eastern-enlargementDebating Europe has been focusing (perhaps understandably) on the Eurozone crisis in recent days. We’ve also been looking at the issue of climate change this week (see here and here). However, with the single currency seemingly in the grip of perpetual crisis, it’s easy to forget about relations with the rest of the world. The EU’s policy towards its Eastern neighbours, in particular, has been taking something of a back seat.

Christos Mouzeviris (who blogs here) left a comment on Debating Europe explaining his vision of a future Europe stretching from the Atlantic to the Black Sea:

The Europe I am dreaming of has equal opportunities for prosperity, stability, employment and progress from Iceland to Ukraine, Portugal to Cyprus and Norway to Malta. All states will be equal and will have opportunities to develop and exploit their natural resources for the betterment of their people first, but [also] for the whole continent… Both Eastern and Western states, or Southern and Northern! We have had enough divisions in Europe!

We spoke to Slovenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Samuel Žbogar, who recently argued that Serbia might have full-fledged membership of the EU by 2019 if negotiations began next year. We asked the minister whether the Eurozone crisis was likely to slow down the process of Eastern enlargement for the EU.

I think it shouldn’t. That doesn’t mean that it won’t, but I think it shouldn’t because I don’t think that Europe should waste another few years dealing with itself. For the past several years, whilst we were debating the Lisbon treaty, we spent far too much time focusing just on Europe. In the meantime, the world moved on and we didn’t even notice that the balance was shifting to the East and to the South. And we are only just waking up now and realising that it isn’t only just the US and Europe but there are also these BRIC countries. I’m afraid that if we are going to close again and look inward then the world will be different again.

What about those who would argue that a debt crisis is no time to think about enlargement? That we should get our own house in order before we think of “growing the family”, so to speak?

I believe enlargement is strengthening the European Union; in global affairs, the EU has become a bigger player. Enlargement is also the instrument the EU can use to transform its neighbourhood. We saw for ourselves in Slovenia how the prospect of membership helped us transform. For the government, painful decisions are easier to accept if there is the promise of EU membership at the end. We have to keep this idea of enlargement alive, because it will change the countries in the Eastern partnership. It will change the countries in the South.

Does the Minister share the vision of our reader, Christos Mouzeviris, for a Europe stretching from Iceland to Ukraine? Are there limits to how large the EU can get? At what point does enlargement stop?

I think we have to go one step at a time. For the time being, Europe is the Western Balkans and Europe is Turkey. That is what we’ve promised. An EU with Turkey in it would be a very different European Union, and would be a much bigger player on the global stage. Yes, we will need some time to prepare for that. But just see the progress that Turkey has made on human rights and other issues. And this impetus to transform can only continue if we continue enlargement.

Then you have the next step and other countries that are very eager to join in the longer term. A country like Iceland is already a perfect candidate country. Then there are countries like Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine – but this is far in the future. Then, of course, the Southern Mediterranean countries – but that’s another story. They may never have EU membership, but they might create their own union and the European Union might become a role model for them.

At one point, we should have a big debate in Europe about the future. At some point, we should discuss whether we want a loose collection of states or a United States of Europe sometimes in the future. How do we see the European Union in that world?

What do YOU think are the limits to EU enlargement? Do you agree with Christos Mouzeviris and Minister Žbogar that a future Europe might (one day) stretch to the Black Sea? Or do you think that enlargement has already gone far enough? Does Turkey have a place in the European Union? Let us know in the form below and we’ll show your comments to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

Vote 2014

Voting is closed in our Debating Europe Vote 2014! The results are now in, so come and see what our readers thought!

99 comments Post a commentcomment

  1. avatar

    Even though my best wishe would be agree with Christos Mouzeviris and Minister Žbogar I just cannot. I do believe that the has already went too far. And with this I am not saying that Turkey or the the Western Balkan countries should not join. They definitely should. But the question is timing. I absolutely agree that these countries have already improved a lot in all aspects and started to live up to the expectations laid down in the Maastricht & Coppenhagen criterias. They are reaching a better level compare to what? Compare to their previous stage, evidently. However, compare to the current Member States they are still lagging behind. I do believe that the current crises (let is be economic, debt crises etc) are thanks to the fact, at least to a certain degree, that in 2004 ten very different countries joined together. The EU was not ready for such an enlargement step. I think the ‘overstreched-vicious-cycle’ has started at that point. And again, all countries needed to gain accession. But not at one time. Hungary and Poland, Slovakia and Malta. Were these countries on the same ‘development’ stage? NO!. Therefore, we should not only care about the impressive changes what one country achieves compare to itself, but the border line should be what the Members have achieved. In this way, situations – such as the one with Greece, who did not fulfill the Maastricht criteria but still changed for the Euro- could be avoided.
    Enlargement is a natural element of the Union, but one should not forget about the balancing element, called: deepening.

    • avatar

      Why ‘definitely’ should they join? Absurd suggestion.

