The Candidate Countries Should Be Fast-Tracked To EU Membership In 2012
Currently, The European Union is making an enlargement policy in which four countries are granted the title “candidate”: Turkey, Macedonia, Croatia and Iceland. These four countries have made a notable progress towards EU in the recent years. They have already signed many contracts and standards to get close to the accession. Moreover, all of the four countries have a very important geo-strategic position. The time has come for the EU to use the opportunities and benefits from the progress of the candidate countries. We believe and will prove that the acceleration of the progress of these countries will bring a win-win situation for both sides. Although there are a few more changes that need to be done, we believe that with the help of the EU this can be achieved soon enough.
As defined, the Candidate Countries are Turkey, Macedonia, Croatia and Iceland. We define “should” as likelihood and probability, and “fast-tracked” means to speed up the progress of the candidates with the help of the EU. EXTRA: We would also like to ask the opposition not to make changes in the summary after the debate has finished without noting that the changes are actually theirs.
----------------------- OPPOSITION -----------------------
Just to further clarify this debate concerns a blanket approach that would see all these countries admitted into the EU by 2012 regardless of whether they've completed the necessary prerequisites.
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The Great Progress!
The candidate countries, Turkey, Macedonia, Iceland and Croatia have already taken actions to enter the EU .Turkey is a country that has the status of a candidate for the longest period of time and has closed 14 of 33 chapters. Croatia has closed 22 of 33 chapters, Iceland achieved the status of a candidate in 2009 and is about to enter the EU in 2011. Only Macedonia doesn’t have a date for negotiations, but that is not the main problem. Macedonia have made lots of changes and made a huge progress for her way to EU. In addition to Macedonian’s progress are the positive EU reports, so the proposition is completely sure that this country with fast – track will be ready to enter the EU.
All of the candidates have made many reforms in order to enter the EU. The proposition thinks that it is not necessary to wait anymore and that those four countries have fulfilled most of the criteria, so the candidates should start the process of fast – track. For example, Turkey has made a total change in the constitution, their laws are close to EU regulative and they have strong economy, better democratic system, civil rights, intellectual property rights, etc. There are also many positive examples for the progress of the other candidate countries. [[http://bit.ly/aDMwZz]] [[http://bit.ly/auNXKq]]
It is a fact that, even the EU itself does not fulfill all of the criteria for membership, because it is not possible for any country to be perfect. Many countries have bypassed some criteria for membership, for example Spain, Romania, etc. The candidate countries have made even more than possible to enter the EU, so the proposition claims that there is no reason to wait anymore, but EU should give them the chance and start the process of fast – track.
It is not logical to spend more resources on something that is already done. Those countries are prepared to enter the EU. EU should use the benefits from the progress of the candidate countries.
Although the opposition believes the EU candidates have shown progress, we disagree their progress is significant enough for them to be fast-tracked to EU membership in 2012 . As the proposition told us,Turkey has been an official candidate for the longest time(since 1999) and in over a decade it managed to satisfy less than half of the chapters needed to join the EU.However, in contradiction to what the proposition claims, the truth is that, although 13 chapters are open, Turkey has only closed 1! This is clearly indicative of the fact that Turkey cannot yet satisfy the crucial prerequisites and should not be rushed in entering the EU.The same applies to the other candidates; Croatia has another 10 important chapters to fulfill, Iceland is still debating whether to join and FYROM hasn't even began negotiations!
Furthermore, the 'great' progress of these candidate countries is disputed. The European Union's Enlargement Commissioner, Olli Rehn, has issued a stern warning to FYROM regarding tension between the ruling conservatives and FYROM's largest ethnic Albanian party which is still an unresolved. In addition to what we've said already, the picture the proposition has painted of Turkey is misleading. Turkey continues to suffer from political instability, with constant tensions between the army and the political leadership, and there are known civil rights abuses. Not to mention all 4 countries have unresolved issues with EU member states,as we will reveal later.
Moreover, the proposition claims that it is not possible for any country to be perfect and we agree.But, the membership criteria are minimum prerequisites, not recipe for perfection and the candidate countries don't satisfy them just yet.
It might not be "logical to spend resources on something that is already done" but in this case, it is far from done. These countries may be ready to join the EU some time in the future, but there is no reason to rush the process and the prop has not proven otherwise.
Economic benefits for both the new members and The European Union.
The primary goal of the EU is creating mutual benefit on economical basis. The countries we are debating about are given the “candidate” title because they are accelerating in the process of accession, which accession would bring economic benefits that would go for the new members independently and the benefits for EU as a whole.
The Turkish economy possesses a number of advantages, low labour costs, a proficient labour force and a central location between Western Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Moreover, Turkey's main trading partners are the EU-27 countries. In 2003, main exports were to Germany (16%) and the U.K. (8%) [[www.ecomod.org/files/papers/1608.doc]]. We can see how the accession of Turkey also means an opening of an important Eurasian “trade bridge“.
