Many authors have written notes, books and articles to discuss the effects of a country joining the European Union. Others have gone to the extent of discussing the relationship of Turkey with the European Union (Harun, 2006) as a whole and trying to establish why the European Union Council has never granted Turkey the chance (Lake, Cox P. , 2005) to join the union whereas this to many equates to sitting on a gold mine since the positioning of Turkey and its large population would be of a lot of benefit to the member states of the European Union (H. D. J.
Bliej, 2005) and despite all this, the nations are reluctant to allow Turkey to join them. Others have concentrated on how Turkey can improve its policies in order to fit in this union that would be of much benefit to it too. 2. Abstract: The European Union is a union between some European countries whose aim is to help these countries unite in order to benefit both economically and politically through trading and matters such as defense. The European Union has 27 member countries all of which are independent and sovereign states and are located Europe.
However, not all the countries in Europe are members of the European Union. There are sets of conditions that a sovereign state must fulfill in order for to be allowed to join the European Union. The European Union was established in 1993 after the Treaty Maastricht. Its formation was heavily influenced by the European Economic Community. Its creation has led to the heavy contribution of all the member countries towards the development of all the member states leading to the creation of a single market through a set number of laws people, goods, capital and services.
This single market is geared towards trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional integration. 3. The Euro zone: There is also the aspect of using a single currency among some of the member states. These are known as the Euro zone. The Euro zone consists of sixteen states so far. The unit of currency is known as the Euro. The Euro was launched in 1999 by eleven member states though it remained an accounting currency until 2002 when the first euro notes and coins were released and the members of the euro zone started phasing out their individual currencies and therefore the became the common means of exchange between member states.
Several other countries have joined the euro zone with the latest being Slovakia which joined the euro zone in January 2009. The European Union plays a key role in matters of foreign policy such as the World Trade Organization, the G8 and the G20 summits and also in the United Nations policy making. Twenty-one members of the European Union are also members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO. This is a treaty that seeks to protect the welfare and goodwill of each of its member states. 4. Structure: The European Union operates on what is known as intergovernmentalism and supranationalism.
Member states usually consult before making any major decisions that would in normal cases affect the whole region or other member countries of the European Union but there also exists some bodies within the European Union which that are even mandated to make unanimous decisions. These bodies include the European Commission, the European Parliament, the council of the European Union, the European court of justice and the European Central Bank. These are regarded as supreme bodies and their decisions, if at all made in haste, are reviewed later in the European Parliament.
The European Union citizens elect their parliament after every five years. Each member state usually has a representative in the European Parliament and usually a President is elected from any of these representatives and serves for a period of six months before more shuffling is done in order to pass this mandate to someone else from another member state and this serves to make sure that all the member states have a chance at control and thus none is left feeling left out due to the equal representation. The European Union is divided into three areas of responsibility known as the pillars.
The three pillars include the European Community Policies, the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Police and Judicial cooperation in judicial matters. The European Union receives its political leadership from the European Council, which is composed of one representative per member state- a head of state or head of government. Its Foreign Minister assists each member state’s representative. The council uses its leadership role to sort out disputes between member states and institutions, resolve political crises and disagreements.
The council meets four times in a year at the European Summit. Member states of the European Union are, however, responsible for their own territorial defense. Twenty-one member states are also members of the NATO and many others have absolved to adopt policies of neutrality. The Western European Union is a security organization and in 1992, the European Union signed the Petersburg Tasks, which call upon its peace-keeping missions and humanitarian crisis management. 4. 1 Economy: The economy of the European Union adopts a single economic market structure for all its members.
Sixteen of its member countries use a single currency known as the euro and these countries are said to be in the euro zone. The system seems to be working as the region has generated a nominal Gross Domestic Product that amounts to 31% of that of the world. The European Union forms the largest trade block economy in the whole world due to trading in between all the member countries and other countries outside the union. The European Union is also the largest exporter of goods and services to countries outside the union.
It is also the second largest importer of goods and services in the whole world. This implies that the European Union bears a lot of influence on the economic situation. The core objective of the European Economic Community is the development of a common market or rather a single market which would account for free movement of people, goods and services across the border without much to do with customs duties and other import quotas. There are also some non-EU states that participate in the common market. These include Iceland and Norway.
Many member countries find the common market to be an opportunity for economic growth. 5. Turkey: Turkey made an application to join the European Union on 14th April 1987 after struggling for so long to meet the demands that . Turkey has been an associate member of the European Union and its predecessors since 1963 but most countries insist that Turkey still has not met the demands and criteria of joining the European Union and thus has never been accepted to join the European Union. They do not even use the Euro but instead use Turkish Lira.
The issue of joining the European Union has been a major controversy in the ongoing plans and enlargement of the European Union because many of the member states differ on the issue of allowing Turkey to join them. Countries such as France have given a deaf ear to this issue and still insist that Turkey must accomplish some reforms that are vital for its development before being granted this chance. 5. 1 Discrepancies: The main reason why Turkey has not been granted a chance to join the European Union is because of its economic and political plans that are seen by the member states as not sovereign (Lake M.
, Cox P. , 2005). A major military coup in Turkey worsened their political arena and this did not favour them among the member states as it is clearly stated in the European Union’s constitution that all member states should have sovereign governments. This pushed their target date for joining even further. (A. Harun, 2006) 5. 2 Milestone: Turkey made a significant leap in its relations with the European Union during the Copenhagen meeting in December 2002.
