Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Just like you, I want us (I am a Bulgarian) to join the EU as soon as possible and I am frustrated that our accession may be delayed. I am not excited by the fact that the French and the Dutch citizens' opinion is among the factors determining the time of our entry into the EU, either. And yes, you are probably right when you say that, just like most Bulgarians think that we should join the EU because "it is good", most of the citizens of the member states think that they should not let us in because it would be bad if they did. However, I cannot agree with you when you say that public opinion should not matter in decision-making. France and the Netherlands are established democracies and they have a tradition of respecting their citizens' opinion. And although nothing is perfect, the values of democracy are what we aim at. That is why we (Bulgarians) have been working so hard to achieve our long-term goal--membership in the EU--not only because we expect a higher standard of living but also because we want to associate with the values of democracy, to be recognized as a real democracy. And in a real democracy public opinion does matter and it should matter. Moreover, we all know what happened to the systems (the totalitarian ones) where it did not matter.
One more thing: I see you are a realist, which is good, it is pragmatic. Let's not be too skeptical, though. Unlike you, I still believe that the small person can make a difference. I may be naïve...but I think we'll both agree that miracles do happen.
by ccarc on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 03:04:37 AM EST

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