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Europe

Giscard Opposes Turkey Joining EU

EU Constitution chief architect Giscard d'Estaing has backed calls for a privileged partnership, not full EU membership, for Turkey.

In an opinion article in Britain's Financial Times, Valery Giscard d'Estaing, the chief architect of the European Constitution, added his voice to those calling for a "privileged partnership" for Turkey, as opposed to full EU membership. Giscard d'Estaing argued that Turkish entry to the EU would "change the nature of the European project," adding that Ankara would be the "major decision-maker in the EU" due to its large population size. He also warned that allowing Turkey to join the EU could result in a clutch of other countries clamoring for entry. "There is already a queue forming to the east and west," said the former French president. "Morocco would probably be tempted to follow Turkey's example. This could result in a process of permanent enlargement, destabilizing the operations of the European system and removing its original rationale." The comments follow a campaign by the German opposition CDU party to offer a "privileged partnership" to Turkey. The debate is increasing in intensity as EU leaders prepare to decide whether to open accession negotiations with Turkey at a crucial summit in Brussels on Dec. 17. (EUobserver.com)

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