Tuesday, November 11, 2008

EU Accession Must Be More Than 'Strategic'

From İhsan Dağı:
“Being strategically important will not make Turkey an EU member-country.” This was the warning from a friend of Turkey, Joost Lagendijk, the co-president of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Commission, published in a commentary by the Taraf daily last week.

This is a valuable comment to keep in mind. While there have always been strong advocates of the geopolitical argument on the Turkish side, it seems that there are some in Europe who are increasingly emphasizing Turkey’s strategic importance. What should be underlined is that those advocates of the geopolitical argument, both in Turkey and in Europe, are not really enthusiastic about Turkey’s accession to the EU. They are more than prepared to settle with a “special partnership” for Turkey.
The strategic thinking that works on the Turkish side maintains that if the EU really wants, it should take Turkey in without questioning the nature of its political regime. What those who ask for such an offer do not know is that the EU is not a strategic alliance but a union of values.

Even an alliance like NATO has in the post Cold War era developed a set of political values as the basis of the alliance, thus going beyond strategic cooperation. If Turkey asked for NATO membership today, I doubt very much that it would be qualified to be a member.

The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) is an important aspect of the EU’s institutional and political cooperation. Yet, since the Maastricht Treaty, signed in 1992 between members of the European Community, one of the objectives of the CFSP has been to promote and consolidate democracy, human rights and the rule of law worldwide.
For full article, click here. See my analysis of EU accession as transforming domestic institutions (Sept. 16 post).

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