BBC Radio 4's Analysis: Don't Mention the Neighbours was broadcast on Thursday, 7 August, 2003 at 20:30 BST.
Will we still jump for joy next year?
With next year's enlargement to 25 member states, the European Union's (EU) long new eastern and south-eastern frontiers will extend to an exotic list of countries.
From Ukraine and Belarus to the Black Sea shores and the Western Balkans, these nations are poorer, less democratic and less stable than the present EU members. Yet historically, and geographically, the countries and their populations have strong European identities.
So how is the EU to deal with those who will find themselves on its doorstep?
The EU has recently developed a "Wider Europe" strategy, and in this edition of Analysis, Kirsty Hughes examines how effective the EU will be in confronting the issues which matter in relations with the new neighbours.
How far are such diverse countries as Moldova and Ukraine successfully tackling complicated issues ranging from organised crime and illegal immigration to corruption?
On the answer to that question hinges the future of neighbourly relations because many EU member states fear large scale migration to their frontiers, coupled with hugely expensive new financial support to economies allegedly dominated by criminal oligarchies.
Which is the better way to deal with the neighbours' transition to democratic societies and market economies - constructive engagement (with the risk of hopes constantly dashed) or ostracism (and the fear of societal collapse and new human tragedy)?
And if the neighbours still don't get closer to EU standards, will a new East/West divide in Europe become not only inevitable but also essential?
With contributors from the new neighbour countries themselves, leading figures in European politics and experts on the Balkans and the Carpathians, the programme reveals the testing course the European Union will have to follow to make the new neighbours more like us.
Will it succeed, decide to keep them at arm's length or simply hope they'll go away?
Presenter: Kirsty Hughes
Producer: Simon Coates
Editor: Nicola Meyrick