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The yearly decision is in on Turkey's candidacy

by Upstate NY Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 08:42:12 AM EST

http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=1840972006

Ministers voted to suspend eight of the 35 chapters or policy areas into which the talks are divided, covering trade and transport, and review Turkey's compliance annually until 2009. Other sectors of the negotiations will go ahead but not be concluded until Turkey complies with its obligations on Cyprus.

They also agreed in principle on steps to end the economic isolation of northern Cyprus, but that accord is to be confirmed in January, diplomats said.

This presents a mild surprise only in the sense that the Foreign Ministers unanimously agreed to the formula when it was widely expected that there would be disagreement, and that the Prime Minister's meeting on the 14th would have to wrangle with the Turkish accession.

Instead, the meeting is now free to consider other issues, such as Croatia's enlargement status, as well as Bulgaria and Romania.

More below...

From the diaries -- whataboutbob


Ultimately, the recommendation by the Finns which was released a few weeks ago largely held the line. Germany and France totally backed off talk of total suspension until Turkey complied. Instead, France and Germany put pressure on for a review of Turkey's decision. Britain was upset by the review because of a deadline that was to be attached, which Britain interpreted as a form of ultimatum to Turkey.

Someone came up with the rather brilliant idea (or, bizarre, absurd, phony idea) that a deadline-in-reverse, or bizarro-deadline might be implied with some rather tricky wording. Instead of the EU reviewing Turkey's compliance in 2009, there will now be yearly reviews "until 2009." UNTIL is the key word in the entire agreement. Get it? So, there is no deadline per se, just pro forma reviews, and then there won't have to be any more such reviews after 2009, when presumably Turkey will have complied with the customs protocol. Haha, unless of course Turkey doesn't comply.

Diplomacy really is a literary art, apparently. This rather ingenious clause allows Britain, Germany, Cyprus, France, Greece to get on the same page and show EU unity. Of course, Turkey might comprehend the clause as an implied deadline of sorts (and it has to be for the entire EU to go along with it). But yet Turkey has an out. It can simply treat it as an implied deadline without fangs, because there is no course for punishment laid out. So, the waiting game continues until 2009.

In the meantime, the EU said that it will take action to lift the isolation of the north of Cyprus. This could mean anything. It could be simply in terms of technical relations with the EU, or it could be something much more meaningful. Cyprus had been offering to open a port up in the north in return for an unoccupied ghost town that sits right near UN-green line territory. They may have just agreed to open up the port for shipping unconditionally. I very much doubt that they allowed the isolation of the north to happen through the opening of a northern airport because of its implications for official recognition of the north as a nation-state. Opening up a port to trade fits in with the idea in Cyprus that the lifting of isolations must only occur in terms of trade or economic isolations, and that all political isolations must stay (a position Cyprus hold under the threat of veto-ing Turkish accession).

Display:
Punt until after the Turkish and French elections, I guess.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 02:34:23 PM EST
Yes, exactly.
by Upstate NY on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 02:49:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I find strange that so many American on newspapers or blogs are very open minded to the inclusion of Turkey in Europe. I would love to see them as open minded for the inclusion of Mexico as US state, that is a very similar situation.

If you think americans would not welcome the idea (you are building walls at the frontier) of Mexico as a huge state of the Union you should be able understand why European citizens are strongly opposed to this other anglosaxon idea.

from a recent pool, only 26% (60% opposed) of european support the idea of

  • having to foot the bill of Trillions dollars to build Turkey infrastructure
  • having frontiers with Iran/Iraq/Syria
  • having to be invoved in Kurdish problem as a     "European" problem
  • having the biggest country in Europe (and growing at rate of 1 millions per year) with vote power that come with it, be extremely poor, nationalist,militarist.
  • having an huge immigration of a population that does not mix at all (less than 2% of "inter-cultural" marriage)

And this opposition as nothing to do with Turkey beeing muslim (secularity only enforced by the will of the army) since Albania and Kosovo will be welcome.
by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 05:35:30 PM EST
The Venn Diagram which shows Americans who support the wall with Mexico and Americans who support Turkish entry into the EU probably doesn't have much overlap.

