RESPUBLICA EUROPEIA

Direito Comunitário e Assuntos Europeus. Por João Pedro Dias

Amsterdam Petition against the accession of Turkey…

with 2 comments

Amsterdam Petition against the accession of Turkey to the EU, adressed to the chiefs of state and governments and to the People of the European Union. Amsterdam, August 2004

«Petition

We oppose to the accession of Turkey to the European Union at any point in time. There are demographic, political, economical, cultural, pragmatic and geographical reasons for Turkey not to become part of the EU. Turkey should become a priviliged partner of the EU, not a full member. We find the prospect of accession of Turkey to the EU one of even greater impact than the acceptance of the European Constitution. Each EU member should therefore hold a referendum on the accession of Turkey before December 2004. At that time the EU is to announce the start of negotiations on accession with Turkey. We are convinced that the majority of the EU citizens would oppose accession of Turkey if they realized the accession would not bring durable benefits. Much to the contrary, they would realize the accession is a threat to the welfare, unity and stability of the EU. Opposing the accession of Turkey is also a way to express our deepest concern on the political pressure of the U.S. government on the E.U to have Turkey as an EU member.

Motivation on the Amsterdam Petition

May 1st. 2004 was a historical moment in the history of Europe when ten new countries entered the EU. As per this moment the EU has some 450 million inhabitants spread over 25 countries. It will be a tremendous challenge to make a success of this accession. All new members will be depending on the financial and economical support of the excisting (net-contribuing) members of the EU. Only when the economy is developing positively and domestic issues in the different EU countries like innovation, competitiveness, pension, education, healthcare and the ageing of the population are tackled in an adequate and structural way, the inhabitants of the EU will be able and willing to consider to have new members access the EU. At this moment in time the above issues are far from tackled adequatly. Much on the contrary they are becoming a great concern. We believe however that the EU is not only about economical and financial unification. At the same time it is about sharing values and a culture that is primarly rooted in Greek, Roman, Jewish, Christian and Humanistic traditions. Furthermore, Europe is defined on geographical borders of which he Bosporus river and Street of Gilbraltar are the most vivid examples. We are convinced that the EU should be focusing on making the union an economical and social success with the excisting countries. The EU will need all it’s stenghts to achieve that goal as it will be a struggle in many ways. At the same time we realize that the Balkan states, Bulgaria and Romania are part of Europe. Negotiations with these countries should be started but admission on a short term is not a priority. Under Dutch chairmanship the EU is likely to make a decision by December 2004 on possible negotiations with Turkey on admission. We oppose to that admission at any moment in time for a number of reasons. Primarly the decision to negotiate with Turkey does not have a reasonable foundation amongst the EU inhabitants today. The people of the EU do not have all the facts and figures, and are therefore not able to make a well founded choice in the matter. EU politicians and opinionleaders are not giving the EU inhabitants reliable and realistic facts on the consequences of admission of Turkey. For example the fact the EU will most likely have a muslimmajority by the end of this century when Turkey accesses the EU. A direct consequence for our children and grand children. The subject of Turkey’s accession has never been on the agenda of any political party in any EU country in such a way that the electorate was able to choose properly. This indicates that the decisions on accession which such an impact on the people of the EU has been made by political elites, ignoring the people they represent. The accession of Turkey will have a much greater impact on the EU than the implementation of the European Constitution. Whereas several EU countries have announced referenda on the constitution, none has on the accession of Turkey. This is unacceptable. All EU countries should hold a referendum on the accession of Turkey before December 2004. Also we feel that the pressure of the United States on the EU to start negations on admission with Turkey should be ignored. We are proposing to have Turkey as a EU partner with privileges, not a full EU member. The EU has demonstrated that is capable of keeping excellent relationships with countries outside the Union. Turkey itself has been developing fruitfull relationship with the EU but also with Israel for example. We feel that being a good friend should not necessarily lead to becoming a member of the family. The EU should build strong relationships including privileges with Turkey but also with other regions that are neighbouring the EU like Russia, Ukrain and Marocco. They will lead to mutual benefits, economical and otherwise. We see no arguments to offer Turkey accession and to state the Ukrain can and will never be part of the EU as it has been put by EU officials.

