Ireland’s historic vote to allow for the proposals of the Treaty of Nice to be implemented, namely the expansion of the EU’s border eastwards, allows for a first wave of ten new member states in 2004. Outside for certain are Bulgaria and Romania.
While there are still details to be finalised, EU sources in Brussels have informed Pravda.Ru that the inter-governmental committee currently working on the expansion dossier has indicated that the first wave of accessions to the European Union will take place in 2004 and will include ten countries: The three Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Malta and Cyprus. Outside the club will remain Romania and Bulgaria, which could be included in 2007, along with Turkey and possibly some new candidates in the Balkans.
The question now turns to the governing organisms of the Union and the committee must decide how the future organs will work. The current system where the larger countries have two commissioners and the smaller countries only one, will probably be replaced by a system in which the Council of Europe has more executive power, assuming some functions of the Council of Ministers, in which the right of veto exists on certain issues and which is the decision-making body. The European Parliament, currently only a consultative organism, could gain legislative powers under the new system.
At present, the European Union has possibly the most undemocratic political system in the world. Institutionally, it was approved by less than half of the population, since not all nations held referendums on the adoption of the terms of the Treaty of Maastricht and Nice and in those that did, the abstention rate was around 50%, proving that there is a full-scale divorce of public support for and understanding of European Union issues, due to the fact that public opinion has been wholly uninformed about the questions at stake.
Furthermore, the only body to be elected democratically, the European Parliament, has no legislative power whatsoever, being merely a consultative organ.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
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