Press release 14.12.2005


Before the vote on the opening of the negotiations on a Turkish membership Henrik Lax, Member of the European Parliament, announces that he does not support the proposal.

A TURKISH MEMBERSHIP WOULD CUT OUT THE MINORITIES FROM THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT - THIS IS A STEP IN THE WRONG DIRECTION

I agree that we should do our utmost to stabilize our neighbouring regions. On the contrary, I do not support the way in which the Turkish membership is supposed to be carried into effect.

A precondition for a democratic country is that everyone is given the possibility to participate in the decision making. This applies, of course, to the present Member States as well, with linguistic minorities representing 10% of the population. If the seats of the Member States are reduced in the European Parliament without guarantees that Europe's true diversity will be reflected in the composition of the European Parliament, minorities will be cut out of the Parliament as a result of a Turkish membership.

Since this dimension is left outside the report I can not vote in favour. Irrespective of what historical decisions we face, my goal is a Europe for all EU-citizens, not only for a few.

Europe is a cultural and linguistic mosaic, which has created tensions and bloodshed during its history. Therefore, it is unwise to settle for a solution which would not reflect Europe's real diversity. Every EU citizen has to be able to feel welcome in a Union with a constant increasing power. It would be most unfortunate, for instance, if the Balkans in the future only would be represented by the largest ethnic group.