CDU renews opposition to Turkish EU membership
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) will continue to oppose Turkish membership in the European Union as part of its platform for upcoming European elections, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Sunday.
Croatia should be admitted to the EU, the draft platform says, but no other countries should be allowed to join for an unspecified period so the bloc can consolidate its institutions and identity. The document says that the EU has been strained by absorbing 11 countries, including the former Communist states of Eastern Europe, in two rounds of expansion in 2004 and 2007.
Turkey has long been in membership talks with the European Union, however issues surrounding freedom of religion and freedom of speech have slowed progress on those negotiations to a virtual standstill in recent years.
“We therefore consider a privileged partnership between the European Union and Turkey to be the right solution,” reads the document obtained by the FAZ.
The document also calls for Germany’s member of the European Commission, the executive body that runs the EU, should be a member of the conservative Christian Democrats. The current member, Günter Verheugen, belongs to the centre-left Social Democrats. Media reports last month said that Chancellor Merkel was reportedly considering Roland Koch, the conservative premier of Hesse, as a possible pick for the European Commission job.
The party platform, which is due to be approved by the CDU leadership on March 16, applies to the European parliamentary elections scheduled for June 7.