Icelandic economy has also been progressively diversifying, by focusing on natural resources, fisheries products, renewable energy sources, aluminium production and pharmaceuticals. In 2009, about 78% of Iceland’s exports went to the EU [[http://ec.europa.eu/trade/creating-opportunities/bilateral-relations/countries/iceland/]].
The process of accession for Croatia and Macedonia is of great economic importance, and is a next step in the integration of the Balkans in the free market. This region is unique for its agricultural products which are currently being mostly sold in the EU. A significant 53.6% of Macedonia's total trade in 2009 [[http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/26759.htm]], and 82,2% of Croatia's total exports and imports in 2008, was with the EU-27 [[http://bit.ly/d6GC0N]].
By fast-tracking the countries with the process of accession, the EU will achieve short-term benefits and contribute to the current economic crisis. The open market will result with benefits to both the new member countries, which will have an easier chance to sell their products, and the Western EU countries, which will have a bigger availability of cheaper products with fixed EU standards.
Just because these countries have been given the title of a 'candidate' does not suggest they are not in need of substantial reforms and that EU membership is automatic.
Turkey definitely trades with the member states, as the proposition indicated, since it has a customs union with the EU. Therefore,we do not believe that by joining the EU, this trade will drastically increase or improve as this Eurasian "trade bridge" is already fully under way. What has been not mentioned so far, are the corrupt sides to Turkey’s economy which is a staggering inflation rate of 10.4%, from an even worse 45% just 4 years earlier! The E.U. cannot handle such a risky economy yet, thus waiting for Turkey to fulfill its legal time-frame is best, and not speed up the process as the proposition wants.
As far as Iceland's economy is concerned, it was hit hard by the financial crisis and essentially collapsed. We fail to see any major economic benefits to the EU from Iceland joining, in particular, we fail to see why the EU would fast track Iceland and ignore the fact its government refuses to guarantee paying back the UK and the Netherlands the 3.8 billion euros they are owed due to the collapse of Icesave.
As with Turkey, EU trade with FYROM and Croatia as the proposition points out is significant already and will not greatly change with their entry to the EU. Why should the EU hasten their entry if their trade is already good when, as we have indicated and will continue to substantiate in our case,they do not satisfy other very important criteria?
Put simply, the short term economic benefits which the proposition believes will come with fast tracking the process of accession, are a) minimal as their trade relations are already excellent and b) detrimental in the long run as fast tracking will inevitably mean bypassing many important EU regulations which the now new member states will have little motivation to amend.
Stability in Europe's backyard.
Important part of the entrance of the candidate countries in EU is the stability of the region that will be provided with their access. Three of the candidate countries are from the Balkan region and the intervention of the EU for their acceptance is the key for the stability of the region. The EU advocates for low crime rate, interethnic cooperation and reduction of mutual conflicts. These goals can only be achieved if every country is a part of the great European family. The cooperation between the countries will provide faster, more efficient and better way of solving their problems. The reason why these countries should be fast-tracked to EU membership is because firstly they have proved that they are prepared to take part in this organization and because the more we prolong their entrance the more losses both sides will face. Such as the tension that will appear between the countries, the economical funds of EU will be exhausted and there will be instability in the region.
Being “ united in diversity “ it’s far more complicated than it appears and that is the main reason why The Stability and Growth Pact is a very important and significant part of Europe’s structure. The European integration process is testament to the link between a single market and a single currency, as highlighted by the report “One market, One money” issued by the EC.
The SGP ensures government debt and deficits are controlled to certain chosen limits in order to compose a stable economical environment that will support growth and employment. The existence of this Pact is necessary because individual economical policies can affect the stability of the European area, and thus they are matter of common concern.
The SGP is an important fraction in keeping the euro area stable and united, which covers and maintains the economical balance in the region. And the more countries enter the EU, the more this pact is enlarged and strengthen, the safer and better economy countries wil
Firstly, we highly doubt that the stability of the Balkan region will be ensured if these three arguably Balkan countries enter the EU at all, without the entry of much bigger countries such as Serbia, Albania, Bosnia etc. In fact, the fast tracking of the current candidates into the EU may only serve to frustrate these potential candidates who are struggling with their accession to the EU. Which brings us to a crucial question; will you also fast track the potential candidates once they gain their official candidacy? We fail to see why not since they too trade heavily with the EU and have achieved political and economical progress in the recent years.When will you stop this trend of fast tracking as you have not highlighted why it's so crucial in this situation.
Furthermore, as we will develop in our own case, the goals which each country has to fulfill before gaining it's EU membership will not necessarily 'be achieved if every country is a part of the great European family'. Bulgaria and Romania are constantly criticized for their high levels of corruption.The EU even decided suspending aid payments to Bulgaria a mere 1 year after its entry.
Therefore, it's evident that if countries are fast tracked and do not have sound financial management structures from before their entry, they will only exhaust EU's resources as the incentive to become more efficient, in order to enter the EU, will be gone.
