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EU reaches deal on Turkey talks

by RogueTrooper Mon Oct 3rd, 2005 at 10:47:24 AM EST

Promoted by Jerome a Paris. Le Monde states that both Turkey and Cyprus have accepted the compromise, but does not provide more detail on its content. Please provide below any info you may find.

From the BBC

EU foreign ministers have reached a deal clearing the way for accession talks with Turkey to begin, EU officials have said.

Austria had demanded the EU keep open the option of "privileged partnership" for Turkey, as well as full membership.

But officials said after intense negotiations in Luxembourg that Austria had fallen into line.

The new document has been sent to the Turkish government, which is considering whether to accept it.

I wonder what the deal was?

by Fran on Mon Oct 3rd, 2005 at 11:34:32 AM EST
Look at this quote: "If there is no deal, my personal judgment is that we are increasingly starting to look like a Union of failing states because we cannot make any decisions," Latvian Foreign Minister Artis Pabriks told Reuters.

I can't help but think poor logic such as this will eventually harm the EU. There choices should be framed as a larger more powerful union or a smaller more cohesive and effective union.

Why frame it as expansion versus disintegration?

It's intellectually dishonest, and if Turkey's entry is the only thing keeping the EU together, then quit wasting everyone's time and be done with it.

by Upstate NY on Tue Oct 4th, 2005 at 09:55:26 AM EST
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by Upstate NY on Tue Oct 4th, 2005 at 10:13:17 AM EST
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but nothing on the nitty gritty of the deal ( which I am beginning to suspect may involve "pressure" being applied the Austria. Article link is here. From the article is seems that Turkey's ascension talks have some strong support.

A failure to reach an agreement would be a blow to Britain, which is Ankara's greatest champion in the EU. Greece, Turkey's historic adversary but now a supporter of Ankara's EU bid, yesterday spoke strongly in favour of membership, as did Catherine Colonna, the French Europe minister.

Joschka Fischer, the outgoing German foreign minister, also made an impassioned speech in which he said Europe could not abandon its commitment to Turkey.

The Turkish government seems to have a fair idea about where the resistance is coalescing around

Money is a sign of Poverty - Culture Saying
by RogueTrooper on Mon Oct 3rd, 2005 at 11:38:44 AM EST
Do I misunderstand the word deal? How can a deal be reached if one side just backs off. I always thougth a deal is something like a compromise, both sides get something.


Officials said Austria, which had been demanding the wording to the membership application be changed, was forced to back down.
by Fran on Mon Oct 3rd, 2005 at 11:42:14 AM EST
From the Guardian: EU and Turkey agree terms

The only apparent concession to Austria in the talks was a minor change of wording regarding the EU's right to block Turkish membership during the negotiation progress, if member states believe it is becoming impossible to comfortably absorb the country.
by Fran on Mon Oct 3rd, 2005 at 02:48:10 PM EST
I don't know whether Turkey should be a member of the EU or not. But what confuses me is the enthusiasm for it in the corridors of governmental power, considering the apparent popular disagreement.

The BBC has this chart

that seems to show very low support by the voters.

Is this another case of government leaders going in a different direction from the people?

by asdf on Mon Oct 3rd, 2005 at 09:49:40 PM EST
Remind me what a leader is? Following opinion polls is not leading.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 4th, 2005 at 01:50:41 AM EST
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The EU also announced it was opening accession talks with Croatia, which had previously been stalled because of Croatia's refusal to cooperate with the Hague on war crimes. On Friday the UN war crimes chief announced little to no progress on Croatia's cooperation. Now a few days later without looking the cameras "in the eye" she announced Croatia was fully cooperating with the UN. The EU immediately annouced accession talks.
Austria is and has long been the biggest supporter of prioritising Croatias accession over all else. Just put two and two togehter.
by observer393 on Mon Oct 3rd, 2005 at 11:08:52 PM EST
I thought that too. I guess accession will require that they do co-operate fully, though I'd have preferred to see that little issue sorted beforehand. Internal politics and historical disagreements are one thing, actually protecting live war criminals another.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 4th, 2005 at 01:52:21 AM EST
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Yep, that seems to be the quid pro quo, with the addition of the wording that the negotiations will seek adhesion or, failing that, "as close as possible" a relationship.

