The author argues that the “Turkey in the EU” debate is a part of a much broader debate about the future of Europe itself, and calls upon the citizens of the EU as well as the citizens of the candidate countries to engage in this debate. He stresses that the Europe of the 21st century should be built together on solid, lasting and democratic foundations. The author identifies three alternative visions within the intellectual and political discussions regarding Europe’s future: the “minimalist” or “sovereignist” vision; the “super-state” or “super-nation” vision with overtones of old style nationalism some want to reincarnate at the European level and finally the vision of the “21st century Europeans.” It is such a 21st century Europe that Turkey wants to help build and that Turkey wants to be part of. Within the framework of the third vision, Turkey can make Europe stronger and more attractive. The Europe of the 21st century will be dynamic, evolving and oriented to the future. It will be a Europe that is not built “against” anyone, but will be part of a more democratic global order.
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