  2. avatar
    Nikolai Holmov

    There are definitely limits of how far the EU can go given its current and faulty structure.
    The issue of fiscal federalisation is not only one that affects the current Eurozone membership but also any potential entrants such as Turkey and Ukraine.
    To remain relevant in decision the core of Europe they will be faced with a choice of joining a federally governed Eurozone or remaining on the periphery as nations like Poland and the UK will discover should fiscal federalisation occur.
    With the best will in the world, it is impossible not to have a core Eurozone with unity in fiscal matters that will not drive the EU, the EU budgets and core policy.
    Whilst outside the EU, both Turkey and Ukraine provide sizable and fairly reliable buffer zones for Eurasian and North African migration with read mission agreements allowing the return of illegals to Turkey or Ukraine if they enter the EU via these nations even if they are not nationals of these nations.
    Turkey has managed the global economics very well whereas Ukraine had suffered despite these nations being significant trading partners with parts of Ukraine having a shared Ottoman history.
    Turkey seems to be playing the Arab Spring with a deft touch at the moment and will become a significant power broker in North Africa and also the Black Sea region.
    Depending upon how Turkey fairs with North Africa it may be wise to welcome it into the EU fold to use its newly found influence there. Alternatively it may be yet another reason to keep it out of the EU due to migration from Syria, Libya etc. into Turkey.
    It should also be considered that whilst there maybe an attraction to both Turkey and Ukraine to join the EU today, there will have to be major structural changes to the EU structure far beyond the Lisbon treaty if it is to succeed. Will either nation want to join the EU as and when those structural changes have taken place and the EU morphs into whatever it will be?
    In short, as, when and if a time comes when all Member States would welcome Turkey and Ukraine, would Turkey and Ukraine welcome inclusion or simply enhanced integration as per the DCFTA and AA that the EU and Ukraine are about to finalise?
    How would the EU voting public reward their respective elected leaders for allowing EU membership and large the possibility of large scale migration from both Turkey and yet more Eastern Europeans?
    Many EU national governments are now in coalitions or have agreements with political parties with aggressive stances towards further immigration and have yet to address the views of the public and these parties in a meaningful way, thus we see centre right and left parties taking up immigration policy that their coalition partners dictate to keep majorities in domestic parliaments.
    The EU and its elected and appointed structures are already suffering from a major disconnect from the public which make up the Member States and further enlargement will need to be handled very carefully if this suprastructure wants to retain any form of legitimacy.
    It is extremely complex and everything is connected even when it seems it is not but for the foreseeable future, eliminating all other matters, further expansion will be an incredibly difficult sell to the public and to expand against the public will would for-go any legitimacy the EU structures currently have.

    • avatar

      There Is nothing to debate about! There is nothing in common….

    • avatar
      Nikolai Holmov

      Indeed. Mr Putin’s Op Ed link is here:

      The geopolitical tug-o-war is back on. Despite the huge political energy spent by the EU on the EaP nations, if they want to win this battle convincingly then they are going to have to act decisively and swiftly when it comes to negotiations, agreements and ratifications.

      Speed is something quite unlikely given the EU is a behemoth with 27 member heads plus its own decision making entities.

      Russian foreign policy is simply far more nimble than that of the EU as it doesn’t rely on the consensus of the mass.

      Game on once again it seems.

      24/11/2011 Alain Délétroz, Vice-President (Europe) of the International Crisis Group, has responded to this comment.

  3. avatar
    Willy De Backer

    Is our current European crisis not enough proof that the “widening” strategy of the EU has failed and we should have gone (as lots of real Europeans said) for “deepening” the EU?

    Let’s first define a new vision for a new European project and use the current crisis to re-engineer the EU in the interest of defending its citizens’ future prosperity instead of pursuing further the obsession with an ever-growing economic market.

    • avatar

      But we cannot forever shut down the hope of “widening” or president / prime minister putin’s dream of a “Eurasian union” will start to sound more and more appealling. Like Turkey, maybe they will no longer want to join our struggling economy and old population. As the minister say, we have spent 8 years “deepening” the EU and meanwhile the world moved on.

  4. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    All it takes is commitment, action and cooperation..Something that European nations were never good at..At the first glimpse of a crisis, or profit and interests to be made, they are starting mistrusting or back stabbing each other…Where is a leader that can think European? We could have both, we could have our cake and eat it..Both allow new member states to join and the gradual “deepening” if we coped on..What we are doing? Throwing the hot potato from one EU Presidency to another..And we follow the populist agendas that they simply have become the cliche lately in Europe!

    Recently, one of the Irish Presidency Candidates in Ireland said that “we should not allow Europe to interfere with our financial affairs!” Obviously meaning that Ireland should not bow to the Franco-Germans about the Irish corporation tax. While I agree with the Irish position that since others are not willing to get rid of their tax haven status (City of London, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Hungary and so on) why put the pressure on Ireland only, it is the tone that she used that pisses me off..What the heck you are talking about! And you want to become the President of this country? Once you are in the common Market and you use the euro, that’s it sweetie..You have not exclusive say on your financial affairs any more..

