Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/1999-10-06-Speech-3-012"

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"Madam President, the central question seems to be whether this Parliament and the European Union show themselves to be sufficiently self-assured to confirm Turkey’s status as a candidate. A failure to do so will provoke a serious crisis in our relations with Turkey. Nobody wants special treatment for Turkey and nobody should ignore the series of problems over the treatment of the Kurds or over the situation in Cyprus. My group believes that the discipline of candidate status will involve Turkey in more serious preparation for membership, a stronger dialogue and greater exposure to European Union culture and politics. Parliament has certainly been dragging its feet on this issue, as the MEDA programme and the financial support for the European strategy show. The Liberal and Green groups have tabled an amendment calling for the clear prospect for membership to be opened up. This would encourage the forces of progress and reform within Turkey and increase the leverage of the European Union upon Turkey’s future development. This position is supported by the Cypriot and Greek governments and Parliament would be reactionary should it fail to be in the vanguard of progress here. I plead to all those who want Turkey to modernise on the basis of its European traditions to support our amendment."@en1

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