"What is the EU"
German Views of Turkey’s EU Application ROUGH DRAFT Emil Nagengast Associate Professor of Politics Juniata College Huntingdon, Pennsylvania firstname.lastname@example.org Prepared for presentation at the annual conference of the German Studies Association in New Orleans, LA (September 18-21, 2003) 1 Years ago, the EU moved beyond its original form as a trade organization. It has taken on the language and identity of a “community of values” a “Wertegemeinschaft”. But what are the values that define this community? EU officials answer that the Copenhagen Criteria define the values, i.e. a clear set of political principles of rule of law, freedom of speech, etc. But the Turkish EU application forces us to consider the essence of this community. Is the “European project” properly understood as the construction of a political and economic community? Or must we include in this project, the construction of a European cultural community? In this essay I consider these questions through an examination of German views of Turkey’s EU application. Germany is widely recognized as the “motor of EU integration”, but Turkey’s application is forcing the Germans to take a stand on what values define the EU community. Despite Germany’s support for the 2004 timeframe given the Turks at the 2002 Copenhagen summit, a large number of Germans will support efforts to keep the Turks out of the EU at least partly because the Turks are not part of European culture. It was easy for the Germans to push for the construction of the European house, until they were forced, with the Turkish application, to define exactly where Europe ends (geographically) and what European values are (political principles or religious and cultural factors?). The 2002 EU Copenhagen agreement forces the Turks to “put up or shut up”, but it places the same burden on the Germans (and the other EU members). I will first provide a brief review of Turkey’s efforts to get into the EU. I will then review German views over the past few years concerning Turkey’s EU accession. I also review the role of Turkey’s EU application in German politics over the past year – namely how have the CDU and SPD played this issue? Background on Turkey-EU Relations Turkey signed an Association Agreement with the EC in 1963. In 1987 Turkey applied for EC membership, even though the EC had urged the Turks to delay their bid. This Turkish bid was turned down, because: 1) the EC was not yet ready to begin another round of enlargement (after Spain and Portugal had joined in 1986); 2) Turkey’s economic underdevelopment, and large population, would have imposed a severe financial burden on the EC; 3) by 1987 the EC had transformed from an economic club into a community of shared norms, values and codes of political behavior. 1 After rejecting the Turks, the EC proposed an intensification of the 1963 Association Agreement that aimed to improve Turkish-EC relations. The end of the Cold War, however, pushed Turkey to the back of a long line of states seeking to “return to Europe.” Although several of the post-communist states were economically less developed than Turkey, the EC’s increasing emphasis on the cultural dimension of constructing a truly “European” community gave the East Europeans an advantage over the Turks in seeking membership. Turkey’s place at the end of the line was formally confirmed at the 1993 Copenhagen summit, when the EU announced that the integration of the East Europeans (but not the Turks) 1 Commission Opinion on Turkey’s Request for Accession to the Community, Brussels, December 20, 1989, cited in: F. Stephen Larrabee and Ian O. Lesser Turkish Foreign Policy in an Age of Uncertainty (Rand, 2003), p.49 2 was a central goal of EU policy. In addition, this summit produced the famous “Copenhagen criteria”. These new criteria for membership added political demands to the traditional economic aspects of the application process. The Copenhagen criteria meant that Turkey would have to jump through a far more difficult set of hoops to become a realistic candidate for membership. Whereas Turkey could compete with the East European states purely in terms of its level of economic development, it lagged far behind in terms of political development, in particular in the realm of human rights. The 1997 Luxembourg summit set up an accession process with 11 East European states, but Turkey was not accepted as a candidate country, nor was Turkey given a specific timetable for accession negotiations. In addition to the economic and political criteria that had already been set out, the EU added new hurdles for Turkey: a resolution of territorial disputes with Greece and a settlement