Europe Plans For An Arab Expansion
The Times, London
BRUSSELS, May 4. — WITH the largest-ever enlargement of the EU behind them, European officials are now preparing even more ambitious plans to expand the Brussels empire across North Africa, West Asia and Asia.
They hope that just as last weekend’s enlargement helped to entrench democracy in eight former Communist countries, this new policy will stabilise much of the Arab world, as well as the still turbulent far eastern regions of Europe.
Next week, the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, will launch a strategy document setting out details of an effective enlargement of the EU over decades across all the Muslim countries lining the Mediterranean, from Morocco to Syria, as well as Israel, Lebanon and all the former parts of the Soviet Union which are in Europe, including Russia.
This is in addition to the well-advanced plans for Romania and Bulgaria to become full members of the EU in 2007, followed by all the Balkan countries including Albania, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia. The Commission will also announce in October whether it thinks that Turkey is ready to join the EU.