Moreover, joining the SGP will not necessarily create a 'stable economical environment that will support growth. The economies of these countries are very different to that of the EU. Fyrom's and Croatia's economies are transitioning, Turkey's suffers from high inflation rates and Iceland's economy collapsed.The ECB has made it clear it will follow a tighter monetary policy and, as we will expand on in our case, this will be detrimental for the economies of the candidates,since the interest rates will not specifically be tailored to their needs but to the EU at large.
Helping candidate countries leads to mutual prosperity.
We defined fast-track as a speed up process of getting final dates for negotiations with the help of the EU member states. So far the EU member countries support the CC, for example Italy wants to fast-track Turkey because of its "very important" role in the Middle East which means that Turkish membership is in the interest of the Union.[[ http://www.euractiv.com/en/enlargement/italy-wants-fast-track-turkey-eu-membership/article-177146%5D%5D Another example shows that Iceland is being supported by all of the EU members to be fast-tracked into membership.[[ http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/30/iceland-join-eu%5D%5D Through these examples we want to show that the EU countries are interested in expanding the Union by fast-tracking the candidate countries and that they’ll be an asset in its family.
On the other hand, as much as EU needs these countries in its borders for achieving their goals like developing a single market, free movement of people and goods and common policies as well as adopting a common currency- the Euro, the candidate countries need the EU for the exact same reasons. EU needs to cooperate with its CC together to achieve mutual prosperity and development.
Throughout the history of the EU it’s been proved that even the countries that are not completely ready to enter the EU lead to a successful expansion of the Union. As the ex president of France, Francois Mitterrand said "One has to be careful not to turn the common market into a mere free trade zone. Neither Greece nor Spain are in a position to join the Community. Accession is neither in their interest nor is it in our interest.”[[ http://www.esiweb.org/index.php?lang=en&id=156&document_ID=74%5D%5D But they joined the European family and the Union continued to function successfully becoming what it is today. Today’s CC are very likely to enter the EU in few years and the EU should help them fast-track their membership in 2012 to achieve its goals and mutual advance.
The EU's support of candidate countries,which the proposition would like us to believe is wholehearted, is in fact, very divided.
Italy might want to fast-track Turkey, but public opinion in EU countries generally opposes Turkish membership with varying degrees of intensity For instance, both France and Germany vehemently oppose Turkey's entry in the EU firmly stating that Turkey may be a "privileged partner", and important for Europe's relations with the Middle East but that does not mean it belongs within the EU.
As far as Iceland is concerned, here again the support is not certain. EU has granted the country entry talks but on the 27th of July declared it is adamant on the fact that it will not grant Iceland any favours and scotched the suggestions of fast-track. http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/enlarge-iceland.5q6
Therefore, in the above examples we showed both how a) In Turkeys case EU's intention to enlarge at all is doubtful let alone fast track (which is why time is needed) and b) How in the case of Iceland, the EU opposes a hasty entry.
To add to this, the proposition is trying to convince us that the EU 'needs these countries' just as much as they need it which, to put it bluntly, is ridiculous. You say that the "EU needs to cooperate with its CC together to achieve mutual prosperity and development" but, the EU is already co operating and it already has a 'developing single market, free movement of people and good and a common currency'. What you have not shown us is why this co operation needs to turn into membership and needs to do so fast.
The opposition believes that time is essential to the correct assimilation of each country into the EU and will not toy with it, just to preserve the existing good trade. If we do,as we will indicate in our case, we will harm both the unprepared candidate countries and the European Union as a whole.
Our burden of proof
The opposition team seems to have misunderstood the framework that team Macedonia has set in the introduction of the debate. The definition of fast-track that our team has given meant that our burden of proof was to prove why the process of accession should be given better attention and why EU has benefits of helping these countries to fulfill the required benchmarks.
What this means is that we are not trying to forcibly put all the four countries in the EU starting from 2012, but instead, we are giving arguments supporting why their goals for the EU should be taken care of. This way, we expect that by 2012 the four countries should have solved the most important remaining problems, and that these countries will have shorter period of time left to get in the EU, than they would have if these problems are not taken care of sooner.
The benefits that we constantly repeat are the main reasons why both sides should commit, because it is a win-win. Europe can not bare the burden of waiting nor economically nor politically nor strategic. The more Europe prolongs the more it’s budget suffers and that is the most important reason why the problems should be solved after the entrance of the candidate countries.
To gain these benefits we must begin now with fast tracking in order to achieve the goal which is a date of negotiations for entrance in 2012.
We need to clarify what we're debating about. This is not a debate on encouraging the Commission and the candidate states to work faster to achieve membership requirements; if they could meet all the requirements by 2012 they would. The reality is that they can't. This is not because the Commission of the Candidate states are going at this half-heartedly but because the changes and measures required take time. Therefore, the only reasonable way to interpret this motion is as a debate on whether the benefits of allowing candidate countries to enter prematurely, without having completed the standard prerequisites (as in the case of Bulgaria and Romania) outweigh the disadvantages and risks it would bring.
The proposition's fundamental burden of proof in this debate was to illustrate the need to adopt and superiority of fast-tracking. They have, however, failed to address this issue. Rather than answer the question of "Should we fast-track?" they have answered the much more convenient question of "Is membership beneficial?". These are two distinct questions and one cannot justify fast-tracking merely by reference to the benefits of membership as the proposition has tried to do.
