At the brink of the greatest – and most critical – widening in its history, the European Union presents itself deeply split and paralysed. The Constitutional Treaty turns out to be a source of bitter disagreement rather than a departure to new frontiers. The Janusfaced ghost of a two-speed Europe is reappearing without any sign of positive leadership on the part of the self-appointed “pioneers”. Agreed rules of conduct – an indispensable ingredient of a workable and credible Union of 25 – are being bent by major (power-)players for selfi sh reasons with the tacit or open support of others. And the heavy fi nancial costs of widening, in the past covered by rhetoric, are now producing a deep rift between net creditors and recipients. The political and economic benefi ts of enlargement are all of a sudden obscured by discord. Is the EU falling victim to its sheer size and diversity?
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