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You read it here first. The top-secret plan on how to enlarge the EU to include central and eastern Europe does not exist. Not in Brussels, not in London or Paris, and not even in Bonn. Nobody has a clue how to organise a union of 25-plus member states including former and not-so-former communist countries. No one wants to pay for eastern enlargement. And everyone-bar the British and Swedes-fears that tampering with the common agricultural policy will trigger a peasant’s revolt.

Fresh thinking might have been expected out of the caravan of civil servants and ministers, a.k.a the Reflection Group,…

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