The only attempt by the Proposition to justify fast-tracking is the broad assertion that "Europe can not bare the burden of waiting nor economically nor politically nor strategic.". How is this substantiated?
We replied with arguments showing that the guarantee of entry in 2012 would remove the incentive to address the serious unresolved and destabilising issues that remain between candidate countries and the EU; that the EU cannot assimilate even more members that do not meet the basic entrance requirements, that apart from serving no pressing need premature entry would harm candidates themselves.
PS. Tony Blair's quote was made in reference to a budget crisis caused by the 2004 enlargement NOT encouraging further enlargement as the prop implies. [[news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4537304.stm]]
Even the EU countries are facing many problems.
As we said and you confirmed, no country is perfect and there is no country without any problems. There are many examples of countries from the EU that faced and still face problems, but this is not a threat for EU. It is true that those candidate countries face some problems, but they also are not a threat for the EU.
Belgium: In 2007 Belgium could not form a goverment. They were about 6 months without it. This was a huge problem that Belgium, the heart of EU could face. There was a big possibility that Belgium would break up. This was a very big problem, but still it was not a threat for the EU.[[http://bit.ly/d0A8xL]] [[http://bit.ly/R47Yk]]
France: In 2005 France had a problem with the imigrants. There were several protests because the imigrants were discriminated and this caused civil disobediance in Paris and other french cities. As we can see, there is no harm for EU and it is still as strong as it was before the protests.[[http://bit.ly/cOb0to]]
Ireland: Ireland has a long story with religious problems. There are fights between catolics and protestants, because every year protestants celebrate a day when they won the fight against the catolics. That is why those massive fights happen, but it makes no harm for EU as everyone can see.[[http://bit.ly/du6swE]]
Greece: In 2008 Greece had problems with protesting. Those protests happened because a 15-year old boy was murdered. This was the main reason why protests began and then many issues were opened: unwelcome education reforms, economic stagnation, corruption in the goverment, etc. Anyway, EU was not damaged at all.[[http://bbc.in/cX7KqZ]] [[http://bit.ly/pxvM]]
What the proposition is trying to say is that the candidates have some problems, which are similar to the ones we listed, but they do not cause any harm to EU. As we showed there are problems in EU, but they are not an obstacle for EU’s progress. Those countries can only help EU and EU can also help them to solve their problems.
The internal problems you mention, with all their inaccuracies (I think you'll find Northern Ireland is part of the UK not Ireland), have absolutely nothing to do with the type of problems we've mentioned. The external problems that Turkey and FYROM have to address are crucial to successful entry.
The dispute between Turkey and Cyprus is not some petty trade dispute they can negotiate once they join the EU. Turkey does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member. It does not accept its existence as a sovereign entity, refuses to trade with it and occupied part of its territory. One of the legal requirements you have to meet to be a candidate country is the recognition of the EU and its constituent parts; Turkey's failure to do so has led to a freezing in entry negotiations. [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/4107919.stm]]. The Prop has misrepresented Papadopoulos' quote (referring to his willingness to reunify the island and allow Northern Cyprus to join the EU with Cyprus) to suggest that Cyprus would welcome a country that does not recognize its authority into the EU when its main bargaining chip for resolving this dispute is the "carrot" that is EU membership. [[http://www.tcf.org/Events/07-24-02/summary.pdf]]
An issue as fundamental as the name FYROM adopts needs to be addressed before it can join. The prop brushes this aside by claiming that the countries that have made progress, neglecting the reality of a dispute whose severity has seen FYROM's NATO membership vetoed in 2008. [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7280723.stm]].
Granting these countries entry in 2012 regardless of whether these crucial issues are resolved would destroy the only viable incentive for these countries to move past the difficult issues involved in their resolution. [[See 2]] Non-resolution would prevent these countries from ever being fully assimilated by alienating the sides who feel wronged, harbouring tensions within the EU that undermine its stability and founding purpose.
As we clearly defined in the beginning of this debate, the term fast-track in this debate never meant skipping the important benchmarks and direct membership, but rather providing more assistance and more rapid completion of the responsibilities to achieve the benchmarks with the bigger attention of the EU towards the remain problems. From the very beginning, the opposition was trying to avoid our set framework by claiming that they should not be joining before passing the benchmarks. What is more important is that we managed to prove that the accession of the CCs is a win-win situation because of the economic, political and demographical benefits that both the EU and the member states (open market, Eurasian trade bridge, new investments, and better infrastructural connection between EU states), especially in time of crisis.
In our case we presented fair and logical reasons of why it is necessary to accelerate the progress of the CC’s by 2012, while the opp were lacking with any arguments as to why this shouldn’t be done. Their main and most weak point was the bilateral issues. We have shown how the bilateral issues are first of all solved within the UN, and secondly how these problems can be solved even while the candidates are part of the union, because the problems are not harming any other countries. We also mentioned the Interim Accord - an agreement between Macedonia and Greece that promotes peaceful relations between these two countries.
