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over 30-50 years, it is very likely that the amount needed infrastructure, agricultors support (70% of the population) reaches several trillions. Turkey is even poorer than romania but more populated than all others eastern-europe countries together.

The last figure is incorrect. The population of the Eastern European states that joined in 2004 was 75 million. If we add Bulgaria and the remaining Balkan states, it will be well over 100 million, without Romania which has another 22 million.

Now, Turkey has a nominal GDP/capita of 5062 euros compared to 4539 for Romania and 3459 for Bulgaria. When adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity, however, these numbers are reversed, Bulgaria gets the most and Turkey the least. I don't know what is used as the basis for the Commission's calculations, though, the budget uses GNI, but I don't know if the same number is used for the structural funds. Turkey has a strong economic growth, which has outpaced that of Bulgaria and Romania for the past 5 years. Although it will roughly equal when adjusted for the change in population.

Before Turkey enters, the EU will hopefully have changed its Common Agricultural Policy so that it can deal more flexibly with newcomers. The arrangement for the 2004 entrants can otherwise be replicated here: they are being fased in very slowly, they now get funding at about 25% which will slowly climb to full funding in 2013. The EU will also need to reform its institutional architecture, so that we will have only double majority voting in the Council (voting by a majority of states representing a majority of the population).

Turkey will not find its votes to be of much use if it can't build effective majorities. It will only be able to block some things, but it won't be able to shape common policies. Much like the UK. Turkey's power will also be diminished by the fact that it will initially be receiving a lot of money.

I agree with you that the 'improving relations with muslims' angle is wrong. I tried to outline my argument for allowing Turkey in here.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 07:03:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're asking quite a lot here.

Before Turkey enters, the EU will hopefully have changed its Common Agricultural Policy so that it can deal more flexibly with newcomers. The arrangement for the 2004 entrants can otherwise be replicated here: they are being fased in very slowly, they now get funding at about 25% which will slowly climb to full funding in 2013. The EU will also need to reform its institutional architecture, so that we will have only double majority voting in the Council (voting by a majority of states representing a majority of the population).

First of all, it seems to me the CAP was just re-negotiated. 'Course, Tony, little more than a year later, wanted to re-negotiate that further, but that didn't get anywhere then, and it won't now. 'Course, what does the land of mad cows know about agriculture, one might ask.

Secondly, double majority voting was to have been put into effect with the Constitution, if I am not mistaken, but then, we know where the constitution went, and arguably it went there precisely because of hasty neo-liberal reforms in anticipation of equally hasty enlargement which were not supported by the people. (In France, the most effective opponent to the Oui campaign was a Dutchman and neo-liberal by the unfortunately name of Bolkenstein.)

I think all of this is exactly putting the cart before the proverbial horse. Europe is far too important than this. All this causes is a predictable backlash against further reform and further enlargement, in this case not only to Turkey, but also the rest of the non-EU Balkans.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 11:17:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is "double majority voting" already. According to the Treaty of Nice, qualified majority is defined by article 205 of the EC treaty, which requires not only a qualified majority of weighted votes, but a qualified majority of states.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 11:30:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought nanne was refering to the current veto on certain policy areas being replaced by the 65%/55% qualified voting.

Maybe I was presuming too much.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 11:37:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU will also need to reform its institutional architecture, so that we will have only double majority voting in the Council (voting by a majority of states representing a majority of the population).
Nanne seems to be asking for 50%/50% double majority...

The fact is, decisions are already taken by (double) qualified majority by default already.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 11:47:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not on everything. Tax policy is exempt from this (veto applies) as is criminal justice.

Prodi wanted this changed but, in large part thanks to the UK, he got nowhere.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 11:52:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately the treaties are now peppered with exceptions which will have to be removed one by one, because the rule is
CONSOLIDATED VERSION OF THE TREATY ESTABLISHING THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY
Article 205
1. Save as otherwise provided in this Treaty, the Council shall act by a majority of its Members.


Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 12:14:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A 50/50 (plus 1) or a 55/55 share would be better, yes. The double majority rule is now already in place but it exists in addition to the qualified majority voting according to votes, which only increases the number of veto points (the number of possible blocking minorities). See the wiki article on qualified majority voting.

What I meant by having the council only voting by double majority was getting rid of Qualified Majority Voting and only leaving the double majority rule, not necessarily moving areas which are now under unanimity to majority voting.

I am, however, a supporter of moving immigration to the co-decision procedure as well as limited aspects of tax harmonisation (though I more or less expect that the latter can only be accomplished in a 'core' Europe).

Turkish entry will not increase the number of possible blocking minorities, it will rather decrease it. But we will need to get some treaty changes regardless to keep the EU functioning.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 01:45:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tony's push for further CAP reforms came from Chirac's calls for an end to the British rebate, as far as I recall. The CAP was reformed in 2003, but the mid-term review is still imperfect. I'd prefer to have the first pillar completely ditched, compensated by a moderate expansion of the second pillar (rural development) and a regulated allowance for Member States to compensate their farmers for services of general economical interest.

But it's perhaps more likely that first pillar reforms will (continue to) make it more like the second pillar (e.g. national co-financing of the direct payments indexed by regional wealth; more cross-compliance with environmental and social standards; a cap on per-farm payments). Which would also be workable. I don't think that such reforms would lead to less popularity for the EU overall. It will become more popular in some areas and less popular in others.

The current reality of the CAP necessitates further reforms, because the policy will soon no longer be able to fulfil the objectives nations like France and Germany have of keeping their countrysides vital, due to a decreasing cap on total payments coupled with an increasing share paid out to the East European countries. Because any attempt to increase the cap will be resisted by the countries that pay for the EU, partial or complete renationalisation of the first pillar (as in two above scenarios) is the only way out.

It will also be more likely to happen, with Chirac soon out of office. Ségolène Royal has already proposed something roughly in line with the partial renationalisation I described above (see speech).

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 01:12:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For some reason I automatically start to use stupid unreadable euro-jargon when talking about the CAP...

To wit: the first pillar deals with market price support (buying up and storing quantities of products when they fall below a given price); export subsidies, and direct payments to farmers which replace market price support following the reforms of 2000 and 2003. The first pillar constitutes the bulk of the CAP and direct payments constitute the bulk of the first pillar. The first pillar falls under the exclusive competence of the EU and payments under it are mandatory, i.e. the parliament does not get to decide upon them, the EU alone deals out the payments (there is no national co-financing) and even if a budget is not agreed upon they will continue.

The second pillar is a shared competence in the sense that it has co-financing (Member States pay a given percentage themselves, higher if the region where the aid is given out is less poor) and can be decided upon by the European Parliament. Unfortunately it's not very large and was reduced a bit in the negotiations over the current budgetary framework.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 03:37:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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