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Cassius
Apr 30th, 2004, 09:07 PM
As I type this in Britain, it is 10 past 10, and the 10 accession countries join at midnight, but in Cyprus, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia it is already May 1st, so they are now official members of the European Union.

Welcome!:wavey:

gentenaire
Apr 30th, 2004, 09:27 PM
Yes, a big welcome to the new countries :D

crazillo
Apr 30th, 2004, 09:31 PM
A big welcome to all of ya! Letīs become a big community.

OUT!
Apr 30th, 2004, 09:40 PM
Letīs become a big community.Why?

propi
Apr 30th, 2004, 10:07 PM
:bounce: :bounce:
Welcome to all :D let's continue this fruitful European Union :bounce:

gentenaire
Apr 30th, 2004, 10:16 PM
Why?
Because peace is nicer than war, because investing in countries is better than dropping bombs on them, because I love the diversity in Europe and want to learn more about it, want to treasure it, because I think this one of the few posivitive signals that's being sent out these days, while everything else is about war and destruction and violence, this is one about hope, about change, about trust, about the future in the long term, not short term...

Come-on-kim
Apr 30th, 2004, 10:18 PM
Yeah, Welcome to the new members :D

OUT!
Apr 30th, 2004, 10:30 PM
Because peace is nicer than war, because investing in countries is better than dropping bombs on them, because I love the diversity in Europe and want to learn more about it, want to treasure it, because I think this one of the few posivitive signals that's being sent out these days, while everything else is about war and destruction and violence, this is one about hope, about change, about trust, about the future in the long term, not short term...That's a nicely crafter answer, the kind a politician would make, but I'm concerned about:

welfare tourists (although the new member states cannot claim benefits in the UK)
the predicted brain drain in new member states
the diversity you seem to see as a strength, I feel could be divisive
Islamaphobia

There are other concerns, when I remember them I'll let you know.

crazillo
Apr 30th, 2004, 10:39 PM
Thx gentainaire!! My thoughts^^

Josh
Apr 30th, 2004, 10:39 PM
The spectacle in La Valletta (Malta) was really beautiful. :yeah:

Finally, Europe is united again! :D

Josh
Apr 30th, 2004, 10:47 PM
http://vrtnieuws.streampower.be/nieuwsnet_master/default/nieuws/overzicht/040430_Europa/N_040430_EU-uitbreiding14_brussel_jubelpark-20040430-205415.jpg
Brussels

http://vrtnieuws.streampower.be/nieuwsnet_master/default/nieuws/overzicht/040430_Europa/N_040430_EU-uitbreiding13_hongarije-20040430-204935.jpg
Budapest

http://vrtnieuws.streampower.be/nieuwsnet_master/default/nieuws/overzicht/040430_Europa/N_040430_EU-uitbreiding11_spanje-20040430-204916.jpg
Santiago de Compostela

http://vrtnieuws.streampower.be/nieuwsnet_master/default/nieuws/overzicht/040430_Europa/N_040430_EU-uitbreiding10_polen-20040430-204906.jpg
Polish-German border

http://vrtnieuws.streampower.be/nieuwsnet_master/default/nieuws/overzicht/040430_Europa/N_040430_eu-uitbreiding3_malta-20040430-173346.jpg
La Valletta

http://vrtnieuws.streampower.be/nieuwsnet_master/default/nieuws/overzicht/040430_Europa/N_040430_eu-uitbreiding5_duitsl_brandenburg-20040430-173330.jpg
Berlin

OUT!
Apr 30th, 2004, 10:56 PM
Finally, Europe is united again! :DWell let's wait and see.

flyingmachine
Apr 30th, 2004, 11:56 PM
That's a nicely crafter answer, the kind a politician would make, but I'm concerned about:

This not just any poping out of nowhere from politician's head. This is mark of an era which the West united with the East which hasn't happen since 1945.


welfare tourists (although the new member states cannot claim benefits in the UK)

Ah the fact is most of the welfare fund is done by people who are the citzens of the country rather than from other countries.

the predicted brain drain in new member states

I think this is a short term rather than long term. This is depends on are we willing to improve our educations and training.

the diversity you seem to see as a strength, I feel could be divisive

This is depends on which state are you in. I think politically Britain will be an advantage for that but not so on France and maybe on Germany.

