William Pfaff: Moral choices in Europe

William Pfaff writes a good take on EU expansion, he gives the whole moral argument that was given to the Irish during the Nice Referendum, I dont buy it. If a country in Europe wants to join – let it – once it meets the criteria needed.

This idea that we are doing it for some higher moral sense is balderdash. We are doing it to expand the union for more members, markets and money.

I do like Pfaffs take on the British media…

Moral intensity is a striking quality in the European debate, evident last weekend at the 29th Ambrosetti strategic workshop in Italy, bringing together more than 300 political and business figures, mainly but not exclusively European.

A score of Americans were there, including Tom Ridge, the homeland security secretary, and the ubiquitous neoconservative publicist Richard Perle, currently suffering shock and denial concerning Iraq.

Otherwise, there were the chancellor of Austria; the prime ministers of France, Spain and Turkey; Germany and Spain’s foreign ministers; cabinet ministers from Italy, Turkey, Russia and Austria; and prominent EU commissioners. The archbishop of Paris and members of the new governing council of Iraq completed the assembly.

I emphasize the breadth of the participation and the intensity of the debate because American readers are often led to see “Europe” through the lens of the right-wing British press: in the caricature of a meddling and quasi-socialist bureaucracy.

That might even be desirable, in terms of efficiency, flexibility and prospective European political power. The original six include all of the major European economies except Britain, Sweden and Spain. Nonexpansion might even be the expedient choice for those who want the EU to become a major international actor.

It is a moral consideration that all the rest must be given the opportunity for full membership. If they refuse, it will be their choice. Either way, Europe shall change.