    Attitudes like the above, are damaging and misleading. The populace are being dealt as fools and are being brainwashed by short sighted politicians that use the voters’ national pride to gain their votes..Then what? So we are going in circles because that happens in all or in most EU countries..The way she said it, is inflammatory and if another referendum must come, then you will know the outcome..With politicians like the above, Europe will never progress…Wonder who votes for them? Well I won’t comment on that..One deserves another!

    As many of the above said, we should not take too long to allow those key states to join..Saw what happened with Norway..The French had a different view back then, trying to promote their interests, now they are out for good (perhaps..??) And Russia is ready to pounce back on them…Get on with the work and at last have a vision..!! Damn it!

  5. avatar
    Victor Tkachuk

    In contributing to the enlargement debate I would like to add a perspective from a European nation that is currently on the outside. Ukraine is geographically a European state; in fact the centre of geographical Europe lies in Western Ukraine. A majority of our people see the standards of freedom and the standards of living within a greater Europe to be very attractive thus there is an understanding that our future, politically, economically and socially belongs within the European family.

    Most certainly we have a complication in that for the past 350 years our nation has been linked either by force or by choice to Russia and our ties go back generations but this is more of a technical issue rather than a possible barrier. Ukrainians are Europeans; therefore we have a right to be part of the European family, in fact I would go so far as to say that Europe as a Union cannot be complete without Ukraine as a member.

    In view of this the European Union has to decide whether it is an exclusive club of ‘old’ nations or whether it is truly a European Union. I doubt that it is the former therefore the real question is how the Union can be enlarged without undermining its very foundations. The answer I believe is slowly and carefully, not because of the technical difficulties of enlargement but because of the psychological difficulties of merging old European democracies with new East European quasi-democracies. Furthermore if the EU does not hold out an olive branch in the not too distant future then the influence of both Russia and China could well make a future union less likely.

    Recent research carried out by the People First Foundation has identified that whilst the vast majority of the Ukrainian population understand and embrace the basic principles of democracy there is an extremely low level of understanding of how it really works in practice at all levels of society including within the political and business elite. The current Ukrainian political model is a perfect example: Almost all Ukrainian members of parliament are leftover from the former communist system and the majority have bought their seats in parliament through a party list system. 60% originate from Kyiv and few ever visit their constituencies as there is no legal requirement for them to do so. Therefore one has to question whether Ukraine can even be considered a democracy when there is no direct link between the people and their political representatives.

    Part of the problem is that whilst Ukraine embraced the principles of democracy in its break with the former Soviet Union this has not been followed through by any government simply because there was no understanding of the necessity or requirement to do so. Thus apart from a 4 hour segment in the 12th grade philosophy course, democracy practice is not and has never been taught within our educational system. Quite how the Ukrainian people are supposed to build a democracy without first being taught how it works in practice frankly beggars belief.

    Furthermore our entire legal and judicial systems are based upon the Soviet model of control as opposed to the European principles of freedom thus even if we could bring about change much of it could well be outside our law and… to change the law first we need a parliament that represents and serves the interests of the people.

    This would seem to be an impossible and circular argument but it isn’t, change is possible but only if the European Union recognises the special needs of countries like Ukraine, Belarus and the Caucasus and builds a system of perhaps staged membership that encourages and enables countries like ours to understand and embrace the fundamentals of European values and European standards as a prerequisite for full membership.

    It is only when you have a harmonisation of psychological understanding that you can have a unification of peoples. It will be a long and hard road but one that is well worth taking by both sides if the concept of a united Europe is to become a reality.

  6. avatar
    Xavier S

    Turkey, Russia, Ukraine ect

    I don’t see why the EU that as had the mission to break down nationalist ignorance by dismantling borders should somehow set itself borders. That is hypocrisy. Eventually a global currency, global free trade and global governance are required. Before that is done Europe has to lead the way in terms of supranational cooperation.

    But that will take a while, so far the future is still uncertain in spite of all the benefits of EU integration. So the EU must continue to develop its long-term strategy as a global player and not as a “club”. We must not let the racist and populists arguments that extremists spread through Europe destroy our ability to move on from a world still too entranched in nationalistic and religuous conflicts.

    • avatar

      You’ve been had. Nationalism (not a form of ignorance, but a form of defending one’s right to self-determination) has been dismantled in order to break down the borders, and the sovereignty of nations. That is how you go about building an empire. And of course, it’s much easier if you sell these tricks as ‘moral’ crusades to the people and in your case it has worked very well.

  7. avatar

    The European accession process must remain open – countries which can successfully implement all the chapters should be admitted.

    That obviously includes Iceland, the Western Balkans, Turkey and eventually Ukraine & Moldova. Clearly such expansion is conditional – we want to see full compliance, independent judiciary and strong democracy before admission; and we also want to see some more economic development first in some places. But that is all happening – entry is a question of timing, and we should fully engage interested parties in the accession process (and support institution building).

    More broadly than that, we should be more ambitous – the ultimate objectives of the EU are human prosperity, human rights and human freedom. In a globalized world, we need massive multilateral action in many policy areas to support and attain these objectives (from energy to tax to security to enforcible arrest warrants for criminals).