of the Cyprus dispute. The disappointment of the Luxembourg summit caused a growing number of Turks to believe that, for religious and cultural reasons, the EU would never allow Turkey into the EU. Turkish-EU relations declined until the 1999 Helsinki summit where the EU reversed itself and accepted Turkey as a candidate member. Larrabee and Lesser attribute this EU shift on Turkey to four factors: 1) the EU desire to end the deterioration of Turkish-EU relations; 2) a change in Greek policy concerning Turkey; 3) US pressure on the EU; 4) a more accommodating stance vis a vis Turkey by the new SPD/Green government in Germany.2 Although the EU gave Turkey candidate status, the EU made it clear that negotiations for membership would not begin until Turkey had fulfilled the economic and political criteria and the Greek and Cyprus disputes had been resolved. At the Copenhagen summit in December 2002 the EU concluded accession negotiations with ten countries (Cyprus, The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia). These ten will join the EU in 2004. The EU also approved “road maps” for Bulgarian and Romanian membership in 2007, subject to their progress on the accession criteria. “On Turkey, the European Council indicated that if at its meeting in December 2004, it decided, on the basis of a Commission report and recommendation, that Turkey fulfilled the political criteria defined at Copenhagen in 1993 for the accession of third countries to the EU, it would then open negotiations with that country without delay.”3 The Debate in Germany Leading up to the 2002 Copenhagen Summit The question of Turkey’s status as an applicant for EU membership played a marginal role in the September 2002 national German elections. Approximately 380,000 Turks (who had been granted German citizenship) voted in the 2002 election. The distribution of the Turkish votes was: 60% for the SPD, 17% for the Greens, 12% for the CDU, 5% for the PDS and 5% for the FDP. Several observers argue that the voting behavior of Turkish voters in Germany is not significantly affected by the stance of the German parties on Turkey’s EU application. This is primarily because these Turks, as German citizens, have 2 Larrabee and Lesser, p.52 3 “EU Commission General Report 2002, Chapter V: Enlargement, Section 1: Overview” 3 already “joined” the EU.4 Cem Ozdemir, former Green member of the Bundestag, is fustrated by the lack of clarity and purpose among the Turkish voters in Germany. He argues that, in contrast to the growing power of the Latino voters in the US, German parties do not feel the need to alter their stance on the Turkish question out of concern for gaining votes from the Turkish community in Turkey. 5 The editors of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung made the same argument, but from the other side. Of the 2.6 million Turks in Germany, 1.1 million have taken German citizenship. The editors argue that the Union is politically misguided if they think they can oppose this group so vehemently without paying an electoral price for their anti-Turkish populism.6 In October 2002 the SPD/Green government made the first public declaration of support for Turkey’s EU application since the 1999 Helsinki summit. In October Fischer announced: “As far as we are concerned, we are going to do all we can to get the most positive signal,” for negotiations to begin at the Copenhagen summit in December 2002.7 Several analysts (and Wolfgang Schaueble and Edmund Stoiber) argued that Germany’s bold statement of support for Turkey was an attempt to patch up relations with Washington by giving the US what they wanted, namely, Turkey in the EU. 8 Fischer has adamantly denied that US pressure played any role in shaping the policies of his government concerning Turkey. The debate over Turkey heated up in Germany after Erdogan’s AKP won a decisive victory in the Turkish national elections on November 3, 2002. Although the AKP is known as an “Islamic” party, Erdogan’s electoral campaign was centered around his priority of moving Turkey closer to EU membership. Erdogan declared: “AKP is ready to take responsibility to build up the political will to accelerate the EU entry process, to strengthen the integration of our economy with the world economy and to implement the economic program.” 