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Bolkestein: Turkey Should Stay Outside EU

As Turkey waits to be told in December that it can start EU membership talks, Dutch Commissioner Frits Bolkestein said the country should stay outside, according to news reports.

The Internal Market Commissioner also holds the view that "Ukraine is more European than Turkey." In his new book ‘The Limits of Europe’, Bolkestein said that Turkey should act as a "buffer" protecting Europe from Syria, Iran and Iraq. A similar cushion between the EU and Russia could be formed by the former Soviet republics of Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine, which should also remain outside the EU. "In the east, there is a geo-political need for a buffer zone between the EU and Russia, which might be formed by the countries that do not belong to either bloc," Bolkestein wrote. Without mentioning Turkey directly, he also says that a similar buffer would also be advantageous "in order to cushion the Union against Syria, Iran and Iraq." The European Commission will recommend in October whether accession negotiations with Ankara should begin. The decision will be taken by EU heads of state in December this year. (EUObserver.com)

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