Enlargement Of The European Union

1188 Words5 Pages
Introduction The European Union (EU), which began through the integration of six member states in 1951, welcomed its latest member, Croatia, in 2013, effectively bringing its total to twenty-eight members (Verdun, July 23, 2015). The first EU enlargement occurred in 1973, when the UK, Ireland, and Denmark joined the union. Since then, four major enlargements have taken place, despite the long-existent controversies regarding the possible value or downfalls of the expansion of the union. With over twenty more countries within the continent as possible candidates, especially as many express interest of joining, it is highly possible that efforts for further enlargement may be made in the future. The question, however, is whether EU…show more content…
Of high concern, is whether the union can accommodate more diversity. Respecting and protecting minorities for the EU has been an ongoing challenge. Anti-immigration is a common phenomenon, and although efforts have been made to increase acceptance, it is a challenge that may be further induced as new member states join. The candidacy of Turkey, for example, has resulted to increased anti-Muslim attitudes. It is therefore questionable whether EU should pursue further enlargement in the near future, or whether it should first address the internal challenges it is currently facing prior to greater expansion. Background Economic Implications for Pre-Existing and New Member States Many studies exploring the implications of further EU enlargement focus on the possible economic consequences. From liberal perspective further enlargement would mutually benefit all the member countries economically (Cohn, 2012). Often, it is argued that new members joining the union are positively affected, whereas pre-existing countries suffer financial losses (Neueder, 2003). However, studies suggest that although new members experience the most economic benefits by gaining membership, pre-existing members are positively impacted as well. Epstein argues that EU membership has greatly benefited Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries in economic
Open Document