Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Five years on

Short one this - and probably less controversial than the previous one. Today represents the fifth anniversary of the signing of the European Union's 2003 Treaty of Accession which was signed in Athens in 2003. The Treaty saw acceptance of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia into the EU on the 1st of May 2004. It extended the EU's terroritory and allowed more extensive freedom of movement around the continent for EU citizens.

But has it been a good thing? Certainly for the former Eastern bloc countries, accession to the EU has given them a better economic foothold in the modern capitalist world. But there are those - notably Eurosceptics and other, more right-wing elements - who blame migration from these states for the current problems facing the UK (and other EU states).

So which is it? Well... it probably depends on who you talk to. On this, I'm less than convinced either way. I think the skilled migrants that are here do the jobs residents here do not want to do, and, for their part, try to integrate - often times successfully - into their local communities.

But do I think the EU works for Scotland? That's a post for another day...

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