Wednesday, July 16, 2008

How many new countries will there be in Europe in 2050?

While recently most new countries have been evolving in the Balkans, the Western Europe does not seem immune from it as well.
Last fall the Economist asked: "If Belgium did not already exist, would anyone nowadays take the trouble to invent it?". Belgium is divided along its linguistic lines between french-speaking Walloonia and dutch-speaking Flemish region. They only vote for their own political parties, thus after last election it took 9 months to agree upon a new government. Now, the new prime minister has decided to resign, so new talks about the viability of the country emerge. Certain Ideas of Europe blog is asking: "Time to dissolve Belgium?".
Also, recently i talked with some friends of my friend from Catalonia, a region in Spain. And it struck me, that there are many people want to break free from the Spanish rule there. And then there are of course the Basques and the Scottish...
One more question is, how would these countries become part of EU (if they want it, of course)? If the Catalans managed to break free from Spain, it is hard to see Spain allowing them to join the EU. And if Belgium would break up into two new countries, would Brussels be outside of EU until the new countries go through their accession periods?

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