Polls in three key countries to determine Europe’s future: minister
ANKARAThe elections that will be held in three European countries, France, Germany, and Holland will determine Europe’s future, Turkey’s EU Minister Ömer Çelik said, emphasizing the rising influence of right-wing politics in Europe.
“Three important elections that will be held in France, Germany, and Holland will shape not just the future of European Union, but also the continent of Europe,” Çelik told reporters at the last days of his visits in Paris, France Feb. 10.
Following his visits to French Senate, Foreign Ministry and European Union Ministry, Çelik said that security issues emerged by the ongoing insurgencies in Syria and Iraq are shaded by Europe’s internal problems.
“The extreme right-wing trends that rise in Europe constitute new Berlin Wall ideologically and mentally within the European continent. At first, it seemed like it was against the countries outside of the EU, against refugees, against Turkey or Islamic countries. But as it gets little stronger, it can be seen that it has grown within Europe,” Çelik said.
Çelik argued that the EU’s policies towards this crisis have “produced understandings which risk the common peace.”
“The EU should have been strengthen its negotiation grounds and enlargement policy. But they could not turn this crisis into an oportunity because of their backwards enlargement policy which weakens all these grounds,” he said.
Çelik answered the question asking how should Turkey-EU relations be affected if the right-wing leader of Marine Le Pen in France is to be president, saying that the situation should be evaluated from the European perspective.
“The political perspective of someone like Le Pen is a threat to the values that make France France. Because of leaders like Le Pen, they desire Europe as it was between World War I and World War II,” he said.
In the framework of his Paris contacts, Çelik has met with French Foreign Minister Jean-Mark Ayrault, State Secretary for EU Affairs Harlem Desir and Senate President Gerard Larcher. Çelik also spoke at the IFRI conference.