Europe Moves Eastward: Challenges of EU Enlargement

Issue Date January 2004
Volume 15
Issue 1
Page Numbers 22-35
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Despite the economic concerns of those opposed to the eastward expansion of the European Union, the small economies of the new member states should pose few problems; fears of a cultural gap between "old" and "new" Europe are likewise misguided, as are charges that the entrance of the members will paralyze EU decision making. Enlargement reduces the chances of constructing a pan-European state, but it will put the EU under extra pressure to offer citizens meaningful forms of democratic participation. For all the changes that the entrance of postcommunist states will bring to the Union-and for all the democratic challenges in particular-the benefits of enlargement for Europe as a whole will clearly exceed the costs.