Bibliographic data

Neumann, Harald-Matthias; Specht, Thomas: Anstöße 2, Politik. Anstöße. Stuttgart: Ernst Klett Verlag, 1st ed. [1. Aufl.], 2010, 42, 52.

"Turkey and the EU"

[p. 42]

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„Turkey belongs to Europe […] Turkey should be a fully entitled member of the community”, said president of the EC Walter Hallstein in 1963.Turkey already filed an application for accession to the European Community in 1959. Forty years passed, until Turkey was ascribed the status of a candidate country. In 2004, an official decision to negotiate with Turkey on its association was made. At the end of the negotiations, there can only be a Yes or No, according to effective EU regulations. There are voices which speak against a membership. As reasons for their concern, they mention the different cultural backgrounds of the people in Turkey. In contrast, the supporters refer to the fast process of modernisation and the enormous economic development of the country. This would be the precondition for standing up to the competitive constraints on the European market. However, there are many areas in which Turkey still has to progress. Therefore, one can assume that the accession process will last up to ten or fifteen years. If Turkey was to achieve membership, it would be the first Islamic country in the European Union. Would it then be necessary to reassess the aims and values of the EU? Romania and Bulgaria are the youngest members of the EU. Which of their differences to Turkey have made accession possible? Can a bridge to the Islamic world be built by the accession of Turkey?

[p. 52]

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The EU and Turkey

The European Union consists of 27 member states today. The process of unification has not yet been completed. Many countries have applied for a membership, among them Turkey. There are different opinions on the accession. Supporters emphasise the increase in economic prosperity and the modernisation process that the country has undergone. Opponents, however, fear that the different cultural background of Turkey and the weight of its right of say within the EU due to the large population of the country would impair the implementation of the aims of the EU. But there is one point of agreement between all of them: Turkey has to implement many reforms before a decision on membership can be taken. The success of the reforms has to be acknowledged by all the members of the EU.


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