The European Commission has now suggested suspending accession talks with Turkey, in response to Turkey’s continued refusal to open its ports to (Greek) Cyprus. I think suspension of talks would be a big mistake, but at the same time, I wholeheartedly agree with this:
“It is Turkey that must adapt to the EU,” Denmark’s Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said. “It’s not the other way around.”
It would take many pages to explain my own conflicted thoughts on what the EU is, and ought to be. For example, it think it should still only comprise the 15 countries it did in 1995, and have stayed at that point until it was clearer on its own purpose and future. But we are where we are, with the EU essentially offering membership, and Turkey clearly wanting it. If Turkey wants it, it is up to Turkey to meet the standards and requirements of the EU. To its credit, it has done quite a bit, and I truly hope that Turkey can gain membership. But the EU needs to be firm in its stance (while remaining continuously engaged), and not be swayed by the pressures of public perception.
And after Turkey becomes a member? The EU enlargement needs to stop. There is far too much internal work to be done to spend any more time on expansion.