EU and Turkey - the Beginning of the End ?

Posted in Europe | 15-Feb-05 | Author: Dieter Farwick

This topic is too important for day-to-day politics. Unfortunately, it is already here. One can speculate whether a full membership of Turkey is the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end.

It is not unfair to say that the supporters full membership raised hopes and expectations in Turkey and elsewhere beyond the horizon. It was an unfair game – assessing that Turkey would never get over the hurdles that were posted. But it happened and now we are in the middle of a huge, troubled ocean.

Turkey - geostrategic turntable, springboard as well as bridgehead

There should be no doubt that a full membership of Turkey in the EU would change the EU's character and quality – for the worse.

Security questions cannot play a vital role because these issues are well protected by Turkey’s full and efficient membership in NATO. Turkey is a solid pillar of our security goals in a very volatile region. Turntable, springboard or bridgehead – all is correct.

It would have been quite easy to get broad support for a “privileged partnership” between the highly respected NATO member state Turkey and the EU. This “privileged partnership” could have satisfied all economic and social demands from both sides that would be encompassed under the threshold of full membership.

We – from WSN – strongly advocate to avoid a “no” because this would damage Turkey drastically and the EU as well after we have come so far. Instead, we very strongly advocate exploiting all political and diplomatic skills to win time for a change in the direction of a “privileged partnership”.

In this newsletter Dr.Andrea Riemer, Austria, offers a sound analysis as a basis for developing thoughtful options and clear recommendations.