It’s 15+4 now.

Bridging what is left of the Iron Curtain will not be easy. But that is always the case when great things are at stake. That – not tonight’s celebrations – is what Europeans, old and new, East and West, should remember when the road gets a little bumpy along the way.

Only a few minutes ago, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, and Lituania became members of the European Union! Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Malta will follow within the hour.

But as I have decided to celebrate the enlargement offline with some friends and a bottle of champagne I once lost to a Polish friend by insisting that 2004 would be too early for Polish membership, I will now act against my German instincts and welcome the remaining new-members-to-be about 30 minutes early – willkommen, bienvenue, welcome!

This entry was posted in A Fistful Of Euros, The European Union by Tobias Schwarz. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tobias Schwarz

German, turned 30 a while ago, balding slowly, hopefully with grace. A carnival junkie, who, after studies in business and politics in Mannheim, Paris, and London, is currently living in his hometown of Mainz, Germany, again. Became New Labourite during a research job at the House of Commons, but difficult to place in German party-political terms. Liberal in the true sense of the term.

His political writing is mostly on A Fistful of Euros and on facebook these days. Occasional Twitter user and songwriter. His personal blog is almost a diary. Even more links at

15 thoughts on “It’s 15+4 now.

  1. Pah, you beat me to making this post…and I’m stuck at work all night while the rest of the continent (it seems) gets to celebrate.

  2. I just celebrated the enlargement with a post I had prepared a few days ago. Bridging what is left of the Iron Curtain, indeed! And enjoy the champagne 😉

  3. It’s not only bridging the iron curtain, it’s also eradicating the borders between the new members themselves. There is quite a bit of potential conflict between the new states themselves, for instance between Slovakia and Hungary.

    So far the track record of the EU in removing borders and old enmities is good. I hope very much that it continues that way.

  4. I just got back from the open house at the EU Council of Ministers – it seems to be the only event today in Brussels commemorating the expansion. It’s a natioanl holiday, so not much else is up.

  5. Hi there, Ed, Tobias, Nick and Scott and Scott,

    I don’t see where to email the administrators of the site so I’ll say it in the comments:

    ?No Pasar?n! is NOT a right wing blog. Not in the least. How can Norman Geras be on the Left but not us? I was catastroph? to read that you’ve put us on the Right (thanks for the link, though, by the way).

    Some of us are more Conservative than others but we aren’t rightwing at all!

    Thanks for your attention.

  6. I’m sure EURSOC would be pleased to take over your spot on the “right.” Unpigeonholeable my ass.

  7. I’ve looked at that groupblog about which Douglas claims that it is not rightwing, well, as a Spanish citizen I cannot fail to see that they are on the right of Aznar. That is extremely rightwing from any perspective.


  8. Nah, I assumed too much.

    What makes being rabidly hawkish and anti-french “rightwing” positions?
    Since it’s mostly about France, I moved it to the national regional category.

  9. Being anti-EU isn’t inherently rightwing either, as sweden’s greens and commies could tell you. Haven’t seen anything on EURSOC about the neeed for lower taxes or the like.

  10. So if this thread may be used for correcting the blogroll: “Ostracised from ?sterreich” is coming from the country without kangaroos, commonly known as Austria or “.at”, not from the other one, “.au”. Just a little nit to be picked.
    (It’s not as if we weren’t used to that.)

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