    With time, we should support these objectives (with the offer of accession negotiations) even in Belarus, Russia, the Caucasus, Lebanon (41% Christian and strong shared history with Europe), perhaps a reformed and modern Syria (10% Christian and intimately European history & cultural affinities), perhaps an Israel had finally resolved the issue of occupied territories and hell, why not a modern Kazakhstan (if we can get past Borat :p)?

    The EU should remain the pursuit of effective & accountable multilateral institutions for attaining & safeguarding human prosperity & freedom – first & foremost for existing members, but also for neighbouring countries that can prove capable of assimulating into EU institutions. I would love it if all Russians enjoyed the same safety & freedom (both personal & economic) as Poles & Germans! As Europeans and as human beings, we have a moral obligation to keep the door firmly open, and to engage fully with all nations that seek to build better futures for their people.

  8. avatar

    Yes,EU should have a limitation for enlargment.I am living in Turkey and our country is a member states but negotiations has already stopped due to blocade of Cyprus,France,Austria and Germany.And Turkey has been waiting over 50 years for membership.This is very funy and Turkish people doesn’t beleive EU or membership and Most of people doesn’t interesting in EU or membership.We understood that EU is not trustable organizations.As i say EU has a limit for enlargment and this limit must declare all of the World.Than EU has to change their managment system and has real parliment,goverment,foreign department and economic institues to be a successful and serius organization.Today Eu is not an important player on an critic events along the World.People interesting what Germany,France or England said and they realy don’t interest what eu says.

    • avatar

      I agree that Turkey does not need the EU at all. The EU is a poisoned chalice. It will kill Turkey like is has killed Spain, Portugal, Greece, etc. because the EU is run by crooked, undemocratic, bankster empire-builders.

    • avatar

      Hi Kocmar. You say you do not trust EU. Do you think that Turkey with the current administration, the occupation of a European country (Cyprus) and the non-recognition/respect of the current EU borders can be trusted by the EU?

  9. avatar
    Amanda Dean

    This issue, which affects everyone in the euro zone, has had 11 comments.
    Is this due to the level of interest in the subject?

  10. avatar
    Hari Cobb

    I think that Turkey has Economic potential but if it joins could escalate into a situation like that of Greece, personally I think that Turkey should join the Shengen area or partially joins the EU with certain restrictions. Turkey does show a lot of potential with its exportations, tourism and currently a major link between the European and Asian shores of Istanbul to promote trade. But with the current crisis of Greece, Portugal and Ireland and the major EU powers restless with them to shoulder, Turkey should not join at this moment as there could be catastrophic consequences

  11. avatar
    Gru's Minion

    Yes Duhh. Turkey has oil. Oil = $$$$$

  12. avatar
    Hari Cobb

    Coal,copper and the agricultural sector also play a large part as well as oil.DUHH

  13. avatar
    Mr I M Jolly

    So, should the EU expand into those North African Islamic states around the Mediterranean basin as a new “European Empire” emulating the ancient Roman Empire? Or, would this be a bridge too far for the delusions of ‘Empire’ of the Neo-Euro-Marxists of the Brussels Soviets Merde et crapaude merchants?

  14. avatar

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  15. avatar

    The debate is viewed from the wrong side. The question is not whether the EU should deign to accept Turkey, warts and all; but whether a rapidly emerging nation like Turkey needs to surrender its sovereignty and economy to a crooked basket case cartel calling itself the European Union. Joining the EU will spell disaster for Turkey, as it has for Portugal, Greece, Ireland, Spain etc. and there is no going back. It will be the end of Turkey. Do enough Turks realise this?

  16. avatar

    Im from serbia and i think eu is already too big and mismanaged! I can imagine how will it look like if it accepts 60 million more ppl from the east , gee.
    And Georgia is that Europe at all? Should ,,Stan” countries join as well? Also there will be more tensions if islamic countries join, as culture is far different

  17. avatar
    Thomas Z

    Yes ,Turkey should Join EU.It is known that Turkey as a nation is included in the European continent. It is a member of NATO, where the veto powers like England , France and Russia are included.
    As regards to the fulfillment of some tasks and reforms expected of it , Turkey should be given a clear specification to polish some inconvenience if any at all.The Turks are not aimless migrants.Before 30 or 40 years they were poor and were forced to migrate.But now even if their GNI per capita is less than half of EU average Turkey is not poor to migrate to Western Europe.However migration is an avoidable in anyway.Professionals , and high standard people can migrate and migration is not restricted to poor even.
    The other thing is Turkey has a vast land area, agriculturally food self sufficent and yet has not exploited its agriculture to the fullest as western European antions.It has lots of space to expand inside .Migration is not their best choice.
    Islam is expanding at a huge rate in Western Europe even with Turkey not an EU member .So Turkey can not be a cause for expansion of Islam or not.EU membership don’t prohibit being Islam.Besides Turkey is not an extremist Islam most of the citizen are free Islam and never force others to Islam as they themselves were not forced by none.
    All in all Turkey can join and must join EU with out harming or changing the face of the existing EU struction.Turkey can be benefited a lot from membership.

