Intergovernmentalism in action
The 3rd of October was meant to be a good day for Turkey, the historic day where the big country on the border between Asia and Europe could begin talks of membership to the European Union. But alas now it seems that the talks might not even begin at all ... Why can this be a deal is a deal, right?
Ever since the European Union was struck with disaster following the French and Dutch rejection of the constitution the politicians have feared the reconciliation of Europe's agenda of Turkish assession with domestic riots over the entrance of the predominantly muslim giant. In Germany, Angela Merkel is said to be against Turkish membership but with German politics still residing in limbo following the elections nothing is sure on the definite German stance. In France the powerful interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy is alos opposing Turkish membership. This growing concern over Turkey has fuelled an interesting idea of offering Turkey a joint partnership in stead of full membership. Until recently this was not official policy, but now Austria has entered the scene demanding that the talks should deal exactly and only with the idea of joint partnership - In a system of unanimity such as the EU this means trouble and hours of diplomatic tug-of-war.
I for one believe that the EU should step up to its responsebilities and offer Turkey full membership, but in an intergovernmental system such as the EU the national agendas may not be easy to reconcile with previous promises and that is a shame.