Friday, 28 September 2007

More on Turkey

Reading the Economist's Robin Shepherd's entry today about Turkey's accession prospects, I realized I left a major point out in my previous entry. The biggest, and most practical concern about Turkey entering the union is that given it's monumental size, it would come to dominate the entire system if the EU becomes any further integrated than it is today.

Given that Turky's population is expected to reach 85 million or more by 2020, a scenario where the EU had adopted a weighting voting system and accepted Turkey as a member would mean that by that year, Turkey would have the largest voting block in all European decisions, larger even than Germany's! It would become the pre-emnent voting power in Europe, even though less than five percent of its territory is actually in Europe.

As Shepherd points out, the 27 nations in the EU would never accept this scenario. So, it follows, the only scenario in which Turkey could legitimately find itself a member of the EU is if the Eurosceptics are successful in keeping the integration of the union limited, making it more of a common trading block than a real union. This is why the Euroskeptic UK is so gung-ho about Turkey, while the core state of France and Germany are so opposed. The simple fact is, the question of Turkey is not just a question of what is Europe, or one of culture, religion, or race. It is fundamentally a question about what sort of union the EU is going to be.

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