OPINION

Turk bid reveals European failures

The European Union summit starting in Brussels today will, to a considerable degree, decide the future form of the bloc, as it is expected to make the historic decision of giving Ankara a date for the opening of EU membership negotiations. Notwithstanding the fact that they have yet to explain to their weary societies the exact reasons they have decided to take in Turkey – a country that remains problematic in many respects – the governments of the major EU states are nevertheless spearheading a campaign to Europeanize our eastern neighbor. Notably, the Greek leadership has also given its approval. The Europeans are being led to this decision given that they do not feel they have the strength to resist the USA’s will to impose Turkey as a partner in their union. At the same time, they seem unable to object to Ankara’s absurd refusal to recognize the Republic of Cyprus, a country that is already a member of the 25-strong bloc. As a consequence, there seems to be no point in discussing the prospect of an integrated European power functioning as a counterweight to America’s global leadership. The mere fact that Turkey, a significant US ally, is to be awarded candidate status while Russia remains outside the European home betrays the blatant failure of the EU to outline its geopolitical shape in the new global order on the basis of a solid analytical model. Since 1990, 45 years after its division into American and Soviet spheres of influence (due to a disaster caused by intra-European antagonisms), Europe’s leaders find themselves in deep embarrassment. The issue of the continent’s postwar unification as an outgrowth not of power plays, but as the management of a historic defeat, now rests in a political vacuum. The issue of a European Turkey, which is in an arrogant fashion now negotiating its accession to the EU as a regional hegemonic power, is a strong sign of European weakness.