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EU to offer another “them” and “us” genetically modified carrot to EaP nations at Vilnius?

June 25, 2013

“Them” and “us” politics are not exactly conducive to democracy – that much must be fairly clear to even the most retarded of people with a very basic understanding of democracy and the necessary inclusiveness and tolerance it demands.

A brief understanding of the work of Horowitz, Sklar, Dhal, Linz  or Lijphart, their analysis and recommendations relating to ethnicity in democracy makes it painfully clear even for the most dunce-like that identity politics active within the whole running along longstanding and ascriptive divides simply isn’t healthy for democracy promotion and consolidation.

By ascriptive identity I would include “Eastern European/EaP nations” if the scholarly definition of “ascriptive” is fully applied – namely “an identity attributed by others, established at birth, or by language, race, religion, region or other attributes of common origin” – in this case former Soviet nations as far as the EU attributes identity.

Thus the “them” and “us” politics already begins by segregating “Europeans”.

Already having been given only vague reference to Article 49 when it comes to actual EU membership even after agreeing to and completing difficult, painful, slow, meandering steps to conclude initialing or signing Association Agreements and DCFTAs, the EaP are about to be offered another half/stunted/genetically modified carrot by the EU with the bizarre appearance of trying to pull the EaP nations closer whilst also keeping them at arms length – again!

It appears that at the Vilnius Summit, Estonia plans to table a method of creating a “common economic space” between the EU and EaP nations.

Now whilst I can see that an incremental step maybe necessary for both sides between where the EaP nations are now and EU Membership criteria – and political Association Agreements and DCFTAs if fully legislated for and implemented certainly get EaP nations within sniffing distance of having a realistic chance of successfully opening accession chapters without currently spooking some EU members, and avoids providing a challenge seemingly insurmountable to the EaP nations in one go – what exactly does a “common economic space” carrot achieve by way of bite-sized progression and inclusiveness?

Surely offering accession to the longstanding standards of the existing, and perceptually inclusive European Economic Area to nations making progress along AA and DCFTA lines anyway is possible – it is, after all is said and done, a fully recognised EU institution that removes the “them” and “us” politics to a substantial degree and  is thus a far better carrot to offer than that of creating a mirror entity to reinforce the identity politics currently existing.

Estonia – don’t play around tabling the creation of a mirror of the EEA under a different name to reinforce the existing  identity politics – offer accession to a longstanding institution like the EEA (and all it entails) should EaP nations meet the grade, thus becoming inclusive within a longstanding EU institution without having to make promises above and beyond vague reference to Article 49 accession rights.

Grow a pair – be bold and brave!  (After all they may not make the grade.)

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