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I support s postponement. The EU already made a mistake by going ahead too hastily with the accession of the last 10 member states. The "constitution", with the streamlined decision rules, trimmed commission, etc, was supposed to be approved before, not after, the accession. The ball was dropped. The accession of Cyprus was supposed to happen after unification. It didn't. Now we have Greek Cyprus in our midst with the power to veto any EU initiative to solve the Cyprus problem...

Public opinion, and the governments, are hostile to Eastern Europeans. I think it is a shame but you can't ignore the fact. Bulgarians and Romanians probably won't enjoy free movement in the internal market for a few years, just like the newer 10 states haven't enjoyed it in the west. Get ready for Central-Eastern Europeans, the same who have been legally discriminated against for two years, to come up with racist arguments why Romanians (because of gypsies) shouldn't be allowed to move freely.

We seriously need to sort out our house before we can expand to 27 members, and thereis a dearth of political vision to make it happen.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2006 at 01:04:05 PM EST
UK experience with enlargement is that, each time, the press stoke up exaggerated fears of the newcomers. Then, when the enlargement takes place, things turn out not to be as bad as anticipated.

We did not exclude people from the last 10 accession countries coming to work in the UK. I presume we will not delay Romanians and Bulgarians either.

by Gary J on Mon Feb 20th, 2006 at 01:21:29 PM EST
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I understand the fears of the old EU members, although they are not greater than those of the Bulgarian politicians. I hope they are both exaggerated.
I am from Bulgaria and I support the idea of a European Union. I cannot wait for my country to become a member, but I am also realistic. I have travelled a lot and has had the chance to see things with my own eyes. It is hard for me to admit it, but I am not sure if Bulgaria is ready to join the EU. Even if it does, the direct effect or benefits for its citizens will be sort of intangible at least for two or three years. Let us not think that a one year delay will be a tragedy. We shouldn't be discouraged if such thing happens. This will not mean that the EU has shut its doors for us. I even believe it will be healthy for our politicians, and will sober up the government, which will be able to push up more reforms.

I can resist anything but temptation.- Oscar Wilde
by Little L (ljolito (at) gmail (dot) com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2006 at 01:45:44 PM EST
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It is hard for me to admit it, but I am not sure if Bulgaria is ready to join the EU.

I gained the same feeling just before Hungary and Slovakia and the other eight joined. Just for this reason:

...one year delay... I even believe it will be healthy for our politicians, and will sober up the government, which will be able to push up more reforms.

Indeed I do think more reforms are possible while a country still wants to join, after that the governments will want to push their self-interested (or even just hubris-laden) agenda, which unfortunately in most cases for the 10 new members proved to be not progressive. The Cyprus question, the second-class ethnic-Russian citizens in the Baltic, the large marginalised Gypsie minorities in most of Central Europe, and some more consumer, worker, environment protection and anti-corruption legislation would have been issues to push for the EU negotiators.

On the other hand, today's crew at the helm of the EU seems only interested in economic reforms...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 06:52:34 AM EST
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With the current crew at the helm, it's actually a good thing that the streamlined decision process from the "Constitution" is not in place yet.

Metatone Old Drum Technology ™ (used without permission)


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 06:58:20 AM EST
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