European Integration and the Turkish Dilemma ANDREAS THEOFANOUS* Despite the fact that it has been over five years since the EU and Turkey started accession negotiations, the process and the goal itself remain an issue of intense debate and controversy across Europe. With the most serious of the negotiation’s chapters blocked by the EU, the prospect of Turkey’s accession is uncertain. Turkey considers accession to the EU as a strategic objective; yet it does not appear that Ankara fully appreciates what is required of the country in order to become a member of the EU. It persistently pursues an a la carte policy in relation to several challenges that it has to address (such as respect for basic freedoms, the Cyprus problem, the Kurdish issue, and the role of the army among others). Within the framework of trying to define the future of relations between the EU and Turkey a number of issues must be addressed: (a) the wider debate regarding the kind of Europe that existing members would like to see; (b)
philosophical approaches in relation to Turkey’s potential accession;
(c) the practical problems to be faced in relation to Turkey’s accession process. In this context, key questions will be raised as to the extent to which the problems encountered, as well as the intense debate surrounding them, threaten to derail this country’s accession course. The broader philosophical debate in relation to the future of Europe and Turkey’s commitments will also be assessed.
* Professor of Political Economy, University of Nicosia. President, Cyprus Centre for European and International Affairs.
Published on Feb 16, 2012
A Publication based on the International Conference organised at the European Parliament/Brussels by Dr. ELENI THEOCHAROUS, Member of the Eu...