Turkey-EU Relations, Problems and Prospects ONUR OYMEN* Main problems of Europe and Turkey today and in the near future Europe One of the basic problems that Europe faces is a decline in international competitiveness. Compared to other groups of nations, Europe is gradually losing its competitiveness in the world and its share in the world economy. BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries are making tremendous progress in terms of their respective gross national products; and some of them have already positioned themselves better in this respect than leading western democracies. A few years ago UNICE, an institution which represents the views of Europe’s private sector, made a comparative study between the European Union, US and Japan. The results show that in a number of areas, particularly those related to technology, technology-based production, the utilization of the internet, and in a number of similar areas, Europe is lagging behind the US and Japan. A few figures: •
In terms of standard of living, the US has 100 points, Japan has 90, and, overall, the EU 70.
In the EU the cost of energy is 47%; road transportation, 40%; internet connection, 200%; and the cost of international telephone calls are 300% more expensive than in the US.
The ratio of R&D expenditures in the GNP is lower in Europe than in the US and Japan.
The number of computers per person is two times higher in the US than in the EU.
* Ambassador, Former Deputy in the Turkish Grand National Assembly.
A Publication based on the International Conference organised at the European Parliament/Brussels by Dr. ELENI THEOCHAROUS, Member of the Eu...