what I don't understand is why the Austrians would want to block negotiations now when they have already decided to put the adhesion itself to a national referendum (like in France) - so the populaton will decide ultimately.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 4th, 2005 at 05:07:29 AM EST
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Austria or the extreme right in Austria just wanted to force the EU to start negotiations with their roman catholic buddies on the Adriatic inspite of a few war crime problems. Turkey was such a big issue that it trumped a few war crimes! Thats my take on it.
by observer393 on Wed Oct 5th, 2005 at 12:56:52 AM EST
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Path clear for Turkey to discuss joining EU

The European Union on Monday cleared the way for membership talks with Turkey after a day of high drama in which failure was only narrowly averted and even EU foreign ministers were left in the dark about the proposed deal.

Jack Straw, UK foreign secretary, bridged an internal EU rift with Austria over the start of talks but was left waiting for several hours while Ankara decided whether to accept the proposals.


The final proposals remained a closely held secret; British officials would not even allow Cyril Svoboda, the Czech foreign minister, to see the text sent to Ankara.


Ursula Plassnik, Austrian foreign minister, had called for the EU to scale down its commitment to full Turkish membership and place greater emphasis on the limits to the bloc's ability to take in new members. However the final deal maintains Turkish entry to the EU as the clear goal of the negotiations.

The final hurdle was Turkish worries that EU demands for it to move its foreign policy towards the EU's could stop it from blocking Cyprus from joining Nato. The EU provided assurances intended to satisfy the powerful Turkish military.

The breakthrough was enough to send the Istanbul stock market to a record high, with the market's main IMKB index rising 2.9 per cent. The Turkish lira was slightly weaker against the dollar and the euro.

Vienna was also pleased on Monday when Carla del Ponte, the United Nations chief prosecutor for former Yugoslavia, cleared the way for its ally, Croatia, to join the EU.

I can understand the need for these compromises, but I don't understand how keeping the story secret from the press - and from Foreign Ministers of EU members - can be of any help!

Blair vs accountability - who's keeping score? But of course, it's the EU's fault!

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 4th, 2005 at 05:17:51 AM EST
the EU just pushed problems into the future. I have no criticism of that. Clearly it was important to get a deal YESTERDAY.

These are the problems that were pushed out: both france and Austria have said that they will eventually hold referendums on Turkey. That could be a form of veto for a privileged partnership. Of course, Chirac won't be in power then so what's a promise worth?

In paragraph 5, the EU asked that Turkey not veto the entry of members to organziations that associate with the EU, such as OECD and NATO. Turkey has vetoed any Cypriot participation in either organization. Cyprus want to join the OECD, and as for NATO, Turkey's veto presents a problem for the entire bloc, not only Cyprus, because its veto of Cyprus and Malta does not allow NATO and the EU military wings to meet at all. Turkey objected to the terms of the framework yesterday. The US stepped in and told them that paragraph 5 just doesn't apply because NATO is an organization outside the EU. Very likely the US would veto Cyprus's entry in a quid pro quo, and thereby carry Turkey's water. This also serves the US because NATO allows US interference in Europe's affairs, whereas the US does not want the EU military wing to strengthen. So, there you go.

So, this is problem is solved, right? Maybe. But Cyprus can still make waves over being shut out by Turkey in the OECD and other organizations. Plus, the US will have to explain any veto of Cyprus of its own accord. I'd live to see that, and I'd love to see future American administrations deal with this issue. What a mess.

The EU has lost something here. The British Presidency is clearly of a mind with the US, and it clearly places more emphasis on NATO than on an EU military. Otherwise, it would have demanded that paragraph 5 remain in tact and not be altered. The late night framework deal weakens the EU, not only Cyprus's position, but the position of an independent European military wing. But what can you do? Core EU members such as Britain and Italy want it this way.

by Upstate NY on Tue Oct 4th, 2005 at 09:44:12 AM EST
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