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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited
Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor
7 January 1998
The figures given by the EC Commission for the enlargement of the European Community, in last week's EP News, must be taken with a large pinch of salt because so many imponderables, such as the influx of economic refugees from the new members, and the impossibility of controlling refugees from other Eastern European countries are not taken into consideration. Also, if the experience of incorporating Eastern Germany is any guide, the costs of including several East European countries to the economic level expected will be enormous and far beyond anything estimated. Even if successful we would still then be left with an economically and politically divided Europe with all its potential dangers.
For enlightened self-interest reasons I am all for giving generous economic aid to encourage development and peaceful relationships for Eastern Europe, but it should be undertaken in a realistic manner, at a pace appropriate to the region. Far better to encourage a Europe of overlapping regions, from the Atlantic to the Urals, with each region co-operating and accepting the disciplines of peace, human rights and good governance, as agreed in the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation. Each region could then be asked to formulate its own economic plan similar to that asked by George Marshall when he initiated the Marshall Plan. Each plan could then be approved and generously supported by the EC as and when each region agreed to co-operate. I suggest this proposal would be far less costly and more realistic and effective in achieving the objectives of peace, security and development than the open-ended commitment now being initiated. More importantly it would put the prospect of permanent peace and the disbandment of NATO on the agenda, with all the financial benefits that would involve for all of Europe.
Ted Dunn, 77, Hungerdown Lane, Lawford, Manningtree, Essex CO11 2LX