Monday, May 03, 2004
There is no debt

One of the underlying themes in the discussion of Enlargement, is the historical debt that the West owes to the East for having to live under forty years of communism. This debt is traced back to Yalta and the carve-up of the Europe into Soviet and Western spheres of influence.

The debt assumes two key points in the history of the late nineteen forties:that the West was capable of influencing or overthrowing Soviet control of Eastern Europe; and that there were satisfactory alternatives to the wartime alliance with Stalin. These key, historical, constraints undermine the argument that Poland or Czechoslovakia were geopolitical pawns, consciously thrown to the communist wolves.

A moral debt is a strong, political theme, continually embroidered and memorialised, in order to obtain advantages in negotiations. It is in the interests of the new Member States to mine this seam for as long as Western States are willing to favour such perceptions.

As an argument for enlarging the European Union, or for assessing Britain's interest in this expansion, moral debts have no place. They are not required. The EU should welcome new liberal democratic members that are willing to buy their goods, enter their regulated markets, and redress the socialist balance that the existing membership has created. Britain can welcome liberal leaning nations that will add to the Babel of Brussels, gum up the EU's workings, impede the integrationist ideology and provide a European voice for the nascent potato throwing nationalists.

The only argument that's 25:75 - is it in the interest of the new States to join? When you examine the raft of laws, taxes and regulations that render the acquis communautaire obese, the answer is probably not.

(19.43, 3rd May 2004)


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