Non European nations in European Union.

In the European Union charter, (constitution, whatever) is there a clause that states if a non European nation wishes to join the EU?

For example, if Canada wants to join the EU. Canada is a wealthy nation with a favorable population and industry. The nation is still part of the British Commonwealth, and a large minority speak French.

Australia and New Zealand come to mind also. Even though these two nations are half a planet away, are not they more European than say, Cyprus or Turkey who are trying to get in? Both of these nations are similiar to Canada, wealthy states with favorable populations and stable democracies. Australia would be a great foothold into the economies of Asia, especially China.

What about some select North African states such as Morocco or Tunisia as members? If there is a charter that allows only European nations as members, what is the boundry of Europe? From the Atlantic to the Urals in Russia? Surely Armenia, Azerbijian, and the Georgian Republic have the same economy as Cyprus. Of course, it is doubtful that Turkey or Cyprus will be admitted.

What’s your answer?

Well, you really need to check some facts, as Cyprys will get its membership May 1st, next year.

Cite.

As for the constitution, you’ll find a lot of info here.

Any country that wishes to join the European Union has the right to make an application. There is no specifical regulation that prohibits a country joining just because it is far away from Brussels. In fact, Morocco has applied in the past and Israel has been proposed too. Numerous overseas dependencies of European countries have chosen some degree of independence from the EU, but could be full members.

Of course, there is no obligation on the existing members to accept any other country as a member.

As to whether Australia and New Zealand are “more European” than Cyprus, you may find that the Greeks disagree with you.

I think any country can apply to be a member of the EU, it’s not a club limited by physical geography, although there are advantages to being close.

However, for the application to have any chance they existing members would have to agree that:

  • the applicant country would be an asset to rather than a drain on the EU.
  • the aims and aspirations of the applicant country are in line with the EU as a whole.

No doubt the likes of Canada and Australia, should they ever wish membership, would satisfy the former, but I’d question their motivations in the latter.

As one who has lived in Georgia, I am quite sure that the Georgian economy is a complete mess compared to that of Cyprus. While it is true that the Lari (Georgia’s currency) has remained fairly stable (currently about 2.2 = $1US), unemployment is well over 50% and industrial output is near nil. There are huge infrastructure problems with daily electricity, water (and oftern gas) cuts.

Several months ago I was at the post office downtown (Tbilisi) and saw stamps that had Georgian and EU flags on them… Georgia may aspire to be in the EU, but I can’t see that happening for a VERY long time.

Perhaps if today’s election works out (and civil war doesn’t break out), things might start improving, but the country is in the top 5 for corruption worldwide.