Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tunisia to join the EU?

Foreign Secetary David Miliband is renowned for his original thinking, but his latest wheeze to expand the European Union to take in not only the rest of the old Soviet bloc but also parts of North Africa and the Middle East is surely a piece of blue-sky thinking too far.

The argument over whether Turkey should be part of the EU has been hotly contested but there is at least some historical basis for regarding that country as part of Europe.

But while there is always a good case for closer international co-operation, there surely comes a point beyond which the concept of Europeanism becomes meaningless. Kirghiztan, Uzbekistan, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia are not part of Europe and never will be.

To quote Margaret Thatcher in a not-altogether-different context: "No. No. No."

Update: A nice line in outrage here from Letters from a Tory.

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6 comments:

David Gladwin said...

Maybe they could just change the European Union's name, like they do with shops and chocolate bars.

That might work.

G Eagle Esq said...

mmm ....

but 2000 years ago, Tunisia (then known as the Roman province of Africa) was very much part of "Europe" (then known as the Roman Empire

"Africa" was a very close & important supplier of grain for Rome, just a short distance across the Mediterranean

.....

Stephen Rouse said...

It is a ridiculous idea. However, the author of the linked piece from Letters from a Tory appears not to notice the irony of writing: "Jesus Christ, where do you get these ideas? Do you honestly think the Middle East and the EU can develop shared values?"
I'd say Jesus Christ was quite a good example of a Middle Easterner's values being shared by Europe.

G Eagle Esq said...

and mmmmm

.... Wasn't it in the 12th/13th Centuries that Morocco was so closely connected with Europe that Europe had a mini-renaissance, after the Moors (then occupiers of Spain) passed on translations from Arabic Versions of Aristotle

.... that was a time when Morocco could boat a more advanced Civilization than the Barbarians of Europe .....

Anonymous said...

First of all, "Europe" as a concept, developed around the mediterranean and certainly not around Estonia and Latvia. Have you heard about Carthage?

Second, you seem to assume that Tunisia actually would actually want to give out on its sovereignty to a super state lying above its head and dictating its directives. The answer from this side too is "No, No, No". All we're interested in is free trade and we have signed off a contract in that direction with the EU. Other than that, we are absolutely not interested in joinging that massive bureaucracy.

Hope that makes everyone happy :)

Anonymous said...

First of all, "Europe" as a concept, developed around the mediterranean and certainly not around Estonia and Latvia. Have you heard about Carthage?

Second, you seem to assume that Tunisia actually would actually want to give out on its sovereignty to a super state lying above its head and dictating its directives. The answer from this side too is "No, No, No". All we're interested in is free trade and we have signed off a contract in that direction with the EU. Other than that, we are absolutely not interested in joinging that massive bureaucracy.

Hope that makes everyone happy :)