Concentric Circles

Concentric Circles in Europe

Description of Concentric circles

The Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union describes concentric circles in the following terms: [1] The metaphor of concentric circles is designed both to explain and to persuade (see more in this European encyclopedia). The idea is of a galaxy. The central core consists of model EUstates, surrounded by less communautaire members such as the UK and Denmark; Norway and Switzerland are more distant planets in a third circle; and aspiring candidates with Association Agreements are in a still more remote fourth circle (see more in this European encyclopedia). In the farthest outer ring are temporarily rejected applicants such as Turkey and Bulgaria, while the fringes of space are occupied by countries in the Russian orbit, which have European connections but no prospect of membership of the Union. The implied message is of an irresistible centripetal pull towards the core.

There is considerable disagreement about whether it is proper for the EU’s institutions to be fully involved in activities undertaken by the inner core alone, or whether the Community’s machinery should be reserved for policies common to the entire membership of the Union. This seemingly arcane debate has much importance for the future of the Eu (see more in this European encyclopedia). (See also Variable geometry.)

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Notas y References

  1. Based on the book “A Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union from Aachen to Zollverein”, by Rodney Leach (Profile Books; London)

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