Turkey in the European Union: Euthanasia or the Rejuvenation of Europe?
38 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2005
Date Written: June 21, 2005
The issue of Turkish aspirations for full membership in the EU is a highly polarising, sensitive and controversial matter both politically and economically. An obvious peril for Turkey is regarding EU membership as a panacea for all its domestic ills. One has to recall, on the one hand, that Turkey and the EU already have a functioning customs union in manufactured goods and processed agricultural products since 1995. Hence, almost all trade gains are already well in place. On the other side, the EU(25) is no longer a honey pot as it was during the times of EU(9) or even EU(12). This was belatedly discovered in the cold light of day with bitterness and disappointment by the central and east European countries that now make up EU(25). What they saw and expected at the time when they applied for membership is not at all what they got when they entered the EU. In any case, Turkey may be welcome to the EU family, but it has to make its European identity and credentials right and clear. The question is not if Turkey will join the EU. It may in one way or another in the distant future. The real issue is what kind of EU will Turkey join at that time.
Keywords: new member and candidate countries, eastern enlargement, acquis communautaire, Turkey, European Council, customs union
JEL Classification: F12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation