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Turkey and the European Union: a reluctant membership?

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  1. The mechanics behind the enlargement process
    1. The evolution of the accession conditions
    2. The theoretical framework of enlargement
    3. The Turkish application
  2. A pragmatic overview of the Turkish case
    1. Turkey: in or out?
    2. The Cyprus problem: real obstacle or smokescreen?
  3. The question of identity at the heart of the problem
    1. The rhetoric surrounding Turkey
    2. God did it?

The European Union has never been an exclusive club. From the beginning of the integration process, fellow European countries were welcome to apply for membership. However, as the Union was deepening its integration and growing in size, the question of where and when to stop the enlargement became controversial. The Turkish application in particular has roused, and is still rousing a lot of debate, especially as the EU has undergone its biggest challenge so far by admitting twelve new members in 2004 and 2007. The majority of those countries were poor, agriculture-based economies from Central and Eastern Europe. The question that arises is, why did the Union admit those economically less successful countries after a relatively short period of time, while the Turkish application remained on hold? What were the criteria used by the European institutions and the member States to give priority to the CEECs?

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