September 30, 2005


Turkey's future lies in EU, says Blair (Mark Oliver, September 30, 2005, Guardian Unlimited)

Tony Blair today insisted Turkey's future was in the EU as British officials in Brussels worked to dispel a looming crisis over next week's talks on its membership.

In an interview with Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper, the prime minister said he would work hard to help Turkey realise its EU ambitions. [...]

Turkish officials reacted angrily after Austria yesterday blocked an EU agreement on the ground rules for formal talks on the country's entry.

Last December, EU leaders agreed that Turkey - which first applied for membership more than 40 years ago - had taken the necessary steps towards qualifying for the talks to begin.

The negotiations had been due to begin on Monday after EU states said Ankara had worked on its human rights record as well as economic and social reforms.

But while the other 24 other member states were happy with the terms, Austria said it wanted a downgraded and associate EU membership for Turkey to be an option.

Mr. Blair's insistence is understandable, but ultimately represents the triumph of inertia over thought. Why not lock Turkey into a trade and defense pact with Britain, America, Poland, Israel, India, Japan, Taiwan, etc., instead?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 30, 2005 6:20 PM

Let Turkey in after he sets his Kurds free.

Posted by: erp at September 30, 2005 7:04 PM

Europe as a unified economy makes perfect sense. The free flow of capital and workers in a single market, including a single currency make it pretty much a win win situation.
Europe as a unified polity makes no sense, for both historical and cultural reasons make it a lose-lose situation.
The more countries join, the bigger the free market gets and the less likely political union becomes, which plays to Britain's advantage perfectly. This has been the British policy towards the EU since it joined.

Noel Erinjeri

Posted by: Noel Erinjeri at September 30, 2005 9:54 PM