EU ZMK's Diary

“People who never do anything more than they get paid for never get paid for any more than they do.”

It is somehow ironic that the EU faces the biggest crisis of its history and in the meantime it has been awarded with such a prestigious acknowledgment that the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. I do not believe that it mirrors that the EU has been determined for success. Although faith is an important factor of innovation and persistence, the EU is a man made and therefore imperfect creation. Thus, its future lies on the good/bad decisions of simple men and these decisions are not taken, yet. And the future Turkish EU Membership is definitely one of these important decisions.

Will Turkey be a Member of the EU in 15 years?

I think we can go to the idea of the ‘Amoeba EU Integration’ through this question since Turkey’s EU Membership is a decisive factor of the EU’s future. Obviously, I do not say that if Turkey is not soon an EU Member State the EU will collapse. But I do say that the ‘yes and no’ answer to this question do not apply anymore. In other words: the EU reached the Rubicon and alea iacta est (“The die has been cast”).

Neither the EU nor Turkey are ready and capable to a marriage, yet. The lack of political will is more than obvious on both sides. Turkey’s population is almost equivalent to the most populous EU member states’ figures. Turkey’s territory and its huge military capacities make him at least an equal partner of the French-German tandem in an age when the third major EU player, the United Kingdom’s fidelity to the EU is at least uncertain. And the other two major EU powers (Italy and Spain) are deeply run into dept. On the other hand, Turkey realized its emerging importance and the European integration (which is certainly part of the Atatürk heritage) is not of the utmost importance for it anymore.

In my opinion, Turkey would be an EU member state in 15 years only if both sides broke up with the reluctant behaviour and made a clear and fair political message: the aim is a Turkish EU Membership and only its timing can be questioned. Full stop.

Only following this pathway can the EU win the Turkish society’s support to the European Integration and only then could Turkey take seriously the accession criteria, including the full respect of national minorities, which is actually a double-edged blade since there are relevant Turkish minorities in several important EU states, not to mention the current president of the Council of the EU: Cyprus.

Why is the long term future of the EU depending on the Turkish membership?

Because the EU is before a huge reshuffle and it will not exist in its current form in 15 years.

What I expect is the birth of a truly federal amoeba EU-integration. The basis of the new federal EU institution will be the current Economic Union. The new EU will look like an amoeba since the different segments of that existing Union (the Single Market, the Schengen area, the Banking Union, the financial tax, in a wider sense NATO membership, the EFTA area and the Council of Europe etc.) will always incorporate different number of Member states. However, in the centre of that amoeba will be the hard stone of the integration: a mini United States of Europe having a common president, a common army, common foreign policy with one foreign minister and probably having a harmonised tax system and using the truly federal currency: the euro).

(source of the photos: Wikipedia)

I am not saying that this will happen fast and straight forward and without exceptions. Some Members may leave not only the stone but also the wider body of the EU amoeba. Others may leave either the banking/tax or the currency Union. But this is the main direction where we are going and as a long term result, this can be expected.

And in this changing game, the role of Turkey may be important: it can be the key of the future integration. If the EU could integrate Turkey into the body of the EU amoeba it could stabilise the whole integration. The EU was founded on the historic reconciliation between France and Germany. Why not base the United States of Europe on the EU-Turkey Reconciliation?

I remain at your disposal.

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Related earlier updates:

Risk factors of the EU and my advice to overcome them: Do not speak too much about the EU Integration. Just do it!

Dictated Media Freedom? No Open Press Conference on the 15th EU-China Summit

Why Barroso III Would Harm Europe?

My vote on LinkedIn for the most relevant issue passed through Parliament the first half of 2012 – and the explanation of my vote

Roars of the EU-lion on the G20 Summit

3 Selected Main Political Challenges Europe is facing in 2012

The Final ‘Extraordinary’ Summit (the 24th /22th/18th since 2008) to Discuss Principles Intending to Achieve Growth and to Overcome the Deep Crisis. Is Greece on the Dinner Menu?

Die Zukunft von Europa – L’avenir de l’Europe – The Future of Europe

Thoughts on the possible future accession of Iceland to the EU

National Minorities and the Long Term Future of the European Integration

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