Wednesday 18 Jul 2018 | 03:51 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 18 Jul 2018 | 03:51 | SYDNEY

Mixed messages from the EU


Fergus Hanson


3 February 2009 15:00

It wasn't long ago that the Europeans were jumping over themselves to erect barriers forestalling future expansion in EU membership leading some to proclaim the death of EU enlargement. The French and Dutch 'no' votes on the EU constitution signalled a rising dissatisfaction with the process of enlargement and the fearmongers were able to make the prospect of Turkish membership loom large.

It was only in 2006 that German Chancellor Angela Merkel said 'in the foreseeable future, we can't accept any other member states'. So it was a little surprising to learn that Iceland and its responsible team of economic managers could be fast-tracked into the old boys club — if it hurries at the same time Croatia joins.  

All round the messages the EU is sending seem pretty unattractive. The EU seems to love nothing more than jumping on its high horses to lambast prospective members for their general incompetence — offering the hope of membership in return for reforms. Iceland has proven itself so hopelessly incompetent it has essentially bankrupted itself and it's a shoe-in. Membership is definitely closed for the foreseeable future, except, it would seem, for some.