in the EU Oct99
an historical context, the European Union is a baby. In its infancy, it
questioned the eligibility of British membership and rejected its
application to join. At that time, many thought Greece or Spain- I suppose
these days all that is forgotten -would never qualify for membership.
the last 10 years we have witnessed huge changes: membership has expanded
to 15 Member States, the Parliament is
beginning to acquire political power and will, I hope, cease to be
a mere talking shop.
application has to be judged on the basis of the following criteria:-
Turkey’s strategic geographic and economic position and how this
impacts on Europe.
Turkey’s crucial role as a member of NATO and how this membership
could be sustained if the door is permanently shut in its face.
Turkey, as a future responsible Member of the EU, could be the fire
extinguisher for the fires of discontent that burn in the Middle East and
appreciate the fears of those who worry about Turkey’s Islamic
population. The realityis that there are large numbers of Turks living in
Germany & France; large numbers of Muslims including Turkish Cypriots
live in Britain. The populations of Kosovo and Albania are predominantly
religious complexion of Turkey is a matter of historic accident as Spain
under the Moors for a few hundred years. Turkey’s culture is distinctly
European and its religious complexion should not devalue its European
us look ahead over the next 10,15 or 25 years and examine what is in
Europe’s best interest. What will contribute to the prosperity and peace
of this family of nations that is today’s Europe? Let us not be
hypocritical. Leyt us ask ourselves what is the intellectual basis of
Europeans,socially mobile and far less religious than us, expect us to
develop a Europe of opportunities for work and prosperity that we can all
cannot join the EU today but geography, culture, history, security &
common sense require us to prepare & support Turkey for eventual
membership of the EU.