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Speaking of Turkey and North Africa, what is the interest of creating a single socio-economic sphere with 250M additional people who on average have a standard of living which is close to 10% of ours

That we have four thousand kilometres of border with them. A 10:1 wealth disparity is not sustainable between direct neighbours. And that which is not sustainable will not be sustained. The advantage of integrating them is that we will be able to influence the pace and route towards sustainable shared prosperity.

do not share our cultural heritage

Define "cultural heritage."

have socio-political orders which are completely different from ours

So do Russia and several Balkan countries.

And what is it that "total integration" offers that bilateral agreements in the political, military or economic spheres can't offer?

A set of interlocking agreements covering economic development, human rights, environmental protection, commerce regulation, foreign relations, tax rules, infrastructure standards and mutual recognition of citizenship is total integration.

The advantage of doing it in a multilateral rather than a bilateral framework is bilateral relationships tend to devolve into suzerain-client relationships, whereas in multilateral relationships it is possible to build in safeguards against this development. From a leftist point of view, neocolonial client relationships with the North African states is obviously undesirable.

But entropy has ways of imposing its laws when there is economic, political or military over-reach

India has a unified government (more or less) that covers a population a third again as large and on a comparable land area.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 27th, 2010 at 12:02:16 PM EST
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