EU to have two types of memberships: Scholar

EU to have two types of memberships: Scholar

WASHINGTON - Anatolia News Agency
EU to have two types of memberships: Scholar

The vice president of the Brookings Institute and former Turkish economy minister Kemal Derviş

The European Union is to evolve into a different structure composed of two distinct membership structures, Kemal Derviş, the vice president of the Brookings Institute and former Turkish economy minister, has said. The union will comprise a group of EU members that are completely integrated within the eurozone and another group that has looser ties with the union but full membership, like the United Kingdom, according to Derviş’s statement.

The latter group will still be full-status members of the Union but won’t have to be completely integrated, involved in the eurozone or give up their national sovereignty, he said during his speech at the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research’s (SETA) Young Scholars on Turkey Conference Feb. 5.

‘Turkey should be in the second group’
The former minister said the EU membership position he envisages for Turkey would be in the second group, as it would be a more reasonable status for the country and would allow the country to preserve its advantages while still benefiting from EU membership.

“Turkey’s inclusion in the eurozone is feasible for neither Turkey nor the EU but Turkey’s British way – not secondary status – full membership in the EU, would be a feasible choice,” Derviş said.

Even the Europeans who support Turkey’s membership are worried to what degree this giant country could integrate, he said, and suggested that a looser kind of membership possibility would also revive the moribund EU membership process for Turkey.

Turkey holds the advantage of having close relationships with Middle Eastern and Islamic countries based on shared history and culture, and its international policies should still be based on that, but not at the expense of EU membership, according to Derviş.

He proposed Turkey become a part of the single European market but stay outside the euro and Schengen zones, which would damage the elasticity of the country, as joining the Schengen area would hamper issuing visas for Middle Eastern countries, a disadvantageous move for Turkey.

Derviş’s statements that Turkey should emulate British EU membership come amid the burning discussion of Britain’s position within the EU after British Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge to hold a referendum on EU membership. Cameron recently promised to hold a public vote on whether Britain should remain part of the European Union by the end of 2017, if re-elected.