It has been the big talking point for the European Union, of late. But Turkey looks set to be put to one side when EU leaders meet today, in favour of a broader debate on enlargement. For now, at least, a decision has been made over would-be member Turkey. On Monday, a partial freeze on talks with Ankara was agreed by EU foreign ministers to penalize Turkey for failing to open its ports and airports to traffic from Cyprus. The move should help ease the concerns of some who question the European credentials of the predominantly Muslim country. But what of the other nations lining up at the EU’s door?
The two-day summit in Brussels is expected to see a toughening of policy on enlargement, without slamming the door on those who want to join the club. Croatia is the first hopeful in the queue. But it will likely have to wait until at least 2010 until it is allowed in. Romania and Bulgaria have already secured their entry on January 1 next year but under conditions much stricter than those applied to previous new members.