I read with interest Robert McGarvey’s “Cameron lit the fuse on EU powder keg” in the July 1st edition of the Advocate, in particular his scathing critique of (soon-to-be former) Prime Minister David Cameron and his opinion of the EU’s decision to admit the former Soviet Bloc countries (in 2004). As an amateur student of history with a keen interest in German-Russian affairs (my family was part of the wave of refugees from Eastern Europe during the Second World War), I will argue that McGarvey focused only on economic matters and did not address an equally important fundamental of the European Project, namely the desire of Europeans for peace after suffering through two world wars in the 20th century fought on European soil. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and the countries of central and eastern Europe that had been under Soviet domination since 1945 were now free of dictatorship, wanted to consolidate their democracies, wanted to join the project of European integration, and not fall back into Russia’s sphere of influence.
The process of admitting these countries took 12 years. The EU has been weakened by the British decision to leave, and this at a time when geopolitical tensions are rising in response to Russian nationalism and aggression (annexation of Crimea and the support of the separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine).
Bill Franz, Red Deer