mercredi 19 octobre 2011

Les droites européennes deviennent plus eurosceptiques et anti-grecques que turcophobes



‘Globalists’ vs ‘localists’
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Monday, September 26, 2011

During my recent visit to Helsinki, Alexander Stubb, the Finnish minister for European affairs and foreign trade, said something about the rise of the ultra-right wing in Finland and other parts of Europe that is easy to agree with.

Stubb said there is no longer a clear divide between “leftists” and “rightists” in Europe today since the two opposing wings of the political spectrum agree on some key topics such as immigration and EU enlargement.

“What we have instead are ‘localists’ and ‘globalists,’” Stubb said, indicating that his government was on the side of the “globalists” even though the “True Finns” party, which is clearly “localist,” garnered a strong vote in the last election.

It was clear from Stubbs’ remarks that the importance of Turkish EU membership was based on strategic considerations when looked at from a “globalist” perspective. During a separate conversation with Finland’s Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, I questioned whether the suggestion that “Turkey is vital for Europe” is more of a rhetorical statement than a statement of fact.

“It is not a question of rhetoric, it is a question of arithmetic,” Tuomioja said, pointing to the critical mass that Turkey has gained economically and politically in a region that is also vital for Europe.

But such remarks are water off a duck’s back for “localists.” Members of this group in the European Parliament whom I talked with in Brussels last week are certain Turkey will never be a member of the EU and question why the current membership talks are still going on.

Turkish officials see no reason, of course, why Turkey should stop the talks unilaterally when there are EU member states that support its EU bid. But given Europe’s current woes, and the fact that it will take years to fully sort out the current financial mess, it would be naive to assume that Turkey’s bid is going to mature any time soon, if at all.

Like Turkey’s membership talks, the EU itself appears as an “open-ended project” from today’s perspective. But there is more to it than just the “Turkish issue.” The immediate problem for Europe’s “localists” is not Turkey per se. It is the EU itself.
“Localists” in Europe do not like the EU. They believe the union is totally undemocratic, with appointed “Eurocrats” in the commission trying to whittle away at their nations’ sovereign rights.

Talking to a prominent member of the “localist” Danish Peoples Party in Brussels last week, I could not help but joke that the kind of relationship with the EU he was describing as being desirable for Denmark appeared at first glance to be the kind of “privileged partnership” Germany and France are offering Turkey.

At any rate the European right wing today is talking much more about Greece than it is about Turkey. I was told by quite a number of analysts in Helsinki that the Finns simply “do not understand why they should have to bail out a lazy and cheating country like Greece” without getting any guarantees that their hard-earned money is not being thrown away.

I was told that the True Finns won 19 percent of the vote in the last elections because of this issue, not because of Turkey’s EU bid. The fact is that the ultra-right in Europe opposes the EU project itself, let alone Turkish membership, and the current crisis has strengthened its hand.

Given this fact, there seems little point in trying to scare off Ankara by pointing to the rise of the right wing in Europe. The equation here is a simple one: The European ultra-right is getting stronger because the number of people in EU member states who do not believe in the European project as it is today is rising.

This however is not Ankara’s problem but the problem of those who believe in the EU’s future with or without Turkey as a member.
Monday, September 26, 2011
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