Islamaphobia

This is nothing to do on the expandtion of EU. Islamaphoibia is a major problem for Western Europe but not for Eastern Europe(i.e. large Islam populations in Western Europe and small Islam populations on new members). Islamaphoibia increase if things like the Bradford riot or the Mardrid Bombings happens again which is nothing to do with expendtion of EU.



There are other concerns, when I remember them I'll let you know.
Anyway it will not be easy for both sides in the short term because the changes to new members will affect both sides but it will be good for both sides in the long run. So welcome to EU. :)

Seles_Beckham
May 1st, 2004, 12:15 AM
WELCOME

I hope one day that we ( Bosnia and Herzegovina ) will be part of the EU !!!!

Josh
May 1st, 2004, 12:19 AM
GDP per capita (2002 estimates - source CNN)

1. Luxembourg $48,900
2. Ireland $29,300
3. Belgium $29,200
4. Denmark $28,900
5. Austria $27,900
6. The Netherlands $27,200
7. Germany $26,200
8. France $26,000
9. Sweden $26,000
10. Finland $25,800
11. UK $25,500
12. Italy $25,100
13. Spain $21,200
14. Portugal $19,400
15. Greece $19,100

New member states :

1. Malta $17,200
2. Czech Republic $15,300
3. (Greek) Cyprus $15,000
4. Hungary $13,300
5. Slovakia $12,400
6. Slovenia $12,400
7. Estonia $11,000
8. Poland $9,700
9. Latvia $8,900
10. Lithuania $8,400

OUT!
May 1st, 2004, 12:42 AM
This not just any poping out of nowhere from politician's head. This is mark of an era which the West united with the East which hasn't happen since 1945.

Ah the fact is most of the welfare fund is done by people who are the citzens of the country rather than from other countries.

I think this is a short term rather than long term. This is depends on are we willing to improve our educations and training.

This is depends on which state are you in. I think politically Britain will be an advantage for that but not so on France and maybe on Germany.

This is nothing to do on the expandtion of EU. Islamaphoibia is a major problem for Western Europe but not for Eastern Europe(i.e. large Islam populations in Western Europe and small Islam populations on new members). Islamaphoibia increase if things like the Bradford riot or the Mardrid Bombings happens again which is nothing to do with expendtion of EU.


Anyway it will not be easy for both sides in the short term because the changes to new members will affect both sides but it will be good for both sides in the long run. So welcome to EU. :)Very nice answers flyingmachine :) You almost converted a Eurosceptic.

flyingmachine
May 1st, 2004, 09:37 AM
Very nice answers flyingmachine :) You almost converted a Eurosceptic.
:o Whatever.

caramel
May 1st, 2004, 09:40 AM
http://vrtnieuws.streampower.be/nieuwsnet_master/default/nieuws/overzicht/040430_Europa/N_040430_EU-uitbreiding14_brussel_jubelpark-20040430-205415.jpg
Brussels

http://vrtnieuws.streampower.be/nieuwsnet_master/default/nieuws/overzicht/040430_Europa/N_040430_EU-uitbreiding13_hongarije-20040430-204935.jpg
Budapest

http://vrtnieuws.streampower.be/nieuwsnet_master/default/nieuws/overzicht/040430_Europa/N_040430_EU-uitbreiding11_spanje-20040430-204916.jpg
Santiago de Compostela

http://vrtnieuws.streampower.be/nieuwsnet_master/default/nieuws/overzicht/040430_Europa/N_040430_EU-uitbreiding10_polen-20040430-204906.jpg
Polish-German border

http://vrtnieuws.streampower.be/nieuwsnet_master/default/nieuws/overzicht/040430_Europa/N_040430_eu-uitbreiding3_malta-20040430-173346.jpg
La Valletta

http://vrtnieuws.streampower.be/nieuwsnet_master/default/nieuws/overzicht/040430_Europa/N_040430_eu-uitbreiding5_duitsl_brandenburg-20040430-173330.jpg
Berlin
No pics? :confused: :sad:

Vincent
May 1st, 2004, 09:49 AM
Estonia :D :dance:

Vincent
May 1st, 2004, 09:49 AM
Why can't Croatia join the EU too?

crazillo
May 1st, 2004, 10:02 AM
Some countries are not developed enough to do that...

Josh
May 1st, 2004, 10:10 AM
No pics? :confused: :sad:

The pics have already been removed from the website, that's why they don't show up anymore.

Some other pics :

http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/2004/WORLD/europe/04/30/eu.enlargement/vert.malta.fireworks.jpg
Fireworks in Malta

http://i.cnn.net/cnn/interactive/world/0404/gallery.eu/gal.01.fireworks.ap.jpg
German-Polish border

http://i.cnn.net/cnn/interactive/world/0404/gallery.eu/gal.02.celebrations.ap.jpg
Wroclaw, Poland

http://i.cnn.net/cnn/interactive/world/0404/gallery.eu/gal.03.kids.ap.jpg
German-Czech border

http://i.cnn.net/cnn/interactive/world/0404/gallery.eu/gal.06.square.ap.jpg
http://i.cnn.net/cnn/interactive/world/0404/gallery.eu/gal.07.hungarians.ap.jpg
Budapest

Josh
May 1st, 2004, 10:18 AM
Some more pics :

http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40104000/jpg/_40104001_euprague_ap300.jpg
Prague

http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40103000/jpg/_40103749_germany_ap-300x220.jpg
Berlin

http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40103000/jpg/_40103997_euflag_ap300.jpg
Poland

http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40103000/jpg/_40103729_nicosia-ap-300x220.jpg
Cyprus

Vincent
May 1st, 2004, 10:22 AM
Awesome pictures Thanks! :kiss:

gentenaire
May 1st, 2004, 10:42 AM
Great pics :D


And Croatia will eventually join the EU as well, ferrero. I was in Croatia last summer, Europe is clearly investing a lot in that country, making it ready to joing the EU as well.

caramel
May 1st, 2004, 11:04 AM
Nice pics. I want to go to Prague!!! :bounce:

TheBoiledEgg
May 1st, 2004, 11:32 AM
welcome newbies :wavey:

Cassius
May 1st, 2004, 01:15 PM
And Croatia will eventually join the EU as wellYeah, at the moment they're talking about joining in 2007 with Romania and Bulgaria.
Towards the end of this year, the current members will make some sort of decision on Turkey.
I think they probably won't want Turkey to join (Germany won't anyway, and anyone they can get on their side).

vutt
May 1st, 2004, 03:16 PM
Yeah, it's nice to see souch warm welcome :)

and about GDP - just give us some time...

Princess Fiona
May 1st, 2004, 05:04 PM
:wavey: Welcome!! :D Happiness to all new members... :)

(I want to go to Hungary... I want to go to all these countries... *sigh* ;) Estonia!! Are you reading Special Kuilli? ;) )

Jonathan - I know what you mean about the 'diversity'. I have really liked using the different currencies when being abroad. I like the idea of everyone being there for each other and helping each other and greater opportunities for people... :) But I can also understand why people have reservations... *babbling* ;)

OUT!
May 2nd, 2004, 12:17 AM
Surely you don't need to be in a "union" to appreciate diversity and learn more about other countries though?? And also, hasn't the creation of the Euro eliminated some of that diversity?? Half the fun of going on holiday to different countries, for me anyway, was to be able to see all sorts of currencies.

I'd rather we just kept out of it all (and I am sure the "continental" feeling about us is mutual anyway). It doesn't mean to say that we can't all get along and be friends, and trade openly with each other. But I'm sure the United Kingdom would be better off alone.:yeah: I totally agree re trade. Any other moves say in terms of a common defence policy, for example, and I want the right to cast my vote on something that will change my country forever. When are the British people ever going to have a referendum on all of this?

OUT!
May 2nd, 2004, 12:23 AM
:o Whatever.:p

Bezz
May 2nd, 2004, 12:28 AM
:yeah: I totally agree re trade. Any other moves say in terms of a common defence policy, for example, and I want the right to cast my vote on something that will change my country forever. When are the British people ever going to have a referendum on all of this?
Well the new Constitution hasnt been agreed yet, but apparantly it might be ready for around june/july, then we debate it for god knows how long, then we vote on it after the elections next year.

