The release last week of a European Commission report highly critical of Bulgaria's and Romania's progress in their efforts against corruption serves as a useful reminder that both Brussels and Ankara should exercise patience while negotiating Turkey's European Union bid. The Bulgarian and Romanian cases demonstrate that both Europe and its potential members are best served by an exhaustive, deliberate accession process.
Negotiations between Turkey and the EU have slowed recently due to increasing doubts in both Turkey and Europe about the wisdom of further expansion. Already suffering from "enlargement fatigue," Europe has seen the economic crisis highlight its internal divisions, strengthen nationalist sentiment within member countries, and raise questions about Brussels' ability to make effective policy. The decision last month to indefinitely postpone accession negotiations with Croatia is just the latest indication of Europe's mood. Meanwhile, many Turks have grown impatient with the accession process and are asking themselves whether they really need Europe.
But while both sides' concerns are understandable, they are shortsighted.