The economic, political, and
strategic benets of further
integration are there for all to see.
erations moved to the ore and urkey had to rejuvenateits alliance relations ollowing the ailure o its high proleengagement with Iran, urkish-American relations becamecloser.Te EU’s crisis arguably stemmed rom the paradox o “economic integration/political ragmentation.”
I andwhen it manages to nally overcome the crisis, the natureo the Union and its structure will be dierent and possibly will reect a more exible arrangement. Despite enviableeconomic perormances and a rising geopolitical prole,the benets that urkey would draw rom continuingintegration with the EU are not exhausted. In particular,the developments o the past ve years have shown that theaspirational orce o EU membership, as well as the disci-plining ramework o the Copenhagen criteria (Hungary’scurrent politics notwithstanding) is essential or the deep-ening and urther institutionalization o urkish democ-racy.Similarly, i the current crisis leads to a more exiblearrangement in the Union’s structure, absorbing a country the size o urkey might be easier, giving an opportu-nity or EU members to reevaluate the urkish le. Teeconomic, political, and strategic benets o urtherintegration are there or all to see. In addition, EU-urkey relations could easily move orward i they too reected amore exible arrangement, even i the member states’ poli-tics do not inspire much condence or such arsighted andimaginative openings on the part o the Union. Ultimately,the record o European history still allows one to hope or abreakthrough.
The European Challenge
In a review essay he wrote on the 20
anniversary o the1989 revolutions in Europe, imothy Garton Ash madethese haunting observations: “Te year 1989 was one o thebest in European history…World history — using the termin a quasi-Hegelian sense — was made in the heart o theold continent... wenty years later, I am tempted to specu-late … that this may also have been the last occasion — atleast or a very long time — when world history was madein Europe. oday, world history is being made elsewhere…
1 Ziya Öniş and Mustafa Kutlay, “Ekonomik Bütünleşme/Siyasal ParçalanmışlıkParadoksu: Avro Krizi ve Avrupa Birliği’nin geleceği” (“The paradox of Economicintegration/Political fragmentation: The crisis of the euro and the future of the EU”),Uluslararası İlişkiler Dergisi, Bahar 2012
O Europe’s long, starring role on the world stage, uturegenerations may yet say: nothing became her like theleaving o it.”
Ash spoke to the widely shared perception that Europewas unlikely to be one o the master builders o a new world order. Te economic crisis o 2007-2008 made itall the more apparent that power shi rom West to Eastand to other emerging, dynamic parts o the world in theeconomic realm was a rmly established reality. In a worldwhere vibrant nations are increasingly more orthcomingin their demands to be heard in the discussion o globalissues, Europe appears weak, incoherent, devoid o energy and unwilling to engage collectively with the pressingissues that were on its own agenda, let alone the world.While at the turn o the century, some authors and analystscould speak o a new era when Europe would set the stan-dard and be the rame o reerence or the rest o the world,the realities o the crisis gave other, ar more unpleasantmessages. For one, the current integration model and theinexibility that went with it is unlikely to continue. A new model would thereore be necessary to construct. Te tenserelationship between national policy and international(union-wide) cooperation would have to be recalibrated.So would the balance between the core and the periphery as well as the newly emerged division between north andsouth.In short, since the time Ash made his observations, theEuropean Union o the world’s imagination appears to haveoundered. One can understand the ormer Brazilian Presi-dent Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva when he said, “the worlddoes not have the right to allow the EU to end” because“what Europeans achieved aer World War II is part o thedemocratic heritage o humanity.” Yet Europe either lackedor just couldn’t generate the energy or the imagination toown up to its own successes and achievements; let alone
2 Timothy Garton Ash, “1989,”
New York Review of Books
, v. 56. Number 17, November