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Author Topic: EU gives the green light to Turkey; but 'qualifications,' years of negotiation ahead
robbie_dee
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 195

posted 06 October 2004 03:30 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yahoo News Report

quote:
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Turkey won a green light from the European Commission on Wednesday to open membership negotiations with the European Union, a watershed decision after 40 years of on-again, off-again talks.

But the EU executive's recommendation carried several conditions, including the possibility of suspending talks if Ankara backtracks on democracy and human rights and of curbing any surge in labor migration once Turkey joins.

"The Commission's response today is 'yes'. ... However, it is a qualified yes," Commission President Romano Prodi told the European Parliament. "We are giving them credit, if you like, but that credit is not a blank check."

Prodi urged Turks to be patient in what would be long and difficult negotiations. A strong, self-confident Europe had nothing to fear from Turkish accession, he said.


A "qualified" good thing?


From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 195

posted 07 October 2004 01:54 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
*bump*

I feel like this is an important development, but I also have to admit I am not well informed about the issue and was hoping some of our babblers who have studied Europe, Turkey or the Mideast at greater depth would see fit to comment here.


From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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Babbler # 1299

posted 07 October 2004 02:12 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Since Cyprus (the Greek part of it) and all of the former Soviet satellites are being brought in, it's hard to think that there is anything besides racism behind the reluctance to let Turkey in.

There have already been many positive political changes -- such as the abolition of the death penalty -- as Turkey spruces itself up for joining.

I've always thought that Canada should looking into joining, since the U.S. would never qualify. You'd have American companies moving to Canada in order to get unfettered access to the European market.


From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
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Babbler # 195

posted 07 October 2004 04:11 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If Canada joined, it wouldn't really be a "European" union any more, then, would it?

Although Turkey is mostly an Asian rather than European country anyway. And Greenland must be a part of the EU since it is a province of Denmark, although it is right next door to us.

An interesting idea, anyway.

Setting that aside for a moment, though, I was aware that there was some Left opposition to the EU in general, in the European countries themselves. I never really understood it. I guessed it's on the same principles as opposition to Free Trade here in North America - the fear that we are creating unaccountable, supranational organizations that will be more subservient to corporate interests than to the democratic will of citizens. But on the other hand, the EU seemed to me to be far more social democratic in nature than NAFTA. And it is a potentially vital global counterweight to American economic and political power.

Then of course there is the question whether adding 70 million Muslim citizens will compel the rest of the EU to get more involved in resolving some of the pressing problems of the Middle East. Although the Turks, being non-Arabs and former Imperial rulers of that area themselves, may not see their interests as all that much in common with Arab Muslim countries. I understood Turkey had always been much closer to Israel and less sympathetic to the Palestinians than any other predominantly Muslim state.

Anyway, based on what I know right now, I am hoping that this happens and it is a positive thing. I am glad to see Turkey improving its human rights record and democratic practices. I wonder, if this works out for Turkey, if it might encourage some reforms in Russia and the other former SSRs so that they might be invited to join the EU club, too?

[ 07 October 2004: Message edited by: robbie_dee ]


From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 07 October 2004 05:16 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by robbie_dee:
Although Turkey is mostly an Asian rather than European country anyway. And Greenland must be a part of the EU since it is a province of Denmark, although it is right next door to us.

And St. Pierre and Miguelon, as French territory bring the EU right to our doorstep as well.


From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Vansterdam Kid
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posted 12 October 2004 02:30 AM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well from what I understood one of the reasons Turkish entrance into the EU was blocked was due to the Kurdish situation. Turkey has been critisized for their draconian treatment of their Kurdish population.
From: bleh.... | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
KM
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Babbler # 7085

posted 12 October 2004 04:47 AM      Profile for KM     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't think Turkey will get in, not if France is going to give it's veto to the French people in a referendum. Current polls already show that the majority of France's population are opposed to Turkish membership, as in other European countries. And if they aren't allowed in, the EU is going to have a hard time explaining again how it is not a racist Islamaphobe.