9 Erdogan’s victory, following dramatic Turkish political reforms in the summer of 2002 (e.g. abolishing the death penalty, and granting limited minority group rights to the Kurds) meant that the EU member states could not avoid taking a clear stance concerning Turkey’s application at the December 2002 Copenhagen summit. As Schroeder and Fischer prepared for the summit, the battle lines on the Turkish question became clear within Germany. Stoiber, Merkel and the CDU/CSU insisted that Turkey could not be offered EU membership. In a speech on November 22 at the CSU party conference, Stoiber announced: “Schroeder is moving toward increasing support for taking Turkey into the EU. I say clearly, EU membership for Turkey is inconceivable! In this we are entirely of one mind with Giscard d’Estaing … and I am solidly convinced that in this opinion we are in line with the majority of Germans.”10 Stoiber and Merkel argued that Schroeder and Fischer should reject efforts within the EU (and resist pressure from the 4 “Ewig das gleiche Lied” Handelsblatt (December 11, 2002) 5 See: Cem Ozdemir „Von den Latinos lernen“ Die Zeit (37/2002) 6 “Die turkische Herausforderung” Sueddeutsche Zeitung (September 3, 2003) 7 “Germany’s new support for Turkey may prove awkward for EU” Middle East Times (October 25, 2002) 8 “Vollmitgliedschaft der Turkei ist ein katastrophaler Fehler” Die Welt (December 9, 2002) 9 „Landslide Victory Hands pro-European Party Power in Turkey“ DW-World.de (November 4, 2002) 10 “Rede des CSU-Vorsitzenden, Ministerpraesident Dr. Edmund Stoiber, zur eroffnung des CSU Parteitags am 22/23 November 2002 in Munchen“ 4 Turks and the Americans) to give Turkey a clear timeframe for accession negotiations at the Copenhagen summit. Among the many arguments in favor of giving the Turks a timeframe for EU membership (some of which will be reviewed below), Schroeder emphasized the need to end the hypocrisy concerning Turkey’s application. One week before the Copenhagen summit, Schroeder gave a speech in the Bundestag, part of which was devoted to the question of Germany’s stance on the Turkish EU application. Schroeder used this speech to explain his position and to attack the CDU and CSU for what he viewed as a hypocritical opposition to Turkey’s EU application. I have been asked how the German government will deal with this problem in Copenhagen. … Two points must be mentioned: First, naturally, in Copenhagen we will represent a position that is closely coordinated with France… Second, there should be unity that we have a large, common, national, German interest in supporting those forces in Turkey that want a secularized Turkey. There is also no dispute that we have a national interest in promoting Turkey’s growing connection (Bindung) with the West. We have a common interest in assuring continuity in our policies concerning Turkey. I will negotiate accordingly in Copenhagen. Now I will tell you on what basis I will do this. I am quoting, in a moment I will tell you whom: ‘The Federal Republic of Germany is in agreement that Turkey has the perspective of a chance to join the EU.’ Thus spoke Helmut Kohl in a press conference in November, not 1963, but 1997. This is the continuity that is at issue. [I urge you to support our efforts to offer Turkey the perspective of membership at eh Copenhagen summit.] Otherwise, there arise not only doubt, but certainty, that you oppose continuity in foreign policy, and that you (CDU/CSU) want to exploit our relations with Turkey to provide Roland Koch with a cheap electoral campaign maneuver.11 After intense negotiations at the Copenhagen summit, Germany joined the other EU member governments in reaching a compromise agreement on Turkey. (The official summary is quoted on page two above.) The European Council announced that if Turkey met the criteria by 2004, the EU would open negotiations for Turkey’s membership. This was a disappointment for the Turkish government, that had hoped for immediate negotiations on membership, but within Germany it was considered a large concession to the Turks. By signing on to this agreement, Schroeder and Fischer had pledged to support Turkey’s membership in the EU if the Turks could meet the criteria. This was the first time that the path to EU membership had been clearly spelled out for the Turks. After Schroeder and Fischer had mocked the CDU and CSU for their hypocrisy on the Turkish question, a documentary made by Danish TV caused much embarrassment for the Bundesregierung. At the Copenhagen summit Danish Prime Minister Anders Rasmussen had allowed Danish DR television to film meetings that were normally closed to the public. The film makers produced a documentary that was shown on Danish TV in April 2003. In one segment of the documentary about the Copenhagen summit, Danish foreign minister Per Stig Moller says: “I am a good friend of Joschka [Fischer], and he tells me that Turkey 11 “Rede von Bundeskanzler Gerhard Schroeder vor dem Deutschen Bundestag” (December 4, 2002): Schroeder refers to Roland Koch, because the SPD argued that the primary reason for CDU opposition to Turkish membership was that the CDU hoped to win votes in the upcoming February 2003 elections in Hessen by allowing Koch to portray himself as the defender of German interests. 