Sarkozy should remember that bigger is better when talking about Turkey and the Constitution

Press Release, 23 May 2007

, by JEF Europe

Sarkozy should remember that bigger is better when talking about Turkey and the Constitution

“Europe is about peace and integration, not about conflict and exclusion. Turkish kebab is part of Europe as much as French cheese. Young Europeans from all over the continent expect more from Sarkozy than cultural segregation.” commented Jan Seifert, President of Young European Federalists (JEF) at today’s inauguration visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Brussels.

“Nicolas Sarkozy received a lukewarm welcome in Brussels. Even though his affirmation that France is back in Europe gives us hope for the future, his standing on Turkish EU accession provokes some worries. After having included opposite political opinions in his national government, he should not start excluding European partners from co-operation. We welcome his proposals for the creation of a Mediterranean Union. But this has to build on the Barcelona process. A Mediterranean Union will not emerge if Sarkozy starts building new walls on the Bosphorus. The accession talks with Turkey have to be continued” demanded Seifert.

"Sarkozy’s Brussels visit is also a lukewarm welcome for his little ambitious ‘mini-treaty’. JEF welcomed his initiative to pull Europe out of the French-made agony. But Sarkozy should not forget that Europeans aspire for visions instead of bureaucracy. An institutional settlement is fine if it allows us to deal with immediate emergencies like climate-change or common foreign action. But there is no doubt about the fact that Europe needs a democratic Constitution if it wants to be accepted by its citizens. A federal Europe is the only possible answer to our common future challenges.

A Union which decides on more than two-thirds of today’s legislation on the continent needs a Constitution with ambitious institutional progress in order to be democratic. Sarkozy should not be stuck with bureaucratic pragmatism, he should develop a vision for a common European future. This is a Union that directly involves the European citizens through inviting them to participate in a European Referendum." Seifert concluded.



- Meeting of Nicolas Sarkozy in Tours, 10 April 2007; source: Flickr/Fr@nçois

Your comments

  • On 24 May 2007 at 07:44, by Valéry Replying to: Sarkozy should remember that bigger is better when talking about Turkey and the Constitution

    Turkey not being in Europe I do not see how it could be excluded from it. It is now certain that this country will not join provided that there will be some referenda to ratify this and that they will fail as citizens do not accept Turkey as being European. The political situation there is an additional reason to be cautious about this issue. The wise way to choose is to negotiate right now a decent cooperation agreement with this country.

    I tend to agree with you obviously about the treaty we do need a democratic constitution. As we know it cannot be achieved right know because the enlargement process has gone too far already and the EU has lost any coherence, the path towards it may be a two-speed Europe. Trying to have a common institutional treaty for all member states is the guarantee that is will be weak and undemocratic.

  • On 24 May 2007 at 20:20, by Peter Matjašič Replying to: Sarkozy should remember that bigger is better when talking about Turkey and the Constitution

    To me personally the question of Turkey’s entry in the EU is a fundamental question whether or not the EU can live up to its commitments expressed at numerous occasions in the past towards Turkey, it’s commitment to real changes and reforms inside the current EU and its desire to become a true global player. Turkey needs to continue on the path of reform and do its part of the deal, but so does the EU. When talking about Turkey in the EU we musn’t forget that we are talking of a different Turkey and a different EU than what we have today! But giving mixed or even false signals or stopping the entire negotiation process simply won’t do any side any good.

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