Posted on 02 December 2010.
Turkey has been campaigning for 42 years to become a member of the European Union, to expand its trading partners and increase positive Islamic relations in the West. Opponents of Turkish membership claim that the country is too big, too poor and too culturally different from the other member countries but Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has claimed that rejection of Turkey could have negative consequences on relations between Islam and the West.
• Lack of representation for Europe’s “trouble spots” (poorer, less stable areas like Turkey) could ultimately result it a lack of social stability in the existing EU.
• As the only Muslim democracy, Turkey meets the Copenhagen Criteria for joining the EU, and would balance out the homogeny in most EU governments.
• Turkey’s 99.8% Muslim population would diversify the voices heard by the European Union, a necessary change if we wish for better Islamic-Western relations in the future.
• Despite its secular government, Turkey’s Muslim majority and geographic location may prove too culturally different from the rest of the Christian-based, close-knit EU – causing potential clashes in agreements of state interest.
• Turkey must recognize and acknowledge Cyprus to become a member of the EU – something it has yet to do.
• Many are concerned for the rights of Kurds in Turkey, with scattered reports of genocidal activity (a breach of the Copenhagen Criteria).
Posted in Uncategorized
Posted on 26 November 2010.
The European Union is a confederation of European states, formally created in 1993, with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty. Since its inception, the EU has grown into a formidable player on the world stage with many of its member nations being some of the world’s largest powers, including Great Britain, France, and Germany. Most of the countries belonging to the EU make up the Eurozone, where the primary currency is the Euro. This has allowed for the EU to grow its power elsewhere in the world, as it has developed one of the largest industrial markets in the world, playing an especially large part in the world’s finance. But, over recent years, opinions have changed greatly, and many look at the EU as having a dwindling power in the world. Many credit the stagnant financial climate in Europe–the very small growth in the EU member states over the recent decades compared to other nations, such as the United States and China–to the EU’s financial policies. Many people firmly believe that the role of the EU in ten years time will be significantly diminished; they predict that the EU simply will not be able to keep up with the rest of the world, and will just fall back, ultimately losing its power on the world stage. Will the European Union in fact fall back as a world power over the next decade, or continue to yield power as an international player?
Posted in Economics, International Affairs