The Horse-Trading Model

Earlier in the week Doug Muir posted on the generally negative attitude most Austrians seem to have towards EU enlargement. Others in comments have been suggesting that it is important not to go soft on human rights issues in the case of Turkey’s application. Well……

According to the French newspaper Le Figaro (as reported in EUPolitix) “Croatia forms part of the total bargaining on Turkey.” (that’s a quote from an anonymous diplomat btw).

Essentially the Austrian government is opposed to Turkey’s entry but is a relatively strong backer of Croatia, so, to cite our diplomat again: “The Austrians will calm themselves if offered the opening of the negotiations with Croatia,”. And this notwithstanding the fact that Croatia’s application is currently on hold due to continuing issues over its cooperation with the Hague war crimes tribunal.

To be clear I don’t think we should soften our stand on human rights in the Turkey case, I do think Turkey recognising Cyprus should be a condition for accession to the EU (maybe it should have been a condition for opening negotiations, but it was’t, and I don’t think you can close the gate after the horse has bolted) and I don’t think the requirement that the Croatian government coperate with the war crimes tribunal should be dropped just to get the Austrian government to agree to open negotiations with Turkey.

Doug was understandably cynical about the Austrian posture on Croatia in his post: “Sentimentality for the old Habsburg connection; or, perhaps, the fact that Austria has a lot of money invested in Croatia, and no other cheap beaches within reach”. And on the failure to agree the French/Uk compromise deal on Cyprus, well Austrian opposition could be part of the explanation, but maybe people are also waiting to see just what does happen in Germany on Sunday.

Update: Following up on my, what’s going to happen on Sunday point, Euractiv has a dossier on Germany elections: implications for EU policymaking which is well worth reading in its own right, but which does contain this interesting paragraph on Turkey:

“Concerning future enlargements of the EU, a new government is likely to stick to the agreements with Bulgaria and Romania and accept the state of negotiations with Turkey. However, it is commonly known that Mrs Merkel prefers a ‘privileged partnership’ with Turkey instead of a full membership. “The German line of a close partnership with Turkey is shared by a majority of member states and it will ultimately prevail,” said Heinz Kramer from the German Institute for International Policy and Security. “If the negotiations are to be started on 3 October, the prospects for a successful conclusion of the Turkish accession process are dire.”

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".

32 thoughts on “The Horse-Trading Model

  1. What bugs me here is that the conditions for Croatian entry are already really, really mild.

    All they have to do is cooperate with the Hague Tribunal. And that’s been whittled down to “turn over a few of your most evil war criminals.”

    Croatia isn’t being asked to apologize for any of its actions during 1991-6: for helping prolong the vicious war in Bosnia, for instance, or for ethnically cleansing a couple of hundred thousand Serbs out of Croatia. They’re not being asked to pay reparations to anyone. They’re not being asked to stop their low-intensity, quiet but effective program of deterring Serbs from returning. The massive human rights abuses of the Tudjman government? They get to pretend those never happened, as long as they promise not to do it again.

    No, they can sweep all that nasty history under the rug. They can pretend that Croatia was always the victim, that Operations Storm and Lightning were unqualified victories of good over evil, and that Croatia has always stood for European civilization against the dark hordes of Balkan barbarism. And they can continue to teach their children this, year after year. All they have to do is send three guys to the Hague, where they’ll get a fair trial.

    They can’t even manage that. But they *still* want to be let into the EU. And not 10-15 years from now, like Turkey. No, the Croats think they should be offered accession tomorrow; they’re deeply offended that primitive, poverty-stricken, Orthodox countries like Bulgaria and Romania have been allowed to jump the queue.

    …I’m sorry if this is a bit more rant-like than my usual stuff. But, you know, I’ve been living in the region for a while, and have just been endlessly amazed by the relatively positive image that Croatia enjoys. It has no basis in reality. During the wars, they were no better than the Serbs… no worse, but no better. If they did less damage, it’s only because they didn’t have as many guns. And since the wars, well, they’re still no better. They just have more money.

    “They have great beaches and speak really good German” does not mean they’re the good guys.

    To be clear: I’m in favor of admitting Croatia, but by God I think we should hold their toes to the fire first. Partly because it will serve as a useful precedent for Turkey and others, but mostly because, dammit, it’s the right thing to do.

    Doug M.

  2. All they have to do is cooperate with the Hague Tribunal. And that’s been whittled down to “turn over a few of your most evil war criminals.”

