France against early Turkish EU membership

EU observer
April 8, 2004

France against early Turkish EU membership

Michel Barnier’s comments have caused uproar (Photo: EU Commission)

France’s new foreign minister Michel Barnier has caused a furore by
saying that France would oppose Turkey’s entry into the EU “under
current circumstances”.

The former European Commissioner, who was named foreign minister after
a government reshuffle last week, told French parliament on Wednesday
(7 April) that Ankara has not met the conditions necessary for

“Turkey does not respect the conditions, even if it is preparing to do
so,” he said, adding that there was “no question” of Turkey’s joining
the EU “under current circumstances.”

He was joined in his comments by Alain Juppé, leader of the
centre-right UMP and a close associate of French President Jacques

Mr Juppé said countries on the periphery of the growing EU, such as
Turkey, “have no business joining (the bloc), otherwise it will be

“The UMP does not want to see discussions with Turkey at the end of
the year”.

The comments caused uproar in the Turkish media, however Turkish
politicians have attempted to play them down.

“Various exaggerated words can be said for reasons related to domestic
politics,” said Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, according to the
Anatolia news agency.

But France’s words are significant as all member states have to give
the nod of approval when the decision is taken at the end of the year
on Ankara’s eligibility for starting membership negotiations.

However, the mainly Muslim country does have friends in the EU. Both
Germany and the UK have spoken out strongly in favour of beginning
membership negotiations with the country if it meets the political
criteria for joining.

Member states will take the decision at the end of this year based on
a report by the European Commission to be published in October.

Written by Honor Mahony

Please read also

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS