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In Europe, ‘The Age of East-West Division’ Has Ended

Posted December. 15, 2002 22:44,   


“The division of Europe has ended.”

The Chair of the European Union (EU) Executive Committee Romano Frody proclaimed after the EU Summit held in Copenhagen, Denmark on the 12th and 13th. This Summit totally dismantle the East-West division structure, which had been continued since the World War II, by finally approving the 10 middle and east European countries to join the EU. The EU, which stayed as a block of countries for western European countries only, has been reborn as a union of nations that put together the whole Europe.

This summit also made a final agreement on building a military companionship between the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Therefore, it made possible for the EU and the NATO to use each other`s military facilities and to share plans of operations, so it created a steppingstone to make Europe as one military alliance. Following the introduction of the Euro, Europe took a big step toward ‘One Europe’ in politics, economy, and military fields through this Summit.

▽Birth of the Biggest Single Market in the World=Since this Summit made the final approval to expand the EU, the territory of the EU was expanded by 25% and the population increased from 370 million to 445 million. It means the birth of the biggest single market in the world over the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of 416 million people.

In relation to the joining condition, the EU decided to support 40.42 billion Euros (approximately 48.504 trillion won) to newly joining countries in 2004 ~ 2006. However, Poland asked more money because she was the biggest country out of newly joining countries, so the joining negotiation almost went to break. But Germany, which is the biggest financial supporter of the EU, decided to give additional one billion Euros (1.2 trillion won) to Poland, so it breached.

▽Strengthening the Europe`s self-defensive power=The 60,000 soldiers Rapid Reaction Forces, which will be created next year based on the agreement between the EU and the NATO, can be directly involved in the peace keeping activity in the Vulcan Peninsular using the infra of the NATO. The French President Jacques Chirac said, “In few weeks time, the EU Forces will receive the peacekeeping mission in Macedonia from the NATO Forces.” The EU also proclaimed its will to take the peacekeeping mission in place of the NATO Forces.

Although the EU and the NATO agreed on building a military companionship fundamentally on October, they could not draw the final agreement because of the objection of a NATO member, Turkey. Turkey tried to relate the issue with the joining the EU. However, the joining of Turkey to the EU problem had a solution, so the military cooperation problem was solved as well.

▽Turkey, ‘the hot potato’=The joining of Turkey to EU created most debates in this Summit, too. The EU, which proposed July 2005 as the starting date for the joining negotiation of Turkey, advanced the date to December 2004.

The US President George W. Bush, who wants to use Turkey as a military base in case of the Iraqi War, called the leaders of the EU countries and lobbied to advance the time for the joining negotiation of Turkey. In response to this, France and Germany resisted that it was an excessive intervention.

Jei-Gyoon Park phark@donga.com