Turkey and the EU

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Information about Turkey and the EU

Published on November 23, 2007

Author: Janelle

Source: authorstream.com

Turkey and the EU Just another enlargement?:  Turkey and the EU Just another enlargement? History of EU-Turkish relations:  History of EU-Turkish relations 1963: Association agreement 1987: Official application for EU membership 1995: customs union 1999: At Helsinki recognized as a candidate country 2002: Copenhagen summit – if Turkey meets the political Copenhagen criteria in 2004, the accession negotiations will be launched „without unnecessary delay“ 2004: Positive evaluation of the European Commission – negotiations to be open in October 2005 Political dynamics in Turkey:  Political dynamics in Turkey 2002: election of Justice and Development Party in the government (Erdogan) – rather islamist party Rapid reform process – since October 2001 8 reform packages: civilian control over the military, minority and cultural rights, ban on torture, protection of fundamental freedoms, reform of the judiciary, ban on death penalty etc. But….:  But…. Reforms often not implemented/practiced Over 1000 cases of torture reported by NGOs in 2003 Brutal police suppression of some peaceful demonstrations (recently 8 March in Istanbul) Introduction of Kurdish broadcasting and education limited by very narrow implementing regulations Impact of the EU Decision:  Impact of the EU Decision Should have a positive impact on Turkish public opinion – in fact, the support has been dropping (from 75% in 2004 down to 63% currently) Reasons? Start of polarising debates in Europe Linking the issue of Turkish membership to the debate on European Constitution (especially in France) Likely scenarios of negotiations I.:  Likely scenarios of negotiations I. Very long (the earliest possible estimated date of Turkish accession as of 2015) Open – ended negotiations (not sure, whether it will lead to full membership) The accession treaty will contain a lot of transitional periods, permanent derogations and safeguard clauses Likely scenarios for negotiations II.:  Likely scenarios for negotiations II. Possibility of suspending the negotiations (breach of human rights) Accession will be subject to a referendum in France (based on the constitutional amendment of February 2005) Pitfalls concerning Turkish membership I.:  Pitfalls concerning Turkish membership I. Geography: Is Turkey in Europe? Is it possible to have a predominantly muslim country in the EU? Is Turkey too big for the EU? Is Turkey too poor for the EU? Pitfalls concerning Turkish membership II.:  Pitfalls concerning Turkish membership II. Cultural argument: Turkey cannot join because it is overwhelmingly muslim Christianity as a defining moment of European identity? Can EU claim to be based on Christian values? Pitfalls concerning Turkish membership III.:  Pitfalls concerning Turkish membership III. Size: Turkey too big for the EU? In 2015: 82 million – almost the size of Germany In 2025: the largest member state Does the demographic size matter so much? Economic size: only 3% of GDP EU-25 GDP per capita compared to EU-25 – 27% of EU average Implications for the voting power – to what extent the only relevant factor? Pitfalls concerning Turkish membership IV.:  Pitfalls concerning Turkish membership IV. Economy: Economic crisis in 2001 – fall in GDP, but recently recovering (7.8% for 2002, 5% for 2003) Very low foreign direct investment Relatively high public debt (89%) Impact of customs union very low (excludes agricultural products, administrative barriers remain) Pitfalls concerning Turkish membership V. :  Pitfalls concerning Turkish membership V. Budgetary implications: Difficult to predict – the framework will have to be set before the accession Likely change in structural and agricultural policy The deal could be expected as similar to previous enlargements (especially Bulgaria and Romania) Pitfalls concerning Turkish membership VI.:  Pitfalls concerning Turkish membership VI. Migration: Long tradition of labour migration (gastarbeiter) Might provide a solution to aging EU population? Problem: the structure of education will have to change (very low degree of people having at least secondary education) Pitfalls concerning Turkish membership VII. :  Pitfalls concerning Turkish membership VII. Foreign Policy: Strong player? (large army, regional power) Bringing the EU close to potentially instable regions (Middle East, the Caucasus, Iraq, Iran…) – bridge to the Middle East? Implications for the relations with the United States – another pro-American Troyan Horse in Europe? Pitfalls concerning Turkish membership VIII.:  Pitfalls concerning Turkish membership VIII. Internal Security: Implications of the accession to the Schengen area Potential source of terrorism, especially if islamism is on the rise Turkey and the EU attitudes of EU member states:  Turkey and the EU attitudes of EU member states Cyprus: problem number 1: Turkey officially refuses to recognize – de facto will have to by extending the Association agreement to the ten new member states Greece: relations have improved considerably over the past few years France: fears of Turkey despite absence of a large minority, taken into the European Constitution debate Germany: CDU/CSU strongly opposes Austria: large Turkish minority – fears of continuing migration Turkey and the EU attitudes of EU member states II:  Turkey and the EU attitudes of EU member states II United Kingdom: strongly supportive – potentially strong CFSP player, Atlanticist, economic considerations Poland: very supportive of enlargement in general; Ukrainian card; lack of opposition of the Church; positive public opinion Commission: last statement tougher – negotiation framework stricter than previous ones (more detailed than Copenhagen criteria); confirmation of open-ended process, permanent safeguards Turkey: opposes

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