I only see a problem when it comes to things like foreign policy, European countries can never agree on one thing, yu had france and germany on one side of the Iraq war and then Italy, Spain and the UK, on the other, i dont see how they can make our foreign policies united, i also dont like the idea of havin an EU president, cos i think he would just end up like a king or queen, being the figured head but having no power at all. I know there are certain things tony Blair said he wont budge on and that was defense , taxes and something else, but i forgot lol :tape: , it could have been foreign policy).

gentenaire
May 2nd, 2004, 07:44 AM
Surely you don't need to be in a "union" to appreciate diversity and learn more about other countries though??
I wrote that to make clear to those who fear the EU is about homogonising everything, about turning the whole of Europe into one culture, that they're wrong. The EU is about embracing cultures.
Besides, I don't see May 1st as the day of the expansion of the EU, but rather of reuniting countries that should have never been devided.

Half the fun of going on holiday to different countries, for me anyway, was to be able to see all sorts of currencies.
Now it's fun to see all the different coins and you don't even have to go abroad for that. It's fun to be able to pay with a Spanish coin, or a French one, or Dutch or...
To me, culture is about traditions, art, customs, language, architecture, not about currencies. Besides, the 'fun' of paying with different currencies quickly disappears when you're just passing through a country on your way to another and must have some change of that currency as well. And when you accidently land in one country (e.g. because the trains in Britain delivered me 4 hours too late in Dover, I missed my ferry to Ostend and ended up in Calais instead with no French franks in my pocket) it's no fun when you can't even pay for a train ticket. Also, when you spend a lot of time in another country, it's annoying to need two wallets with the two currencies. I'm very happy with the Euro. And I felt extremely proud when I noticed how smooth the entire operation ran. It's such a huge logistical operation, to change to the Euro, the banks, vending machines, computers, ...it's not simple, yet it worked without any real problems.

I'd rather we just kept out of it all (and I am sure the "continental" feeling about us is mutual anyway). It doesn't mean to say that we can't all get along and be friends, and trade openly with each other. But I'm sure the United Kingdom would be better off alone.

Sorry, you can't have the best of both. That's hardly fair, is it? Either you're in and that means you get the negative and positive, or you're out.

I've always seen the EU is a big Marchall plan. Our economy is better off when the countries we trade with the most also have a strong economy. So by investing in those countries, their economy gets stronger which makes ours stronger too. You see that the GDP of the new member states is far below that of the older states, but like Vutt said, give them a few years and that'll change. Look at Spain and Portugal and especially Ireland! Those countries have improved so much. Ireland now has the second highest GDP, after Luxembourg! What a change. Seeing those figures shows that the EU is a good thing! It's far from perfect, but you can hardly call it a failure when you see how the living standards in many countries has improved.

Lore
May 2nd, 2004, 08:50 AM
Welcome new members :wavey:

galadriel
May 2nd, 2004, 10:59 AM
A big Hello to all new members :wavey: :hug:

Josh
May 2nd, 2004, 12:05 PM
EU newcomers welcomed to the club

The new 25-member European Union has heralded its historic expansion with celebrations across the new bloc.
The 15 old members welcomed in Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia at midnight.

The most high-profile festivities took place in Ireland, current holder of the rotating EU presidency.

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern welcomed the new members and hailed a "day of hope and opportunity".

In bright spring sunshine, the leaders of the new member states were welcomed in a simple ceremony in the grounds of the Irish president's official residence by their counterparts from the existing 15 members.

They watched as young people from all 25 countries presented their national flags, which were then raised together alongside the EU flag as a mass choir sang the EU anthem, Beethoven's Ode to Joy.

Mr Ahern spoke of the progress that Europe had made over the past decades, saying it had moved from war to peace.

He went on: "From hatred there is now respect, from division there is union, and from dictatorship and oppression there is democracy. "

But he also made reference to the challenges ahead for the enlarged club - notably the need to find agreement on the thorny issue of a constitution, and to narrow the now even more pronounced wealth gap between members.

"There is indeed much work to be done," he said.

Ireland mounted its biggest security operation since Pope John Paul II visited in 1979 in preparation for the celebrations.

In Saturday evening, riot police used water cannon to break up hundreds of anti-capitalist protesters in Dublin, but no serious incidents were reported.

Joy and uncertainty

With a population of 455m, the EU now is the world's biggest trading bloc.

Hundreds of thousands packed city squares in the newcomer states to watch fireworks and hear Beethoven's Ode to Joy - the EU's official anthem.

The BBC's Tim Franks says some enthusiasts are describing the enlargement as a millennial event, comparable to the creation of great empires.

