On the other hand, Turkey has been a candidate for accession for several years; it formally applied for the accession in the year 1987 and only became a candidate in 1999. the delay have been caused by the complicated nature of making Turkey at par with the standards of EU and also as a result of the political concerns that surrounds Turkey thus making the conclusion of its accession difficult. However, none of these countries is yet to gain membership as they are all in the process of the negotiations (Mauro, 2006).
Croatia applied to be a member of EU membership in 2003; the commission of the union has already recommended it and is thus Croatia is now officially a candidate. The status Croatia as an accession candidate was granted by the council of the union in 2004. The early negotiations were set to kick off in early 2005 but were delayed until late in the same year. After the negotiations finally started in October, the screening process of thirty three aquis chapters with the state was eventually completed in October of the following year (Mauro, 2006).
After the state of Croatia has fully recovered from its breakup from the Yugoslavia, it has very high hopes of becoming a second state of the Yugoslavia to be accepted as a member to of the EU community. The market economy of the state of Croatia is stable; it in fact, has far many superior statistical indicators as compared to Romania and Bulgaria which joined the EU in 2007. Close to the end of 2005 the officials of EU predicted that Croatia accession is expected to occur as early as 2010 but can delay up to 2012.
The conclusion of all the aquis communautaire chapters is likely to take place in 2009 while the accession treaty is likely to be signed in 2010. Before negations with the state of Croatia started, the aquis was split into thirty five chapters which were four more than the usual number of thirty one. The chapters which were new were formerly included in the policy of agriculture, which is an area that is expected to be quite troublesome as it was the case with other such applicants (Mauro, 2006).
Macedonia just like Croatia originated from Yugoslavia; the state of Macedonia applied for EU membership in 2004. In the following year the commission of the EU recommended Macedonia to the council for it to become a candidate of accession. The leaders of the European Union accepted the commissions recommendation which finally made the state of Macedonia to become an accession candidate officially. However, there has been no date which has been mentioned to start off the negotiation process. Peace in the country is observed although there are ethnic tensions which are still underlying in the country.
The ethnic tensions in Macedonia are as a result of the Albanians, who after the Ohrid Accords were implemented became more autonomous. But despite the political challenges facing the state, the council of the European Union congratulated and welcomed the achievements so far attained by the state in implementing a number of agreements and reforms. As a result the European Union recognizes the nation as a republic that broke away from Yugoslavia, and in fact, this is the major denotation by which EU may hold any fruitful negotiations with the country.
This issues resolution, in fact, became an accession precondition for Macedonia. However, it might take more time before Macedonia is accepted by EU since the state has numerous problems in achieving the standards required by EU such as sound economy and respect for the rule of law. There are also incidences of irregularities and violence especially in the recent parliamentary elections which were held in 2008, this particular event cast a lot of doubts on Macedonians candidacy (Roney, & Budd, 1998).
In the recent past, the status of Turkey in respect to joining the European Union has become an issue of chief significance and substantial controversy. Turkey is among the founding states of the Europe Council and the country has since 1964 been an associate member of EU. Turkey applied for EU full membership in 1987 and it took twelve years for the EU commission to recognize the candidacy of Turkey, it was recognized as a candidate in 1999 during the Helsinki Summit.
After the 2004 summit which was held at Brussels the council of EU formally announced that the negotiations for membership with the country of Turkey were to be opened in 2005. The process of screening started in the same year and was completed in the following year (Arikan, 2003). The country of Turkey is recognized as a developed nation, its economy is the 7th largest among the members of the Europe Council, while in the world, the economy of Turkey is ranked at position fifteen.
This has made the Turkeys proponents for EU membership to argue that the country is a chief economic power in the region which also supported by the fact that it has the 2nd largest force of military in NATO. These are very important factors in enhancing the position of EU as a geo strategic global player, considering the geographic location of Turkey, its political stability, economic power together with its cultural and historic connection in the region which is endowed with a lot of natural resources its accession can be of much significance to the entire EU community.
The proponents of Turkey also argue that the country abides to nearly all the conditions set by the EU for accession, they in fact, hold a firm position that it is unfair for EU to continue refusing the accession of Turkey arguing that its candidacy has been open for more than four decades. Turkey has also made a lot of reforms in respect for the rule of law and respect for the human rights, in order to satisfy the accession conditions (Arikan, 2003).
However, there are countries such as Germany and France that are still opposed to the accession of Turkey. They argue that Turkey fails to respect the main principles expected in any democracy that is liberal such as expression freedom. In addition, Turkey laws which are potentially repressive such as Article three hundred and one. Both France and Germany further argue that the Turkish army plays a major role in the countrys administrative foreground.
Another major issue about Turkeys accession into EU is due to the fact that it still occupies the Cyprus Island, which since 2004 became a member of the EU. Turkey has more than forty thousand troops in the island since 1974 and continues to be acquainted with the fact that Cyprus has authority over the island. It is not clear when the accession of Turkey will take place since some members are opposed to the countrys accession while others are of the idea (Arikan, 2003).