The Turkish impasse

Regardless of how you view the Union and the integration process, you have to admit that both of these concepts have to be based on shared values. Given that Estonia, Lithuania, Romania and Bulgaria are part of the EU, and now that Croatia is about join, it is worth wondering: why should Turkey not be a member of the Union?

In my view, these countries became members of the EU for reasons that are first and foremost political. In the early 1990s in the wake of the collapse of the USSR and the end of Comecon [the economic organisation of the Soviet Bloc], the view was that it would be necessary to regroup these countries in a structure to prevent them from being reabsorbed by Moscow’s sphere of influence.

The structure best suited to this purpose was the European Union, and this policy was encouraged by the Clinton administration. Croatia, which was close to Germany, played a critical role in the breakup of Yugoslavia. That is the reason why I believe that it really deserves its place in the European Union. On the contrary, there is no political reason to justify Turkish accession to the EU. And even if Turkey is flirting with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, even if it claims that it amounts to a viable alternative, everyone knows it will not be possible. Moreover, some consider the idea to be a political joke.

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