Sunday, September 21, 2003
The Latvians have voted "Yes" in the final enlargement referendum for EU membership. On a turnout of 72%, more than two-thirds approved of EU membership.

One can understand their wish to enter the EU, since membership provides a perceived security guarantee that independence doesn't. There was a significant probability that the Baltic States would enter as "one for all".

President Vike-Freiberga said Latvia's entry into the EU would put a final stop to the consequences of World War II: "For Latvia [the vote] is putting the final, full stop to the [consequences] of the second World War and wiping out forever the divisions on the map of Europe that the odious Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of 1939 had placed there. It will be for us a [revenge] in terms of our rightful place in the European scene."

From 2004, the EU will have to deal with a dissatisfied and organised Russian minority as well as the problematic status of Kaliningrad.

(September 21st, 2003, 13.42)


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