    • avatar

      Apart from Europe becoming more dept filled they will over populate creating more problems. With culture, religion, social status.

  18. avatar

    Nope. Turkey is not european, either in a cultural sense or a geographical sense.

  19. avatar

    If Turkey joins the EU then this will be the end of the EU. Turkey is a backward Islamic country & most of it is geographicaly not even in Europe, go and ask the Germans,French etc. who have many Turks in their Nations and they will tell you that this is a very bad Idea, and furthermore it doesnt matter if they were promised anything or that they are a member of Nato, everybody has to do whats best for themselves FIRST and Turkey joining the EU is a very bad and misguided Idea. Lets get this straight my Statement may not be politically correct but I am a Realist, take a good hard look at Syria! Our Experiment with Islam may one day bring about a Syria Style Jihad Szenario in Western Europe, and all the warnings of Churchill etc. which have gone on deaf ears will then be remembered and finally undestood, but if that day comes then this will mean War in Great Western European Cities something which we said never again after WW2, if and I say IF Islam were to go through a Reformation which removes the intolerant things and the legitimizations of violence then maybe they could be compatible with the West, but as long as there is not even the attempt to bring this about then this discussion is not worth our time, because the situation is exactly as the European court of Human Rights concluded the Sharia is not compatible with Human Rights, and since Sharia is islamic law and since islamic law is islam then islam is not compatible with Human Rights, and as a Westerner I say that Human Rights are the pillars of our Democratic Countries, so if islam is not compatible with Democracy then how can anybody in their right mind even contemplate turning 70million muslim Turks into European Citizens, it is obvious that the laws of a territory are defined by the people who live there, now does anybody believe that 70million Turks having EU Passports will have absolutely no effect on our laws?, are we so naive and maybe even arrogant to think that any changes of laws will only go one way as in from the West to Turkey?, lets not forget that If Turkey joins the EU that it will the the EU member with the most Citizens which will make it a major player in European Politics and the Law making processes in Brussels. SO NO Turkey is not compatible with Western European Culture and Values, Turkey is not Europe, and Turkey should not join the EU.

    • avatar

      Sharía laws in Turkey? Laicism is a polítical reality in Turkey

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  21. avatar

    Turkey should join EU and will join sooner or later, I’m sure of it. It is a European country in terms of history, politics, geopolitics, economy and (to a lesser extent) of culture if not in terms of “pure” geography (although that could be discussed as well, since a part of Turkey, including Istanbul, is in Europe). EU needs Turkey as much, if not more, than Turkey needs EU. EU needs the huge Turkish market, it needs Turkish labour force and it needs access to the Near East and farther in Asia, if it wants to be the real global player. Not to mention that inclusion of Turkey would be a clear (political) message that EU is not “a Christian club” and that it is open, not closed, to the Islamic world.
    Regarding possible accession of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, it is certainly the option but that would mean the increasing instabilities with Russia. I’m not sure that Europe is ready for that. Much clever solution for Brussels would be to find a long term solution of cooperation with Russia and newly formed Eurasian Economic Union than to increase conflict with Moscow.
    Western Balkans countries (Montenegro and Serbia at first and later Macedonia, Bosnia, Albania and Kosovo) and (possibly) EFTA member states are also possible future members of the EU.

    • avatar
      John Zervas

      Here is the thing, EU may want Turkey (it doesn’t ’cause France and Germany will lose voting supremacy if Turkey enters the Union) but Turkey does not want to be an EU member. Turkish officials are smart and I should know, I am Greek. They knwo about EU’s problematic structure and how it will surely collapse if the common market is not normalized and conrtolled by a central political power with authority above nation-states-members.

      Turkey does not want to enter an EU with so many isssues because if it does it will inherit all of them. Also Turkey is a pure Islamic nation now with permanent hostile intentions towards Cyprus, a full emmeber of the EU. Moreover it has not yet accepted officially the genocides it has performed over Armenians, Kurds and various other peoples who lived in its interior.

      Turkey does not belong in the EU and does not want to. And EU does not want it either. The best example I can give is in 1999 I believe, when we the Greek people withdew our veto against Turkey’s joining the EU. Has anything happened over the last 16 years? No veto in place from anyone and still, Turkey is not a member. It is clear the EU-Turkey relationship will be that of 2 foreign political entities who will have close but seperate agendas and politics.

    • avatar

      I agree your thougts. Eurasian institutions must be created.

    • avatar

      The rroblem in your thinking is not whether Europe is open or not to Islam (as we know EU is open to all kinds of differences). The problem is if Islam is open to the values of EU (equality of men/women,sexual freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, democracy,etc )

  22. avatar

    Simply, the are not europeans and they will never be… Turkey should not be a EU member, but trade and experience trade should be always incouraged.

    • avatar

      Well, last time I looked at the map, istanbul was in Europe. On the other hand, Cyprus was not (entirely, 100 per cent is in Asia). Nevertheless, I would never question Cyprus’ membership in the EU.

  23. avatar


    • avatar

      Sounds like a native, let me remind you that we brought that upon our selfs by murdering Turkish Cypriot families living on the island with no mercy because we wanted a unification that would never happen, if you mess with the bull it will come and bite back.