As for Greek Cyprus joining, their campaign to block out North Turkish Cyprus from joining with them was one of the most ethnocentric and racist political campaigns in Europe.. and was pulled out at the last minute, after years of pretending to support a united Cyprus. Now that they succeeded in keeping the Turks out, they are again pretending to be in support of a United Cyprus. Greece is the most undemocratic of all member states, it has the most human rights violations, they do not recognize minority rights (or the existence of minorities), and their Roma minority live in abject poverty, in nearly the worst conditions of Europe, despite emormous financial aid from the EU to improve the Roma situation.. they are almost totally illiterate and the majority live in mud huts and tents, denied access to basic health care, with their homes repeatedly bulldozed over.

I think it is only a matter of time before the EU collapses. I don't think it has the political unity or values to keep it together.


From: Canada | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 12 October 2004 09:23 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
While I recognize all the problems -- in France, Greece, and Turkey -- that KM has listed there (and thanks for the good data), I interpret them differently, maybe out of wishful thinking but what else have we got?

The EU is an immensely positive developing institution and idea, I think. We can hardly expect it to come together all at once or trouble-free, and there are many political contradictions elsewhere, as someone has noted above -- the different problems that both rights and lefts in individual nations have had with the idea of the union.

Is Turkey European or Asian? To a considerable degree, these are arbitrary distinctions anyway; and in classical history, even early modern history, Turkey was certainly a major player in the European drama, moreso than the northwestern nations until quite recently (C19).

I also would like to see Canada join the EU, but that's clearly wishful thinking. For the time being, anyway.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
KM
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posted 12 October 2004 03:42 PM      Profile for KM     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
me too I think the EU is a good idea. While I'm cynical, I do support it I've never thought about Canada becoming a member.. but now that I do, yeah, I'd love to be a European citizen
From: Canada | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Synir
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posted 25 October 2004 04:24 AM      Profile for Synir     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It is not so much an issue of whether the EU will survive; it was economical necessity that brought it together, and that need still exists - in fact if anything, in the face of recent international evolutions with the war in Iraq, the skyrocketing price of oil, that driving need is even higher now.

I've been watching how the EU has come to be. The thing is, there has such importance in forming a stronger form of it than the loose associations that existed before the early 90s, that the governments and organizations pivotal in guiding its future could not afford to actually let their people get involved in the negotiations. That is, a fascinating fact could easily be how *few* actual votes have been taken in most country members to verify public support of greater degrees of commitment to the union - in concern that the unwashed masses might just be misinformed enough to vote against it.

So in a way it is funny and in another it is scary. Even to EU supporters such as myself, the path taken there is not only quite a dangerous one, but it sets an even more menacing precedent; with its constitution still in early stages and a truly nightmarish task of compromising each country-member's legal frameworks with some form of centralized one, it will get to be a bumpy ride.

But here is the cool part; it will succeed. There might need to be some trampling of some rights here, some ignoring of protests there, and a few rich people will become absurdly more so in the process, but there has been too much invested in the EU already for it to fall apart. It will not be allowed to. And I am glad for at least the last part myself, even if I am worried about what it will take to accomplish it.

As for Turkey, the political games involved in its inclusion are deep and complex. I do not think it will manage to get in in the end, personally, not unless the veto power every full member already wields is lifted - the combination of its own sometimes quite less than stellar treatment of human beings and personal freedoms, the near-poverty stage of an enormous population that would be free to flow into richer countries if it became a member (which is unacceptable to the ones already facing such issues, like Germany and France) and of course the hoops it'd be made to jump through to even qualify will be too much. My main fear is that the military will stage a coup to regain its deminishing internal authority - that will be truly horrid.

Aaand that's all, folks. Hi, by the way. I am John.


From: Heraclion, Crete | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged

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