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50th birthday of the European Union-Comments 26 mars 2007

Posted by Acturca in EU / UE, Turkey-EU / Turquie-UE.

Turkish Daily News

March 24, 2007 Saturday

Angela Merkel / Chancellor of Federal Republic of Germany

« I can imagine a scenario, one in which people across EU celebrate 25 March 2057 in grand style because Europe has managed to find the right answers to its urgent problems; because Europe has remained effective thanks to a clear delimitation of competences between the EU, its member states and the regions, and successfully guaranteed the fundamental rights of its citizens; because Europe has a common foreign minister who is active throughout the world and whose opinion is highly sought-after in international discussions. »

Vaclav Klaus / President of the Czech Republic

« We should not start building `European` nationalism. We do not need any nationalism. »

Gerard Mortier / General Director of the Paris National Opera

« The implementation of the Declaration of Human Rights must be the great project of Europe for today and the future. When we consider the past two centuries, we are left with the feeling that European Man has been nervous of accepting his task as a stalwart upholder of such values. »

Rory MacMillan / Director of Government Affairs, NIKE

« Declining sports participation in Europe is a growing societal issue of the new millennium that demands attention. »

Daniel Cohn-Bendit ( Co-President of The Greens at the European Parliament)

« By establishing a binding climate stability pact as the instrument of an EU sustainable energy policy, the Union would become a beacon for the continuation of Kyoto objectives. While we wait for the new US president who could commit his country to the Kyoto Protocol. »

Carl Bildt / Foreign Minister of Sweden

« To close the door to Turkey, to the Western Balkans or to the East is to open the door to instability in Europe itself on the very doorsteps of the European Union. »

David Cameron / Leader of the UK Conservative Party

« Freezing the EU within its present borders would be a strategic error of historic proportions. »

George Vassiliou / Former President of the Republic of Cyprus and Chief Negotiator for accession)

« Turkey as a member state, Russia in the single market, a standard textbook for schools and a Union president elected by the European Parliament should be at the top of the Union`s agenda. »

Sergio Romano / Italian historian, journalis, former diplomat

« If the EU says `no` to Ankara, many will question the wisdom of a policy which opens the doors of the Union to the still convalescent countries of the Balkans, and closes them to the most promisind democracy and robust economy of the Muslim world. »

Bernard-Henri Levy / Philosopher

« What`s the point trying to live as a European of French rather than as a Frenchman (or German or British or Italian or whatever) if the whole object of the exercise isn`t to do away with the national framework, model and mindset ? »

Nicolas Sarkozy / Interior Minister of the French Republic, leader and presidential candidate of the UMP

« While Turkey is a friend and old ally whom we share values, it does not belong in Europe. However, though I am against the entry, I do not believe it should be an all or nothing proposition. I envision a privileged partnership for Turkey. We have a responsibility for our neighbours but membership is not the only answer. »

Thedora Bakoyannis / Foreign Minister of Greece

« Europe in 50 years` time will most probably be a continent whose inhabitants will comprise a considerably smaller portion of the world`s population than today; its economy may then be of less significance than the combined economies of the present and future rivals. But I am confident that it will continue to be the most fascinating and advanced mosaic of cultures. »

Ersin Ozince / CEO of Isbank

« Turkey has impressive economic capabilities that will contribute to Europe`s economic strength. I strongly believe that having Turkey, a country with a pre-dominantly Muslim population, within the EU, will further strengthen the EU`s secular roots and establish its values as universal principles. »

Kemal Kirisci / Director of European Studies Center of Bogazici University

« Is Turkey really different culturally? It depends on how one defines culture`. If this is a polite way of saying it has a different religion than the current EU membership, then maybe yes, it is different. Yet this difference ought not to be seen as a liability, but as a strength; slowly but surely, Turkey is saying to the Muslim communities in Europe and the rest of the world that `Yes, democracy, secularism and Islam can co-exist »

Deniz Akkan / Member of the Board, Generation Europe Foundation

« The young minds of Turkey are well aware that `being European` is not just a choice, but an identity, which they embrace willingly. It is the dream of a future where young people are free and encouraged to think and express themselves, to take risks and step in, to research and discover for themselves. »


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