5 will never join.”12 Although Fischer insisted that his views did not reflect those that Moller reported, the documentary created a diplomatic furor between Germany and Turkey. This table shows German attitudes in July 2002 concerning Turkey’s EU application (Question: “Do you welcome Turkey’s EU membership?”). These poll results make it clear why Stoiber and Merkel assumed that they could win votes by opposing Turkey’s EU application. In July 2002 the only category that showed majority support for Turkish membership was FDP voters. A poll taken after the Copenhagen summit in December 2002 showed significant changes in German public opinion. In the NFO Infratest survey, 60% of Germans who were polled favored Turkish EU membership if Turkey met the economic and political criteria. Der Spiegel reported that Ankara’s political reforms (such as abolishing the death penalty) enacted in the summer of 2002 played a key role in altering German attitudes. The NFO Infratest poll showed a dramatic increase in support among Green voters. The Greens and the FDP voters led all other parties with 71% support for Turkish membership. The CDU/CSU voters showed the lowest level of support at 52%.13 The Union’s Troubled Stance on Turkey This shift in public opinion may explain why the CDU did not push the Turkish-EU debate into the forefront of Roland Koch’s election campaign in Hessen, as Schroeder had anticipated. In the weeks 12 “German minister – ‘never’ to Turkey-EU membership” EUobserver.com (April 14, 2003) 13 “Strong majority of Germans favour Turkey in EU” Der Spiegel (December 14, 2002) 6 leading up the Copenhagen summit, Schroeder repeatedly attacked the Union for making the Turkish question into a “cheap election campaign issue” in order to assist Koch and the CDU in the February 2003 Hessen election. But Turkey played a relatively minor role in the Hessen campaign. For example, less than one month before the Hessen election Der Spiegel conducted a long interview with Koch. In the interview Koch emphasized the shortcomings of the SPD’s economic and Iraq policies, but he did not mention Turkey once.14 Nonetheless, since the Copenhagen summit there has been much debate within the Union over how to handle the controversial Turkish question. Volker Ruhe, the former defense minister and current CDU security policy spokesman, argued for a more moderate Union stance on Turkey: “Those in the Union who don’t want to give Turkey any perspective of EU membership are wrong. The CDU and CSU cannot sustain this position. With this view we stand outside the mainstream in Europe.”15 In January 2003, Michael Glos, the leader of the CSU in the Bundestag, called for a formal national referendum on Turkey’s EU application: “A referendum is the last possibility when the large democratic parties cannot reach a consensus.” 16 This proposal was attacked by the SPD and Greens as a populist approach to democracy, but even within the Union Glos’s idea was not warmly received. Stoiber argued that the 2004 European Parliament elections would serve as a referendum on Turkey’s application, since it would be clear to all voters where each party stood on this issue.17 Shortly before Erdogan’s Berlin visit in early September 2003, Glos showed support for Stoiber’s view that the Turkish question would be made into a central part of the 2004 EP election.18 Erdogan’s visit in September 2003 generated further discussion within the Union between those, largely Stoiber and other CSU members, who have strongly opposed Turkey’s application, and others, largely Merkel and CDU members, who have called for a more moderate stance on Turkey. Merkel remains “skeptical” of the Turkish application, but she demands that the Union discuss this topic “responsibly – even at election time.”19 A Review of the Attitudes in Germany Concerning Turkey’s EU Application I will review the most common arguments that have been made for and against Turkey’s application. Rather than reviewing who argues what, I organize this review of “German attitudes” according to the issues that are raised on each side of the debate. It is important to note that I am not reviewing the debate over whether or not Turkey will be able to fulfill the criteria for EU membership. 