Tag Archives: EU

Politically Correct Police In EU!

Those who preach the doctrine of political correctness sometime err on the side of silliness. The Council of European Human Rights Commission has criticized the phrase being used in Turkish schools that has students say, “Happy is the one who calls himself a Turk.” According to the Political Correct police this phrase is insulting to the millions of Kurds or Armenians or Romas who live in Turkey. The EU commission regards asking someone who lives in Turkey, but is of a particular ethnic background as akin to insulting the individual rights of people.

Come on. Let’s be sensible. If one lives in Turkey, is part of the Turkish nation, than can we assume that individual is a Turk? There are people from every nation in the world who inhabit the United States of America including individuals of Apache or Cherokee heritage, but no one considers it insulting to say he or she is proud to be an American.
Surely, the EU commission has better things to do with its time.

Emerging Anti-Turkish EU Coalition?

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has long opposed the entry of Turkey into the European Union since he most probably fears the presence of a large Muslim nation in a European group. Recent elections in Germany have resulted in a possible alliance between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats with the Free Democrat party. There are reports France wants the European Union on certain factors embodied in an application to join the group. The German Free Democrats are not enthusiastic supporters of Turkey’s admission to the EU and this might enable Sarkozy to form an alliance with Germany and block the application.

Sarkozy prefers if Turkey anchor a new Mediterranean Union which would encompass nations in the region. This would eliminate the prospect of Muslims from Turkey being able to enter other EU nations without worrying about quotas.

Will EU Respect Turkey Membership Bid?

Turkey has submitted its bid to enter the European Union, but there is strong opposition from nations like France which do not wish to allow a large Muslim nation to become part of what they consider to be a Christian alliance. The Independent Commission of Turkey, which consists of former heads of state, urged European political leaders to honestly examine the membership bid, and not to allow anti-Muslim prejudice to get in the way. “Negative remarks by European politicians and the growing hesitation on enlargement is discouraging Turkish voters and politicians to achieve the EU goal.”

There is no question French President Sarkozy has led the anti-Turkish movement since he fears growth in the EU Muslim population. The Commission essentially asked that Turkey’s application “receive equal treatment as all other candidate countries.” Fair enough.

Will France Allow Turkey Into European Union?

The issue of whether or not Muslim Turkey will be admitted into the European Union will most probably be determined by the attitude of France since President Sarkozy is against allowing a nation containing large numbers of Muslims to enter a European organization. Pierre Leilouche a leading French politician has been a vigorous supporter of Turkey’s entry into the EU but Sarkozy bought him out by offering the position of France’s new minister to Europe. According to Leilouche, “there is one government policy, there are not two, and it is the government’s policy that I will carry out.”

Turkey represents to Europe an opportunity and a serious problem. The problem is will the European Union be fundamentally altered by the presence of a nation whose population is mainly Muslim? There is no question the presence of Turkey will provide Muslims will a strong supporter for policies that foster Muslim ideas. On the other hand, if Turkey can be integrated within the European Union it raises the possibility of melding historic European ideals of democracy and religious freedom within a Muslim context.

Turkey Entry Into European Union Doubtful

The recent elections to the European Union parliament have resulted in gains for conservatives and right wing groups. Turkey’s bid to enter the EU was doubtful at best, but now that conservatives and anti-Muslim factions have gained more seats in the EU parliament it raises issues as to whether a bid by a Muslim nation will be successful. The recession, rising anger toward immigrants, and loss of confidence in socialist and liberal groups most probably were important factors in the growth of votes for anti-immigrant parties in Europe. Geert Wilders, who has led the fight in the Netherlands, to halt further immigration saw a large improvement in his vote. A fascist from the United Kingdom became the first member of his party to secure a seat in the EU parliament.

Any time there is a recession, anger toward the stranger and immigrants rises in a society. As unemployment increases, people interpret immigrants working as taking away their jobs even though few would actually seek jobs in the lower echelons of society.

EU Voters Give Ho Hum To Election

Only about 43% of eligible voters turned out for the European Union parliament elections which witnessed a strong showing by center-right parties as well as Green candidates. It appears that socialist parties such as the UK Labor Party went down to a resounding defeat because voters did not believe they were offering policies that dealt with their concerns about unemployment as well as the tricky issue of immigrants. A member of the British Fascist party even won a seat most probably because of a campaign against immigrants in his country. Jose Manuel Barros, president of the EU executive European Commission, argued, “Overall, the results are an undeniable victory for those parties and candidates that support the European project and want to see the European Union delivery policy responses to their everyday concerns.”

