"Turkey could join a very different Europe
By Wolfgang Munchau
Published: December 20 2004 02:00 | Last updated: December 20 2004 02:00
After Friday's historic decision by the European Council to set a date for entry negotiations, Turkey is now almost certain to become a full member of the European Union.
Forget the conditional clauses in the wording of the agreement. What matters is that EU leaders have established a firm procedure and the EU has proved time and again that it knows how to bring procedures to a successful conclusion.
The decision was a momentous one because it has raised the stakes in the debate about the future of the EU. The real issue is not whether Turkey manages to fulfil the Union's various entry conditions. Of that, senior EU officials have little doubt. The really interesting question is what kind of Europe will Turkey eventually join? Will Turkey join a coherent EU or a fragmented 'opt-out land', where each member state chooses from a menu what parts of European integration it wants to take part in?"
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