The concept of the ‘Eurosphere’ or ‘European Empire’ has grown in popularity in the early years of the 21st century, and is associated with the public intellectual,
Mark Leonard, [Leonard, M. (2005), "Why Europe will run the 21st century", Fourth Estate: London.] the academic at the University of Oxford, Jan Zielonka,Zielonka, J. (2006), "Europe as Empire", Oxford University Press: Oxford.] the strategist and European Union Director-General for Politico-Military Affairs, Robert Cooper; [Cooper, R. (2003), "The Breaking of Nations", Atlantic Books: London.] and the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso. [ [http://www.globalpowereurope.eu/2007/07/birth-of-new-rome.html Birth of a New Rome?] www.globalpowereurope.eu]
Over the past 50 years, the
European Unionhas expanded from 6 members to 27, there are 7 candidate and potential candidate countries waiting to join. A number of western European countries are integrated economically, as part of the Union's single market and/or using its single currency. Through its Common Foreign and Security Policyit has a capability to speak with one voice in the world and has association and free trade agreements with a large number of states, through the European Neighbourhood Policyand Union for the Mediterranean(developed from the Barcelona process) it is creating closer ties with those countries on its borders, while developed ties with former colonies, now the ACP countries.
Membership in particular has seen a great deal of reform in countries seeking to join; for example the huge reforms seen in Turkey such as the abolition of
capital punishment[ [http://www.euractiv.com/en/enlargement/eu-turkey-relations/article-129678 EU-Turkey relations] euractiv.com] . The development of the Union's influence, and the draw of membership, has been subject to a number of academic writings. For example, Mark Leonard describes the area of EU influence as the Eurosphere, some names are less positive.
Countries within the Eurosphere
According to Mark Leonard, the Eurosphere includes (what were in 2004) 109 countries. In Europe, these were the then-25 members, applicant countries, western
Balkancountries and European CIS countries (including transcontinental countries such as Kazakhstan). Curiously he does not mention western European countries such as Norway who are integrated into the EU's single market. Outside Europe, he gives a blanket list of every African country and every Middle Eastern country, that is so the countries forming the eastern border of the Eurosphere are Iran, Azerbaijan, Russiaand Kazakhstan. [Leonard, M. "Why Europe will run the 21st century" (2004, Fourth Estate). Appendix: p.145-146.]
Other countries that could be said to be within the Eurosphere might include western European countries, such as those in the
European Economic Areaor using the euro, or the Union's overseas territories. Both these groups have strong economic links, through the afore mentioned relationships.
List of countries concerned
*cite book|last= Ankerl |first= Guy |title= Global communication without universal civilization |origdate= |origyear= 2000 |series= INU societal research |volume= Vol.1: Coexisting contemporary civilizations : Arabo-Muslim, Bharati, Chinese, and Western |publisher= INU Press |location= Geneva |isbn= 2-88155-004-5 |pages=
* [http://www.ceeisaconf.ut.ee/orb.aw/class=file/action=preview/id=164113/Haukkala.pdf] The EU as a Regional Normative Hegemon: The Case of European Neighbourhood Policy
*Mahony, Honor (
2007-07-11) [http://euobserver.com/9/24458 Barroso says EU is an 'empire'] - EU Observer.
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