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The Myths of Turkish Influence in the European Union Robert Pahre Department of Political Science University of Illinois 361 Lincoln Hall 702 South Wright St Urbana IL 61801 USA 217 333 2851 fax 217 244 5712 pahre uiuc edu Burcu U aray Department of Political Science University of Illinois 361 Lincoln Hall 702 South Wright St Urbana IL 61801 USA 217 333 2851 fax 217 244 5712 ucaray uiuc edu Abstract Among the many objections to Turkish membership in the European Union lie claims that Turkey will be a powerful actor in the future EU with a population as large as or larger than Germany Many also claim that this power will have negative effects on the EU We examine such claims analytically influenced strongly by spatial models of EU policy making We find that Turkey s preferences lie sufficiently outside the EU mainstream so that it will have little influence in day to day policy making under the assent codecision consultation and cooperation procedures or the common procedure in the rejected constitutional treaty Its influence may be more evident in areas such as the CFSP or JHA where unanimity remains the normal procedure Still Turkey s veto power here is no different from that of other much smaller countries Furthermore veto power can only block changes and cannot be used to pull the EU into undesirable new directions Even this veto power can be avoided if the EU 25 establishes whatever policies they desire prior to Turkish membership forcing Turkey to accept a fait accompli Despite these limitations to its power Turkey may have some influence in purely intergovernmental settings such as negotiations over new treaties that might occur some decades hence Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the European Union Studies Association in Austin in March 2005 the Midwest Political Science Association in Chicago in April 2005 the University Association of Contemporary European Scholars in Zagreb in September 2005 and Turkey and Europe Symposium of the Program on



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