Enlargement : Crisis makes candidate countries think twice

2 May 2013 – Presseurop Rzeczpospolita

“The EU has always had problems defining its outermost boundaries. Now, the problem is being resolved by candidate states themselves: most of them are abandoning their integration dreams,” writes Rzeczpospolita columnist Jędrzej Bielecki. The daily notes that in addition to the growing Euroscepticism in the richer countries, such as Iceland, which does not want to continue accession negotiations, enthusiasm for integration is now also faltering among poorer candidates, such as the Ukraine, which – despite all the encouragement from Poland, cannot make up its mind whether it wants to get closer to the EU or not.

Also, public opinion in Turkey is turning against the country’s EU membership, while Croatia is likely to be the last newcomer from the Balkans in the years to come, as other candidates from the region appear to feel EU membership does not justify the pain that accession reforms would inflict.

According to the Warsaw daily –

This is the outcome of five years of crisis during which EU leaders haven’t been able to take the bold decisions needed to restore the euro’s stability. At the same time, the weakness of France, Italy, and Spain has led to the political dominance of Germany in the united Europe and a revival of historic resentments. The Eurozone crisis has not only occurred due to swindling by the Greek authorities or imprudent investments by Spanish banks, but also due to errors in the structure of the monetary union created by the Germans and the French. But today only the weakest countries of Europe are supposed to pay for the failure of euro. And this gives candidate states something to think about too.

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