To your points:

The bill for upgrading Turkey's infrastructure won't be trillions of dollars. The total money available to the EU in the next 7-year financial framework is about 1 trillion dollars. Of that money about 350 billion goes to cohesion. Turkey would get its fair share of these funds if it were to join by the next financial period, but the amount is not likely to exceed 0.1 trillion over 7 years. Right now the EU is paying to the tune of 500 million, which will soon increase to 1 billion.

Having a border with Syria, Iraq and Iran does not increase our problems with these countries. The EU is not a defensive alliance. Turkey is already a NATO country, so if it is attacked by either we have to help anyway.

The Kurdish issue is not more or less intractable than the Basque and Irish issues once were and the issues on the Balkan still are.

The number of votes in the Council is a poor indicator of a country's power in the EU. Compare Italy, the UK and France, who all have the same number. Compared to France, Italy has very little power, and the UK not much more. Turkey will be less poor (it has a far quicker growth than most European countries), nationalist and militarist when it joins.

The immigration of Turks now continues apace under the motto of marriage and family reunion. There is no particular reason why this would dramatically increase. The Turkish people who were collected as guest workers were largely rural and very religious. There is also a citizen class in Turkey which has different customs and will be more open to intercultural marriages.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 07:13:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree on a lot of what you say, but on the other hand there is no way to know if any of your predictions will come true. In fact, count me surprised by the number of exigencies the EU is already considering in Turkey's accession. It could very well be that Turkey Europeanizes certain parts of its current political culture.

I was initially all for Turkey joining, and I probably still am, but I am definitely trending toward the Turkey-skeptics. Not for the reasons fred mentions, but simply because I foresee Turkey entering with a host of exceptions to EU rules, and though I don't see it holding a lot of political sway, I see the EU lawyers and courts working overtime to maintain unity as various countries begin breaking the bounds of propriety. In other words, I see it as a possible trojan horse.

by Upstate NY on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 08:09:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IMHO there won't be any further accessions until maybe 2019, and that is precisely because of the need to digest the last bellyfull of trojan horses.

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 05:20:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
why 2019 ??

The target is closer and i dont see why eurocrats/politicians will not allow Turkey to be european before 2013 (tomorrow). we ve seen with all previous enlargements that the process is fast and criterias do not matter.

Fortunately the NO slow down a bit the process.

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 02:28:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right that there is no way of knowing if my predictions come true, all I have to go on is current trends which can always be interrupted. The beauty of the enlargement process, however, ensures that Turkey has to be ready (on the criteria set) when it comes to actually joining. I don't think it will be granted a host of exceptions, or if any exceptions apply I think it will feel the consequences (like not getting as many funds, not enjoying freedom of movement for its population, etc.)

There are sanction mechanisms within the EU for countries who 'break the bounds of propriety'. For instance, if Bulgaria doesn't clean up corruption in its courts a, it runs a very serious risk of being excluded from legal cooperation, which will be a slap in the face.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 05:24:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One of my concerns is this. If a deal on Cyprus ever comes about, the gov't of cyprus will have toa ccept a host of derogations to the EU's acquis communitaire as a concession to Turkey. Once this happens, you will have effectively allowed exceptions to the bedrock of EU principles in certain situations. Turkey is large enough and important enough a country to ask for similar derogtaions in Turkey proper, especially dealing with the Kurdish issue.
by Upstate NY on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 09:32:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If a deal on Cyprus ever comes about, the gov't of cyprus will have toa ccept a host of derogations to the EU's acquis communitaire as a concession to Turkey.

Such as?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 10:14:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See here.

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 10:16:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 10:23:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To summarise: Free movement of persons would be restricted for Greek Cypriots (but not for other people).

A selective application of the free movement of persons would indeed violate the acquis. But I think that this problem can also be worked around. The free movement of persons has after all also been restricted for the new entrants in 2004 and will once again be restricted for Bulgarians and Romanians when they enter next January 1st. An arrangement is not impossible, provided that it is transitional.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 10:28:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The issue of property rights from before partition is also a sore point, but it doesn't violate the acquis, I don't think.

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 10:39:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So basically restrictions on the right of free movement and property ownership? Was that a time limited thing or intended to last forever?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 10:25:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Time limited to 20 years.
by Upstate NY on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 11:08:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then that's just normal practice, in so far as there are many instances of time limited exceptions to the acquis in accession situations. It's an unusual one and pretty nasty, but it doesn't seem like it establishes any new principle.

