Alex Massie

Turkey in the EU?

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Like George W Bush, Barack Obama is in favour of Turkish accession to the EU. That's grand, though those American progressives who would like to see europe do more, not less and project a more, not less unified approach to all manner of international issues - be they fiscal or military - should remember that Turkish membership makes a common european policy on just about any issue less, not more likely. For that reason, of course, so-called "euro-sceptics" ought to be enthusiasts for Turkish membership.

Con Coughlin adds this reason for welcoming Turkish membership:

Countries like France should also recognise that Turkish membership would strengthen, not weaken, the EU alliance, as it would provide an invaluable balwark against the more threatening Islamic governments that lie further to the East.

True, the larger europe becomes so the more enthusiastic centralisers will seek to make it more like Washington DC but they're going to do that anyway and the larger and more unwieldy europe becomes so the better the chance is that there can't be a centralising "solution". That's one theory anyway.

Still, all this is getting ahead of oneself. It's hard to see how Turkey is likely to be in a position to join any time soon, even if there were less opposition to the notion in Paris and Berlin and elsewhere.

PS: As expected, Obama has broken his promise to call the Armenian genocide, er, genocide. Since Turkey won't be admitted into the EU until it confronts its past, this might be considered a missed opportunity. That is, if Washington's support for Turkish membership is anything more than rhetorical, then Obama might remind the Turks that this is one (of many) issues they still need to address.Mike Crowley has more.

UPDATE: Trixy, on the other hand, disagrees.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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