Blog: Post script on EU enlargement
Dave Leggett | 29 April 2004
Okay, I confess. I make mistakes. I'm human. Sometimes they're howlers. And I forget things. Yesterday I firmly believed that Austria was not a member of the EU. I don't know why exactly. In mitigation, the country was not one of the original members and historically trod its own path within the EFTA trading bloc. Austria also stayed outside NATO and was a bit of a bridge between the west and the east during the dark days of the cold war. And not much gets in the news from Austria these days, except the odd election of a far-right politician maybe.
But, somewhere along the line, the Austrians signed up for the EU, and I've no excuse for simply forgetting that. An eagle-eyed colleague put me right (thanks Raychel!).
But it's going to get even tougher on the geography front now with ten newcomers. Central Europe? Hungary, Poland, Czech Rep., Slovakia. That's four. Baltics? Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania. That's three. But that adds up to seven and there are ten. I've missed Slovenia (Balkans next to northern Italy), Cyprus (southern Greek part - not the Turkish bit) and the island of Malta. Okay, now we're at ten. Maybe it'll start to sink in.
The picture on the left shows the national flags of the ten accession states on top of some Minis. It's a Mini PR stunt - they'll be driving around Brussels apparently. I'd swear one of those flags looks like Cuba's.
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