There is one almost guaranteed to apply to Turkey when/if it joins: Turkish will not have freedom of movement to work for some time, just like the recent accession countries.

Though technically that's possibly not an exception to the acquis, it seems the same in practice: the rules don't always all apply immediately to new accession states and there are all sorts of time limited exceptions to things.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 11:16:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
20 years is a bit much, but that can be negotiated down to 7, probably.

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 11:22:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But, we're talking about the same country. This isn't Turks going to work in Belgium. This is Cypriots going to work in Cyprus.

This isn't so much an issue of the lack of freedom of movement as much as it touches upon property rights, the right to commerce. A lot of the properties in the north were owned by displaced Greek Cypriots, and it's those limitations that have been problematic. In other words, people with land there, people who grew up there, are not allowed to move. As I wrote in the thread that Migeru linked to, Cyprus and Papadapoulos have already agreed to a limitation on movement in the 2002 Annan deal. This would apply to Greek Cypriots who do not have their origins in the north. In the 2004 deal, there was also a limitation on property owners AND, as well, the gov't of Cyprus would have to cover any restitution to these property owners, out of their own tax base.

Regardless, given the happenings this week, I'd say that for Cyprus, entering the EU has been a bad deal, and they certainly haven't gained from it, and likely won't. I'm starting to think they would have been better off outside the EU precisely because they have been blamed now for the partition. Before the referendum during the week of accession, they had the world's sympathy. Outside the EU, an agreement would have had to have been made based on reciprocal negotiations, but inside the EU, or together with accession, the reunification deal was negotiated by others. Their economy, such as it was, really doesn't gain much from the EU since it relies on 3 factors, two of which have been curtailed somewhat by accession.

by Upstate NY on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 12:45:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right on cue, an article comes out with regard to EU accession an following the rules.

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/12/12/news/EU_GEN_EU_Summit.php

BRUSSELS, Belgium: With Turkey's membership talks partially frozen, the 25 EU leaders open a two-day summit Thursday where the bloc will signal to a half-dozen others waiting on the porch that they, too, should not bank on EU leniency if they want to get through the front door.

The no-pushover message became easier to give to aspiring EU members after foreign ministers overcame internal differences Monday and drew a line in the sand for Turkey for refusing to open its ports to trade with EU member Cyprus.

It makes me wonder, however...if you're not a pushover, then why the need to issue "no pushover" messages at all? Do future EU candidates really think the EU is a pushover? Isn't such a warning redundant?

by Upstate NY on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 02:33:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the "no pushover" warning needs to be given because of the way the expansion from 15 to 27 has been made, especially the way that Romania and Bulgaria have been given the go-ahead despite not being fully ready.

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 07:02:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"The beauty of the enlargement process, however, ensures that Turkey has to be ready (on the criteria set) when it comes to actually joining"

unfortunately we ve seen with bulgaria/romania cases that criterias are quite flexible and when there is a political will, criterias do really not matter.

without the NO at the constitution i am pretty sure, Turkey would have qualified quite fast.

there is no guaranty that criterias will be respected, past enlargements did not.

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 02:22:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bulgaria and Romania were originally also slated for entry in 2004, but this was postponed by nearly three years as it was apparent that they weren't ready. Romania, now is almost ready (officially, only technicalities remain), but Bulgaria is still quite far from being ready. The EU could have postponed Bulgaria's entry by one more year, but it has opted to include both countries at once and impose heavily restrictive terms instead.

Turkey was never going to enter before 2013 because of the necessity to make adjustments to the budget. But Croatia was semi-slated for entry in 2009, which will now probably have to wait a bit longer. The internal political reasons for wanting to slow down Turkish entry would still have been there as well and these exist in enough countries to form a blocking minority. The no to the Constitution has probably made the matter more urgent...

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 02:42:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
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.

you are extremely optimistic over the Kurdish problem, especially regarding the situation in iraq, personaly in dont get the benefit to be involved there for nothing.

if you dont see the problem to have state of the European Union at war with nothern iraq and involved with the probability of regional conflict, i cannot do anything for you. There is nothing to gain with having a frontier at this hotspot.