Secondly, opp introduced the point saying that EU is not ready for the accession of the CC’s. Not only that they couldn’t show us why their budget is currently “so low” that EU can’t help the acceleration of the progress of these 4 countries, but they also didn’t respond anything to the fact that the short-term benefits for both sides from the open market and new regions for foreign investments which will outcome the financial support, which opp tends to see only as directly financing a country.
Thirdly, they discussed the point of readiness of the countries to join EU explaining how Greece gets fined for not implementing certain EU regulations. Even though these examples were not clear since they were not connected with any reference, we explained how the EU is not starting to fine the countries, but rather help them financially and strategically and then fine them if they disobey.
Even though the migration point came in the end, we explained how these countries are not as poor as opp explain and how there will be no social instabilities nor illegal migrations.
At the end of this debate, we would like give our gratitude for this very interesting motion, which even though in the beginning we feared presenting a biased oppinion, in the course of the debate we convinced ourselves that our arguments objectively represent the side, and we hope we managed to prove that to the judges. Of course, we don’t forget the opponents, and salute their caution and delicate approach on such a sensiti
Fast-Tracking is not necessary and has proven detrimental to assimilation success
The proposition had failed to show why it is necessary to fast-track countries into the EU. A very substantial part of their burden of proof is to show why there is a substantial and pressing need to allow the candidate countries into the EU by 2012. Most of the proposition's case has thus far focused on the benefits of EU membership without explaining said urgent need for accession before the necessary prerequisites have been fulfilled.
Indeed, the proposition claims that progress towards achieving these targets is "accelerating" begs the question of why we should not simply allow them time to finish the necessary qualifications rather than rush the process. The fact that the process is going faster is a clear indication that the current regime of normal accession is bearing fruit and should not be replaced, This is especially the case when we have had no coherent justifying rationale.
The proposition's case is based on the assumption that the existing prerequisites for membership serve little purpose and that the failure to complete them will not have any consequences for the success of accession for the given candidate state and the European Union. These requirements, however, are there to ensure that both the candidate countries are prepared to enter the EU regulatory framework and that the EU will be able to assimilate the new candidates smoothly,
Ultimately, allowing countries to join without having fulfilled the necessary prerequisites harms both the candidates and the EU as we have and will continue to substantiate in our case.
We showed over and over the benefits of the fast-track for both sides. We emphasized in certain occasions in our case that it will achieve its main goals referring to the development of the single market, sharing experience and the first main goal the EU to be a family of all European countries. Your argument is very contradictory to what you said before. Firstly you say that we don’t show the reasons for fast-tracking and then you say that we showed the benefits of EU membership, well the benefits are part of the reasons why the fast-track should be accomplished. In addition we’ll give reasons why the four countries should be fast-tracked.
We offered evidence that Turkey has made a great progress by abolishing death penalty, expansion of rights such as freedom of expression and association, as well as the redesigning the structure of the National Security Council.[[http://www.unc.edu/euce/eusa2007/papers/kirisci-k-08g.pdf]]
Concerning Iceland, the evidence about the great percent of export products from Iceland to EU-27 countries confirms that its entrance is of great necessity to the EU. Moreover, it is evident that Iceland is already put on a fast-track to joining the EU, and as Olli Rehn states, its strategic and economic positions would be “an asset to the EU”. He also explains how Croatia is also planned to enter the EU at the same time since it is more beneficial.
Here we would also like to emphasise that the definition of fast-track is misunderstood by side opp. and that what it means is speeding-up the progress of completing the set benchmarks. We are not talking whether they should skip benchmarks, but rather why they should be helped to achieve them faster
All the opp tried to say was not supported with evidence, and what we said was evident and not mentioned as “general knowledge
Serious Unresolved Issues between Candidate and Member States Need to Be Addressed
The candidate countries have outstanding issues with existing EU countries that need to be resolved before they are allowed into the EU if they are to be resolved at all.
Turkey still fails to recognise Cyprus, an EU member, a basic requirement for the status of candidate country and one that has led negotiations to stall. Turkey has further issues of concern such as worries about the extent of civilian control of the military and the continued occupation of Northern Cyprus. [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7529707.stm]]
FYROM has a very bitter argument going on with Greece relating to its adoption of "Macedonia" as a name that Greece sees as implying a claim over its territory and heritage of its Northern region called Macedonia. For FYROM, the issue of the name has also become one of national identity, which explains the conflict's protracted nature and the bitterness with which its pursued by both sides. [[Ibid.]]
Iceland as we have mentioned in our rebuts is in a long-running dispute with the UK and the Netherlands over loans that have been lost in the aftermath of Iceland's near-collapse. [[Ibid.]]
Croatia has a 17 year long fishing dispute with Slovenia that has as yet to be addressed. [[Ibid.]]
In all these cases the main leverage used to encourage negotiation and moves towards a solution has been the issue of EU membership.
