Sarkozy stresses opposition to Turkey’s EU accession

May 30th, 2008 - 10:31 pm ICT by admin  

Vienna, May 30 (DPA) French President Nicolas Sarkozy Friday reiterated his reservations about European Union (EU) membership for Turkey ahead of his one-day visit to Austria. Apart from the special case Turkey, which was Europe’s “partner”, Europe had to consider carefully where its outer borders should be, Sarkozy told the Austrian daily Kurier in its Friday edition.

“I believe Europe must have borders, as this is the condition for a real political Europe, not just an economic unit,” he said.

Sarkozy, who is visiting several European capitals to drum up support for France’s upcoming EU presidency, was scheduled to meet Austrian President Heinz Fischer and Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer later Friday.

Discussions were to centre on the core issues of France’s presidency - developing strategies against climate change, a harmonised European migration policy, and reforming the EU’s common agricultural policy.

Sarkozy stressed the importance of strong German-French ties for the EU to prosper. Both countries had to commit their friendship to serving the European idea, he said, but added that this must not exclude the other member states.

“In a Europe of 27 (EU members) we need the energy and goodwill of everyone,” he said.

Referring to Europe’s growing energy dependence on Russia, the French president said Europe had to take advantage of all energy-conserving options, including diversification to renewable energy resources like nuclear energy even if this went against Austrian sensibilities.

Austria is strongly opposed to nuclear energy, contrary to France, which derives a substantial share of its energy production from nuclear power.

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