    But that is one of the hardest demands that can be made. It boils down to betraying people that worked at your command and to your benefit. I am not ready to believe that somebody in the field just overinterpreted his orders. What Mr. Gotovina did in all likelihood had at least the quiet approval of the government.

    Reparations would be just money. It would be worth it. Appologies would just be words. Everything else would clearly be worth it.

  3. “…I’m sorry if this is a bit more rant-like than my usual stuff.”

    Well don’t worry, we are all human (I hope). I do agree with you though. And the comparison with Turkey is striking.

  4. Well, I do not agree. If the EU really cared about human rights issues, it would demand compensation and return of the refugees. This is really an attempt to use a judicial proceeding as a substitute for a political decision.

    If Croatia eventually hands over the people Carla del Ponte wants, it would not be of free volition. It would not really change anything. It would just proof that the Croatian government is lacking the spine to refuse.

    And the comparison with Turkey is striking.

    But of limited value. There are very few who would argue that Crotia is not Europe. There are those who oppose any enlargement as such, so much is true.
    However, there is a large minority or perhaps majority who thinks that Turkey does not belong into Europe, no matter what.

  5. “It would just proof that the Croatian government is lacking the spine to refuse.”

    Ok, I’m sure you’re right, which of course brings us back to Turkey where we expect much more, Pamuk even suggests we have to change the hearts and minds of people. Meantime there is the formal question of justice, and in the Croatian case I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more of it.

    “However, there is a large minority or perhaps majority who thinks that Turkey does not belong into Europe, no matter what.”

    Yes, but here on Afoe it hasn’t been explained. The objections are of the ‘liberal’, human rights variety. So I’m a bit in the dark about why some people consider that it doesn’t belong in Europe no matter what. That’s the bit that really puzzles me.

  6. We expect more because we have to. The Eu’s close cooperation requires the members to be sufficiently similar. We don’t because of any moral consideration, it is a practical question. If our demands are starker in the Turkish case, this shows, to be blunt, Turkey’s backwardness.

    Now, in Croatia you can speak freely about operation Storm. Somebody else is probably more qualified to tell us how his neighbours would react, but the public prosecutor will leave you alone.
    I also doubt many Croatians would deny that it involved uncivilised treatment of civilians. They’ll just tell you it was justified and/or necessary.

    So I’m a bit in the dark about why some people consider that it doesn’t belong in Europe no matter what. That’s the bit that really puzzles me.

    It is my fate to state the unpleasant truth, isn’t it?
    They are muslim and they are so many. Yes, we have seen polls, that said otherwise. On the other hand, they showed opposition without reason. I guess you are not saying anything so close to racism to the nice sounding student on the phone who is making the poll.

  7. “It is my fate to state the unpleasant truth, isn’t it?”

    Well at least Oliver thank you for being explicit. I think you are speaking for a lot of people who aren’t prepared to own up to this, as you indicate in your point about the polls. Obviously I don’t agree, in fact these are precisely the reasons I would like to see them in.

    In the first case for Zapatero’s ‘alliance of civilisations’ type argument, and in the second place because we need a lot of young people. If the coming German government is successful with labour market reforms then maybe this latter point will be the central issue in the *next* German elections.

  8. In the first case for Zapatero’s ‘alliance of civilisations’ type argument

    Here we are at the core. If it should require an alliance of civilisations, Turkey is not Europe. Is it furthermore legitimate to use, perhaps even use up, the EU to solve this one problem, important as it be?

  9. because we need a lot of young people.

    This is a trivial problem. Getting young people willing to emmigrate to Germany is not a problem and won’t be for the next 20 years unless there’s a major catastrophe that changes everything.

    Secondly, in the current climate no party will support major immigration. It is suicide and we’ll have to live with that. If that changes the problem with especially the Green party is that they want to select the immigrants more based on what is good for the immigrants than what is good for the country.

  10. Now, in Croatia you can speak freely about operation Storm… I also doubt many Croatians would deny that it involved uncivilised treatment of civilians. They’ll just tell you it was justified and/or necessary.

    Actually, quite a lot of Croatians would — do — deny that it involved uncivilized treatment of civilians.

    And of those that don’t deny it, a large minority will say that it was justified because “they had it coming”.

    The Croatian government’s official line is hardly better. They officially claim that few or no war crimes took place; that there was no deliberate ethnic cleansing; that the Serbs who left did so voluntarily; and that the refugees are completely free to return. None of these things are true, but nobody — least of all in Brussels — seems interested in encouraging Zagreb to reconsider its position.

