|The new Europe|
The President of the European Commission said that he was "surprised but very pleased" to receive an application to join the European Union from the legendary isle. The letter requesting candidate status was found on his desk as he arrived for work, Monday morning.
There was no stamp or postmark, but on examination, according to an aide, the envelope had "a faint smell of seaweed". Jean-Claude Juncker said the island's desire to join was "a vindication of the Lisbon Treaty," and he added that "Europe is so successful that even legends want to be part of our glorious Union."
A high ranking Commission official, speaking off the record, said that although it was "intriguing", there were some important obstacles to over come. "Look, they haven't even told us where they are, never mind anything on their economy or commitments to human rights. We've got a lot of questions that need answering."
There were other objections. The Turkish embassy issued a statement, reminding the Commission that Turkey had applied before Atlantis and the lost isle should really be counted as part of Greece. Atlantis does have some supporters, Dr Perdumann, from Leuven University, welcomed the island, telling journalists that the earliest accounts showed that it had a perfect society and large gold resources and asked the EU to consider, "if they can do without huge mountains of pure gold, in the current financial crisis".
Dr Jack Shepard, from Oxford University, said that the EU might have to indulge in some "creative rule bending", depending on several factors. He cited legends that the island was in what is now Libyan territorial waters and speculated that it could fall under the jurisdiction of a group linked to ISIS, "which could lead to problems."
More encouraging was Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the Green MEP, who wondered, "if they have unicorns, I do hope so. Unicorns are really cool." Former President of the European Parliament, Irishman Pat Cox said that he had been reliably informed that the isle was populated with faeries and pixies, and pointed out that he would be lobbying hard for the isle to be swiftly granted EU membership, and he said he would be holding bilateral meetings with Ireland's "little people" and the Atlantean sprites.
In the meantime, officials say that, in this very special case, there could be some major short cuts made on the Atlantis application process as the prospect of bringing in the the EU an alpine range made of gold, "means we're prepared to give them some wriggle room on areas such as governance and so on."