Germany wanted more vote rights than france, it is because that is important, and Turkey will have far more vote rights than anyone else, that will change radically the balance of power in Europe, especially since they are extremely nationalist and difficult partner and dont like compromises.

if Turkey was the size of bosnia/chypre, i would not care at all since Europe would not be changed, but frankly, Europe will be totally destabilized once Turkey will be member.

All these problems for so little or none advantage, it is foolish (please dont talk about improving relation with muslims, this argument is utter crap without any evidence)

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 11:50:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you are extremely optimistic over the Kurdish problem, especially regarding the situation in iraq, personaly in dont get the benefit to be involved there for nothing.

The problem there, as nanne points out, is NATO. If regional war flares up around Kurdistan we'll probably have to get involved.

Also, the Kurdish problem (as a Human Rights, not as a self-government, issue) is already under the purview of the Council of Europe since Turkey is a member

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 05:23:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem there, as nanne points out, is NATO. If regional war flares up around Kurdistan we'll probably have to get involved.

On which side? US armed and backed Iraqi Kurds (+Turkish Kurds + Other Kurds). or NATO member Turkey (which might actually initiate the conflict?)

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 09:51:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow, you just acknowledged the elephant in the room!
by Upstate NY on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 11:09:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously on Turkey's side, as Iraqi Kurdistan is not a NATO member as of this writing. Turkey will be very careful not to initiate the hostilities, as that might give the rest of NATO an 'out': a mutual defence agreement might not extend to war of aggression.

<tinfoil>Now, I wonder whether the game that is being played here by the US is to get Turkey integrated with the EU and then using Iraqi Kurdistan to draw the EU into WWIII</tinfoil>

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 11:13:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
where'd you get that tinfoil?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 11:18:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you need some, or should I ask for my money back?

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 11:36:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
quite alright, i've plenty myself. i use it to ward off those conspiracy theories getting beamed into my brain.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 11:54:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if Turkey doesn't initiate the hostilities, it's rather doubtful that the Iraqi Kurds will. Possibly Turkey might "pre-emptively" strike PKK "terror-bases" in Northern Iraq, but that would open such a huge can of worms that I'd rather not think about it...

Having said that, I would point out that Washington has named a "special envoy for countering the PKK" - who "sits on the Board of Directors of Lockheed Martin and serves as vice chairman of The Cohen Group, a lobbying firm that has represented Lockheed since 2004". In a freak coincidence Turkey bought a shitload of airplanes from Lockheed-Martin a few weeks later. Yet at the same time they are cooperating in "anti-terrorist" activities with Iran. So I'm not sure about the nature of the games that are being played here - but it doesn't sound promising... Especially given that the reaction of the Iraqi Kurds, through Barzani, to the rather unimpressive Baker report, which however explicitly denied the prospect of Kurdish autonomy, was to threaten that:

...Kurds will seek independence should the White House implement key proposals by the Baker-Hamilton report on Kirkuk, federalism, changes in the constitution, and control of oil resources...

The Turkish government's concept of what they have a say about, however is worrying...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 12:45:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
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 ]
"Americans who support the wall with Mexico and Americans who support Turkish entry into the EU probably doesn't have much overlap"

The point is, i would like those who are supporting the inclusion of Turkey in Europe, advocating as well Mexico as State of the Union. because, strangely, there are not lot of articles advocating an Amercian'mexico in NYT/WP/LA, it is probably more confortable to be openminded when you will not have to live with the consequences

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 11:57:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Although mexicans would in the main be keen to have easy frontier-entry into the US for job-seeking purposes, I kinda-doubt the majority would want to be actually absorbed by the US as "just another US state" albeit a big one - kinda like a much larger-sized Hawaii?? -at the cost of total loss of independence, nationhood and sovereignty?

"Ignoring moralities is always undesirable, but doing so systematically is really worrisome." Mohammed Khatami
by eternalcityblues (parvati_roma aaaat libero.it) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 09:30:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The irony in this is that most Mexicans coming north come not by choice but by necessity. Many relatively inefficient (by western agro-alimentary multinational standards) small-holders have simply been put out of business by nafta and really have no choice but to go where there is a way to put food on the table. Vast internal migrations are an aspect of the present form of globalisation being (mis)-managed.

