Web-Companion Essential EU Law in Text: Suggested solutions to the exercises

Please find hereinafter the suggested solutions to the 64 exercises contained in the book "Tobler/Beglinger, Essential EU Law in Text, 5th edition, HVG-ORAC 2020, ISBN 978-963-258-490-4".  To give you an idea how the exercises in the book are phrased, they have been added for the first three instances. Any comments or feedback are welcome.

Showing only entries concerning chapter Part 1, B. VI. 2.. View all entries

The development of the European Union – Exercise 2

Page: 25 Chapter: Part 1, B. VI. 2.

Exercise: (added for illustration purpose)

In a letter to the editor published in the news magazine “The Economist” of 14 May 2005, a reader wrote the following: “I believe that the citizens of the European Union would be best served if the next expansion of the EU was not to the east but rather to the west, to incorporate Canada […]. The advantages for both parties are too significant to ignore.” What do you think about the chances of applications for membership from countries such as Canada, Ukraine and Israel, in the event that they should wish to apply?

Suggested solution:

This question concerns the so-called EU enlargement or the joining of the EU by new Member States. Art. 49 TEU states two basic conditions for applications for EU membership: the State in question must be “European” and it must respect the Union’s fundamental values referred to in Art. 2 TEU. The letter by the reader of “The Economist” invites reflections on the term “European” against the background of the enlargement history. For example, it will be remembered that Morocco was told that it is not European within the meaning of the Treaty. On the other hand, Cyprus, an island in the region of Western Asia and an EU Member State since 2004, is considered European. So too is the candidate state Turkey, the greater part of which is located in Asia Minor. The enlargement history shows that the meaning of the term “European” is at least to some degree based on political decisions, rather than exclusively on geographical considerations. In addition, the reference to “the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe” in the preamble to the TEU may indicate that other issues may also play a role.

Geographically speaking, Canada and Israel are definitely not European, but the Ukraine (located to the West of the Ural mountains which have traditionally been considered the natural boundary between Europe and Asia) is. In an EU-Ukraine summit held in 2008, the EU cautiously acknowledged the “European aspirations of Ukraine” and welcomed its “European choice”. While the EU and Ukraine concluded an Association Agreement in 2014, the latter does not guarantee future EU membership to Ukraine. Debates on this issue prolonged the ratification process in the Netherlands. Regarding Israel, it may be interesting to note that the Italian prime minister said in February 2010 that he hopes to bring Israel into the EU. However, even if Israel were to be considered European, there would certainly be issues regarding the EU’s fundamental values (i.e. human rights).

[Relevant Chart: Chart 2/26]


Published: 13 July 2010