While we’re at it: The European Parliament election campaign is so not happening up until now. Okay – we have the parties, the platforms and the candidates, but not really much in way of a campaign.
Perhaps we ought to thank the former Bendt Bendtsen who unexpectedly pulled Turkey into the non-campaign by asserting that Turkey should never be a member of the EU. The Danish People’s Party loved it, the Conservatives turned out to be split on the issue, and now one of the Liberal hopefuls have joined the chorus criticising Bendtsen.
The question now is: If we leave aside that Turkish EU membership is at least 30 to 40 years out in the future, what got into Bendtsen?
I would guess that the Conservatives wanted to keep this as a non-issue, and we don’t have any indications that Bendtsen’s move was cleared with the Conservative leadership. Perhaps he was beginning to fear that the party would be left without MEPs and looking to poach prospective Liberal and DF voters?
Who knows: Maybe Turkey will be the issue that will liven up the campaign, even if it in that case is destined to become ugly. That the Conservatives otherwise have tried to place themselves to the left of the Liberals and DF on the authoritarian-libertarian dimension just makes the picture more complicated.