14 “Da guckt der Raubrauz raus” Der Spiegel (3/2003) 15 “Ruhe warnt Union vor Isolation bei Turkei-Frage” Financial Times Deutschland (December 12, 2002) 16 “Union streitet um Anti-Turkei Plebiszit” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (January 9, 2003) 17 “CSU verliert die Volksabstimmung” Die Tageszeitung (January 9, 2003) 18 “CSU sieht Turkei als Wahlkampfthema” Sueddeutsche Zeitung (September 1, 2003) 19 “Merkel mahnt zur Zuruckhalting in Turkei-Debatte” Sueddeutsche Zeitung (September 3, 2003); see also: “Streit in der Union uber EU-Beitritt der Turkei” Sueddeutsche Zeitung (September 2, 2003) and “Stoiber lehnt EU-Beitritt der Turkei strict ab” Sueddeutsche Zeitung (September 2, 2003) 7 Instead, I review the debate over whether or not Turkey, if they meet the economic and political criteria that have already been clearly codified, should be admitted into the EU. A Review of the Pro-Turkey/EU Arguments in Germany “We must westernize Turkey” The most common argument in support of Turkey’s EU membership is that bringing Turkey into the EU would guarantee the success of liberal-democracy in Turkey. Turkey could demonstrate that liberal-democracy is not a set of Christian principles, but a set of institutions that applies to Christian and Islamic societies alike. Angelica Schwall-Duren, deputy director of Europapolitik for the SPD, argued that Turkey “could become a country that unites Islamic culture with basic democratic values.” 20 Heinrich Quaden, military attaché in the Germany embassy in Ankara from 1994-98, presented the flip side of the argument that the EU will democratize Turkey: “If we leave this country on the south east edge of Europe to stand alone, the drift into the Islamic camp cannot be ruled out.” 21 “The EU is a community of political, not religious, values” SPD officials have been determined to fend off arguments (largely from the CSU) that the EU is a community of Christian values that are incompatible with Turkey’s Islamic society. According to Schwall- Duren: “The EU is not a religious community, instead, it is a union of European states on the basis of democracy, rule of law, human rights, secularism and liberal economic principles.” 22 The “Koordinierungsguppe Turkei” of the SPD explained the party’s position in similar terms: “The values of the EU are not bound to a particular culture or region, they apply universally… The Treaty of European union acknowledges explicitly the cultural diversity of its member states…. The guiding European culture (Leitkultur), that conservatives, for electoral reasons, in many places claim to defend, has nothing to do with the actual lives of people in the 15, and soon 25, member states.” 23 In his New Year’s Sermon, Bishop Dr. Walter Mixa provided an interesting interpretation of Europe’s “Christian” character that was consistent with the SPD’s secular definition of European values. Mixa explained: “Precisely because I am convinced that Europe has and needs a Christian identity… I can and I must understand Europe not as an exclusive ‘Christian club.’ As a Christian I am convinced that the legal culture (Rechtskultur) that was bought forth by Judaism and Christianity and that is the basis of human rights, possesses an attractive power that extends beyond the Occident and is not culturally bound.” 20 Angelica Schwall Duren “Soll die EU die Turkei aufnehmen?” Rheinischer Merkur (December 12, 2002) 21 Johannes Mehlitz “Leben in der Warteschleife” Rheinischer Merkur (November 12, 2002) 22 Schwall-Duren. 23 “EU-Republik Turkei: Integration Statt Kampf der Kulturen” Koordinierungsguppe Turkei beim SPD- Parteivorstand (December 17, 2002) 8 If Turkey adopted this legal culture and joined the EU, Mixa concluded, “We would not thereby lose Europe’s Christian identity. We would thereby make this identity a reality.” 24 “The condition of Christians will improve” In this same New Year’s sermon, Bishop Mixa presented an argument that is commonly made on behalf of the minority Kurdish population in Turkey, namely, EU membership will bring a significant improvement in the lives of the minority Christian population in Turkey. 25 A delegation of the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland traveled to Turkey and noted that Turkey’s efforts to meet the Copenhagen criteria represented a significant improvement in the lives of Christians in Turkey. 