The European Union opened negotiations with Turkey and would be made a member if it fulfilled the Copenhagen political goals that were set then. These included the abolition of capital punishment, the crackdown on the crimes such as torture and the granting of more rights for the Kurdish population that lives within its boundaries. This would see to the social equity that the European Union advocates for and hasten the reforms that Turkey is supposed to make and make it an economic haven for all. The sectarian disintegration between the Cypriots should be sorted out in order to make
The earliest that Turkey could join the European Union is in 2013 when the preset financial perspectives will come to pass. This is according to Europeans Union’s six year budgetary perspectives. This is done to ensure that Turkey reforms permanently and therefore grant it a chance of joining the union, as it cannot be allowed to do so whereas its economic perspectives differ with those of other member countries. Turkey, granted a chance, would be of great benefit to the European Union since it is strategically placed and trading would thrive in this region.
Human rights activists in the European Union member countries are usually very opposed to Turkey’s joining of the European Union due to the disregard of human rights in Turkey, the taciturn lack of democracy within the country and the open and common external disputes with its neighbours. The European Union advocates for peace and stability within its member countries and therefore cannot take in a country as a member if there exists some disputes between the country and its neighbours since this would pose as a burden and a challenge to the member states.
Turkey therefore has to resolve such disputes with its neighbours before being allowed to join the union. (Ali Carkoglu A. , M. R. Barry, 2003) The respect for human rights is of key concern to the union and therefore if a member country bears some disregard for human rights, there’s always a lot of pressure from other member countries and therefore Turkey faces no exception as it has to be very strict on its regard for human rights in order to be made a European Union’s member.
If Turkey instills no democratic reforms on its current system of governance, the European Union Council will have no option but to extend its target date because this will be a pure violation of the Copenhagen preset political goals that Turkey has to adhere to. Turkey is however showing some key factors that point towards some positive reforms. The economy has had a major upheaval and the percentage increase has gone up by about 7%. 5. 3 Effects and Benefits: Turkey is a key regional power in Europe.
It bears a lot of influence on the European market and thus if the European Union allows the joining of Turkey, there would be a lot of benefits for the member countries as would be for Turkey. Turkey has a very large economy and thus the trading between the member countries and Turkey would be taken a level higher given that factors such as the single market would be brought to effect. As a result, the Gross National Product of the European Union would be taken a level up and this means a positive effect on all the member states.
It is through business that financial prosperity is accomplished and true to this, Turkey is bound to improve that of the European Union. The economy of Turkey is very large and as a result the tax cuts that members of the European face would prove to be very beneficial. The import quotas within the European Union would improve Turkey’s economy because it would not have to pay import taxes on goods within the European Union boundaries.
Due to its large population, the other countries would have a broader market for their goods and services and hence the enhancement of business and the improvement of economies. Turkey is the second largest military force of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and this would be a key boost in the security of the European Union. The merging of Turkey and other states in the European Union would see to the improvement of the peacekeeping forces that are deployed by the European Union to states that face political instability which would in the long run uphold even more, the core values of the Union.
The joining of Turkey into the European Union means that the resources of the European would be increased. This is because Turkey’s boundaries would increase the European Union’s geopolitical sphere of influence such as in the Caspian Sea and Central Asia (H. D. J. Bliej, 2005). Turkey is a transcontinental country in that it would facilitate the linking of the European Union with the Middle East and hence better ties are to be made in such a case and the union would be more obliged to do business with the Middle East.
This would improve the relationship between the European Union and the Middle East, which mainly consists of Islamic states and have in the past had a not-so-good relationship with the countries within Europe. Turkey is a major Islamic state and hence these ties are bound to improve. Turkey has a customs union with the European Union and has one of the fastest growing economies and the agricultural activities that were once widespread and used to fuel the country’s economy have diminished with time and now the country relies mainly on the numerous industries that have cropped up in major cities.
(Burrell A. , Oskam A. J. , 2005). The tourism sector has also improved in the last decade and the automobile industry has grown large and strong. The tourism industry has in the past two decades had a major boost and this has catapulted the country even further. Turkey, with its current trend, the country is bound to join the European Union as would be of benefit to both parties. However, member states have to agree on this unanimously and this is where the bone of contention lies as some of these countries have been critical of Turkey.
The improvement of its ties with the member states would therefore be its stepping stone to joining this union; the European Union.
Harun, A. , (2006), Turkey and the EU: An Awkward Candidate for EU Membership? , Published by Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. , ISBN 0754647625, 9780754647621 Ali Carkoglu A. , M. R. Barry, (2003), Turkey and the European Union: domestic politics, economic integration, and international dynamics, published by Routledge, ISBN 0714654027, 9780714654027 Burrell A. , Oskam, A. J. , (2005), Turkey in the European Union: implications for agriculture, food, and structural policy, Published by CABI, ISBN 0851990940, 9780851990941
H. D. J. Bliej, (2005), Why Geography Matters: Three Challenges Facing America: Climate Change, the Rise of China, and Global Terrorism, Published by Oxford University Press US, ISBN 0195183010, 9780195183016 Lake M. , Cox P. , (2005), The EU & Turkey: a glittering prize or a millstone? Published by The Federal Trust for Education & Research, ISBN 1903403618, 9781903403617