Is the EU reaching the limits of enlargement - Essay Example

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European Union (EU) enlargement process has received much wider attention in the current period due to two main reasons. In the first place the East European countries have sought to live on the EU's farm subsidies as an inevitable consequence of their neglected economies for decades under communism…
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Is the EU reaching the limits of enlargement
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Download file to see previous pages These problems such as the ever increasing size of the subsidy programs and additional payments to keep countries in line with the overall EU policy have imposed some limits on the current enlargement process.
Despite an ever increasing degree of interest shown by these East European countries in joining the EU the organization has almost come to a stretching point where there is little or no room for further expansion. This dilemma is basically attributed to the very structural constraints experienced by the former communist economies in Eastern Europe (Jacobsen, 1997). For instance when countries like Poland, Hungary and Rumania joined the EU during the initial stage following the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe there was much greater hope about the future of the EU as an economic union. Subsequently with further enlargement and monetary union the organization began to develop first the structural constraints and next trade related problems on the allocation of subsidy funds.
The future of the EU now is more or less determined by how best the organization would be able to absorb those new entrants and how best the structural problems arising from its subsidy programs would be handled. Various writers have pointed out that the EU is basically a behemoth that is much less likely to absorb the remaining East European countries in to the fold with any degree of success.
The rapid transformation of th...
However what the EU could do as a customs union and then as an economic union is no more possible under the present dispensation. Primarily the EU has been evolving on unbridled largesse in the form of farm and agricultural subsidies. When all these subsidy programs culminated in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) the organization did little realize what was ahead. In fact it is the CAP that caused the current impasse between the US government and the EU on international trade.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international trade forums have almost failed to reconcile the two sides to the conflict. Similarly Japan and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) have objected to the presence of CAP in the EU. Despite these disputes the EU has been compelled by an ever increasing necessity to maintain a minimum level of subsidies to the new member countries. The net result of this commitment is the further aggravation of trade relations with the US in particular and other countries in general. The EU has come a long way in giving farm and agricultural subsidies to its powerful community of farm producers who demand the continuation of the programs irrespective of the global pressure to wind them up. These trade related outcomes have compelled the EU to adopt some new programs and to redesign the existing programs in keeping with the adjustments required by its member countries' commitments to the WTO.
This paper would particularly focus attention on the current phase of EU enlargement arising from the post-communism developments in Eastern Europe while the theoretical considerations of enlargement related structural constraints would be discussed with reference to the empirical evidence on the EU's inability to absorb new ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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