NASA World Wind/WLuef/Wiki Commons

Il “big bang” europeo con l’allargamento a dieci paesi

BRUXELLES – Dieci anni fa, otto paesi facenti parte dell’ex blocco sovietico sono entrati nell’Unione europea insieme a Malta e Cipro, portando il numero degli stati membri da 15 a 25. Al tempo, si temeva che quest’espansione verso est avrebbe creato delle tensioni all’interno dell’UE a causa della povertà dei nuovi membri dell’Europa centrale ed orientale erano poveri e dei settori agricoli importanti che ancra avevano. Poiché, infatti, la spesa maggiore dell’UE è tendenzialmente a beneficio delle regioni povere e del lavoro agricolo, molti erano preoccupati del fatto che quest’allargamento avrebbe finito per sovraccaricare il budget.

Alla fine, questo problema è stato risolto con un compromesso tipico dell’Europa che ha permesso l’avanzamento del processo di allargamento nonostante la riduzione del budget in termini di porzione del PIL europeo. Oggi l’agricoltura è praticamente scomparsa tra le tematiche principali dell’agenda UE. Inoltre, l’orizzonte di pianificazione del Multi-Annual Financial Framework dell’UE implica che la questione relativa a “chi paga per chi” viene affrontata solo ogni sette anni.

L’obiettivo finale dell’integrazione economica è quello di incoraggiare la crescita del PIL e migliorare gli standard di vita. A giudicare da questa prospettiva, il processo di allargamento ha funzionato bene. I paesi in transizione hanno infatti recuperato il passo in modo considerevole negli ultimi dieci anni.

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