EU fails to reach compromise on Turkish ascension

The European Union General Affairs Council failed Tuesday to reach a consensus on Turkey’s ascension process following a five-hour meeting. Austria stood against Turkey’s membership negotiations and voted against the final declaration that did not use the term “Freezing of Turkey’s accession process”. Members met to discuss the Council’s 2017 priorities.

Miroslav Lajcak, Slovak deputy prime minister and also foreign affairs minister said “the word freeze was mentioned by one delegation but did not get the support of the vast majority of the states present in the room”. The other 27 members on the council approved and announced that the group welcomed a deepening of EU-Turkey cooperation in key areas of joint interests and challenges, including migration, counterterrorism, energy, economy and trade. “Turkey’s accession process will not be discussed at the European Council because this is a general affairs council agenda,” Lajcak said at a press conference. The Council also announced that no chapters have been opened since Chapter 33, or the Financial and budgetary provisions, was opened June 30, and added that under these circumstances no new chapters are considered for opening regarding Turkey’s ascension.

Miroslav Lajcak

Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987 and accession talks began in 2005. Negotiations, however, hit a stalemate in 2007 because of Turkey’s position on the Cyprus issue and opposition to its full EU membership by the German and French governments. To gain membership, Turkey has to also successfully conclude negotiations with the EU in 35 policy chapters that involve reforms and the adoption of European standards. Turkey and the EU signed a refugee deal in March, which aimed to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of nearly 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. The deal also allowed for the acceleration of Turkey’s EU membership bid and visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area that comprises most EU states. In a joint statement from November 2015, the EU and Turkey confirmed their commitments to re-energize the accession process.

A year later, however, the European Parliament (EP) approved a non-binding motion to freeze EU-membership talks with Turkey, in response to post-coup investigations and recent developments in the country including measures taken within the framework of the fight against the PKK and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) terrorist groups. Turkey has accused FETO of staging a putsch attempt in July that has resulted in a the arrests of thousands of FETO-linked state employees. EU countries' leaders also decided to evaluate relations with Turkey at an EU summit Dec. 15 and 16. At a European Council meeting Dec.15, leaders will address migration, security, economic and social development, youth and external relations.

3420 views


More Turkey News

Сhanging Kazakh alphabet to Latin - reaching out to Turkey than escaping from Russia

Сhanging Kazakh alphabet to Latin - reaching out to Turkey than escaping from Russia

Kazakhstan has long been associating itself with the Turkic world and counts Turkey among its closest friends and trade partners

Turkey’s ruling party to convene extraordinary congress

Turkey’s ruling party to convene extraordinary congress

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has decided to convene an extraordinary congress on May 21 immediately after the announcement of the results of the April 16 constitutional referendum, the party's press service …

Russian ship sinks after collision near Turkey#039s Bosphorus

Russian ship sinks after collision near Turkey's Bosphorus

The Russian Black Sea Fleet's research vessel Liman sank in the sea after it collided with another ship, with the vessel’s entire crew rescued, Russia’s Defense Ministry said. "The ship Liman sank from holes below …

Stoltenberg: Turkey has right to prosecute coup suspect, but...

Stoltenberg: Turkey has right to prosecute coup suspect, but...

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned Turkey it must fully respect legal due process, as Ankara continues to make mass arrests after last July's failed coup. "Turkey has the right to protect itself and to …

Turkey suspends more than 9000 police officers

Turkey suspends more than 9000 police officers

Turkey's police force has suspended more than 9,000 officers over alleged links to the US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen. It said the action had been taken on the grounds of national security. …

Kurds call on to set up no-fly zone after Turkish attacks

Kurds call on to set up no-fly zone after Turkish attacks

Syrian Kurdish forces called for a no-fly zone across the country's north in response to deadly Turkish air strikes the previous day, the media reported. "Only (by) declaring north Syria as a no-fly zone can YPG defend the …

Skeleton of Russian general found inside coffin in Turkey’s Ardahan

Skeleton of Russian general found inside coffin in Turkey’s Ardahan

A coffin thought to belong to a Russian general has been unearthed during foundation excavations for a construction project in the Turkish province of Ardahan, Doğan News Agency reported. Workers found a coffin with cross on it during …

It is time for Turkey, EU to cooperate

It is time for Turkey, EU to cooperate

The only way of preventing racism from gaining further footing is for Christian and Muslim democrats

Erdogan: no solution in Syria with Assad

Erdogan: no solution in Syria with Assad

There could be no solution to Syria's conflict while President Bashar al-Assad remains in power, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. "Assad is not the address for a prospective solution in Syria," …

 PYD: US coalition approves Turkish air strike on Kurds

PYD: US coalition approves Turkish air strike on Kurds

Turkish Air Forces could not have struck the positions of Kurdish militias in northern Syria and Iraq without receiving approval from the US-led coalition in the first place, the co-chairman of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Salih …

more Turkey News