English question

   The broad question of whether devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should be matched by a similar process of devolution for England, either as a whole (through the creation of an English Parliament) or by region (the creation of some elected regional machinery).
   The issue arises because some people feel that consideration of English interests has been omitted in the process of devolution. They argue that Scotland and Wales are advantageously treated, having their own elected bodies, a Secretary of State with a voice in the Cabinet, a higher-than-UK average figure of per capital expenditure and – until the 2005 general election – over-generous representation in the House of Commons. enlargement The process by which new members join the European Union. The six original members have now become twenty-seven, as a result of five successive enlargements. The Treaty of Rome (1957) makes it clear that the Union is open to applicant countries whose economic and political situation are such as to make accession possible. Subject to that qualification, ‘any European state may become a member’. (Only Morocco has ever been turned down as an applicant, on the grounds that it does not qualify as a European country. Turkey – a would-be entrant – has been technically judged a European power).
   In 1969, the Hague communiqué laid down the basis on which issues of enlargement were to be approached: ‘In so far as the applicant States accept the Treaties and their political aims, the decisions taken since entry into force of the Treaties and the options adopted in the sphere of development’. These principles have remained in force ever since – acceptance of the Treaties, of the acquis communautaire (what the Community/Union has achieved, everything that can legally be enforced against a member state) and of the political aspirations of the members.
   Further reading: N. Nugent, The Government and Politics of the European Union, Palgrave, 2003

Glossary of UK Government and Politics . 2013.

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