Turkey: accession impossible

by Lorenzo Piccoli


Although a member of numerous regional and international organisations, Turkey is still not in the EU, despite negotiations dating back some 50 years. A recent essay pointed to the possibility that the country has missed its chance to become anything more than an auxiliary to US foreign policy in the Middle East.

You probably couldn’t care less, but I am personally against Turkey’s accession to the EU. As this is a fascinating and somehow heated debate, I will put forward my reasons for rejecting Turkey’s accession to the EU.

  1. Balance of power. Turkey is just too big. If accepted in the EU, it would be the second largest member by number of inhabitants and the single largest army. This would imply a radical change in the nature itself of the EU. Are we ready for it? I do not think so.
  2. Geography. Leaving aside the fact that Turkey is not geographically part of Europe, its borders are just too dangerous to control. Accepting that Turkey is part of the EU would imply accepting Iran, Iraq, Syria as neighbouring states. I do not think that the EU has the capacity to deal with these new frontiers.
  3. Governance. I am against any further EU enlargement. In spite of all the wishful thinking that came with it, the EU is becoming plainly too big to handle. Institutions representing 27 (and soon 28) different member states are hardly efficient. I would personally oppose any new member state for the time being. I do not even to think about a huge state like Turkey: its accession would imply a radical process of institutional reform and a major disruption of the precarious equilibrium on which the EU is based. It is impossible to think of such a massive reform just now.