Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Success of Enlargement

Today the European Commission published its assessment of the effects after two years of the biggest enlargement ever in its history.

It's a timely and important document in view of the tendencies in the debate in some member states to blame enlargement for all sorts of evil.

And - while it does not explicitly say so - it also implies that a further enlargement of the European Union might bring further benefits to us all:

"Two years later, the biggest enlargement ever of the European Union is an economic success: the 10 new Member States’ economies are growing at a rapid pace enabling them to progressively bridge the gap with their richer neighbours. But the latter also win as the increase of the EU’s single market by 75 million to 450 million inhabitants brings a wealth of trade and investment opportunities. More importantly, enlargement has acted as a force of modernisation in the EU as a whole – a timely force given the sudden emergence on the world scene of China and India."

It's a message worth repeating over and over again.