If entry is promised in 2012 the incentive to solve them is lost - for ever. Once EU accession is achieved these conflicts will remain and cause instability within the EU by alienating those who feel wronged. These issues mean a lot to some members (ie. Greece and the FYROM) but very little to others, allowing them to be pushed down the agenda once these countries are in the EU because few countries would want to push for their resolution and compromise their relationship with the other party.
The opposition makes the bilateral problems look so serious that they would make problems if the countries join the EU, but in fact, these issues are already taken care of and will not present any problems.
Regarding your argument about Turkey, the coup that was made by Turkey was necessary and legally according to the Guarantor Agreement because of the large skirmishes that appeared between the Cypriot-Greeks majority and Cypriot-Turks minority, in which many Turks lost their lives. Turkey feared form the Greece and Cyprus union and could not let any further instabilities. Furthermore, the fact itself that Turkey IS a CC speaks in favor of the fact that the EU does not see this as an obstacle for becoming a member.[[http://www.diplomaticobserver.com/news_read.asp?id=1129]]
Olli Rehn is strongly supporting the sooner accession of Iceland and Croatia in the EU, saying they would be of great help in the market, and are expected to join until 2012. [[http://bit.ly/v8Ap]] This clearly proves how the bilateral issues are not considered a crucial problem in the entrance criteria, and the incentive to solve them would remain even after the accession.
The ancient problem between Macedonia and Greece has showed great progress in the recent years, especially since the Interim Accord was signed in 1995, which guarantees healthy relations in all the necessary fields for EU. This opinion is also supported by Haralambos Kondonis, an expert councilor for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Greece. [[http://bit.ly/dzMY2T]]
Finally, solutions of the bilateral issues are made through the UN, so we can see how this is not a crucial point of concern to the EU.
The EU cannot assimilate further candidate states if they do not meet the entry requirements
The European Union has traditionally taken the approach of focusing resources on the poorer ones to raise them to a basic standard so as to promote cohesion within the EU and not create "classes" of EU states. This limits the capacity of the EU to take in new members as the EU budget and, indeed, that of the older, more advanced states can only afford to support a given number of states without overstretching its resources. The entry of Bulgaria and Romania in the EU before they had fulfilled the necessary conditions for entry means that apart from having to help them reach the rest of the EU they now also need to devote resources to supervising them and play catch up in order simply to fulfil the basic entry requirements (Bulgaria and Romania still have membership restrictions).
If new members are admitted as soon as 2012, especially ones as big as Turkey, who are even less prepared for EU accession would force the EU to go back on its promise to existing members. A promise that they will be given assistance and guidance to reach the social and economic level of the rest of the EU. The EU can only cater for a limited number of countries. It cannot allow the entry of Turkey, Croatia, Iceland and FYROM (78 million population combined) AND support the Bulgaria and Romania AND maintain the social institutions in EU countries AND avoid a double-dip recession. The cost is simply too much to bear all at once and is one that would financially cripple the EU (and trust us Greece knows all about financially crippling the EU.)
The EU should focus on fully assimilating existing members, and aggravate the existing situation.
Members of the EU should all be equally respected and for this they need to be ready for entry.
The economic benefits that new members get from EU are much more than just direct financing, but rather through the open market and the foreign investments.
In fact, as we explained in point 2, their accession would lead to mutual economic prosperity. There, we proved how much of its products is each country exporting to EU-27 annually, and we’ve seen how we are talking about more than 50% of their exports. Sadly, team Greece negated this by saying that if the “trade is great” now why should they enter?
If these countries enter the EU they would have a chance to make their own financial benefits. They may be selling a great amount of products now, but with the open market they would be free from taxing their products and will have a great benefit from that.
Furthermore, the foreign investments would be an invaluable help for the new members, since new workplaces would be opened, as well as a benefit for the investors.
The examples of Bulgaria and Romania are not that relevant since their entrance was recent, and as we explained before, as time would pass they would make progress, not to repeat again that we are not talking about entrance before completing the most important benchmarks.
The crisis in Greece is not an example in reference with this argument since Greece is an old member of the EU, and the crisis is triggered possibly by inefficiency and corruption within the country. [[http://bit.ly/aaiZeb]] But what matters, is that if EU could handle such a big crisis by offering help, than it is really unreasonable for you to say that the small economic help for the new members will damage the union.
You also fail to explain us why Turkey would be such a problem if it gets in the EU. In fact, according to BusinessWeek Magazine, its entrance is “the best long-term solution for EU”. [[http://bit.ly/bJdqBY]] This is also natural considering the fact that it has a more developed economy than many member states (Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary)
Candidate Countries will be harmed by premature entry
Membership of the EU bestows a great deal of responsibility. Part of the rationale behind the accession requirements is that new members are in a position to deal with the regulatory burden they take on when they sign up. The regulatory framework of the EU is extensive covering diverse areas. If a country is not in position to implement these regulations in the best case this can cause it to get fined and in the worse it has disastrous domestic consequences. Greece, a country much more prepared to carry out EU than regulations than any of the candidate countries, still gets fined in the region of hundreds of millions for its failure to carry out education privatization, environmental and public subsidy legislation. Candidate countries need to be allowed the time necessary to meet the various requirements before they are stripped of a variety of government powers and instruments under EU free-trade and competition law. The same legislation that benefits countries to the extent that it does would devastate them if they are not prepared as a country and an economy to receive it. Candidate countries will be harmed in the long-run by either been crippled by the burden of carrying out legislation or relegated to the category of 2nd rate members. It is essential that the various prerequisites are given the necessary time to be fulfilled.