    Croatia managed to permanently ethnically cleanse about 6% of its prewar population. That’s like Turkey expelling 4 million Kurds into Syria and Iraq. The Tudjman regime unquestionably considered this to be “justified” and “necessary”, but I’m damned if I can figure out why the rest of Europe is going along with it.

    Doug M.

  11. The Croatian government’s official line is hardly better.

    Do they have a choice?

    The Tudjman regime unquestionably considered this to be “justified” and “necessary”, but I’m damned if I can figure out why the rest of Europe is going along with it.

    Can you make any sense of any part of the EU’s balkan policy? I certainly cannot. Anyway, you hardly can convincingly demand somebody be handed over for taking part in something you don’t care to disapprove of.
    The best explanation I can think of is that the EU lacks the will to choose between several mutually exclusive goals and fit its notion of acceptable means to its aims.

    If the EU has chosen to declare Croatia populated by angels there’s no use now to find some token reason not to act on that.
    And while “They have great beaches and speak really good German” does not make you a good guy, it makes you usefull. You don’t use the thumbscrews unless you badly need a result. There are no extra points for justified grillings.

  12. “However, it is commonly known that Mrs Merkel prefers a ’privileged partnership’ with Turkey instead of a full membership.”

    Turkey is not like Norway. The “partnership” between the EU and Norway is that between an eliphant and an ant. Turkey on the other is not an ant to the EU’s eliphant and would be the junior partner, but a partner none the less. And as junior partner it would in all likelyhood have more power than it would have as a regular member state.
    It is also true that Turkey’s membership is unimportant during this election cycle. The plan is 2015 as entry date so the real decision will fall in 2011/2012 and this parlement only sits until 2009. By then the situation will be much clearer on unimportant issues like human rights and important ones like how rich/developed they are and how the Turkish immigrants are doing in Europe.

    ps. It is much smarter to allow Croatia and Serbia in at the same time. No false hope that you like one more than the other

  13. the real decision will fall in 2011/2012 and this parlement only sits until 2009

    If she really, really wants to and is prepared to pull all registers, Mrs. Merkel could kill the negotiations in the near future. Mr. Schröder’s stance is under fire in his own party. See the last interview with ex-chancellor Schmidt. A full negative decision by the new government is very unlikely to be reversed by the next government.

    It is much smarter to allow Croatia and Serbia in at the same time. No false hope that you like one more than the other

    Much too late

  14. Regulation can only be effectively be implemented if Turkey has the same regulation. So they would get a kind of veto on most regulations.

  15. And piss off Turkey while you don’t know if they will be rich. (rich and pissed off is dangerous, poor and pissed off is not) Besides it is much easier to kill it with saying that Turkey isn’t yet ready in 2012 (which you can always use as Luxembourg isn’t even up to scratch on everything) than killing it now without having that excuse. Especially if you don’t know how Turkey will look in 2015. My guess would be Spain in 92 and than you couldn’t really have claimed that they weren’t ready for the EU

  16. It’s unclear to me how this would be different, again, from the current EU setup where Turkey would have a veto as a member-state (and as the most populous member-state, no less). Why would a privileged partnerhsip give it greater power? Does Russia have a comparable status?

  17. Veto power is going to be severely restricted by the time Turkey joins and every other state has that power too.
    There will be a negotiation between the EU and Turkey about almost every rule with a privilleged partnership while as member Turkey has to negotiated with the other 25 and as such as much less leeway

    Russia isn’t even near a privileged partnership and its economy is much less intwinned with that of the EU

  18. There will be a negotiation between the EU and Turkey about almost every rule with a privilleged partnership while as member Turkey has to negotiated with the other 25 and as such as much less leeway.

    That doesn’t necessarily follow. Why wouldn’t Turkey still be dependent on EU internal debates for the regulations which determine its future? It might be a large country, but it’s also a rather poor one with more need of the EU than vice versa.

  19. If the EU has chosen to declare Croatia populated by angels there’s no use now to find some token reason not to act on that.

    The EU has not declared Croatia “populated by angels”. Sheesh.

    What they have done — for a variety of reasons, some good, most not — is lower, lower, lower the bar for admission.

    does not make you a good guy, it makes you usefull. You don’t use the thumbscrews unless you badly need a result. There are no extra points for justified grillings.

    Following this logic, the more “useful” Turkey is to the EU, the more we should ignore their human rights issues. I don’t buy this.

