OPINION

EU’s pathetic ‘hide and seek’

The European Union’s stance regarding Turkey’s accession is beginning to verge on the ridiculous from the political standpoint. The EU’s entire approach shows the lack of common external policy in this organization, which is supposed to be setting itself up as a rival to the US on the international stage. From what is being discussed within the EU today by various politicians and EU officials regarding Turkey, it is clear that some of the (then 15) members and the Commission either did not realize what they had done regarding the decision on Turkey’s accession process in 1998-99 (at the summits in Cardiff and Helsinki), or else they did realize it but had no political will to resist the US line that above all wanted Turkey to be part of the half-hearted «political unification» of Europe. From the outset it was easy for every European government to see how many political, economic, social and cultural problems were involved in Turkey’s accession. It was also clear that, according to the official procedures and bureaucratic order of the EU, it would not be possible for member states to avoid the moment of truth; that at some point they would have to say yea or nay to Turkey. So now as the December deadline approaches, Europeans are playing pathetic games of hide and seek in Ankara in a desperate attempt to confuse the issue of setting a date for accession talks to begin. Too late, it seems, some partners are quaking at the idea that in a few years’ time, that large and problematic country called Turkey (an important «strategic ally» of the US) will be part of the enlarged EU, where political cohesion is still a burning question. Unfortunately for those terrified partners, now Greece is voting yes to Turkey’s accession.