Firstly, we need to highlight several reasons which prove that the negative speakers’ argumentation was unconvincing.
We strongly hold the idea that not a single state has become a member of the EU only in view of the “accession itself”, as our opponents presented it. We need to emphasize the fact that the EU is more than a formal, purposeless entity. In the aftermath of WW2, this organization was indeed intended to improve the situation of the countries that adhered to it – to guarantee peace and cooperation between them. In time, the ideal to ensure better economic conditions among these countries acquired a much broader scope; in any case, we defend a logical vision of mutual benefits between the EU and its member states, as opposed to the irrational position of our opponents.
In addition to this, the following statements of the negative team seem to be unsuited, and we shall expose this briefly:
- They said that cooperation inside the EU is “unachievable”. On the contrary: the GDP in the EU expanded 1.40 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 over the previous year, according to “Trading Economics”.
- They spoke about a “geographical discontinuity” between the EU and these neighbouring states – but why so, since all of them are instead in a geographical proximity to the EU?
- And most importantly: their statement according to which there is no “common cultural matrix” is blatantly absurd. Suffice it to say, for example, that Bosnia has long time been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and so is the case of the Republic of Moldova which shares a centuries-long history with Romania.
Let us now restate our arguments:
- We have pointed out that the enlargement of the EU towards the East would have positive geo-political effects and consolidate its position as a crucial player (and partner) on the globe. We have also argued that reaching out to these neighbouring countries would be the most efficient way to ensure that their democratic process follows its course; we have preached a strategical, closely examined enlargement – the EU would thus help root democratic values, such as the rule of law, pluralism etc., as well as maintain them on the long term. Adhering to these values is the necessary condition to becoming a member state and the result of the entire EU integration process and this is absolutely conceivable from these states.
- One last example should help us demonstrate the validity of our two deeply related arguments: we are talking about the case of Turkey, a country which was profoundly involved in the process of accession to the EU. This example is valuable to our demonstration for at least 2 reasons:
- It proves our conviction that a 10-year period is a perfectly plausible term: it is not too narrow (as would have been the year 2025); and it is not too loose – as was the case with Turkey, when the negotiations stalled for too long. This led to a proliferation of anti-EU views (accusations from Erdogan and nationalism manifestations from the people) and an overall alarming turn to dictatorship. Hence, it is important not to waste time on this matter, but to act efficiently.
- One of the issues voiced by Erdogan was that Turkish immigrants (more than 5 million around the EU) were perfectly integrated. The same situation is to be found in several WB6 countries, too: for example, Albanians were the second largest group of migrants to acquire EU citizenship in 2017, while the Serbians were granted 28 million € (ec.europa.eu) by the EU in order to handle immigration. Briefly, not only these countries could help us better manage the migrants, but rejecting them in turn prove to be dangerous and create a nationalistic frustration, just as it happened in Turkey.
All in all, we cannot but consider our proposal as the optimal one for a more prosperous and safer future of the EU AND its neighbouring countries.