EU has done well, but could have done better, says MP

DUBAI - The European Union (EU) has achieved a lot since its establishment, including the success of a single currency and fruitful monetary and budgetary policy, but it could have done better according to Jean-Louis Bourlanges, member of EU parliament.

By Mahmoud Ali

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Published: Thu 15 Apr 2004, 12:10 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:01 PM

Mr Bourlanges made this comment at a Press briefing hosted on Wednesday by the Dubai Press Club on the challenges of the future of EU expansion and the Union's relations with the Middle East.

"We are seeking to apply reforms in the EU countries but it is difficult in a democracy, because people will block it," he said.

"On May 1 this year, 10 countries will join the Union and we are planning to a have a unified political body. Many EU countries are hesitant when it comes to political and military unification, but they approve the same for economic and social sectors," Mr Bourlanges said.

"The expansion will allow us to balance the density between East and West Europe countries. It will also allow us to help each other in developing both the countries and the Union. To conclude, Europe must be clear questioned on the nature of the political contract with the US," he concluded.

Responding to a Khaleej Times question on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlescuni's comments about Israel joining the EU, he said, "Don't give too much importance to such comments. Israel has been presented as a candidate by its government, but there is an open discussion on the future of EU. We are not building a new Roman Empire here to surround the Mediterranean, and let me say that it is impossible to admit Israel in the EU unless there is a global settlement (to the issue)."

Elaborating further, he said that the real problem is to know where to expand the EU in the South.

"We have been reinforcing the policy of Turkey, but if we admit Turkey we are going to have some problems with countries such as Armenia and those with Kurdish population."

Asked about the military intervention suggested in Darfour, he replied, "We are in the beginning of the military cooperation. We are present in Kosovo, Afghanistan and the French troops are in Ivory Coast. In the Middle East it is difficult to interfere to avoid confrontation with the US."

On the Iraqi situation Mr Bourlanges said: "Our opposition is very clear for the war in Iraq. The war wouldn't solve the problem, and now they (the US and its allies) are in a difficult situation, they are trapped".

"The UN has to intervene, and quickly before a civil war breaks out," he said.

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