PositionTurkey starts negotiation with European Union - Brief Article

One down, two to go. The opening of accession negotiations with Turkey has met one of the European Union's major commitments (and, irrespective of the difficulties that negotiating with Turkey will certainly generate, the EU was in dire need of a clear decision). Now attention can turn to the two other outstanding tasks: agreeing the future financing of the EU, and filling the vacuum left by the moribund Constitution.

Halfway through the UK Presidency of the EU, there is little evidence of progress on either of these challenges. Tony Blair's calls for leadership and renewal, for a modernised social model and a better-focused budget, are starting to ring hollow three months after he set out his ambitious agenda in July.

The UK will not present its financing proposals before November, which leaves little opportunity for agreement by the December summit and still less if the proposals are in any way radical. And the debate on the future of Europe, far from being resolved by the Constitutional Treaty, instead becomes more complex under further pressure from Euro-scepticism, globalisation, terrorism and climate change.

The informal summit this month will address "social justice and competitiveness in the context of globalisation, Europes place in the world, and the security of EU citizens". These may be some of the right subjects, but there has been so...

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