Pragmatic

The upcoming integration and economical development of the EU is requiring enormous investments, efforts and adjustments of all inhabitants of the EU. Not only financially but also mentally. There might be benefits in the long term for the excisting (net-contributing) members but these are not guaranteed. For these pragmatic reasons we consider it inappropriate to negotiate on the accession of Turkey. The priority is making the EU as it is formed per May 1st. 2004 vital with shared loyalty by all inhabitants. We believe that the integration of the former DDR into the German Federal state is a good example of how great an effort real integration requires. The accession of Turkey will make the EU even more diffult to control and manage in terms of decisionmaking and finding consensus on crucial topics.

Demographic

If Turkey enters the EU in 2010 it will be the country with the highest political power in terms of parlement seats after Germany. Around 2020 Turkey will be the country with the largest population of the EU, peaking at about 100 million inhabitants by 2050. By that time 20% of the EU population will be Turkish and potentially 40% will be muslim. The accession of Turkey in 2010 equals in size the admission of the 10 new members per May 1st 2004. The decisionmaking will become dramatically different. For example, Turkey will have 6 times more parlement seats compared to the Netherlands. Whereas the Netherlands have a 10 times higher GDP per capita and the highest net contribution per capita to the EU since it was founded. The demographic impact is enormous in terms of political power but also in terms of immigration. Immigration to countries which are net contributors by low educated immigrants will have a negative impact on the receiving country, as the Dutch CPB study of june 2003 showed most clearly. With the enormous problems related to the ageing of the EU population the focus should to our opinion be on supporting families and stimulate births instead of immigration. Troughout the EU young woman would still like to have children but the possibilities to combine that with education, career and care have become extremely difficult. Children should be regarded as an investment in the future, not as a high cost factor. We believe that selective immigration should always be possible but not as a solution to the ageing of the EU. We are convinced that the admission of Turkey wil undermine the loyalty of the excisting EU inhabitants when they realize that there domestic needs are not fullfilled and the quality of life is diminishing.

Culture

Europe has an enormous cultural diversity which makes Europe fascinating and rich. Nevertheless, this cultural diversity has also lead to some difficult political and economical processes. Admission of Turkey wil only increase the gap in cultural behaviour, mentality, attitude and loyalty. Unlike some opinionleaders who would make Europeans believe there is no such thing as European culture we believe there is just that. All excisting EU members have a culture that finds its base in Greek, Roman, Jewish, Christian and Humanistic tradition, religion and philosophy. We can also conclude that many EU countries have shown individualization, culture-relativism and a massive detachment of indivuals from the church. Many EU inhabitants are at the same time struggling to find a new kind of identity, shared value and loyalty. Admission of Turkey means we are allowing a 70 million people to enter without them sharing our values, our history, our culture. Many Turkish inhabitants of the EU today confirm that by showing an attitude towards segregation rather than integration. For example, it is still very common for third generation Turks to import a bride or groom from the region of origin. A majority of the Turks exclude a non-muslim as a potential lifepartner. In the light of this extreme cultural difference we see dramatic problems ahead related to lack of integration and consious segregation by Turks. Not only does Turkey have a totally different culture, the country is based on a majority of convinced and loyal muslims. They share strong nationalist emotions and an ideology based on the Islam that makes the culture totally the opposite of genuine secular Europeans that struggle for identity. The so called secularity in Turkey is maintained by militairy and legal pressure, not because the majority of the people support this. We find it more than worrying that it is the muslim fundamentalists in Turkey that support the accession of Turkey more convincing than any other group. This is to our opinion a clear indication that there is a “hidden agenda” by some groups. Elections in Turkey in the past decades have shown that a majority of the Turks vote for rather fundamentalistic leaders, although these leaders do not express themselves in public let alone in another language than Turkish. Turkey have occupied northern Cyprus and is not willing to return the land to it’s original Greek owners. Turkey is not offering a real solution for the Kurdish people. Whereas the Kurds should at least be granted a status comparable to the Scottish or Welsh in the United Kingdom. Finally the Turkish are still in denial on historical issues like the Genocide on Armenians. No EU member would accept the denial on the holocaust and we see no reason to accept the Turkish denial on the Armenian genocide. A genodice that was responsible for at least 1 million casualties. We find it most worrying that up till today only the Swiss parlement has recognized the Genocide. Whereas the EU takes an attitude on the Genocide as if it were a non-issue. Even if Turkey is showing a sense of complying with EU demands for admission we feel the cultural differences are not going to evapourate in a mere ten years time. It would be extremely naieve to think that Turkey would give up their rightfull identity and choose the road of assimilation. The rules of Islam for one, prevent a quick turnover to allround western-european-living. Accession of Turkey will to our opinion disintegrate the EU as different cultures, living segregated and not sharing the same base values, are not able to offer a shared loyalty and unity.

