Today, all European governments and public opinions are different about the orientation they want to be taken place in the European Union (EU). Indeed, it is a global problem about the Union they expect to see in the future: a communitarian, an intergovernmental, an economic, a political, maybe even a military Union. Amongst all these touchy issues, the problem of enlargement, and especially, enlargement of the Union by adding Turkey, is really a specific problem, partly because it is linked to culture and religion. Integration of Tuekey into the Union is a particularly burning issue because it is mainly a Muslim country, whereas the inhabitants of the European Union have a mainly Jew or Christian background.
[...] It is a group that insists on spreading democracy to every people that wants it. Indeed, they support the ideal of a Europe of peoples, whatever the people may be. They do not have religious, geographical, historical bearings so as to discover who deserves to be in the EU or not. According to them, it is a matter of will. As a matter of consequences, all regionalist parties in Spain, except the Catalan party Unio Democratico, which prefers “a special relation of friendship and cooperation” to a direct adhesion, support the Turkish adhesion. [...]
[...] They have a significant number of deputies at the Cortes, which enables them to play, from time to time, a decisive role at a national level, a role of “political judge”. They are all the more important since there is no real centre party. Indeed, either the socialist or the popular parties have to be supported by one or the other to get the majority. Results of the elections Vasco Currently, the majority party is the Socialist Party, which won the 2004 legislative elections. [...]
[...] All parties more or less agree on the attitude to adopt towards Turkey and enlargement. Moreover, like in Portugal, the issue of Turkey is not set on the parties' agenda and there is not much debate about it on the political scene. However, in Portugal, the marks are average ones. In Spain, the marks are around 7 or which means that all parties –except perhaps the PP- are fairly positive or really positive regarding enlargement. Hence, there is a gap between the Portuguese and the Spanish parties: the first are fairly pessimistic, whereas the second are fairly optimistic. [...]
[...] This decision, taken on the 30th of November in 2004, was an answer to the political instability underwent by the government of Pedro Santana Lopes. The latter belonged to the PSD (“Social Democratic Party”) and ruled with the help of the PP (“Popular Party”). The results enhanced a “sanction poll”. Indeed, the parties that were at power, the right-wings parties, mainly the Social Democrats, were sanctioned for their previous administration of the country. Hence, they lost more than 10% of ballots. [...]
[...] More and more Spanish put aside the religious matter, on behalf of universalistic values, tolerance and geopolitical interest of a stronger Europe with Turkey. Maybe the personal commitment of Zapatero has been useful there. To conclude with, Spain and Portugal have adopted rather dissimilar attitudes towards the EU and its future, namely, enlargement. Indeed, despite the numerous similarities they have, historical and cultural similarities, both countries do not have the same look on the EU. One look, the Spanish one, seems to be made of confidence, hope and expectation. [...]
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