Colin's Journal

Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.

December 9th, 2002

More on The European Convention

The International Herald Tribune has an article praising Giscard d’Estaing and his handling of the European convention. I agree with the first half of the article – he has certainly ensured that all aspects of the debate are being heard after a long time when few would dare raise the topic. Their take on the question of admitting Turkey however seems strange to me.

If Turkey does join the EU (and I would like to see it happen) then indeed other countries in the region may well consider applying. Having a growing EU though does not in my mind dictate that the union has to be a loose coupling with only an economic scope. In fact the freedom of movement of people means that the EU will always be more than just an economic union. If other countries outside of (geographical) Europe wish to join, and meet the criteria for doing so, then it seems to me that it’s to the advantage of existing members to let them. If countries currently outside the EU do not want to be part of a tightly coupled union then they will not apply to join. The EU should be defined in terms of what it does; the number of countries that wish to be party to it will result from that definition, not the other way around.

My guess is that a lot of countries will see advantage in being member of a tightly coupled union if the EU is defined in terms of equal rights for all EU citizens, free trade, security, and co-operation. At the end of the day though the definition of the union should be in the hands of the current and about to join members, without worrying about those that may wish to join in some hypothetical future.

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December 9th, 2002

Update on the Ransom Model

In a post last month I talked about the “Ransom model” for software development. This was partly inspired by the effort to purchase the source code to a text editor called pepper, and release it as open source. It appears that this effort has failed (via Hack the Planet) and that those who donnated are to have their money returned.

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