    • avatar

      “Anthony” that sounds like a load of bull…. propaganda… The invasion in North Cyprus has been condemned by the entire UN…

  24. avatar

    Sure not they are not matching European standard no matter how much they try to look civilised they are still very narrow minded conservative racist nation with lots hidden things wich they cant face to admit and also turkey is Islamic country one if the worst muslim countries we should never keep them out of their cage we all know how extremist can muslims be No and no I hope Europe isnt blind we have already enough terrorists living in our European countries they should be sent back to their desert. .

    • avatar

      I advise you to travel. Turkey is Not the country you have in your mind.

    • avatar

      It seems to me that you watched too much TV. Suleyman the Magnificent I suppose…

  25. avatar
    ella taylor

    I am going to make this short if not sweet to some ears. Europe already ha s its fair share of discontented Muslims . Why would Elect to take 77 million more?

    • avatar

      Why discontented? If they do not like it in Europe they can always go the “better” non european, arabic or islamic states. Despite the current european problems it is a much better place than those countries even for Muslims,with few exceptions

    • avatar

      I’ve never realised that EU is an integration based on religion…

  26. avatar
    goetmaekers sam

    Europe have to speak the true about what Europa is realy. No lais. Whay is evrey one so afraid of a difrent culture and religion. Europe can learn a lot from Turky and Turky van learn a lot of from Europe.

    • avatar

      Europe is not against different cultures and religions in fact they encourage the unification of different cultures, most european countries are the most ethinically diversified countries in the world with London ( although not a country) leading the way, but the problem affecting the joining of turkey from becoming a full member is the fact that since 1974 to this day they are illigally occupying half of Cyprus, a European island seperating it into North and South, North being only recognised by Turkey and no other country in the world, south is recognised globally, until a solution is found for the unification of the country and Turkish military power to be pulled out of Cyprus then Turkey will not get approved.

  27. avatar
    costas hadjieleftheriou

    Turkey has firstly to solve the occupation of Cyprus remove its troops from a european country member the carry on dreaming about europe and europe can dream on after all dreams are free

  28. avatar

    First, we need to stand what does it mean to be a EU member? If the member is not and will not follow the EU values and principles, how can it be accepted for joining the club.
    If we trade this for resolving the refugee crisis in the short run, it will create more problem for EU and its member states.
    The current political situation in Turkey cannot convince me they would fit the minimum requirements anytime soon.

  29. avatar

    Turkey should join the EU. Not doing so Would be an histórical miscalculation
    Turkey needs certainties from EU in orden to solve kurdish autonomy
    Turkish Cypriot vote YES in reunification referéndum. We must remember this.
    EU and Turkey needs each other, económically and geopolitically
    Turkish problems are solved better if Turkey were an EU member
    We needs to complete the enlargamente but also deepening the política unión.

  30. avatar

    Turkey, Serbia, Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, Moldavia, Ukraine, Georgia…firstly
    Belarús, Azerbaiyán, Armenia,…secondly
    Iceland, Norway, Switzerland…I hope, one day
    EU/Rusia economical, energetical, cultural….agreement Will be necesario in the future.

  31. avatar
    martin Rodrigues

    Turkey is a muslim country, different culture, different values a principles.

    • avatar

      So is Albania (70% of Albanians are Muslim) and nobody questions the ability of Albania to join EU one day.

  32. avatar
    John B

    No I say absolutely not should Turkey be allowed to join. Even though it may not be an arabic country a large percent of its population is settled Muslim and Arabic and that is not European any more than these Balkan countries people make a deal about. It would be safer to have Romania, Bulgaria and Greece in as these are more European. How could people make a deal about those then not challenge Turkey’s membership? One thing I will say is that the European Union has to realize aswell that they cannot expand wherever they please. Not everywhere in the world logically is European or caucasian in population or culture. Britain, Europe maybe all right although Turkey just comes to the point when I say no. They should be rejected from EU membership and given a ‘fail’ at their attempt. And Im saving the ordinary Turks here. Remember the poor non-European Turks are not going to adjust to it anyway

    • avatar

      It seems to me that EU is going to shrink a bit after Brexit. It needs larger market. Turkey is not a poor relative, it is (partly at least) a European country and a huge market.
      Also, demographic trends in most of Europe are horrible. EU needs work force and it doesn’t have it. Turkey does. And millions of them are already in EU, germany especially.

  33. avatar

    When will you take a stand against Turkey’s
    actions against the Kurds in northern Kurdistan
    (south-western Turkey)? children and old people
    being killed every day, UN, EU, US and NATO are
    responsible too

    • avatar

      And what about protecting minorities in some EU member states? How many ethnic Macedonians are in Greece today, for instance? They don’t even recognize them as a minority, not even as an ethnic group. How about minorities in France? How many Alsatians and Corsicans are there and are their rights protected properly?

  34. avatar

    Never! There is no democracy there. On top of that the border with the middle east is too porous. The EU is a club that thrives of cheap labour and this would be a big couple. At some point the European project has to reign itself in.

