Vatican hesitant on Turkey’s bid for EU membership

Vatican hesitant on Turkey’s bid for EU membership

Vatican, Oct. 29 ( – The Vatican has not yet offered
any official statement on the prospect of Turkey’s entry into the
European Union, but believes that the union should cover Europe “from
the Atlantic to the Urals,” according to Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo.

In a lengthy interview with the Italian daily La Stampa , the Vatican’s
Secretary for Relations with States did make the observation that if
Turkey enters the European Union, the government of that predominantly
Muslim country will be obliged to fulfill the same political criteria
as all other member-states, including the guarantee of religious
freedom. And that guarantee, the archbishop added, should be “not
only ensured in the constitution, legislation, and administration,
but also protected concretely and effectively in the social realm.”

Archbishop Lajolo stressed that “the Holy See is not afraid of
enlarging Europe.” He pointed out that in the past the Vatican
has supported the application of Eastern European countries for EU
membership. In determining which states should enter the Union, he
said, “The decisive point is that the new Europe should have a deep
internal cohesion.”

The archbishop said that European leaders should “pay more attention”
to other countries that have already indicated a desire to join
the Union, such as Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Ukraine. Georgia,
and Armenia. These countries, he observed, are clearly aligned with
Europe’s cultural tradition.

Earlier this week, Bishop Piero Parolin– the deputy to Archbishop
Lajolo at the Vatican Secretariat of State– had also expressed
sympathy for the Eastern European nations seeking EU entry. The goal
of the Holy See, Bishop Parolin said, is “not so much to promote their
entry, but to facilitate the return of the Eastern European countries
to the European family, from which they were excluded during their
years of totalitarian oppression.”

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress