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Is Bigger Better? Expansion Of The European Union

2670 words - 11 pages

The European Union should continue to expand. The expansion, however, should stop once Turkey becomes a member of the EU. Including countries such as Ukraine, Russia, or Israel, among other southeastern European states would have numerous negative effects on the EU. If the EU includes Turkey, then it will have established itself as not being an exclusive Christian club. If the EU then goes on to include Russia and Ukraine, or any of the others, then this would overstretch the EU, thus making it a simple customs union, or possibly even cause its disintegration (Champion, Marc. 2004).

The EU should expand to include Turkey. If the EU were to include Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country, then a European-style stability would be spread to the Middle-east; it would help avoid further tensions between the Muslim world and the West (Champion [Fischer, Joschka] 2004). Valery Giscard d'Estaing, the former French president, argued that: "its capital is not in Europe; 95 percent of its population lives outside Europe. It is not even a European country." This argument only relates to the geographical definition of Europe. Today difficulty lies in producing an accurate definition of Europe since many countries outside of Europe still consider themselves to be European. However, Turkey is a "torn country" with one foot in the door of Europe and the other in the door of the Middle East (Huntington, 42) Therefore, we cannot accurately define Turkey as un-European. Opponents of Turkish EU membership also note that Turkey has a poor human rights record pointing to its oppression of 12 million Kurds (O'Malley, 2004). But Turkey has made large leaps lately, in tune with the human rights codes of the EU. Turkish Prime Minister Erodogan says that his nation has made significant progress towards freedom of expression and human rights (Church & State, 2004). The economy also poses a very serious problem. Turkey's large population is, according to European standards, poor and many think that this may harm the EU (O'Malley, 2004). However, the same was said about Spain, Greece, Portugal and Ireland before they joined, and they have not severely harmed the EU, but the EU has helped them greatly (O'Malley, 2004). Mr. Erodogan also claimed that their membership would send a strong signal to the whole Islamic world (Pope& Friedmann, 2004), "Then they will see that the clash of civilizations is not a reality but a harmony of civilizations is a possibility... This is an opportunity the EU shouldn't miss (Pope & Friedman, 2004)." Erodogan also said "Turkey can no longer be kept waiting at the doorstep...If the EU does not want to be viewed as a union of geography, or as a Christian club, they have to give us a date. (Pope & Friedman, 2004)" Those in support of Turkey's membership say it would help stabilize the middle east because it would extend the EU's borders to Iraq and Syria, while lending a moderate Muslim example to extremist Islamic societies. ...

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