    Furthermore, I don’t see Croatia as all that useful. It’s a small country — 4.5 million people — without much to offer Europe other than the aforementioned beaches. It’s demographically stagnant, has a well-deserved reputation for corruption, a not-all-that-free press, and a foreign policy that continues to be dominated by truculent nationalism and posturing. It’s a country where paramilitaries, right-wing nationalists, and organized crime have blurred together to form what’s probably a long-term stable nexus of shadow power and entrenched corruption, where the police and the judiciary know all too well who can be prosecuted and who not, where there’s one set of rules for the wealthy and people of “good families” and another for the hoi polloi. And it’s a country where none of these things seem to be getting much better.

    In short, it’s just another damn backwards Ruritanian country in the Balkans.

    I got no problem with Ruritanias as such, BTW. I mean, I live in Romania. And there’s a great experiment underway here: to see if the EU can transform these countries into generally decent places to live. The outcome is by no means certain. It’s possible that the EU could end up with an archipelago of Sicilies. With Romania and Bulgaria, though, I’m cautiously optimistic. But that’s in large part because they’re not afflicted with the bullshit nationalism that dominates political discourse in the western Balkans.

    Anyway, my point is, the EU needs Croatia a lot less than Croatia needs the EU. So we could totally tighten the screws. If the political will were there.

    Doug M.

  20. Following this logic, the more “useful” Turkey is to the EU, the more we should ignore their human rights issues.

    Yes. I consider this obvious. We had absolutely no problem with the death penalty in France. Can you imagine serious action against any of the big 4? The EU is a practical political institution. It does not exist for ethic’s sake. There is a bar we cannot go below without endangering the union. So it is not that simple. Turkey is currently below, but not that much.

    I don’t see Croatia as all that useful

    A lot of immigrants. Integrating EU citizens is easier, cause they vote in local elections.
    And a good part of the easy route to Greece.

    Of course we might discuss how usefull the expansion of 2004 really was. That would be interesting and the conclusion by no means clear and perhaps unknowable because it will depend on how things turn out in the future.

    So we could totally tighten the screws.

    Sure. I never disputed the ability, just the desirability. It would be
    a) inconsistant with earlier policy
    b) without clear gain
    Insisting on a judiciary working without class barriers, that might be worth it.

    Anything that might reawaken (even more) the ghosts of 91-95 is clearly not in the EU’s interest.

  21. A lot of immigrants.

    ? ? Croatia is unlikely to produce many immigrants. It’s a small country to begin with, and it’s demographically stagnant. (In fact, the “native” Croatian population is declining; the country is only growing a little because of a steady flow of ethnic Croats from Bosnia.)

    Croatia did produce modest numbers of gastarbeiteren in the ’60s and ’70s, but that was a while ago. The country’s demographics have changed since then — they have far fewer young people now — as, of course, has the demand in the EU.

    More to the point: if the EU needs EU citizen immigrants, it just added a pool of 80 million potential ones last year — and will add another 30 million in 2007, when Romania and Bulgaria join. So it’s really hard to see how the EU needs Croatia — population 4.5 million — to top off the potential immigrant pool.

    And a good part of the easy route to Greece.

    Um. No. The easy route to Greece is to avoid Croatia altogether.

    Doug M.

  22. Doug,

    “Croatia is unlikely to produce many immigrants. It’s a small country to begin with, and it’s demographically stagnant”

    Well Doug, it’s nice to see you fielding these issues for a change rather than me :).

    I agree, of course. In fact I tend to think that the countries joining the EU are only really net exporters of migrants in the run-up to accession (and maybe the first couple of years after). This was the history with Spain, Greece and Portugal, and I don’t see why Poland, Hungary etc should be any different. So of course now there are lots of ‘undocumented’ persons from Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia etc.

    Indeed I suspect thatin 10 – 15 years from now when Turkey is a member there will be very little inward migration, just like people are pointing out in your other post about the French Dom Toms.

    I think, when given a realistic choice, people far prefer to remain nearer home.

    David Miller, in a very interesting book on nationalism, suggested that the world may be divided into two kinds of people.

    Those for whom the world is like a supermarket, where they use a kind of rational choice model and go and live where it suits them best.

    And those for whom family, belonging and identity are the main determinant, and they make choices driven by the importance given to these. ie they only move with difficulty, when they feel forced to.

    I suspect that your case and mine have more to do with the former, but that the vast majority of people belong in the latter group.

  23. Croatia is unlikely to produce many immigrants.

    Croatia has produced a lot of emmigrants. Enough to make a plurality of foreigners eg. in Munich.

