Europe's House Divided

Travelling from Berlin to Riga, Latvia's capital, is an eye-opener, because you get to see much of what is going wrong in European integration nowadays, just months before a further 10 states join the European Union, bringing it up to 25 from the original 6.

In Berlin before I left, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder had just welcomed his French and British colleagues for an exchange of views on the state and future of the Union. They were, the chiefs of the three largest members of the EU declared, only advancing proposals; nothing could be further from their minds than to form a steering group to run the affairs of the enlarged Union, even if henceforth they would meet again at more or less regular intervals.

If they really hoped to be believed, they should have listened to my interlocutors in the old city of Riga over the next few days.

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