26 In this direction, the German Catholic and Lutheran churches were successful in pressuring the German government and EU officials into including the treatment of the Christian minority in the annual EU progress report on Turkey’s application.27 “Pacta Sunt Servanda” Dietrich von Kyaw, former German ambassador to Coreper, argues: “Having originated in Roman law, the principle of ‘pacta sunt servanda’ (agreements must be honored) is part of Europe’s cultural heritage. Anyone who ignores this principle when dealing with Turkey discredits himself…” 28 The Koordinierungsgruppe Turkei of the SPD made this same argument in their report. They point out that the EC/EU has been making promises to Turkey since 1963 must now be fulfilled (if Turkey meets the criteria). A Review of the Anti-Turkey/EU Arguments in Germany “With Turkey as a member, the EU will never move beyond a free trade zone.” In an editorial in Die Zeit former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt argues that Giscard d’Estaing was correct in telling the Europeans to end the hypocritical promises to Turkey. D’Estaing claimed that the heads of state of the EU member countries have hidden behind the membership criteria as an effective way to talk nice, but, at the same, assure that Turkey will not get in. 29 Schmidt argues that everyone must 24 “Silvesterpredigt 2002 von Bischof Dr. Walter Mixa” (www.bistum-eichstaett.de) 25 Ibid 26 “Rechtssicherheit fur alle Christen in der Turkei gefordert” Pressestelle der EKD (www.ekd.de/menshcenrechte) May 8, 2001 27 Thomas Klatt “Christen in der Turkei” Sonntagsblatt (May 9, 2003) 28 Dietrich von Kyaw “Yes to Turkey” Internationale Politik (volume 4, 2/2003), p. 55 29 “Ankara bid to join EU attacked by Giscard” The Financial Times (November 9, 2002) This article reports that d’Estaing dismissed Turkey’s application in clear terms: “It is not a European country.” Also, d’Estaing stated that the majority of EU members were privately against admitting Turkey, but “they never say it to the Turks.” These comments are often cited as the beginning of the public debate over Turkey’s “Europeanness” and the appropriateness of admitting Turkey into a European Union. 9 simply accept the reality that it would be impossible for the EU to cope with Turkey’s membership. Among the reasons for the impossibility of Turkish membership that Schmidt mentions are: Turkey’s high population growth rate, high unemployment, widespread poverty and low level of development. Specifically for the Germans, Turkey’s membership would mean a massive influx of Turkish immigrants. The result of Turkey’s accession, Schmidt concludes, would mean an end of the attempt to push the EU in the direction of political union and a guarantee that the EU would never move beyond a free trade zone.30 Stoiber followed Schmidt’s argument: “The accession of Turkey into the EU would be the end of the political union of Europe, because Turkey’s membership would overstretch the integrative capacity of the EU. We want an EU that is a true political union, not just a mere free trade zone.”31 On several occasions Stoiber has argued that his opposition to Turkish membership is proof that he is a stronger supporter of the European project than Schroeder, because, Stoiber points out, if his goal were to prevent the EU from moving toward political union, he could achieve this easily by pushing to bring in Turkey. Paradoxically, Stoiber argues, by supporting Turkey’s accession, Schroeder is undermining efforts to deepen European integration. Stoiber’s argument is based on the assumption that political union is possible only if Europe can continue to strengthen the community of values (Wertegemeinschaft) that binds the Europeans and that provides the mutual respect necessary for a move toward federalism. For this reason, several people (including d’Estaing and Romano Prodi) view Turkey as an obstacle to the construction of this community of values, because they are not part of Europe. “Turkey is not part of Europe” In 1997 Helmut Kohl joined six other Christian Democratic European heads of state in stating that Turkey could not be an EU member, because it was an Islamic society. This pronouncement caused outrage in Turkey and in 1999, Stoiber and Wolfgang Schauble distanced themselves from the stance that religion was the reason for keeping Turkey out. While continuing Kohl’s opposition to Turkey, the Union thereafter did not use religion as an element of the debate over Turkey’s application. 