14 May 2012
By Ýpek Yezdani, Hürriyet Daily News
A “looser” economic policy in the European Union could make the process of Turkey’s accession to the bloc easier but is unlikely, member of the European Parliament (EP) and vice chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) Geoffrey Van Orden said on a visit to Turkey.
“A looser EU that focuses on an economic market with overlapping sectors of cooperation would help Turkey’s accession process, rather than a tighter economic integration of the EU countries. However this is not what the EU wants,” van Orden said. Van Orden was visiting Turkey to attend two different conferences on Turkey’s EU accession process organized by Kadir Has University and the Economic Development Foundation (ÝKV).
“Cyprus Wants a Win-Win Situation”
“Many EU member states have been using more than they should. Austerity is a distasteful medicine. Economic growth would help to overcome the hardship. … Turkey has the potential to be a political, economic and energy partner for the EU,” Van Orden said. Because of the enormous democratic deficit in the EU, the way institutions work does not reflect the will of the EU’s citizens, he said. Member of the European Parliament from Greek Cyprus Eleni Theocharous said Turkey holds the key to its accession to the EU. “It is Turkey’s decision to de-block the accession procedure. If Turkey comes to a fair solution, Cyprus will fully support Turkey’s membership. Turkey has rejected communicating with the EU during Cyprus’ [EU term] presidency and will thus loose precious time. Turkey needs to sign the additional protocol. We want to have a win-win the situation. Currently, the situation is in a deadlock.” Because of the current financial crisis in Europe, Euroscepticism seems to be increasing within the EU, she added.