This is a hugely significant day for Europe, our correspondent says, but it is nowhere near the end of the story.

In the existing member states, there is more uncertainty over immigration, over the new balance of forces within the EU and over whom the club should admit next.

For the newcomers, there are concerns about price hikes without commensurate salary increases.

There is also disappointment that established members have placed restrictions of up to seven years on freedom of movement for workers from the relatively poor east into the west.

Eight of the new members are former communist states, joining the Western club only 15 years after most of them emerged from years of Soviet domination. Some did not even regain their independence until just over a decade ago.

'No war again'

The other two new members - Malta and Cyprus - are Mediterranean islands.

But Cypriot membership is being overshadowed by the exclusion of the island's Turkish Cypriot part, following an inconclusive referendum on reunification a week ago.

One of the fathers of European reunification, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, spoke through tears when he addressed thousands at a ceremony in the German town of Zittau, which borders both Poland and the Czech Republic.

"The message is there will never again be war in Europe," Mr Kohl said.

Marek Wos, a 40-year-old Polish businessman attending the celebrations in Warsaw, said it was a good day for his country.

"We will no longer be second-class people from a second-class country," he said.

strike86
May 2nd, 2004, 06:38 PM
Welcome to the new EU members I hope you enjoy being in the EU . I am not anti-European. I don't aim for the EU to be scrapped, I just want Britain out. As far as I am concerned people of their countrys are welcome to decide their own futures. I would want us to withdraw and be assocate members like Norway and Switzerland. I think we can still get on, and have no wars. We still have the UN to prevent wars.

The thing that upsets most Brits over here was that in the 70's we were told we were joining a free trade asocation, not a union that aims to integrate us into one nation called Europe, thats what has upset us.

P.S I am a member of UKIP and heres a quote from their manifesto it reflects my view.

We are not 'anti-European', but we oppose British membership of an EU that stifles our initiative and threatens our freedom. We do not seek to abolish the EU, for we believe that each nation in Europe should decide its own future. Britain has no more right to control them than they have to impose their will on us.

OUT!
May 2nd, 2004, 06:59 PM
wonders when Turkiye will become a member and why she had to wait too long :):)Last time I checked it was due to human rights, or lack thereof.

OUT!
May 2nd, 2004, 09:59 PM
The thing that upsets most Brits over here was that in the 70's we were told we were joining a free trade asocation, not a union that aims to integrate us into one nation called Europe, thats what has upset us.
Precisely, only last week the European Nazis (i.e French Le Pen) came to London in order to promote the political success they enjoy in France to Britain. On a very important note, I think black Britons could fair very badly. What is multiculturalism like in these new countries? Could black Britons enjoy the same level of economic success and racial diversity in say Warsaw Poland that they often can in London? I don't think there is an equivalent to the Race Relations Act (1976) in any of these new states.

The free trade aspect is great, the political integration is very bad imo. I'm not anti European either, I love Europe, especially German men:lick: It's just that I love British sovereignty more.

flyingmachine
May 3rd, 2004, 11:43 AM
I think and am almost certain that the so-called Europeans aren't any better in terms of human rights (of course, if you include all *humans* into the rights category, instead of only radical activists of some terrorist organizations).

And I also think there are better reasons why EU would not want Turkiye as a member which I'd absolutely agree with - like the largely young population, over-population, poverty, different cultural backgrounds, a large group of conservatist people (not in terms of religion but tradition), etc.....

I think it's a lot of to do with religion (Islam) there are many people in Western Eroupe inparticlar who fear Islam and the political climate at the moment i.e. the middle east. Turkey will slowly become a EU member but it will be 20 years time instead of now. I think Turkey will be good for the long run but I'm thinking of economcs and trade rather than political reunion. As the Asian economy grow i.e. China and India and oil of Capian Sea which hardly drill in. Turkey will become important anyway it will take time. As well as depends on what happen in Iraq war.

Bероника
May 3rd, 2004, 03:26 PM
My belated welcome as well!!!

gentenaire
May 3rd, 2004, 06:57 PM
I think and am almost certain that the so-called Europeans aren't any better in terms of human rights (of course, if you include all *humans* into the rights category, instead of only radical activists of some terrorist organizations).

It's got to do with the fact that there's still a large number of asylum seekers coming from Turkey, which shows that apparently some people aren't safe in Turkey, need protecting.