Monday, October 03, 2005

Turkey and the EU

The EU foreign ministers have "reached a deal" on opening accession talks with Turkey which wants to join the EU. Its a shame really, Turkey was making such great strides in terms of democracy. Now those will be cast aside and replaced by the government from Brussels that the rest of us are increasingly having to put up with.

All joking aside, I think Turkey joining the EU as the EU currently exists is not a good idea. Not that Turkey is the problem, a bit of diversity never hurt anyone. The problem I have is with the race to expand the European Union and the way the concerns of smaller nations are being discounted. For example look at the current news stories linked above, what was the "deal" that was reached? The Guardian says:

Austria's foreign minister, Ursula Plassnik, backed down after hours of intense talks chaired by Jack Straw.

and The BBC

But officials said after intense negotiations in Luxembourg that Austria had fallen into line.

Sounds very democratic, doesn't it? "Backed Down". "Fallen into line". Lets not forget our own Nice referendums ("What? You voted No? That wont do at all. Here have another go and this time remember the correct answer is Yes!")

What started as a trading block has suddenly grown into an unwieldy bureaucratic nightmare where faceless Eurocrats decide policies for citizens who have no say in the decisions and can do nothing to remove those Eurocrats that place themselves in positions of great power.

Before anyone else is allowed to join the EU the current members should look closely at how the organisation is run, and where it is headed. The idea of streamlining the running of the EU by reducing the power of smaller states is not a solution, unless of course what the Eurocrats are trying to do is reinstate the old European idea of great powers and spheres of influence. Maybe England could represent Ireland and say the Scandanavia countries, France could represent Spain, Portugal Belgium, and co, and Germany could represent Eastern Europe. Wouldn't that be great? Much more streamlined. The Big Three could sit down make a few decisions and if any of the smaller nations disagreed well, there are always severe financial penalties to keep the rabble in line if they breach any EU regulation. (Yes, I'm joking again)

Though that said even the opinions of the larger states are not always counted. There is no denying that Ireland has done well out of the EU, but did we trade our democracy for a few cows and some miles of motorways?

Lets sort out our own house first. The talks with Turkey will take about 10 years. I cant help but feel that Turkey will have made more progress in those 10 years than the EU will.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a total Euro-sceptic, I just dislike the Eurocrats who have twisted it into something that only serves their egos.

No comments: