Debating Europe is excited to publish the second round of its head-to-head video debate in the European Parliament between Sir Graham Watson, British Liberal Democrat MEP and President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party, and Sergei Stanishev, former Prime Minister of Bulgaria, leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and President of the Party of European Socialists.

For this round, we’ve taken questions from Debating Europe readers on the topic of foreign policy, and put them to both men to answer.

You can watch the first round here, and the final round will be published tomorrow.

What do YOU think? What do you think are the chances of a free trade deal being signed between the EU and the US? What are the main obstacles preventing Turkey from joining the EU? And how should the EU respond to authoritarian tendencies in its neighbourhood? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their response.

Vote 2014

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

28 comments Post a commentcomment

  1. avatar
    José Nabais

    The Cyprus Question and the rights of Kurds in Turkey are the biggest two in my opinion…

  2. avatar
    Antonin Banderas

    shouldnt we first strengthen the european identity within the current member countries before considering any new adhesion? Didnt the EU go too fast by accepting 10 countries at once + 2 other after it a few years ago? I have the sad feeling that Europe is slowly falling apart because people don’t believe in Europe anymore..

  3. avatar
    Doina Vintila

    Are so many problems for Turkey how they really don’t want to know not to fix the turkeys authorities.

  4. avatar
    Ovgu Nizam

    implying Greece has not already failed to meet economic standarts set by EU.

  5. avatar
    Matt dovey

    Who cares. It makes no difference. The whole EU is a joke

  6. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    “Here the world is burning and the ****** is being combed” an old Greek saying.Now you remembered the joining of Turkey with EU? Don’t you think it’s a little late? If EU will finally find its lost path, then of course Turkey has a place among the rest, under some conditions.

  7. avatar
    Pedro Oliveira

    How about taking CORRUPTION as the first line of action of EU in every EU countries (EU citizens would feel 300% more safe as Europeans if the polititians that lead their countries to the present situation were in fact arrested and judged for their crimes). I can speak for my country, Portugal, saying that in the past 3 decades, all the money that the EU sent to Portugal should have been watched closely by EU authorities to asure that the money would be correctly applied, developing the country’s economy and eficiency. Instead of that, the money was used to terminate agriculture, fishing and industry and to do large constructions, highways, Expo 98, Euro 2004 Football Stadiums we didn’t need and now we have a huge debt to pay (tax payers) regarding things we (tax payers) didn’t buy or didn’t take direct advantage, and we don’t have any prodution to asure that we can pay that debt we dind’t make and we aren’t responsible for. I would rather be Governed by the EU if I was asured that they would fight CORRUPTION severely and fight injustice. People cannot feel European if they don’t feel their nationality first. Thanks for reading ;)

  8. avatar
    Teodoro Caloroso

    Turkey is the european China. If you let them in EU we will all be damned. European economics are already moving out in “cheaper” countries. What will happen if taxes on turkish products are removed for selling them in EU?

  9. avatar
    Semira Pashmineh-azar

    I believe it’s not the Time yet to even consider new members we should first solve the problems of our member countries !!!!!!!!

  10. avatar
    Tiago Mouta

    How should EU respond to Germany authoritarian tendencies? Lets hope this time we dont need war for that…

  11. avatar
    Isabel Maria Frihetsdóttir

    Tiago Mouta you are talking non-sense. Please refer to what you should know : massive amounts of corruption in Portugal that drains the Portuguese and the European tax payers money.

    When are these massively corrupt Portuguese politicians arrested, trialed and convicted for the billions of tax payers euros gone to waste to their palls, personal offshore accounts and etc … that should be the question.

    Don’t sugar coat the problem or come up with delusional bullshit.

  12. avatar
    Tiago Mouta

    Making governments fail and seem useless to people, so that everyone turns to EU for solutions to a problem they create… Bad oligarch movies in a theater soon ;)

  13. avatar
    Isabel Maria Frihetsdóttir

    indeed corruption is everywhere, the difference is however how you tackle the problem.
    please read more about the case that lead into christian wulff’s resignation .. and then pls compare it Cacos Silva …. tell us what you find.

  14. avatar
    Isabel Maria Frihetsdóttir

    “Making governments fail and seem useless to people, so that everyone turns to EU for solutions to a problem they create… Bad oligarch movies in a theater soon ”

    did that come from any movie you watched ? …. it must be, because nothing of this translates into reality.

  15. avatar
    Rui David

    Neighbourhood? We better look closer. And besides Germany. What about Hungary?

  16. avatar
    Rui David

    By the way, european authoritarism to “tackle massive corruption”, assuming that that is its leit-motiv, is not being directed towards the corrupt politicians again assuming that the problem is so shallow as mere corruption is being imposed upon the people.

  17. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    I always understood the EU’s tolerance for Belarus’ dictatorship given their geopolitical interests involving Russia and the Union’s dependence on Russia for its energy needs. However, after the Presidential election in Montenegro two weeks ago, after clear signs of fraud by the ruling party, after a tape was released of their paying their sympathizers with state funds (provided by the European Investment Bank) in the previous parliamentary elections, after the European Commission called for an investigation into the charges, heading Lady Ashton praise Montenegro for their “significant achievements” on the way to european membership made me realize Europe is adrift. its raison d’etre, or lack thereof, is only compounded by the economic and currency crisis. Europe can’t formulate a coherent foreign policy until it either rexamines its own foreign policy criteria which are in effect now (promotion of democratic values, human rights, etc.) or until it reformulates new one in a consensus building manner.

  18. avatar
    Tiago Mouta

    At first they give free money to meet EU standards, then pass huge amounts of legislation, (again to meet EU standards), granting to all players involved huge bonuses and comissions… At one point they decide to bailout what they have created in the first place, and again with enormous tax rates granting comissions troughout all levels of those in power to decide… After that they decide that corruption is the problem, not austerity… which is true to certain point, the problem is that the corrupt players are imune to austerity! So taxes and austerity are for normal people, who have to deal with unemployment, low wages, and still pay for toxic banking products… The movie i saw was 1984 from George Orwell… And you are playing the part of the minister of truth… Just because you are only trolling!

  19. avatar

    think there is no clear answer for this question as the European Foreign Policy have never had similar opinions. Each country has its own policy and except few matters, all of them never really wanted to be bind by some foreign policy institutions like EU commission.

  20. avatar
    Julian Krause

    In my opinion, EU foreign policy should coherently be based on and oriented toward clearly defined values. In my opinion however, the EU is lacking a charta of clearly defined values on which to believe in, in which to orient EU foreign policy.

    For me, a clear recent example of lack of value orientation in EU foreign policy is the massive moral support by Ms Ashton and some EU foreign ministers (e.g. Germany’s Westerwelle) to ex president Morsi of Egypt. The main arguments given by our foreign politicians was that Morsi was democratically elected and hence merits EU support. However, according to MY VALUES (which I wished were EU values, but obviously they are not), to be elected through democratic, open and transparent elections does not make a democratic government that merits support from the EU. Mind that, like Mosi, Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933 by democratic means! It needs on top of being democratically elected, to respect basic democratic principles once in power, i.a.:
    1) to respect and protect the democratic institutions,
    2) not to pursue a policy of exclusion, even less to write, approve and impose a Constitution that does not represent half of the population,
    3) to protect minorities.
    Morsi clairly failed in all these requirements.
    I wished an EU foreign policy that speaks TACHELES, and name a dictator a dictator, loudly and firmly condemn the not observation of basic democratic principles (yes that means to critisize our “friends” Russia and China!).

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