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Title:Polish political elite opinion on Turkey's EU accession
Author(s):Biegaj, Urszula
Advisor(s):Leff, Carol S.
Department / Program:Russian,E European,Eurasn Ctr
Discipline:Russian, E Eur, Eurasian St
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
European Union
Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies
European Union (EU) accession
political elite
Abstract:Recent European history has been defined by the growth and development of the European Union. At first the focus was on the western European countries that helped to create the supranational structure, but in recent years the question of continued expansion has become more and more important. Countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic waited a long time to finally be accepted into the EU, following the rules and regulations set out for them. It may be surprising (or not) to know that Turkey has been waiting to become a full member of the EU since 1959, when the country first applied for associate membership. While the Central and East European countries have already been accepted into the EU, the Turks still wait for their turn. In general, Eastern Europe, including Poland, has been supportive of the idea of further enlargement. The Polish political elites—like the foreign minister, the president and prime minister—are also supportive of Turkey’s EU accession. But the support ends at words, some of which are full contradictions when looking at the literature on the topic. Unsure of why these contradictions exist, I was curious about the discourse occurring within the Polish political elite circles about Turkey’s EU accession and how this discourse is represented in the media. This study includes a descriptive history of Polish-Turkish relations, and the historical evolution of elites in Poland. Turkey’s journey through the accession process thus far and all the problems it has encountered is also discussed. I concluded that although the Polish political elite show rhetorical support for the Turkish cause, they do not act on it. Some of my recommendations for the Polish elite include driving EU agenda towards the Turkish issue and concluding accession negotiations as well as posing a challenge to Turkey’s biggest opponents, such as France and Germany.
Issue Date:2012-09-18
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Urszula Biegaj
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-09-18
Date Deposited:2012-08

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