  35. avatar
    Martin Rodrigues

    We have to protect the values ,morals ,principles, the foundations of civilisations of west of Europe based on christians values and the over all culture.

  36. avatar
    Martin Rodrigues

    Refugees is good for capitalism to flourish,there is a hiding agenda supported by the media empire,
    Results is simple to analyse :: cheap labour ,no social cohesion ,no integration,total abysm, mass disintegration, because there want be nothing in common.

  37. avatar

    No, no and NO! The Eu community has been enlarged out of all proportion already by bringing in too many Eastern European countries that have drained all the resources. STOP for God’s sake! All the enlargement is just to satisfy a few capitalists who want to move their interests from the core Eu economies to the lowest-possible cost areas so as to gain that 2% more of profits demonstrating total lack of concern for European current and future workers. They buy another absurdly luxurious house somewhere near the coast while the abandoned workers struggle to arrive at the end of the month on miserable wages. Let’s have a referendum on future enlargements!!!!

    • avatar
      Itay Reiss

      Without Eastern Europe, I doubt if you would be able to reach even the first week of the month. Always do remember that the Eastern European workforce is doing many jobs that Western Europeans don’t want to do, eithe brcause they are too lazy and spoiled. Theat wotk at the end of the day must to be done, so you an sit on your West European arse and enjoy its fruits and results.

  38. avatar

    Absolutely not, Turkey must never be allowed to join the EU, they are a Muslim country, their values are not the same as ours, the EU is for European Counrtries and they are not one, we cannot have more and more people given the freedom to ‘invade’ our country, we no longer have the resources to do it anymore.
    We have to look after ourselves for a change, instead of looking after everyone else, I for one have had enough of it.

    • avatar

      Turkey is secular, not a Muslim country. Muslim countries are Iran, Saudi Arabia,…

  39. avatar

    Turkey is completely incompatible with Europe currently. I’m completely ignoring the majority Islamic population. Muslims and Islam are not the issue, (Don’t get me wrong, extremists are). The issue with Turkey is that, they are frankly too poor and to politically different to join in any sort of timely matter. The Turkish economy is steadily rising, which is good. But, it is still a long ways away from being at the EU average.

    Then we get to some of Turkey’s real political issues with Europe. I’ll try to list them:
    1. Cyprus Dispute
    2. Media and Internet Censorship, as well as other limitations of Free Speech
    3. Long Border with Syria, Iraq, and Iran.
    4. Massive Country which the EU may not be willing nor able to deal with at this time.
    5. Denial of the Armenian Genocide
    6. Discrimination against the Kurds.
    Those are the big things that hinder Turkey’s ascension currently. In terms of religion, there are 3-7 Muslim-majority nations in Europe, depending on how you count Turkey, Kazakhstan, North Cyprus, and Azerbaijan. They are Albania, Kosovo, and Bosnia. They are full members of NATO and the Council of Europe, so it seem natural that this would be Turkey’s next natural step. Turkey has real potential to be a great secular and western country, but it will face obstacles.

  40. avatar
    martin Rodrigues

    turkey is an islamic state!!

  41. avatar

    I repeat, the Eu has been enlarged already way beyond any logic and all to benefit a few hundred already exaggeratedly rich capitalists who want an extra pound of flesh by moving their investments to lower-cost countries.
    This costs us jobs where industry then is closed and it costs us more taxes in subsidies to these new nation members who gain massive investment in infrastructure. It’s absolutely incredible that we have never been consulted about this in the past but now it is high time to stop expansion without consultation and take these critical decisions away from the few bureaucrats in Brussels who have their palms crossed with gold to let expansion happen quietly without rocking the boat.

  42. avatar
    Martin Rodrigues

    Valours and principles and all the cultural aspects are not the same.They say believe on democracy to please the west,but I don’t think that’s true , Sharia law is not democratic.

  43. avatar
    akhigbe lucky

    Though Turkey appears to be fulfilling conditions set for her entering the EU, but the areas of human rights, protection for women and Cyprus issue must be resolve be admission can be effected.

  44. avatar
    akhigbe lucky

    How sincere is turkey on this issue of joining the EU?would Turkey do away with sharia?

  45. avatar

    After we have witnessed Erdogan and his henchmen organise a false “coup” so that he can get rid of his opposition (including 2,000 teachers) is there still anyone out there who believes we should allow Turkey into the EU?

  46. avatar

    Turkey has no business in the EU – it is not European country by geography, by history, by mentality, by culture, by religion…
    Nothing common between us.
    In fact, Turkey is in very centre of many dark pages of European history.

  47. avatar

    John, although I totally agree that we need to block any further idiotic discussion of Turkey becoming part of the Eu, careful about your facts; it does have some geographic claim; 3% of the territory is on the European continent. Just to be precise and to underline the absurdity of the claim that they “belong” in the Eu.

  48. avatar
    Itay Reiss

    Turkey is not a European country in any aspect: Geographical, cultural, historical etc. Therefore it has nothing in common with the EU and its goals. The EU should cease the ridiculous negoatiations for the accession of Turkey, and stop surrendering to the Turkish blackmailing on visa free traveling for keeping the illegal immigrants in their territory.

