BRUSSELS—The European Armenian Federation has published its five-year report on the European Parliament’s last legislative session, highlighting the positions adopted by various European political groups on issues relating to foreign affairs, such as Turkey’s EU membership, the European Neighborhood Policy, relations between the European Union and Armenia or the destruction of Armenian monuments in Azerbaijan.
The report is based on an analysis of the voting record, and “presents the positions of the main political groups or some of their most active members so that, before the European elections, European citizen could make their choice on factual and objective information.”
According to the report, the outgoing Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from the main political groups were divided on the positions they held regarding the aforementioned issues. Their voting record, the report continues, shows they were reluctant to “offend” Turkey as it relates to asserting the Union’s expectations, in particular, the question of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide as a prerequisite for membership.
The report highlights that the conservative European People’s party (EPP), which overwhelmingly opposes Turkey’s membership, leveraged the Genocide recognition issue in 2004, 2005 and 2006 when Turkish membership was on the fast track. They gave this issue up during the following years when the membership issue slowed, while some MEPs continued to support it.
Among the socialist groups, the French Socialists who committed themselves to turning the Genocide recognition into a party platform for the Party of the European Socialist (PSE) were alone and unable to rally the PSE’s other delegations around this issue. Although the French Socialists remained remarkably faithful to their commitment, the PSE’s global policy was gradually aligned with Ankara’s interests.
The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) faces the same situation as these democratic members of Parliament continue to support European values while the majority of the liberals give priority to Turkish membership without considering the violations of the Union’s principles by Turkey.
The European United Left Group (GUE) has the most coherent position on the issues. In principle, it is in favor of Turkish membership to the EU, while at the same time, it firmly demands from Turkey “respect for European values, among” which is the recognition of the Genocide.
As for the Greens, the report stresses that it “started defending the Turkish immigrants from discriminations and progressively moved to the unconditional support of Turkish membership by the turning a deaf ear to justified obstacles slowing the membership process. Consequently, the Greens have become the principal group lobbying for Turkey in the European Parliament.”