Geographical

Europe is a clearly defined geoghrapical area, like Asia or Africa. Admission of Turkey would mean developing a Eurasion Union. In our opinion Georgia, Armenia, Syria, Iraq and Iran are not the outer borders of the European continent. Turkey is by far more an Asian than a Eurpean country. If European politicians and the United States want to cross logical natural borders, we would like them to give EU inhabitants the reasons why. Only after that we should be given a direct choice in favor of or against accepting Turkey as a full member. This should then be part of a much wider discussion on the possible accession of Ukrain, Armenia, Georgia, Syria, etc.

Economy

Turkey will benefit more from accession than current members of the EU will. Turkey already depends heavily on trade and tourism with Europe. Not accepting Turkey as a EU member will therefore not likely cause Turkey to break with Europe. They have nothing to gain in that process. Private businesses have already sufficiently proven that it is perfectly possible to establish profitable business relationships between European countries and Turkey. Europe stands not much to gain from admission, there are already many less developed regions within the current Union that need a lot of support to get their economies to the level of ‘older’ member. Accession of Turkey will bring less prosperity to the EU members that entered on May 1st. 2004. Turkey is able to develop it’s economy significantly without becoming a EU member. In that scenario also EU members are able to benefit when companies increase profits and re-invest those profits into the EU. We suggest that the EU should support developments in Turkey comparable to those in India or China. Accession of Turkey implies that the welfare states in the EU will collapse when Turkish immigrants wil have the legal right to settle elsewhere in the EU. It is to our opinion a serious contradiction within EU politics that on the one side the EU should develop a strict immigration policy whereas on the other side a non-western country like Turkey should enter. The available studies on the accession of Turkey do not take in account the actual costs of accession, the actual benefits for individual citizens, the actual consequences of the cost of immigration and they certainly not make a comparison with alternative scenarios. Turkey as a privileged partner of the EU with at the same time structural reforms and investments in the EU’s economy will bring to our opinion much greater benefits and welfare for all parties.

Political

If Turkey accesses the EU it would be by far the biggest country of the EU by 2020. This implies that the poorest country of the EU with a totally different political culture and structure would have the biggest political power. We find this an unacceptable perspective for the EU members today. We praise Mrs. Angela Merkel of the German CDU that was the first EU politicians that made clear to Turkey that they cannot become member of the EU but privileged partner. We ask the EU as a whole to follow the principals as put by Mrs. Merkel in May 2004.»

Esta petição, de que tive conhecimento via Pena e Espada, está disponível online aqui. EU JÁ ASSINEI!

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Written by Joao Pedro Dias

14 Setembro 2004 às 5:17 pm

Publicado em Uncategorized

2 Respostas

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  1. Hi Blogger
    Look, I hope you don’t mind, but I found your blog using how to cook turkey as a search term. I’m trying to find original articles and recipes for my cooking websites.

    I can and do use the article directories, but much of the stuff in them is hardly original and gets widely used. I’m hoping to persuade people like you, who have an interest in cooking, to contribute as well. I use a wide variety of articles and styles – just so long as it’s food orientated – and I think the kind of things you write about in this post would be very popular :0)

    The quid pro quo is a link back to your blog – or website if you have one. If this doesn’t interest you, please forgive the intrusion. If it does, I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best wishes
    Michael Sheridan

    Michael

    5 Novembro 2005 at 4:31 am

  2. Crikey! One minute I’m searching the web for things on how to cook turkey, and the next I’m reading this post. I’m not sure that’s exactlly what I had in mind, Blogger, but I’ve enjoyed my visit. Now I’m off to try another search on how to cook turkey.

    Michael

    6 Novembro 2005 at 2:01 pm


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