An analysis from UPI, with thanks to EPG:
For, although the EU is geographically expanding at a rapid rate, it faces vast, even alarming uncertainties, from unstable and highly unpredictable neighbors on three sides.
To the south, the “new Europe” faces poverty-stricken and politically unstable Muslim nations across the 2,000-mile North African coastline in which radical and often violent new Islamist movements are already powerful forces.
More than 100,000 people have been killed in anarchy and civil war in Algeria over the past decade. Libya remains under the control of the currently cautious and cooperative, but always wildly unpredictable Moammar Gadhafi. France and Italy in particular have had to deal with the pressures and uncertainties of massive peaceful influxes of immigrants, especially from Algeria. And if economic and political conditions were to take a catastrophic downward spiral in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and/or Egypt, they could face the prospect of hundreds of thousands more crowding to get in very quickly.
But the European states — with a combined population of 20 million recent Muslim immigrants — lack the political will and the security and military muscle to enforce any tough barricade against any such sudden mass migratory pressures. Therefore civil war, radical Islamist revolution or economic collapse in North Africa could very quickly set off security crises that could shake France and Italy especially to their core. …
To the southeast, democratic, secular Muslim Turkey, a loyal and reliable NATO ally over the past half-century, may not always stay that way, or even for much longer. An Islamic political party won a plurality of votes in the 2002 general election and is now runs the government. And the Europeans have yet to bite the bullet on finally allowing Turkey full membership in the EU, or risk profoundly alienating her by finally saying “no.”
At Copenhagen, the Turks were told, not “no,” but “not just yet” about their efforts to join the union. Not even the combined efforts of EU members Britain, Spain and Italy, backed by the United States, could prevail against the old Franco-German alliance that still runs the institutions of the union with a tight grip.
Germany, with its 2 million residents of Turkish origin or descent, along with Paris, which has already far more Algerian Muslim immigrants than it is comfortable with, said “no” to allowing Turkey to join the union as full members with the May 1 entry “class” of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Cyprus and Malta.
For giant Turkey, with well over 70 million people, has a population almost equal to the 10 approved new entrants into the EU combined. And if Ankara were granted full union membership, any or all of them would be free to settle anywhere in it that they liked.
The European Union with currently 350 million people will jump overnight to 425 million by Saturday morning through the accession of the new 10 member states. But if it feels threatened by the expanding demographic population pressures of Muslim North Africa to the south and Turkey to the southeast, it could also rapidly face unanticipated problems from the demographic implosion of Russia to the east.
The Soviet Union had 280 million people when it disintegrated 11 years ago. Russia today has officially 147 million, but in practice the figure might already be below 140 million. It is probably, therefore, already less populous than Muslim, nuclear-armed Pakistan. For death rates and abortion rates remain extraordinarily high, while birthrates are extremely low, and far below replenishment level.
Indeed, USA Today reported on April 20 that if Russia’s already serious AIDS epidemic metastasizes the way Africa’s already has, the Russian population could drop by 50 percent, or to below 75 million, within half a century. One million Russians are already infected with AIDS and 9 million of them could die of the disease by 2045.
It is this demographic weakness, in contrast to rising Muslim demographic confidence and strength that provides the other grim shadowy specter hovering over the future peace and security of the European continent.