    Croatia did produce modest numbers of gastarbeiteren in the ’60s and ’70s, but that was a while ago.

    They are still alive and have children.

  24. Croatia has produced a lot of emmigrants.

    No, actually, it hasn’t. Fewer than Serbia or Bosnia, both per capita and in absolute numbers. Not even close to Romania, never mind Turkey.

    That Croatian community in Munich dates from the 1960s and ’70s. It’s the largest group of recent Croatian emigrants in the world. But it’s not getting any bigger.

    They are still alive and have children

    The 25 year old who went off in 1970 to lay bricks in Germany is now a 60 year old living in a suburb of Split. He’s not going off to work abroad again.

    Quite possibly, he *doesn’t* have children — Croatia’s TFR is around 1.5. The birth rate declined after 1980 and then nosedived dratically after 1990.

    Croatia is a country with fewer 18 year olds than 40 year olds… and nearly twice as many 40 year olds as 5 year olds. There’s just no way it’s going to generate significant numbers of emigrants to the rest of Europe.

    Look, don’t take my word for it. Compare and contrast neighboring Slovenia, which is demographically very similar. Slovenia has been in the EU for 16 months now. Do you know how many emigrants it’s sent out?

    Doug M.

  25. “Croatia’s TFR is around 1.5.”

    They should be so lucky. I just checked with the prb 2005 data sheet, it’s 1.3. And the median age is 39.97, if that means anything.

  26. No, actually, it hasn’t. Fewer than Serbia or Bosnia, both per capita and in absolute numbers. Not even close to Romania, never mind Turkey.

    For Germany the numbers are
    Serbia/Montenegro: 568.240
    Croatia: 236.570
    Bosnia/Hercegovina: 167.081
    More or less proportional to the populations except for a surplus of Bosnians.

    Turkey: 1.877.661
    That means that Jugoslavija is overrepresented per capita. (Not as grossly as the raw numbers suggest because Turkey’s population has grown quicker)

    Turkey’s potential to generate more immigrants in the future is of course larger, but they find less approval among the general population than other potential immigrants.

    In fact if we want immigrants we could look eg. at South America, India, China …
    The supply is large. What we do care about is integrating the immigrants already here. Having large numbers of people not able to vote even in local elections is a problem.
    Compounded still more by an unequal geographic distribution.

    ps:
    Romania: 89.104
    Underrepresented

    See
    http://www.zuwanderung.de/tabellen/1_02.html

  27. Um, Oliver… Germany is not the only country in Europe.

    The Croatian diaspora is concentrated in Austria and Germany; the Serbian one is there too, but also includes large numbers in France, Britain and the Scandinavian countries.

    Per capita, Serbs have sent about twice as many emigrants abroad as Croats in the last 30 years.

    [Romania]

    I’m surprised there are that many; Germany is not a favored destination for Romanians. But there are more than half a million of them in Spain and Italy.

    Doug M.

  28. Germany is not the only country in Europe

    True, but it is the largest. And it has a legitimate interest in having a significant say in questions affecting its important interests, such as a question so large a percentage of the resident population is personally interested in. Making immigrants feel welcome is important in the long run and neglected for too long.

    In addition Germany and Austria, being the eastmost of the western states have a large interest in all of eastern Europe improving its standard of living. It is true that there have been calls to delay the joining of Romania and Bulgaria to better keep out the cheap competition, but that is shortsighted and not really in the national interest.
    Germany (Austria is better off still) can live either with closed borders or with a near abroad richer than it is now. The pressure to do something about the wage pressure from the east would become too large to resist.
    Now Croatia is not really large enough to be vital, but the principle interest should not be overlooked.

    The same would apply to Spain or Italy if they saw this matter in a similar way with respect to Romania. The EU must be ready to yield to some special interests of the members if it wants to keep inner peace. Eg. the CAP can be reduced only slowly and only if France agrees.

  29. Randy, Turkey will in my estimate be around 80% of the EU average. That isn´t poor. They are also large which means that they will active in most economic sectors. Which means it makes to much economic sense to not have the same regulations. This will lead to a situation that they will have a veto in practise

  30. Randy, Turkey will in my estimate be around 80% of the EU average. That isn´t poor.

    No, it isn’t. What are your estimates based upon, though? And why would this Turkey be so much more determinative outside the EU than inside, when compared with other trading partners like China or the US?

  31. They are now at 50% and fast growing. add 10 years and your on 80%.

    China and the US are far away. Turkey is in the same time zone and is within trucking distance. That means that they can compete in markets the Chinese and Americans can’t

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