In The Press
Further enlargement of EU club will energise continent (in the Financial Times)
1 May 2009
Sir, On the fifth anniversary of the entry of 10 new member states to the European Union, we write to emphasise the success of past EU enlargements and the need not to lose faith in the enlargement process.
Expansion from a club of 12 in early 2004 to 27 member states today has transformed the EU, benefiting established and new states alike. By bringing in former communist countries of eastern Europe, the EU now has a single market of 500m consumers, accounting for 30 per cent of world gross domestic product, and has strengthened its position as a lead player on the world economic stage.
The UK has benefited from fresh export and investment markets with many British companies setting up operations in the new member-states. And they, too, have made great progress because accession required the creation of a market economy.
Today there is talk of enlargement fatigue. But enlargement energises the EU and makes it more dynamic. We urge that the UK should continue to articulate the case.
Roland Rudd, Chairman, Business for New Europe
Roger Carr, Chairman, Centrica
Lord Kerr, Deputy Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell
Sir John Parker, Chairman, National Grid
Sir Michael Rake,
Chairman, BT Group
Peter Shore, Chairman, Arqiva
Paul Skinner, Lady Judge, Deputy Chair, Friends Provident