32 Although very few German public officials openly point to the religious divide as a reason for keeping Islamic Turkey out of the “Christian” European Union, it is common to hear and read about reports of such comments off the record, or in private conversations. Instead of pointing to the religious divide, most opponents of Turkey’s membership stress the deep “cultural” divide between Europe and Turkey. In this context, opponents argue that, because Turkey was not a part of the enlightenment, certain core European values, such as secularism and human rights, are not part of Turkish culture – even if the Turks do manage to make these principles part of their legal framework. Michael Glos argues that Europe is deeply rooted in certain values, such as: “…the culture of democratic constitutions since the French Revolution, the rule of law and the division of power. In the 20 th century we must add the welfare state and 30 Helmut Schmidt “Einbinden, nicht aufnehmen” Die Zeit (50/2002) 31 “Wo endet Europa?” Der Spiegel (December 9, 2002) 32 Stefan Kornelius “Europa nicht nur fur Christen” Sueddeutsche Zeitung (December 3, 1999) 10 the determination of the European states to achieve social justice on the basis of Catholic lessons and protestant social ethic. We see all of these values in theory and in practice in the political life of the EU member states. … When bringing in new members we cannot just assess whether the Copenhagen Criteria are fulfilled. Instead, we must judge whether or not these criteria will fit into the cultural context.”33 Historian Hans-Ulrich Wehler has written extensively on the significance of this cultural divide for the EU debate. Wehler argues that the 450 years of warfare between the Islamic Ottoman Empire and Christian Europe sits deep in the collective memory of the Europeans and Turks. It would be a mistake, he believes, to bring this tension into the EU. 34 Historian Heinrich August Winkler presents a similar argument. Winkler’s comments here reflect the views of most of the anti-Turkish membership voices in Germany, including Helmut Schmidt35 and Hans Dietrich Genscher: The historical Occident is such a unique phenomenon that one could speak of a special western path in world history…. This is the home of the reformation and of secularization of every kind. … All indications support the thesis that democracy has better chances for developing in countries that took part in the medieval separation of spiritual and temporal power than in those countries lacking this experience. … A free trade zone or a loose association of states can do without this kind of adhesive. But a Europe as a political union cannot. It needs an idea of itself. It must be able to rest on a feeling of belonging together – a sense of mutual heritage and common future challenges and responsibility. Europe comes to an end where the prerequisites for this sense of togetherness no longer exist.36 Building on the widespread German concerns about a massive influx of Turks, Winkler points out what he believes will be the likely negative cultural consequences of Turkey’s EU membership: “As citizens of an EU member state, Turks would sooner or later enjoy freedom of movement within the Union. … This would only exacerbate Germany’s already substantial problems with integrating its Turkish population. The migrant flows from Turkey would not result in a multicultural society, but in a monosubculture.”37 Adding to this scenario is the argument that Turkey’s population explosion (relative to Europe’s declining population) makes Turkey’s movement of labor a serious matter. Schmidt writes that in the middle of the 21st century there will be as many Turks as Germans and French combined. 38 Beyond the obvious concerns about Turkish immigrants competing for jobs in Germany, Winkler argues that a Turkish influx would “alter the very identity of this community in a way no other candidacy does.” The stances of the other opposition parties As the table above (on page 5) shows, FDP voters demonstrated the highest level of support for Turkey’s accession. In May 2003 the FDP issued a “Statement of the FDP Party Conference on the EU Accession of Turkey.” Some passages from the statement: “Europe is the area of freedom of religious worship. Europe is rooted in values that have been influenced by the Christian religions, but that are not 33 Michael Glos “Eine europaische Zukunft fur die Turkei?” Internationale Politik (November 2000) 34 Hans Ulrich Wehler “Das Turkenproblem” Die Zeit (38/2002) 35 Helmut Schmidt “Einbinden, nicht aufnehmen” Die Zeit (50/2002) 36 Heinrich August Winkler “No to Turkey” International Politik (2/2003) 37 Ibid. 38 Helmut Schmidt “Einbinden, nicht aufnehmen” Die Zeit (50/2002) 11 directed against any other religions. … Europe stands for a principle, not for a religion. … Turkey must be treated as all other candidates for membership have been treated.”39 In September 2003 FDP chairman, Guido Westerwelle, expressed his skepticism about Turkey’s application with passages taken directly from the May 2003 party statement : “Legal texts are one thing. Another thing is their transformation into societal reality. The decision on membership can be reached only at the conclusion of a process of fundamental change in Turkey.”40 In sum, the FDP stance on Turkey is that if Turkey is able to transform itself fundamentally, according to the demands of the Copenhagen Criteria, and if this transformation takes place both in the laws of the land, and in the social reality, then Turkey must be treated “as all other candidates have been treated.” But it is clear that the FDP does not except Turkey to achieve this transformation in the near future and that the FDP does not want the EU to back down from the criteria. The remaining opposition party, the PDS, has taken a stance similar to that of the SPD and Greens. Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann, a PDS member of the European Parliament, issued a statement on behalf of her fellow PDS members of the European Parliament: “The PDS group in the European Parliament supports the European Council in offering Turkey a concrete perspective for membership. With their recent constitutional changes Turkey has shown impressive steps toward strengthening basic civil rights. … All those who reject Turkey’s accession by pointing to Turkey’s majority Muslim population must be told, the EU is not an exclusive Christian club.”41 Conclusions Are the objections to Turkey’s EU membership grounded in pragmatic budgetary, trade and political concerns over Turkey’s level of development? Or is German opposition to Turkey’s accession essentially an expression of fundamental concerns about the compatibility of Europe’s “enlightenment” culture and Turkey’s traditional, Islamic culture? Are we facing the same debate that has accompanied every new application for EU membership: “Is the life-boat too full”? Or is the debate on Turkey about the essence of the organization? Erdogan and many others urge the governments of the member states to remember that the EU is a Wertegemeinschaft, not a Christian community.42 But the opponents do not talk about the religious divide, instead they refer to the “cultural divide.” How do we interpret this focus on culture in the Turkey debate? On the one hand, this reference to culture is a natural product of the evolution within the EU that has taken place since the 1980s, namely, the EU members have come to understand that any serious attempt to move in the direction of a deepening of European integration (toward political union) will be impossible unless the EU becomes a true 39 “Beschluss des 54. Ord. Bundesparteitages der FDP, Bremen 16-18 Mai 2003: EU-Beitritt der Turkei” 40 FDP Presse-Mitteilung September 3, 2003 “Westerwelle: Turkei derzeit nicht beitrittsfahig” 41 “Europa is kein christlicher Club – Der Turkei eine klare Perspektive eroffnen” PDS Pressedients December 19, 2002 42 “Der Weg nach Europa ist unwiderruflich” Sueddeutsche Zeitung (September 3, 2003) 12 community of values. On the other hand, this focus on “culture” is a convenient way to repackage the troublesome reference to religion. One of the paradoxes of the debate over Turkey’s application is that the Union is using the prospect of political union against Schroeder and Fischer. Stoiber presents himself as the supporter of a deepening of the EU by opposing Turkey’s accession. Stoiber and the Union have made it clear that they will attempt to turn the 2004 European Parliament elections into a referendum on Turkey. In a strange twist, this means that the CSU will portray Joschka Fischer and the Bundesregierung as betrayers of the attempt to build a supranational European federal structure. Was d’Estaing correct that, on the one hand, the Europeans don’t want Turkey in the EU, while, on the other hand, the Europeans continue their two-faced game of feeding the Turks encouragement? A clear pattern in the Turkish-EU relationship has been that the Europeans have not been able to come to terms with Turkey’s desire to join. Few people believed that Turkey was capable of undergoing the reforms that they have achieved in the few years. I believe that the European Council was willing to give the Turks a timeframe for membership, because it is contingent upon the Turks fulfilling impossible (at least in the near future) criteria. As long as the Turks don’t meet the criteria, the final decision can be postponed forever. In 2004 the EU will bring in 10 new members. This fact, along with the rising debate over the EU constitution, combined with the widespread assumption that Turkey will not meet the criteria for several years, all add up to a likely scenario in which Schroeder, Fischer and their colleagues in the EU will not ever have to make the final decision on Turkey. This decision will be passed on to future leaders to resolve. Unfortunately for the Turks, as the EU defines itself increasingly in terms of a community of (cultural) values, the bar for EU membership will rise.