Europe has 15 member states. If the European Union is enlarged, it will not be the same at a bigger scale. The sphere of action of the European institutions is changing and it has to be adapted to a brand new structure. The socio-economic disparities between the Europe of 15 member states and the 10 newly added member states requires a new repartition of the European budget and new economic instruments of redistribution.
[...] The other sensitive subject is of course the agriculture, at the heart of the financial bargaining within the Union. In the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, agriculture represents an economic sector much more important than in most of the countries of the Europe of 15. Furthermore, in these countries agriculture is not organized in a modern and productivist way: for example in Poland of the farms do not sell on the market but the farmers consume their own production. In such a case, has the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to be applied to the new members? [...]
[...] In 2002, this policy of economic and social cohesion was representing of the European Union's budget. In the 1980's and 1990's, the Mediterranean countries and Ireland have much benefited of these financial transfers made to harmonize the development levels between the different territories of the Union. But in a Union of 25, the new repartition of costs will obviously provoke clashes of interests between the current member states, reluctant to pay more, and the new member states willing to benefit from the European money like their predecessors. [...]
[...] The second fear of public opinions is the increase of the contribution to the budget of the EU people on 3 are afraid of the high cost of the enlargement for their country. Finally, the citizens of the member states think that the enlargement will make the decision-making process much harder than in the past. In France for example, the pro-European elites which supported the progresses of the EU since the Treaty of Maastricht are quite worried by the consequences of the recent enlargement. [...]
[...] In many countries of the Europe of 15, the idea to give up parts of the budget to the new members is not very popular among a certain number of actors who don't want to see the advantages they gain from the redistribution disappear, or they simply refuse the idea of any transnational solidarity. The debate about the finances of the EU raises the question of a real European government which could directly collect taxes and redistribute among the states. [...]
[...] Marie-Claude Maurel, Maria Halamska, Le repli paysan : trajectoires de l'après-communisme en Pologne, (Paris : L'Harmattan, 2003). Alan Mayhew, Recreating Europe. The European Union's Policy towards Central and Eastern Europe (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998). John Pinder, The European Community and Eastern Europe (Royal Institute of International Affairs, Pinter Publishers, London, 1991) Andres Rodriguez-Pose, the European Union : Economy, Society and Politics (Oxford University Press, 2002). Wolfram Vogel, Franco-German relations in the EU-25 : five determinants of good leadership AICGS Advisor, 15th July 2004. [...]
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