WHY I LOVE DENMARK: There
WHY I LOVE DENMARK: There are two reasons. First, there’s their commitment to open government, which is about to embarrass the European Union, according to this FT story: What does Germany really think about Turkish membership of the EU? How did Gerhard Schröder nearly wreck the EU enlargement deal? And what does Vladimir Putin privately ...
WHY I LOVE DENMARK: There are two reasons. First, there's their commitment to open government, which is about to embarrass the European Union, according to this FT story:
WHY I LOVE DENMARK: There are two reasons. First, there’s their commitment to open government, which is about to embarrass the European Union, according to this FT story:
What does Germany really think about Turkish membership of the EU? How did Gerhard Schröder nearly wreck the EU enlargement deal? And what does Vladimir Putin privately think about Russian journalists? The answers are in a “warts and all” television documentary telling the inside story of the Danish EU presidency, which culminated in the Copenhagen enlargement summit last December. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Denmark’s prime minister, honoured his commitment to open government by giving rare access to a camera team during the tense talks leading to the deal allowing 10 new members to join the EU. Not everyone is as happy as Mr Fogh Rasmussen to feature in the film, to be broadcast in Denmark on Thursday. It has caused fury across Europe, and even some Danes think his candour has gone too far. The biggest controversy surrounds claims that Joschka Fischer, German foreign minister, privately tried to find ways to stop Turkey joining the EU, while publicly supporting Ankara’s application…. But it is not clear whether the EU’s often secretive culture is ready for a painful dose of openness. Some Danes agree with that view. Niels Helveg Petersen, a former foreign minister, said: “This is a break with proper behaviour, a diplomatic blunder of the highest order.”
Read the whole story — as well as these takes by the BBC and the EU Observer. The latter provides the details of the most damaging part of the documentary:
a sequence displaying a politically charged statement by German foreign minister Joschka Fischer where he revealed his personal views to Danish foreign minister Per Stig Møller, on Turkish membership of the European Union. “I am a good friend of Joschka, and he tells me, that Turkey will never join”, says the Danish foreign minister Per Stig Møller in a corridor passage which was taped and used in the film.
Needless to say, this is causing a three-way diplomatic row between Denmark, Turkey, and Germany. I actually have some sympathy for Fischer, since he’s being damned by hearsay. If it’s true, however, then shame on Germany for trying to screw the Turks over, and good for the Danes’ commitment to open government. Essay question to the Eurocrats:
“An American-led invasion of Iraq that removes a totalitarian dictatorship will increase hatred of the West among Muslims. EU discrimination against Turkey will decrease Muslim hatred of the West.” Can those two statements be logically reconciled? Discuss.
[What’s the second reason you love Denmark?–ed. Last month the Danish weekly Weekendavisen translated and published one of my New Republic essays. I may not speak a word of Danish, but it looks pretty damn cool.]
Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner
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