Firstly, we agree with the opposition that the membership means a lot of responsibilities, but the fact that the countries are already closing down the benchmarks means that they have done remarkable progress towards EU.
Furthermore, in the definition for “fast-track” we explained that we would debate about why EU should speed up the progress of these countries, so it means that with the help of the EU they would complete all the crucial benchmarks before they are being allowed to enter.
Secondly, the member countries are few steps away from adjusting their laws, standards, regulations and legislations for the entrance to the EU. There is also a signed agreement (Stabilisation and Association Agreement) between the EU and the candidate countries which states that these countries are ready to adjust their politics, laws, economy and human rights according to EU standards. [[http://www.mvpei.hr/ei/default.asp?ru=226&sid=&akcija=&jezik=2]]
Your example about Greece is first of all not supported by any reliable source and we are not that familiar with the situation in this country to speak from general knowledge. But what is unfair is that the opposition thinks that just because the four CC’s are not in the EU they are not making any changes.
It is not convenient to presume that if one EU country is currently having problems for not implementing certain legislations that all of the countries would follow this.
A true example of following the trends in the EU is the smoking legislation. It has been taken by all four EU candidates [[http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insightb/articles/eav072009.shtml]] [[http://www.icelandguest.com/in-focus/nr/945/]] [[http://sofiaecho.com/2009/10/26/804919_macedonia-to-ban-smoking-in-bars-restaurants-from-january-2010]] [[http://www.hc2d.co.uk/content.php?contentId=14614]] even before they join the big family, but was implemented in Greece just yesterday. [[http://bit.ly/b0xPwG]]
How much immigration can the EU take?
The proposition quotes Jose Manuel Barroso that “ Bulgaria and Romania have gone through a remarkable transformation”. This quote was given at the eve of their accession to the EU, not commenting at the results of that accention as the proposition again implies. What they have not mentioned is that in this same article Mr Barosso says that “It would be unwise to bring in other member states apart from Romania and Bulgaria," because "there are some limits to our absorption capacity”. This is further evidence for our point regarding the need for countries to fulfil entry criteria
Indeed, the impact the accession of 78 million people from the demographically poorest background in Europe (hardly more developed than Hungary and Greece) [[www.globalpropertyguide.com/Europe/Turkey/gdp-per-capita]] would have on the EU has hardly been raised in this debate. This is made worse by the fact that Turkey is a major transit country for illegal immigration from Asia. [[www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/enlarge-turkey.2dv/]]. While this is not Turkey's fault it's something that it needs to be addressed before we open up our borders to it. The EU is simply not in a position to assimilate hundreds of thousands of additional migrants a year from Asia AND those coming in from Turkey and FYROM. Talking about when Turkey will be ready to join Baroso mentioned the possibility of joining in "10 to 15 years" [[news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/4107919.stm]], a far cry from less than 2
The prop has argued that its " the small economic help for the new members will [not] damage the union". We are talking about billions than need to be paid to converge EU economies and prevent mass immigration by limiting disparities in quality of life. We remind the Prop we are talking about 78 mil of the poorest in Europe. Their lives and those of existing need to be improved but simply cannot without massive EU funds. This burden would cripple the EU, preventing it from fulfilling its promises to Bulgaria and Romani
During the whole debate, Greece compared the entrance of Bulgaria and Romania with the possible entrance of the CC’s. It is unreasonable to compare countries who were under the Warsaw Pact and lived in a strong democratic system with Macedonia and Croatia who were part of former Yugoslavia and had a much more liberal system which was much closer to today’s capitalism. So we cannot expect to get the same aftereffects with their entrance, since they have done even better progress in the recent years. And during the whole debate you couldn't explain why Europe is not ready to get new members right now with any research.
Opp has presented us with an old GDP statistic from 2006, but the fact is that in the new one (2009) Turkey has a better economy than many EU states (including Greece and Hungary). [[http://bit.ly/63xXU]]
This clearly shows how we should not be afraid of migration from Turkey, considering the fact that their citizens have an appropriate GDP rate and have no reason to leave their motherland, but will on the contrary have bigger economic benefits through the open EU market. Moreover, Turkish citizens take up to 92% of the citizens from all four CC’s so if we are sure that GDP rates are convenient and almost all of these 92% have no reason for migration, with this certain percentage we prove that migration would not be a problem.
