EU – Turkey : the consequences of a blocked process

Edito 28/12/2007


Could the resurgence of the Kurdish terrorism, as well as the current Turkish air strikes in Iraqi Kurdistan be seen as a symptom of the state of negotiations between Turkey and the European Union? In any case, the carrot of membership doesn’t seem to lead to more work for further reforms, particularly regarding the Kurds.

The process of entry of Turkey into the European Union is at a standstill. The latter does’t seem to consider further enlargement in the near future. On the one hand, although the EU has partially solved its identity and institutional problem with the new Treaty of Lisbon, the road is still long before we will speak about a truly integrated Europe. On the other hand, France of Nicolas Sarkozy leaves no hope within five years to Ankara, leaving at most the prospect of a Mediterranean Union in which Turkey would have a major role to play.

These delays are all offenses against the Turks who withdraw more and more their support to the European project. The figures follow this statement: if the supporters of Turkey’s accession to the EU accounted for more than 70% of the population in 2005, they are now 50%, even less.

Membership tu the EU is no more popular in Turkey. Nothing pushes now the Turkish government to introduce reforms. Without high expectations in such a context, the Kurds will more and more turn to radical alternatives. Europe needs to be clearer towards its neighbour, the issue can no longer be put aside.