EU Treaties, the History of Founding Treaties and the Turkey Issue

With the aftermath of World War II, the European continent was utterly devastated. Entire regions of both Axis and Allied country were reduced to wastelands and rubble. Cities were in turmoil and the economies of every heartland Euro nation was pretty much in the drink, and without any sort of true method of refurbishing their countries it would only stay in utter ruin. Realizing that the only way to avoid another catastrophe and further bloodshed between neighbors was to actually get along and help each other out through these troubled times, the survivors of the Second World War set up a treaty between the former Allies and Axis. It was the starting point of the formation of the European Union.

The first treaty that helped form the European Union was the Treaty of Paris, which gave birth to the creation of the European Coal and Steel company. The Treaty of Paris, which established Coal and Steel as a central power was signed on April 18, 1951 between France, West Germany, Italy and the three Benelux countries of Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. The formed European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) of these six countries had subsequently became a critical part of founding the European Union. The treaty came into force on July 23, 1952 and after several decades expired on July 23, 2002 exactly fifty years after it came into effect. The treaty was seen as the producing treaty of diplomatic and economic stability in western Europe after the Second World War. Main enemies during the war such as Germany and France were now sharing production of coal and steel, the key-resources which previously had been central to the war effort as help in the ECSC. The Europe Declaration, a part of the Treaty of Paris was signed by all the current leaders present at the time. It declared that the Treaty had given birth to the modern Europe. It emphasized that the supranational principle was the foundation of the new democratic organisation of Europe, which meant that all nation states were to eventually create a superstate where they would appoint a collective leader and government.

The Treaty of Rome, which was officially named the Treaty Establishing the European Economic Community, or the TEEC, was signed on March 25, 1957 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany and came into force on the first of January, 1958. The Treaty of Rome aimed to create a European market, which it did with the formation of the European Economic Community and Euratom which allowed free trade and energy across Europe. The TEEC also proposed the progressive reduction of customs duties and the establishment of a customs union, and it also proposed to create a single market for goods, labour, services, and capital across the member states. This single market would help the European Economic Community, also known as the EEC, grow as the trade market for essential items grows as well.

When the TEEC formalized and fully functional, the completely formed European Union focused their attention into bringing more nations into their community. To enlarge the EU is a daunting task of bringing in other, possibly less successful countries than the founding ones, but in order to unite the entirety of Europe it was necessary, and so the Treaty of Maasticht Treaty was signed which created the euro. Treaties of Accession are what countries that wish to enter the European Union must sign in order to join and there have been several over the past decades, the most recent being the Treaty of Accession 2013, which allowed Croatia to join.

Turkey was pushing for membership of the EU for many years, and the EU talks of Turkey were leaning either to let them in or not. With the election of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan or simply Erdogan in 2014, the possibility of Turkey joining the EU slimmed due to his conservative nature and combative attitude. After the 2016 coup, Erdogan passed a referendum that allowed him to expand his powers in 2017 in a national election. These powers conflict with the standing ideals of the European Union, such as the introduction of the death penalty in Turkey, which is banned and abhorred in the union. The narrow victory for Erdogan’s party allowed him to dissolve parliamentary offices and the Prime Minister. Because of this action, many have viewed Erdogan as a dictator who is unfit to be let into the EU. One of the biggest geopolitical questions emerging from the referendum is how Erdogan after his newfound powers will approach the EU. There is already sour relations between the EU and Turkey, and there are plenty of issues of letting in Turkey into the EU, and not just the new referendum. Geographical position and culture are totally different in Turkey, and with the migrant crisis posing as Erdogan’s personal trump card against the EU if they ever decide to cross him, the possibility of Turkey joining the EU is probably slim to none.

One thought on “EU Treaties, the History of Founding Treaties and the Turkey Issue

  1. Kenneth Clark

    I can somewhat compare the formation of the EU treaties with the topic I wrote about which was the trade relationship between the Ottoman Empire and Venice. Similar to the EU being formed during the aftermath of World War II, the mutually beneficial relationship between the Ottoman Empire and Venice formed after the Ottomans conquered Constantinople. Venice felt that in order to continue their successful trade within the region they needed to become friendly with the Ottomans and surrounding areas. During the Ottoman Empire the Ottomans had many treaties with not only Venice but other places as well. I think since the Ottomans controlled so much territory it was similar to the EU even though there was no official trade union among countries, but nations did have treaties with each other.

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