The European Union is at it again. Last month, its executive body, the European Commission, voted to accept ten new members over the next two years. The candidates include countries from Eastern Europe, the Baltics, and even the Balkans. Conspicuously absent from the list was Turkey — a key NATO ally and a major partner in the war on terrorism.
Europe's very public snub could have far-reaching implications. Even before the latest flap, Turkey's relations with the EU had been drifting from bad to worse. Despite concerted efforts at domestic political liberalization, economic reforms, human rights, and social development that have been nothing short of spectacular, Ankara has precious little to show for its years of planning for full EU membership.