A long journey of Turkey to the European Union clearly came to a halt
– in the European Parliament’s plenary there were just a few MEPs to
suggest the accession process should continue in spite of the dramatic
developments in the candidate country after the failed coup d’état.
The overwhelming majority of the MEPs called upon freezing the
accession process started back in 1999.They reiterated rhetoric
questions about honesty in evaluating current situation in Turkey as if
fitting the Copenhagen criteria of a democratic society. The
aftermath of the coup turned into tsunami of outrageous violations of
One doesn’t need to refer to the Amnesty International’s annual report
for the numerous evidences of torture, violations of freedoms of
speech, unfair trials, degradation of women’s rights. The laws
offering rapists to marry the victims scandalized the world, and
arrests of politicians and journalist became a left the most ardent friends
of Turkey speechless. The Kurdish issue has been set ablaze
with arrests of the co-leaders of the HDK party.
It looks the card of the significance of the Turkey NATO membership was
overplayed by president #Erdogan to such an extend that even the most
staunch supporters of accession process were running out of
The major fear of accession talks halt is the galloping Islamisation
of the Turkish society, which will certainly continue even at higher
speed without the outside stimulus as the EU membership to keep the
society secular. However the accession talks didn’t proof to be
successful so far as a tool of promoting European values in
Turkey, and it make little sense to pretend that keeping accession
formally open would introduce a major change with an exception of loss
of credibility in the eyes of Turkish people, who expect solidarity
The other issue which brings some hesitations over talks halt is
possibility of Turkey shifting closer to Russia, which is rather bleak
in view of ongoing Syrian conflict were positions of both countries
are difficult to aline.
There were also fears expressed that the freeze might solidify and become
permanent, meaning an end to an entire epoc of EU Enlargement policy.
These sentiments of regrets were challenged by MEP Charles Tannock (UK, ECR),
who reminded the fellow politicians that the accession of #Turkey played
a significant role in #Brexit vote. One can add that French
vote against EU Constitution (2005) was also influenced by an idea
of Turkey joining the EU.
Although overdue the move of taking distance from authoritarian Turkey,
increasingly reminiscent of the Ottoman Empire ruled by ‘Sultan’ #Erdogan,
it might still have a consolidating effect of the EU torn by multiple crisis es.
The decision to freeze the accession talks with Turkey is awaited
at the European Council in December.
The State of the Union speech (#SOTEU) of president Jean-Claude Juncker resembled himself – pale, drained out of energy, contrasting with confronting him triumphant Euro skeptics Nighel Farage and Syed Kamall. Behalf of the entirely new context there was hardly anything new to the usual mantra of ‘more-more-more EU’ as if it can be a magic remedy to a project in decay.
The decision to sideline #Brexit, and go on with “business as usual” was mission impossible: the feeling of contagious effect was in the air. The MEPs expressed concerns about further decomposition of the project under Dutch ‘Prime-Minister Wilders’, and French ‘President Marine Le Pen’. The latter immediately declared her intention to offer #Frexit referendum.
However the challenge to #Juncker was coming not only from the ascending right, but form the far left – Gabi Zimmer (GUE/NGL), who loathed #Barroso’s career Resurrection at Goldman Sachs, damaging the image of the institution beyond repair in confirmation that Brussels serves the interests of powerful international lobby, but not regular Europeans.
Promising ‘growth and jobs’, Barroso in reality secured only his own job oversees next to his lucrative pension. His ethically doubtful move casted a long shadow on his successor’s credibility, already questioned by the Luxleaks affair – Juncker had his own skeletons in closet, while criticizing in #SOTEU Apple company for tax evasion in Ireland.
Further #Juncker’s wishes to play a role in global politics, namely in Syria, were no more than fancy dreams – without the UK as member of the UN Security Council and head of Common Wealth – the EU weight internationally would be substantially reduced. The same for HR Mogherini role in foreign policy: before acquiring an international renommé she should become a ‘Prophet in her own land’ – Europe, where two leading EU member-states Germany and France launched Minsk talks without her in attempt to correct the catastrophic consequences of the EU Enlargement policy.
Fortunately, the EU had no army of its own to interfere in Ukrainian conflict, but Juncker this time declared his ambition to establish one. The debate around EU defence is not new, even Mogherini’s job name reflects this original idea of the founding fathers of ‘The United States of Europe’ – representing Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, but the second part of the activity never came into reality, except of a few haphazard missions.
Réne Pleven plan (1950) of European Defence Community (EDC) singed two years later but not fulfilled in more than half-a-century can hardly be acknowledged as innovative, but in a different context without UK – too loyal to US to consider such a ‘heresy’ – it might have more chances to be realized to some extend with the support of states as Germany, Hungary and Czech Republic.
The immigration as the core issue, that according to PM Cameron played a crucial role in #Brexit vote, haven’t seen much of a change in #SOTEU – the solidarity principle applied indiscriminately remains the dogmatic universal tool of Brussels without major modification. A few drawbacks on imposing quotas on countries, unwilling to accept migrants, can’t be considered as a new political line, but rather a necrology to failed attempts to force East Europeans to pay the bill for the US failed policies in Africa and Middle East.
#SOTEU Acta est fabula, plaudite!