The European Union elections still lack the presence of major candidates offering policies that would deal with these everyday concerns. There is scant doubt many candidates ran for office on a platform of fear, fear of the stranger, fear of immigrants. Perhaps, it is time for a presidency which can offer leadership for the entire European Union.

Obama Backs Turkey EU Bid To Sarkozy

In his meeting with President Sarkozy of France, Barack Obama urged the admittance of Turkey into the European Union. “I’ve said publicly that I think Turkish membership of the EU would be important. What the US wants to do is just to encourage talks and discussions where Turkey can feel confident that it has a friendship with France, with the United States, and with all of Europe and to the extent that it defines itself that it has an opportunity to be part of that.” The French president has opposed the entry of Turkey which he fears would alter the composition of Europe due to its large Muslim population. Sarkozy has been pushing a Mediterranean Union which would also include Israel and other nations which border the body of water.

The two leaders differed on the issue of Muslim women wearing a headscarf. Obama made clear that in the United States, “our basic attitude is that we’re not going to tell people what to wear.” Sarkozy argued his nation did not wish the headscarf because of national opposition to any form of religious symbols in schools or government offices. He also raised the question as to whether girls were being forced to wear the headscarf due to parental pressure.

At this point, it is none of America’s business how France deals with the headscarf. The important issue right now is working to assist the entry of Turkey into the European Union.

Tony Blair–Man In The Middle Of A Diplomatic Fiasco?

There must be moments in the life of Tony Blair when he wonders how in God’s name did he wind up attempting to deal with the madness of the Israel-Palestinian dilemma? He is the envoy of the Quartet composed of the United States, Russia, the EU and the UN who seek to mediate the conflict in the Middle East. Blair will be meeting with a committee of the British Parliament to discuss what he has or has not accomplished over the past two years. Blair has met with new Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who insists he wants peace but is undecided about an independent Palestine. He has met with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority which recently was engaged in a gun battle with Hamas forces that left six dead. We can say without fear of contradiction that Blair meets with a great number of people.

Israel and American relations have reached a new low because President Obama is committed to peace in the Middle East while Netanyahu is committed to maintaining the status quo–indefinitely, we presume. Blair has no power, he just wanders from place to place mumbling and talking and looking like he knows what he is doing. It reminds one of the man who actually believed George Bush knew something about WMD.

Money Alone Can’t Solve Roma Problems

The European Union is willing to spend millions of Euros in an effort to improve the lives of Roma children in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Educational opportunities undoubtedly are a key component of dealing with issues of prejudice and bigotry, but money in itself spent in school improvement is not sufficient for the tasks that lie ahead. An estimated 300,000-500,000 Romas live in Slovakia and a large number inhabit settlements which lack running water or electricity. Roma children do not succeed in school which places them at a disadvantage in seeking decent paying jobs or even securing modern housing.

The story in America of dealing with poverty and discrimination is the importance of simultaneously confronting education, housing, and jobs as well as undertaking programs for adult education. Spending another hundred or two hundred million Euros will not result in much difference unless it also addresses other issues. There is also need for an extensive program dealing with multiculturalism for children in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

European Duo Says No To Turkey!

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear that she does not envision a full membership in the European Union for Turkey. Speaking before a group of fellow Christian Democrats, the German leader said “we cannot take in everyone in Europe as a full members.” She expressed concerns about the border of the European Union and worried that too many members would make decision making difficult. “It makes no sense if there are ever more members, and we can’t decide anything anymore.” However, Merkel expressed her support for some form of EU membership for Turkey that was short of full membership.

Mekel received support from French President Nicolas Sarkozy who exclaimed that “when Angela Merkel says Europe must have borders, she is right– because Europe without borders would be a Europe without a will, without identity, without values.”

There are two issues at play in these comments. One, how does an ever expanding Europe reach agreement on anything given current difficulties in having all nations agree to change? Secondly, is a different issue of do European Christians want a large Muslim nation in the European Union. They are separate issues.