Why are Member States of the EU so positive towards an enlargement of the EU to Central and Eastern Europe ?

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CAP                Common Agricultural Policy

CEECs                Central and Eastern European Countries

EU                        European Union

GDP                gross domestic product

SMEs                Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

UK                United Union

Why are Member States of the EU so positive towards an enlargement of the EU to Central and Eastern Europe ?


Each countries of the European Union has its own opinion towards the enlargement. The EU has its opinion, but after each Member State has its personal point of view concerning the enlargement of the European Union. Moreover each Member State has its own foreign policy towards the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC), and they have some particular relationship with each of them. Basically, as Steven P.McGiffen says that external relation between a Member State and the applicant countries is generally determined by geographical proximity. For example Germany tends to be interested in the accession of its immediate neighbours : Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. There is also the importance of History. In fact through decades, Europeans’ countries have created relations between each over, in particular during the World War Two and since the end of the Cold War. Thanks to those relations, some Member States are very positive towards the enlargement. It is a great opportunity for their country, it will bring a lot of benefits for each population. During this essay we are going to see what is the point of view of the three most important Member States (the UK, Germany and France).

Each Member States has its own interests due to the enlargement. Enlargement will give different benefits or drawbacks to each countries. For instance enlargement will bring to the United Kingdom a higher economic growth, a larger single Market, more jobs, more prosperity and more trade.

It is the UK, during its Presidency in 1998, who launched the negotiations with the Central and Eastern European Countries. The government has played a leading role in moving forward the enlargement process. Their support is not just in words. They are the only EU Member State to have agreed a coherent plan of practical support with each candidate country. In fact, currently, around 30 UK civil servants are working with the candidates’ governments to help them prepare for accession. As a result ‘the UK has always been a strong champion of enlargement’ says Peter Hain a FCO Minister for Europe.

As P. Hain explained during a speech ‘our support for enlargement is not only based on our desire to re-unite Europe after the divisions of the Cold War. It also derives from a hard-headed assessment of the benefits that enlargement will bring for the UK.’ In fact enlargement would be very good for the UK.

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Enlargement will create the largest single market for trade and investment in the world. UK companies will benefit from access to this market for trade and investment, with up to 500 million consumers - around 100 million more consumers than now and bigger than the USA and Japan combined. This huge market will boost UK trade, jobs and prosperity. A study by the Centre for Economic Policy Research estimates that enlargement will add £1.75 billion to UK gross domestic product (GDP).

The Single Market is very important for the UK business. Enlargement will benefit companies from across the UK. ...

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