|EU's only Plan for Turkey is Membership
By Economy News Desk
Graham Watson, leader of the Group of the Alliance of Democrats and Liberals in the European Parliament (EP), is certain Turkey will become a member of the European Union.
Watson said accession would ultimately take place but some circles had an unfavorable opinion about free circulation and noted the European Union had no Plan B for Turkey.
Invited to Turkey by Zaman daily, Watson spoke at a meeting organized by the Confederation of Turkish Businessmen and Manufacturers (TUSKON).
Watson focused on Turkey’s E.U. process and said the European Union should keep enlarging and include countries that fulfill the criteria in order to continue the success it had so far obtained.
“No matter how long it lasts, this reform process should be a peg to increase economic stability and life standards,” he said.
Describing the supporters of Turkey’s E.U. membership process as optimistic and those who oppose it as pessimistic, Watson believes the optimists try to turn difficulties into opportunities whereas the latter group refuses to take advantage of any opportunity.
While there were vast opportunities for optimists, he said, pessimists remained reluctant in regards to politics, causing doors to shut in Turkey’s membership process.
There were still some difficulties for Turkey’s membership process but the Turkish government was determined to do its best, he added.
Calling for calmness in discussions on Cyprus, Watson said, “We should come through this storm because everything will ultimately settle down.”
Stating France was influential on the UK’s 10-year wait during the E.U. membership process, Watson believes the membership process should continue in agreement with the Copenhagen criteria. Confidence must be established without worrying over the increasing goals of politicians because getting public confidence is no easy task.
Seven percent of the Turkey believes in the European Union, a newspaper survey revealed. Turkey should overcome these obstacles in the public opinion and struggle against those opposing enlargement, he said.
Graham added that there were 12 E.U. members in 1980. Today, there are 27 countries because a single market offers great opportunities and the trade is an important tool in this sense.
Terming the French parliament passing a bill on an Armenian genocide as “madness,” Watson said: “Such a law is totally absurd in today’s world. If it becomes a law, they will regret it.”
12.25.2006 Monday - ISTANBUL 15:55