Many core members of the EU share a common currency already - the Euro. Millions of citizens from new member Central and Eastern Europe countries are living and working in Western European countries with full access to job markets, accommodation, schools, medical care and other benefits. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the current global crisis has not turned the tide, and many of these folks are staying put in their newly-chosen countries of residence.
Below is a portion of an article on the proposed European Union Lisbon Treaty from Wednesday's today's London 'Times'. The Treaty is intended to make the EU "more democratic, more transparent, and more efficient", but would also mean forfeit of more national sovereignty by EU member countries - increasing the possibility of the EU becoming a fully fledged federal superstate.
"The original EU was supposed to secure the postwar prosperity of Western Europe and ensure that France and Germany never took up arms against each other again. Until 1989 the European mission was essentially to stay happy, rich and out of harm’s way. The Havels and Lech Walesas changed all that. The two Germanys merged and the eastern longing for acceptance made enlargement a sensible goal.
Now, two decades on, the EU has realised that it is become significantly poorer, less secure along its borders and is probably unhappier than for half a century. For mainland Europeans the fulcrum of the continent has shifted significantly eastwards. On the borderlands there are wobbly dictatorships such as Belarus, blood feuds in the Balkans and, in the popular imagination, hordes of potential immigrants from Ukraine. Berlin and Vienna are little more than a hop, skip and jump from some dirt-poor communities.
Enlargement once seemed to give the EU a moral purpose; now it is seen as trouble. The moral purpose has been lost in a tangle of treaty-prose. How does it deal with this? It should be quarrying out a new sense of purpose. Instead it has cobbled together a treaty of which the deepest purpose is to find institutionally acceptable ways to block the entry of Turkey or Ukraine."