The challenge presented by Serbia's accession is symptomatic of a larger problem that has become apparent as the EU's frontiers have expanded. Almost all European countries outside the EU want the rights and opportunities that come with full membership.
The last week has brought news of dangerously low inflation in Germany, and we learnt that German retail sales had plunged in September, Eurozone unemployment edged up by 0.2% to 12.2%, and the Consumer Price Index across the Eurozone is estimated to have risen only 0.7% in the last year.
British businesses have been burdened with 3,580 new European Union rules and directives under the coalition, new research
Nick Clegg has warned that leaving the European Union would be "economic suicide" and urged supporters to declare why they
The most vulnerable people in Europe are facing an "austerity winter" that could last a generation. Regrettably, we are just at the beginning. Cuts to social security and public services are combining with falling incomes and rising unemployment, such that millions are already struggling to make ends meet.
Brussels is as I write, still more tourist than Eurocrat as the political institutions take their summer break though they will be back to work imminently. Reflecting on where we were eighteen months ago, I believe the Commission and Institutes have a great deal to be proud about.
Yesterday a man decided that the pound's value against the euro and the dollar was 'just about right'. As a result, the pound stopped weakening against the euro and the dollar, as it has been doing so for several months. I was disappointed. I get paid in euros so I benefit from the pound being weak.
It makes no sense to vote on a budget for the next seven years when the context is likely to have changed dramatically. Even the Soviet Union only planned five years ahead. Rather than being tied down to a seven year austerity budget, there should be a binding review around 2015 which would allow the next democratically elected European Parliament to have its say.
Rather than seeing the depth of the problems and declaring the true state of the economy the government and economic community has largely denied the extent of the economic downturn to maintain their current policy.
Neither Britain nor Sweden is part of the eurozone. But we both want and need it to recover and succeed.