Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.
A couple of interesting weblog posts on EU expansion (via Davos Newbies). I have to agree with the first on Turkey, as I’ve posted before, I see no reason to limit entrance to countries based purely on geography.
I’m not so convinced on the question over whether the EU will now become too large to continue along the federal route. The EU as it stands today is considerably further along the path to a true federal state than most people would have predicted at the beginning; after all todays members are not known for their history of peaceful agreement. With the enlarged EU I think we will see the same thing – countries will find themselves heading more and more in that direction (at least on certain matters), and end up going further than they would have initially signed up to.
On one front however I’m sure that we agree – the idea of financial harmonisation seems like a bad plan. Having some level of federal spending is not a bad thing, and I would not be surprised to see this element increase over time (it’s actually very small as a proportion of GDP), but keeping financial decisions at the state level will in the long run be for the best. This way each state can compete in terms of taxation, minimum wage (something promoted by the political right), and also in terms of promotion of quality of life through public services and regulation (something generally forgotten by the political left). I’m looking forward to the day that British politicians are willing to campaign on a platform of emulating another member states policies (on say health or level of taxation) rather than trying to invent something new as though these issues have not been tackled by anyone else before.
Email: colin at owlfish.com