OPINION

Opinion

. ..The fact that an extra-institutional consultation process has – after a British initiative and with the participation of major EU countries – been added to the Franco-German summit meetings over the future of the EU is not in keeping with Prime Minister Costas Simitis’s reassurances to the country’s citizens of Greece’s equal participation in the decisive core of Europe… Rather than bragging, the political elite and the country’s citizens should realize that Greece’s participation in the EU and NATO is compatible with its political, economic and military power, but in no way equal… Unfortunately, the reactions from the European leaders who were not invited by British Prime Minister Tony Blair resulted in the participation at the London mini-summit of the EU’s Belgian presidency and Javier Solana, hence an informal, non-binding summit was rendered quasi-official. There is the clear danger of a precedent being set whereby the member state with EU presidency at any one time will represent a group of EU countries in mini-summits. In this sense, if Blair’s initiative was characterized by several European leaders as a blow to the concept of a common EU foreign and defense policy, then the reactions by the leaders excluded from the talks provided it near-official status via the participation of institutional officials… Greece has repeatedly shown that it genuinely supports Turkey’s Europeanization. It is up to the Turkish political elite to seize the opportunity and turn a dream into a tangible prospect. Unfortunately, Ankara has so far failed to live up to the circumstances.