Regarding the immigrants from Asia, the fact that Turkey is transit country is an even a more important reason to speed up their process of accession. The article you linked about this problem, elaborates on how not only that they enter Turkey, but go to the Greek Islands as well, and enter the EU even now. [[http://bit.ly/94hCT0]] It also explains how an urgent cooperation between EU and Turkey is needed, which speaks in favor of our definition of "fast-track". Illegal migration is a problem for the whole EU (France, Italy, Spain) [[http://bit.ly/9dtCmL]], and with Turkey in the game the Asian migration can be easily sto
Extensive EU regulations necessitate meeting the entry requirements to be implemented successfully
The prop has used the example of smoking regulations to illustrate that FYROM and Turkey and the other candidates are in a position to join the EU. When we referred to the difficult and extensive frameworks of regulation and responsibility we did not have smoking regulations in mind.
What we did have in mind are laws forcing recognition of private universities which can destroy education provision if a country does not have a well developed higher education system or chooses for ideological reasons to abstain from this measure. Greece has been threatened with a fine of 600,000 euros with another 550,000 a year for failing to comply with this. [[http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2009/11/12/feature-03]]
We had in mind the water-processing regulations that require proper infrastructure to be in place to be carried out. Belgium has been fined 15 million with a further 22 million a year for failing to comply with this.
We had in mind chemical regulations that require specialised infrastructure and proper supervision that has seen 20 countries fined. [[http://www.reach.sgs.com/documents/sgs-safeguards-09810-eu-member-states-sanctions-for-reach-non-compliance-articles-en-10.pdf]].
The EU makes regulations regarding state subsidies to public transport without which can ruin developing cou
The CC from the Eastern block (Macedonia and Croatia) signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement, Macedonia in 2004 and Croatia in 2005. This agreement was signed before they achieve the status of “candidate” and it helps those countries to adapt and implement the EU law and to improve their standards. With this the CC are forced to respect and fulfill the EU standards and regulative concerning education, medicine, industry and other sectors.[[http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/enlargement_process/accession_process/how_does_a_country_join_the_eu/sap/index_en.htm]]
The proposition considers 7-8 years as enough time for these countries to accept EU regulative. That way the CC raise up on EU level and there is no way for these countries to enter the EU unprepared because they already adjust to EU regulative and until 2012 they will fulfill all the benchmarks and standards.
Speaking about education, the proposition thinks that there are two very important points:
a) The education in the CC makes remarkable improvement, for example Macedonia has put wireless all over the country, computer for every child in every primary and high-school and access to libraries and books for all students.
b) The private universities must fulfill the standards of the state universities, otherwise they wouldn’t be recognized as legitimate from the state. That is why we think that private universities are not a threat for the state ones because the both have the same policies and rules for lecturing and making exams.
The example we gave about the smoking law was a good example which shows that the CC adapt and accept EU trends in a fast way, opposite of Greece which implemented this law only 2 days ago.
And the example with Greece is completely inappropriate because when a country enters without completely fulfilled benchmarks, they get resources and enough time to fulfill it. It is Greece’s fault that they did not manage to make the progress on the field they should
This motion proposes allowing all the existing candidate members for EU accession to enter the EU in 2012 regardless of the status of the various prerequisites as has happened in the past. This is the only meaningful debate this motion lends itself to, it is one that allows for meaningful arguments to be made on both sides unlike the one proposed by the opposition that was based on the fantasy that the candidate states would fulfil entry requirements by 2012 but for want of effort (despite the fact they then go on to contradict both this definition and claim that actually countries are trying really hard to meet requirements.)
This debate has come down to three main questions. Is fast-tracking necessary? Will it benefit the EU? Will it benefit candidate countries? The opposition has shown that the answer to all these questions is no.
The proposition has failed to prove an imperative for fast-tracking and the EU and candidate countries. They have failed to address the harms it involved and failed to explain what distinguishes this set of candidate countries from any other.
We have illustrated that premature accession will harm the EU. They have admitted that the candidate countries are not ready for admission and will not be in 2012. The fact that it took Turkey 10 years to close 1 of 33 chapters necessary for admission is a strong indicator that this country is not ready for accession. The proposition used GDP figures to suggest it has a high standard of living while we illustrated that its GDP per head (that does indicate standard of living) is one of the lowest in Europe. Moreover, this would prevent the EU from fulfilling its promised program of regional development in existing members and especially Bulgaria and Romania. The immigration resulting from opening borders with these countries while they still are not ready and funds cannot be devoted to their regional development will overwhelm current members .
Candidate countries will be irrevocably harmed if they enter in the state they are now. They are not ready to implement the complex and demanding EU regulatory structure, which at times even existing member states cannot meet. This will result in heavy fines and treatment as a second rate member (which has already happened to Bulgaria and Romania) and detracts from the entire purpose of the European Union.
Serious unresolved issues, such as the failure to recognize Cyprus, the Greece-FYROM dispute and Iceland's debt dispute need to be addressed before EU accession. It is the promise of EU accession at their resolution that is the main motivation to move beyond the political difficulties that prevent the resolution of these issues. Issues as crucial as these do not disappear if unresolved but return to haunt the EU by causing tensions and harming both the EU and candidate states.
It is because fast-tracking is not necessary; because it will harm the EU and candidate countries that we are proud to stand in opposition to this motion.
What do you think?