Thanks, gatepourri. This is a huge and interesting question, which
seems particularly relevant just as the election results for the new
enlarged European Parliament are due.
It is of course less than two months since the enlargement. At the
moment we can see the fears and hopes of neighbouring countries
including Russia and Morocco, the intentions of the EU towards its
neighbours, and the USA's expectations. The US is generally happy
about EU expansion, and you'll see there's more on that further down
Russia and Morocco are at geographical extremes of the "ring of
friends" which the EU says it hopes to establish as part of its new
European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), developed alongside the plans for
enlargement. Russia is the most important of the "Eastern neighbours".
Morocco has a fairly important role amongst the "Southern neighbours",
who form the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. (EMP - not to be confused
One reason this question is quite hard to research online is the sheer
mass of material put out by the EU on its Neighbourhood Policy. There
is far less written by anyone in the countries on its Southern or
Eastern borders. This seems to illustrate the EU's power and size as
compared with its neighbours.
The countries on its fringes would all like to benefit from good
trading links with their big, strong neighbour. They worry about being
excluded from a large, prosperous network, despite the European
Neighbourhood Policy which proposes stable and mutually beneficial
relationships with neighbouring countries. This ENP offers hope of
real economic benefits for neighbours, though they will be expected to
"harmonise" politically and co-operate with cross-border controls
which the EU wants to hold back illegal immigration, smuggling etc.
In July the EU will be publishing country-by-country "action plans"
which will throw further light on the likely impact of the recent
enlargement on the EU's neighbours. (Russia's plan will come later,
MOROCCO AND OTHER MEDITERRANEAN NEIGHBOURS
Morocco wants close links with the EU and, like most Arab countries,
would like more economic co-operation despite the political
difficulties this presents. It has been active in the
Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP). The EMP has developed slowly
because of the Middle East situation, and now there is concern that
the recent enlargement will shift the EU's attention towards its new
Eastern European members, as well as prospective members, thus slowing
progress in strengthening relationships with the South.
There is also concern in the region about European defence policies,
and a "Fortress Europe" approach to immigration.
"As for the concerns which the enlargement generates among southern
Mediterranean countries some are closely related to the hopes, and
thus shows how the enlargement is an event which produces highly
contradictory feelings in the southern Mediterranean. One of the most
pressing concerns which the EU enlargement generates is the inevitable
feeling of exclusion, of being refused to join the European Union.
A second Mediterranean concern is the alarm which the European
security and defence policy (ESDP) is generating outside the EU.
A third concern which the EU enlargement is also generating is the
tremendous economic regional bloc which EU will become as a result of
enlargement. The concern over EU becoming a big, closed economic and
trade bloc is that this fact could increase the economic pressure most
southern Mediterranean countries feel already from the forces of
economic globalization, unless thoroughly dealt with."
The Impact of Enlargement on the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP)
Mr. Muhammad Shaaban,
Ambassador, Assistant Foreign Minister for European Affairs, Egypt
An EU framework for relations with its Southern and Eastern neighbours
The EU's Emerging Neighbourhood Policy and its Potential Impact on the
(see pages 64 onwards for the perspective of the EU's neighbours, including Russia)
Russia raised many objections in the course of signing an agreement
with the new expanded EU. As well as their commercial concerns, they
may feel their status is threatened alongside an expanding EU, and
there is also the Kaliningrad problem to consider, and the Nato
question. (see links below)
"Russia believes that enlargement will entail a significant drop in
its exports to this area, a loss which the Russian experts calculate
at between 150 and 400 million euros. Russia has therefore submitted
to the European Commission a list of 14 points on which it asks for
urgent negotiations, otherwise Russia might not accept the extension
to the 10 new members from May 1st 2004 of the Partnership and
Cooperation Agreement signed between the Russian Federation and the
European Union and its Member States.
The 14 points are not all commercial grievances directly related to
Enlargement (for example, they include the future of the Russian
enclave of Kaliningrad and the situation of the Russian minorities in
the Baltic States), and they require political treatment. The majority
of the difficulties raised are, however, of a commercial nature: they
primarily concern iron and steel, because of quantitative restrictions
imposed by the European Union's anti-dumping regulations and certain
agricultural products, affected by more stringent phyto-sanitary
measures and European quotas. The European energy policy is also,
indirectly, criticised. "
Russia eyes new EU with concern
Russia seeks special ties with EU
Talks wrestle with Kaliningrad future
Russia and EU Strike a Deal
This article suggests Russia's economic fears are unnecessary.
Overall, the US is expected to benefit commercially from EU
enlargement, although there is real concern about difficulties for
agricultural exporters. The Government makes statements strongly
supporting the alliance of ex-Soviet bloc countries with Western
Europe, and evidently sees this as being in the interests of the US.
The new EU members are expected to value co-operation with the US on
security and defence, more than some older members of the EU, in fact.
They will generally agree with the rest of the EU on other
international issues, sometimes disagreeing with the US position, e.g.
on the Kyoto protocol.
"In the economic sphere, enlargement will mean increased export
opportunities for U.S. firms [except for a] loss of U.S. agricultural
[There will be] a larger and more favorable environment for U.S.investments.
In the political and security sphere, enlargement will affect U.S.
interests in three areas: NATO and the U.S. defense role in Europe;
global issues such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), the
Landmine Treaty, and the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions;
and EU ?proximity policy? toward such countries as Russia, Ukraine,
the Balkans, and North Africa and the Middle East."
You will find a more detailed discussion of these points in:
The Changing Face of Europe:
EU Enlargement and Implications for Transatlantic Relations
"Just as we continue to enjoy strong bilateral relations with the
current 15 EU members, after accession we look forward to deepening
our already dynamic relations with the ten new member states. While EU
membership will mean closer relations with Brussels for the accession
states, it will also mean even more robust relations with the U.S.
Those who believe the accession states must decide between loyalty to
Europe or the United States are posing a false choice. More Europe
does not mean less U.S. The U.S. has excellent relations with all the
accession states; and they will continue and deepen. As President Bush
put it, the accession states have not come all this way -- through
occupations and tyranny and brave uprisings -- only to be told they
"must now choose between Europe and America." The two are not
incompatible. One can be a good European and a good transatlanticist.
US government view of EU enlargement
EU expansion brings USA opportunities
Enlargement of the European Union: Expanding Opportunities
I expect you've already discovered that there's plenty online from the
EU itself, but let me point you in particular towards:
"The vision for the policy is of a ring of countries, sharing the EU's
fundamental values and objectives, drawn into an increasingly close
relationship, going beyond co-operation to involve a significant
measure of economic and political integration. This will bring
enormous gains to all involved in terms of increased stability,
security and well being. "
European Neighbourhood Policy
EU relations with neighbours
You can read individual country reports here:
So, I hope you find all this helpful. When you've had a chance to read
the articles I've linked to, if something still needs clarification,
please feel free to ask.
Best Wishes - Leli
My searches used combinations of these terms:
enlargement, expansion, accession
effect, affect, impact, implications
Mediterranean, North Africa, transatlantic
names of countries
neighbourhood policy, proximity policy