    • avatar

      Yes l agree with you
      EU is only wasting time. Turkey will never be like how EU wants

  49. avatar
    amanda dean

    Why not have a single language as well as a single currency, after all that would make it easier for everyone in Europe to equally access the advantages of being within a supranational state? English is of course the obvious language of Europe. I can see no objection to this given that a primary objective of the Union is to unify all those countries within it. It could be a basic requirement of membership, like the Euro.

    • avatar
      amanda dean

      It may not seem to have anything to do with the potential accession of Turkey to the EU, but it does seem strangely hypocritical to have 27 countries with their own cultural and linguistic identities and not be clear about the nature of the European project. Which is to sideline them all, to discuss the possibility of including Turkey is to consider the possibility of not only sidelining a culture but surely also its central tenets of faith? This was not necessary as far as the other European countries were concerned, they are predominantly Christian. The justification for this is apparently economic, but it is also inevitably about power and it involves much more than European interests. Can you displace faith with reason and is it even right to do so? These sort of conversations have never taken place within a European project that from the beginning disguised itself as merely a marketplace. The fundamental ethical and religious issues have never been addressed and until they are they will be fought over not by our’ leaders’ but by our children in the streets. Language is not simply functional, it carries with it the hopes, dreams and desires of the people who have and continue to use it. It is why, despite all the calls from both France and Germany for further unification, they would never allow their language to be sidelined. They are right in this, but they practice an expensive form of hypocrisy, because it means that the Union is really only easily accessible by those who are able to speak more than one language and that is so often a privelidge of the few wealthy enough to afford the time and tutors. I recently met a young person from Romania who had been born in the UK but whose family still lived in Romania. They had ten years of primary school education here but still begging on the street and frankly I cannot see how they will manage to find work without a more than basic grasp of English and Maths. If Europe wants further unification it needs to provide the necessary education to enable those who want to work the ability to do so in very different cultures. Regardless of whether or not Turkey should become part of the EU, it seems to me that the aim of further European unification and expansion needs to become a more open conversation among existing members of the union. That perhaps the existing framework needs to be more flexible and that economic wellbeing is not necessarily the most fundamental principle that people live by?

    • avatar

      Fully agree there. It is a pity that you visit many countries including Scandinavia, Germany, France etc where they all can speak english and they treat you like a second-class citizen unless you learn the local language. What are we going to do, learn every single european language?

    • avatar

      Not to mention the fact of the established point of view in these countries: “You are in Denmark, you have to make the effort to learn Danish, you are in Switzerland you have to make the effort to learn French and German, why should we speak in english? Well I DID make the effort to learn english though as it is not my native language so you can accept the rest 50% of the way, especially since you will not require any more effort”… And why should I have knowledge of English, French, German to join EPO or another european constitution? I know english and my own native language. It is either all or one people. EU is not only for UK,France and Germany.

    • avatar

      28 member states, not 27. Croatia joined 3 years ago.

  50. avatar

    End of the day
    As a citizen of Turkey now lm very clear Turkey should be better off EU in terms of big cultural differences and still trade with EU but not in a million years EU wants Turkey in the club .it’s proven fact late arguments shows neither EU nor Turkey understands each other. Better not to get married coz it will be an ugly divorce

    • avatar

      You’re wrong. Turkey has its place in Europe, as it always had, and its future is in the EU.

  51. avatar


  52. avatar
    amanda dean

    Adrian, thank you for correcting me, 28 member states. Christos, I believe you are right, all countries should meet the same requirements, this makes it fair for all. The problem at the moment, as we know, is that some of the Turkish governments actions are not compatible with international law or EU law and there is no indication that this will change.

  53. avatar
    Menelaos Panagiotou

    Turkey joining the European Union will be a disaster for Europe as well as for Greece.

  54. avatar
    Menelaos Panagiotou

    Turkey is NOT in the European Continent, because Turkey seized Konstantinoupoly during the WWI and renamed it to Instabule does not make the Turkish people Europeans. Wake up people Turks are not Europeans!!!

  55. avatar

    Istanbul is not a European city, it was a European city taken through Turkish/Muslim crusades (notice Muslims always accuse others of crusades). Turks in my experience are part of a very angry and aggressive culture. They should be out of NATO and a strong EU army to main the border with superior force.

    • avatar

      You are right ! Turkey should not join EU . Its an Asian country . Go make your own united

  56. avatar

    I do not agree with the fact that countries which are more that 50% out of Europe “geographically ” to join the Union

  57. avatar

    Turkey should not join the E.U considering that most of its territory is in Asia and also its an Islam based country unlike the European states

    • avatar


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    • avatar

      TURKEY does not act according to international law and isOCCUPYING 37% OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS BY MILITARY FORCE

    • avatar

      TURKEY does not act according to international law

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    • avatar

      I am my self Turkish I would not recommend my country to join eu I live in the eu is old and out off date and population is getting old look uk left the eu clever. And how can Cyprus is near the middle east the reason is there in eu is because they a Christians

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