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    This question applies only to the Europhiles on TSR.

    As the primary purpose of the EU is economic rather than cultural then should the EU admit countries that are geographically outside of Europe as members, or should the EU be restricted only to countries geographically in Europe?

    Justify your answer.
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    It'd make the name redundant for a start, and what to we need other countries for, so that we have more to rescue?
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    I don't think that the UK will be part of the EU at that time (i think it will become Euro-zone or Out in the minds of the EU institutions long before) i do think that the EU core is sufficiently expansionist that by 2050 i would be utterly shocked if the EUro-zone (probably a full federation by then) is not breaching the Med. Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey are all likely candidates.
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    I was thinking about countries in South America or Pacific Islands. Also Commonwealth countries.

    Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were once part of the USSR but is there any reason why other states that have broken away from the USSR such Uzbekistan or Turmenistan should not be allowed to join the EU apart from the artificial barrier of being east of the Volga?
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    Martinique is a part of the EU and was not in Europe last time I looked at a map. If a country is economically similar, has a proper democracy, then I would not rule it out. Turkey does not qualify on both grounds, and I did not think Romania did at the time it joined the EU.
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    The EU is not (only) economic but geopolitical. Therefore we require Ukraine and Turkey to remain as buffer states. So I do not support their membership or other integration.

    Plus like it or not the EU is cultural. Europe has long had a culture from the days of the Catholic Church and Western Europe since Charlemagne. It is a fairly homogenous culture really, internal variation little different from that in the USA. Subregions of the EU culturally/politically are the Med, the Balkans, Visegrad, the Baltics, the Nordics, Franco-German and UK & Ireland. Subregions of the US are New England, the Midwest, the Plains, Cascadia/California, Dixieland, Texas/Arizona/New Mexico. Despite this variation we are way different from (Orthodox) Russia or the (Muslim) Middle East.

    Potential long term objectives for expansion could be North Africa. This is far from the centre of the Muslim world and more progressive. It is well located for trade. Plus then we can put a solar array in the Sahara. But this is a stretch, really I see no justification for expansion beyond Europe and ideally I wouldn't even have let Romania and Bulgaria in.
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    (Original post by Arran90)
    I was thinking about countries in South America or Pacific Islands. Also Commonwealth countries.

    Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were once part of the USSR but is there any reason why other states that have broken away from the USSR such Uzbekistan or Turmenistan should not be allowed to join the EU apart from the artificial barrier of being east of the Volga?
    I can't see it expanding that far as a Euro-zone albeit eventual union with North America may occur.

    I don't think those states really have the close ties and willingness that others do. Turkey has desired EU membership for decades, Tunisia voted willingly for a secular government so is probably amenable to European values and Morocco refuses to see itself as part of Africa. I'd imagine a democratic Iran may eventually join given its history.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    I don't think that the UK will be part of the EU at that time (i think it will become Euro-zone or Out in the minds of the EU institutions long before) i do think that the EU core is sufficiently expansionist that by 2050 i would be utterly shocked if the EUro-zone (probably a full federation by then) is not breaching the Med. Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey are all likely candidates.
    Algeria will be ugly. Do you think the EU could swoop in to rebuild Libya and receive goodwill? It would be a major coup and the union has long needed oil.

    How about Lebanon? (I think not Israel, too divisive, leave them to America)
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    Algeria will be ugly. Do you think the EU could swoop in to rebuild Libya and receive goodwill? It would be a major coup and the union has long needed oil.
    Purely depends on how the north African governments themselves feel. If you look at eastern Europe they value EU membership because of a combination of protection from Russia and the fact that the EU forces them to open markets for membership. The questions for states like Libya and Algeria (though the EU will definitely desire it) are whether they value markets and protection enough.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    Plus like it or not the EU is cultural. Europe has long had a culture from the days of the Catholic Church and Western Europe since Charlemagne. It is a fairly homogenous culture really, internal variation little different from that in the USA.
    If what you are saying is true then how does this square with the large and increasing number of people in the EU of non-European and non-Christian heritage if they do not share democratic / liberal / Christian values? Are these people effectively a Trojan Horse to the EU project? Could non-European immigration eventually result in the EU disintegrating?

    I know some Muslims who support Brexit and they make a claim (that they cannot prove but it's good propaganda) that the EU is a Christian club at heart inspired by the Holy Roman Empire that all Muslims should oppose.
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    (Original post by Arran90)
    If what you are saying is true then how does this square with the large and increasing number of people in the EU of non-European and non-Christian heritage if they do not share democratic / liberal / Christian values? Are these people effectively a Trojan Horse to the EU project? Could non-European immigration eventually result in the EU disintegrating?

    I know some Muslims who support Brexit and they make a claim (that they cannot prove but it's good propaganda) that the EU is a Christian club at heart inspired by the Holy Roman Empire that all Muslims should oppose.
    The cynical view may be that importing these refugees will cause the less committed members to leave (like the UK) and in the long run leave a stronger and more committed core. In reality though the strcuture of the EU as it is puts significant weight on the council and vested state interests creating a mirade of half measures. The lack of a common external border policy really is i believe an oversight and one which will be corrected over time for Shengen nations.

    The EU may shed a handful of members over time but those who believe it will simply disintegrate are i believe deluded. There's little chance that Germany and France will ever be separate nations again in my view and even in a worst case scenario i'd imagine that the EU still ends up being Germany plus a handful of eastern European nations. Plus as i say, the core is expansionist so any members that are dropped will simply be replaced by a new Tunisia ect..
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    (Original post by Arran90)
    If what you are saying is true then how does this square with the large and increasing number of people in the EU of non-European and non-Christian heritage if they do not share democratic / liberal / Christian values? Are these people effectively a Trojan Horse to the EU project? Could non-European immigration eventually result in the EU disintegrating?

    I know some Muslims who support Brexit and they make a claim (that they cannot prove but it's good propaganda) that the EU is a Christian club at heart inspired by the Holy Roman Empire that all Muslims should oppose.
    That sounds like ISIS crusader rhetoric from those Muslims and should be treated with the appropriate suspicion. Yes I don't think the EU should "become Muslim" in any way but there is a big difference between that and just having a few Muslims there, even if they do believe in things antithetical to Europe/Western democracy. The point of liberal democracy is you can believe bad things if you want but nobody will pay any attention to you, so it's OK if some European Muslims have these views.

    I am not making too much of any "Christendom" thing in the modern day, just saying Europe has a long established common culture largely because of that, which long predates petty nationalisms and even many of the states people are loyal to today.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    I am not making too much of any "Christendom" thing in the modern day, just saying Europe has a long established common culture largely because of that, which long predates petty nationalisms and even many of the states people are loyal to today.
    This so called common culture has not gone very far in preventing the numerous wars and conflicts in Europe over the centuries since the Sack of Rome. Therefore this common culture is a questionable concept.

    My original question is one that the pro-EU camp has found difficult to answer.
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    It defies belief that Turkey is even being considered as a potential member.

    How the hell is a country that closes down opposition newspapers and imprisons people for insulting their closet jihadi president being considered for membership of the EU, which is supposed to be a beacon for human rights?
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    (Original post by Arran90)
    This so called common culture has not gone very far in preventing the numerous wars and conflicts in Europe over the centuries since the Sack of Rome. Therefore this common culture is a questionable concept.

    My original question is one that the pro-EU camp has found difficult to answer.
    Well see also China, USA. Plenty of civil war per century and plenty of internal cultural difference. But crucially I think less than if each state or province had been independent.
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    (Original post by Arran90)
    This question applies only to the Europhiles on TSR.

    As the primary purpose of the EU is economic rather than cultural then should the EU admit countries that are geographically outside of Europe as members, or should the EU be restricted only to countries geographically in Europe?

    Justify your answer.
    No. When I pay tax I don't want to be subsidising a Turkish man's pension because their own government are incapable of giving them the right amount and I don't want to be paying for roads to be repaired in Georgia when our own roads are in a dire state.
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    The question of how the EU addresses and deals with its neighbours is the biggest one confronting it apart from its economic malaise, chiefly caused by the ideological drive to unify all member states under the Euro much too quickly and without proper planning, centralisation of financial institutions and decision making and lack of acceptance that the economies of the South in particular were not ready.

    The two main borders are with Islamic states and with Russia. It used to be thought that Turkey was something of a different case, a more 'liberal' and progressive Muslim country which could be dealt with and absorbed. This is clearly now not the case. The rush to try to make it so under pressure to deal with the flow of migrants is probably not going to work. The government of Turkey are successfully manipulating the current crisis to their advantage in a number of ways, of which this is one.

    Many of the Muslim nations of Africa and the Middle East are in a dire state economically, politically and culturally. The main risk here is that wholesale movements of their populations, desperate to escape from the awful systems they live under, will intensify from their current levels. If the EU is to integrate them, Europe is going to fundamentally change and become a mixed race and religion region.

    That's not acceptable to many Europeans but it might happen anyway, regardless. The pressure to migrate from Africa in particular now is huge. The economic crisis since 2008 had bitten much harder there than anywhere else in the world and this, combined with a young, restless population, derelict governments and lack of prospects for change, means wholesale migrations are almost inevitable.

    The real debate needs to be about how to deal with these migrations and how we are going to cope with the inevitable.

    We also have the problem of Russia being belligerent, paranoid and economically challenged with a leadership that spreads hate propaganda and tries to undermine the EU.

    None of these crises will not affect the UK if we leave the EU. The immigrants will still flow, Russia's autocratic elite will still threaten and the UK will simply be more alone than it was. However, it is also clear now that a profound crisis is rapidly developing and we need to get the EU to be honest and face up to it and stop indulging in pretences based on a 1970s/80s view of the world or wishful thinking about the French/German alliance or the Euro waving a magic wand of economic strength.

    Our government should be talking about all these issues and engaging in deep talks with European leaders about them.
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    (Original post by Arran90)
    I was thinking about countries in South America or Pacific Islands. Also Commonwealth countries.

    Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were once part of the USSR but is there any reason why other states that have broken away from the USSR such Uzbekistan or Turmenistan should not be allowed to join the EU apart from the artificial barrier of being east of the Volga?
    I think it's a question of distance more than anything. IMO it just isn't practical for a country in Central Asia to be part of a union with its hq in Belgium. I know the USSR and the Colonial Empires were spread over large distances but they all ultimately failed.

    I agree about the artificial divide, the correct term for the Continent being Eurasia. The divide between Europe and Asia is cultural one that developed over history rather than geographical. For example if Anatolia was still predominantly Greek would we still class it as being in Asia?
 
 
 
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