This is of course exactly the sort of thing the English would love to bring to Europe as well, they've bought the American model, arguably in fact they taught it to the Americans.

For my part, I suspect Turkey will hold its own in the present environment; it is converging already, in more ways than one. This being said, why force the issue by hastily integrating it into EU institutions? So firms can make a few bucks more?

Europe, a real Europe, is far too important for that, and has already been enlarged too much, imho threatening the project. Time to take it slow. I submit, humbly, that if your currency isn't yet ready to be integrated into the Eurozone more or less harmoniously, and your regimes with respect to tax policy, human rights and social insurance are not within a margin of error or so of the EU mean, it's not your time yet.

Not to say there won't be a time in the near future.

Of course, this perspective likely would require that England be invited to leave as well, but Wales and Scotland would no doubt be welcome to stay.

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

by r------ on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 11:03:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the number of Americans who actually have any clue that Turkey is up for EU membership is very small -- the blogs and newspapers aren't good samples.

Also, weren't the same issues of infrastructure and cost, etc. all played out as the former Soviet satellites joined the EU?

by R343L (reverse qw/ten.cinos@l343r/) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 08:18:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The reason the accession of the Central/Eastern European countries was done so hurriedly (fredouil mantions Turkey being large, poor, extremely nationalistic and not prone to compromise - which unfortunately describes Poland) is partly to do with trying to prevent disillusion with democracy to set in in these countries if they had been told they had to sit out in limbo for another 10 years. Turkey is not a new country or even a new regime: it's been around in essentially the same form for 80 years.

The idea that accession would help bring these countries more in line with EU standards has been proven false, though. Accession candidates have every incentive to do what the EU tells them to satisfy accession criteria, but once they're in they get the carrot and the EU loses the stick (or they get a stick, too), so accelerated accession was probably a mistake on that account, too.

But, like I say in another comment, Turkey won't join the EU for another 15 years at least, so I don't see any rush.

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 05:32:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I only brought up the eastern bloc states as a counter to the argument that Turkey is different economically -- it seems quite similar in a lot of ways. But clearly it is seen as a mistake or rushed by some, so Turkey would be too. :)

Rachael

by R343L (reverse qw/ten.cinos@l343r/) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 12:12:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding Mexico & America...Mexico would have to want to be a part of the USA...which would require a great deal of historical (and other) reconciliation. Turkey does want to be a part of the EU (at this pont, anyway), and that is a big difference.

As much as some americans fear the Mexica-Latin "invasion", the US has been invading Mexico a lot more aggressively, for a lot longer. But this is another discussion. I do firmly believe, however, that if Mexico did blend in with the US, many Mexicans residing in the US would return home...as long as they would get the same minimum wage guarentees that people in the states get. And I do have some reason to believe that many Turks would consider returning home to live and work, if they too had an equal chance of economic success as they do in Europe.

Just sayin'...I don't think that Europe would be swamped with Turks, as long as they had decent econmic prospects at home.

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 09:55:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
".I don't think that Europe would be swamped with Turks, as long as they had decent econmic prospects at home"

you dont know,Truks tend to emmigrate, especially with a huge part of the population under 30yo ( around 50% in 2020 and pop 85Million), even if a low pourcentage of them move, it still quite a lot.

by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 02:45:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mexico wouldn't join the U.S. as a single entity anyway--they have 31 states that would petition for membership individually. I would bet that this would not be a problem for most Americans. The attitude here would be more along the lines of "Let's take a trip down there and see if we can snag some cheap retirement property."
by asdf on Wed Dec 13th, 2006 at 12:01:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Diplomacy really is a literary art, apparently".

Literary-legal-psychological=intellectual?  That clause, btw, was a truly masterful example of intelligent "hot-potato management" in terms of elegantly phrased, carefully balanced procrastination - giving procrastination its due as an often very useful tool in the diplomatic toolkit, especially when skillfully wielded.

Most impressed!

"Ignoring moralities is always undesirable, but doing so systematically is really worrisome." Mohammed Khatami

by eternalcityblues (parvati_roma aaaat libero.it) on Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 09:59:41 AM EST
intelligent hot-potato management... LOL

The Spanish Constitution is full of those ;-)

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 10:12:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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