OPINION

EU challenge

Athens and Nicosia have their undivided attention on the likely accession of Cyprus to the EU – which is hardly surprising, as it would be the most positive development of the last 40 years. But the Greek public appears to show little concern for the future of this major European enterprise which is in the process of consolidating itself. A Europe soon to comprise at least 25 states, and 30 by the end of the decade – with its new operational framework, common currency and single market – will need to maintain its cohesion as it expands if it is to become a major power. But how are European leaders planning to ensure that the EU attains this goal? The one sure thing is that, as time goes on, the USA will become its fiercest competitor, if not its rival, in the best-case scenario. It is equally clear that Europe will never be able to compete with the USA militarily. So it must find other, more promising, areas where it can begin to «converge» with the USA. Also, it must actively propose settlements to disputes while the USA attempts to impose solutions using its military might. Tightening ties with Russia should also be a priority so that the EU can gain Moscow as a «preferred partner» and disengage itself from Washington’s influence. In any case, the future of the Union is inextricably linked with its eastern neighbor with whom it will soon acquire broader common borders.