Thursday, January 6, 2011
Historical experience shows that a democracy that knocks on the door of the democratic European Union will at the end of the day never be refused, according to Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt.
“Turkey is a big player and will have a big impact on the European Union,” Bildt said, speaking to private channel Skyturk. “So, patience and determination, then you will see that’s been the case for other countries that have knocked on the door.”
Bildt said Turkey faces some very complicated issues coming out of its own history that need to be addressed in order to become a full member of the EU. He said the EU, having gone through the process of setting up the Lisbon Treaty and now struggling with economic problems, has regained the strategic perspective of enlargement, which he believes had been missing in the past few years.
“Turkey is of course particularly important in a number of aspects, it has an economic dimension, it has demographic potential,” he told Skyturk in a taped interview with Zeynep Dereli from Leaders and Decisions. “But, clearly I say there is a need for reform in Turkey,”
Foreign Minister Bildt, together with Franco Frattini, William Hague, and Alexander Stubb recently penned an op-ed in the International Herald Tribune in support of Turkey’s European Union membership.
Bildt has served as Sweden’s Foreign Minister since 2006.