagne ! Teva
30 CPH-R : Well, I would like to be the first to welcome the 75 million new EU citizens to the European Union - hope you enjoy the stay!
31 Post contains images Andrej : Dear Arsenal@LHR, consider it done! Cheers, Andrej
32 Gdabski : Thank you! The European flag now flies over Pilsudski Square, where Poland's way to a united Europe started 25 years ago. Let's see what will the futu
33 PU151 : Hey, they seem to be partying pretty hard in Malta... Just saw the fireworks on France3. Well, I guess they're right. Party on everyone then!
34 Post contains images Sabenapilot : Whaw! I have to admit it was a very impressive and emotional sight to see our blue flag with 12 stars being raised for the first time on all public bu
35 Post contains images PHX-LJU : Some scenes from Slovenia: (EU Comission President Romano Prodi with the Slovenian PM) (The Slovenian flag in Berlin) Images above: rtvslo.si Congratu
36 Post contains images JoeKuboj : Congratulations to Slovenia and to all other new members... I hope we will become EU member in ~10 years.. or less..
37 PHX-LJU : Hvala, JoeKuboj! I also think that Serbia and Montenegro should eventually join the EU. I'm positive that its citizens will come to realize that Europ
38 Post contains links PHX-LJU : For the liguistically inclined, here is how you say "Welcome" and "Hello" in the languages most widely spoken in each of the ten countries. The site i
39 Goose : The same goes for other countries that remain outside the EU right now (Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, etc.). And what about the Russian bear to the Ea
40 Csavel : Wow, seems like yesterday the Berlin wall came down and now a large part of Eastern Europe is part of the EU!!! Congratulations. I have some questions
41 PHX-LJU : Csavel asked: 1.) Will the new states be a part of the Euro zone? Not immediately, but (AFAIK) all of the new members have already committed themselve
42 KEno : 4) 3 Wealthy West European countries are conspicuously not part of the EU, Norway (guess with its oil wealth they can afford to go it alone) Switzerla
43 Post contains images Sebolino : When I see the reaction of our British A.net members, I feel ashamed that they are in the EU with us. Shame on you perfidious rosbeefs ( ) Welcome to
44 Donder10 : Technically, Switzerland still has a formal application in the process ,AFAIK. Iceland is probably the most likely of the 3 to join in future years bu
45 KEno : Iceland is probably the most likely of the 3 to join in future years but fishing will be an/(the?) area to cause problems. Greenland left the EEC many
46 Post contains images Klaus : Welcome! It feels good having you all on board, at last! Excellent light show in Malta! Now let´s make this work - for everybody! Sebolino: When I se
47 Post contains images Banco : ps... when is our flag going to be raised over buckingham palace? Now, I think you know the answer to that, Sabenapilot. Sebolino, surely you know tha
48 VirginFlyer : Congratulations to the 10 new members of the EU. In a time of uncertainty in the world (well, really I think there has always been a time of uncertain
49 Sabenapilot : Banco, No offence was meant of course, it was more a ironic remark in the heath of festivities... A hint too maybe at the fact the very same thing (i.
50 Post contains images Phaeton : Tere tulemast! Laipni ludzam! Sveiki atvyke! Welcome! Serdecznie witamy! Srdecné vás vítáme! Prisrcno dobrodosli! Srdecné vítaní! Isten hozott!
51 Post contains images Matt777 : Benvenuti! Specially to our Slovenian neighbors!
52 Post contains images DaV : A big "Welcome!!" to the 10 countries which yesterday entered the EU I'm proud of being European!! DaV
53 Post contains images MIAspotter : I second that DaV! a warm Welcome to the new members!!! And I am proud of being EUropean as well! (never mind the UK flag) MIAspotter (should change m
54 Post contains images PHX-LJU : Thanks, Matt777 and others! Here are more pictures of the celebrations from all the new members (Source: kurier.at): Czech Republic Malta Slovenia (Sh
55 Post contains images B757300 : Sad, just 15 years ago these countries threw off the chains of socialism that was imposed upon them by the barrel of a gun. Now they have shackled the
56 Post contains images Aloges : Oh, BitterBoy to the rescue! Welcome Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Malta and Cyprus! May this be on
57 Post contains images Klaus : I found it absolutely correct that Lech Walesa was asked to give the welcome speech at the introduction of the european parliament members of the new
58 Zak : and still no flag on a.net :/
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