Maud from Belgium wonders why Turkey's entry to the European Union is proving to be so difficult. H�l�ne Flautre answers her question.H�l�ne Flautre, France, Greens/European Free Alliance, Turkey, Accession, European Union, Criteria, Democracy, Integratio
Hello, I've just met Maud, who has a question on Turkey's entry to the EU. I'm Maud from Belgium. Why is Turkey's entry to the EU such a problem? I've been asked the same question by many of you. I put the question to Hélène Flautre, an MEP who deals with Turkey. Turkey is mainly a Muslim country. It's not my opinion, but many people in Europe think that the EU is based on Christian values. When did Turkey apply to join the EU? It goes back a long way. Already in 1963 a promise was made to Turkey that one day it could join. No date was given, but future membership was promised. Since this promise, which still hasn't been kept, many things have happened. In the end official candidate status, recognised by everyone, was given to Turkey at the end of 1989. We've been negotiating since then. It's a lengthy process. But why are talks taking such a long time? It's been difficult because Turkey was ruled by the army, which controlled the justice system, press, education and political parties. Obviously while the situation was like that we couldn't start membership talks. The situation was so bad for the use of torture for example that we decided not to start negotiations. In the end, the EU did start discussions. But to become a Member State, Turkey has to do lots of things. To find out about enlargement, join us in the next Backstage. Until then!