New UK government unlikely to oppose Turkey's EU bid

Press quote (Today’s Zaman)
Katinka Barysch
17 May 2010

Speaking to Today’s Zaman, Katinka Barysch, deputy director of the Centre for European Reform (CER), raised questions on "big uncertainty" about the EU policies of the new government because the two coalition partners have opposing views. "Both the Conservatives and the Lib Dems are pro-EU enlargement and that includes Turkey," she said. Noting that for Turkey the fact that Britain has a coalition government may be good news, Barysch said that if the Conservatives had been in the government by themselves, they could have pursued policies that would antagonize other EU countries, such as opting out of EU social legislation and questioning the supremacy of EU law. She said they would have lost influence in other areas of EU policy-making and their arguments of why enlargement should continue would not be heard in Berlin or Paris. Since the Conservatives now have to share power with the Liberal Democrats, Barysch argued that Cameron will have a good reason to temper his anti-European policies. "Better relationships between the UK and the other EU countries are good for Turkey because the UK remains one of the best friends of Turkey in the EU," she concluded.