Tuesday

26th Mar 2019

Turkey targets 2013 for EU legal compliance

Turkey resumed EU accession talks on Thursday (29 March) with the German presidency aiming to open three more negotiating chapters with Ankara by late June.

The enterprise and industry chapter became the second out of 35 areas covered by EU legislation that the candidate country has opened as part of its membership talks, kicked off in October 2005.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Changing Istanbul: Turkey hopes Europe's enlargement blues are just a temporary affair (Photo: European Commission)

The move comes after the EU partially suspended the negotiations last December, freezing the formal progress on eight chapters directly connected with the bloc's customs union as Turkey had failed to follow its rules and open its ports and airspace to Greek Cypriots.

Speaking to journalists after a short meeting to formally mark the opening of another chapter, Turkey's chief negotiator Ali Babacan said Ankara is not prepared to change its position on Cyprus before the EU fulfills its commitment to ease the isolation of Turkish Cypriots in the north of the divided island.

He was referring to a political pledge made by the EU after Turkish Cypriots supported a UN plan on the unification of the island in 2004 while Greek Cypriots rejected it.

According to Mr Babacan, the EU is currently trying to draw up a protocol on trade with Northern Cyprus but Ankara is still waiting for the details and hopes to be consulted, as "the judgement over whether the isolation is over is upon us," he added.

The current Turkish government is planning to unveil a detailed agenda for adopting most of EU laws by 2013 - even in the areas blocked by the EU - with Mr Babacan suggesting, "80 to 90 percent of what we need to do will immediately help us."

He argued that the current Turkish leadership believes they can convince their own citizens about the benefit of the reforms while "in the medium to long term we hope that Europe will be also more supportive of the enlargement than today."

"It will be tomorrow's Turkey that will be considered to become a member and the EU will also be different," argued Mr Babacan.

Meanwhile, Croatia as the other candidate country also formally opened one new negotiating chapter on Thursday - one of six opened in total with two of them provisionally closed.

Zagreb hopes to kick off negotiations on all areas by the end of this year and finalise them by 2009, according to Croatia's permanent representation's spokesman.

However, the country's membership can only be approved after the EU makes some institutional adjustments as the current treaty foresees changes before there can be 28 members of the bloc.

Tensions mount over Kosovo-Serbia deal

Serbia will never recognise Kosovo, Serbia's foreign minister has said, as the Western Balkans heads into a new period of turbulence.

News in Brief

  1. EU tables plan for joint approach to 5G security
  2. MEPs agree to scrap summer time clock changes by 2021
  3. European Parliament votes on reform of copyright
  4. New French-German parliament meets for first time
  5. EU parliament reduces polling ahead of elections
  6. UK parliament votes to take control of Brexit process
  7. EU publishes no-deal Brexit contingency plans
  8. EU urges Israel and Gaza to re-establish calm

Opinion

EU should brace for a more authoritarian Erdogan

The new blend of religious nationalism will be more anti-West and anti-EU, as Brussels has anything but leverage on Turkey. The first signs of this strong rhetoric are already visible.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  5. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  8. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID

Latest News

  1. EU lawmakers pass contentious copyright law
  2. France takes Chinese billions despite EU concerns
  3. Europe before the elections - heading back to the past?
  4. Romania presidency shatters EU line on Jerusalem
  5. The Spitzen process - a coup that was never accepted
  6. Russia and money laundering in Europe
  7. Italy takes China's new Silk Road to the heart of Europe
  8. What EU leaders agreed on climate - and what they mean

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us