Monday

29th Aug 2016

Brussels declines to endorse 2013 date for Turkey's EU entry

The European Commission has welcomed Turkey's 400-page timetable for implementing EU legislation but refused to comment in advance on Ankara's desire to join the bloc by 2013.

Turkey's foreign minister Abdullah Gul unveiled his country's roadmap towards EU membership on Tuesday (17 April), with details on forthcoming legislative proposals aiming to put Turkey's laws in line with European legislation.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The plan includes reforms in eight areas temporarily blocked from further negotiations between Ankara and Brussels, as a result of a member states' decision last December due to Turkey's stance over Cyprus.

The dispute centers around the candidate country's reluctance to allow Greek Cypriot ships and planes to access its ports and airspace as agreed before the accession negotiations kicked off.

Ankara is insisting that such a move should be preceded by the end of an EU trade embargo on Turkish Cypriots in the north of the divided island.

Mr Gul said on Tuesday that the root of the dispute with Europe is political, adding "When the political problems are one day resolved, we will meet with the EU and it will take us half an hour to open and close those chapters."

The EU enlargement commissioner's spokeswoman commented that the plan as put forward by Turkey is "exactly what is expected from every candidate country."

But concerning Ankara's provisional date of 2013 as the deadline for finalising the required reforms and being ready to join the EU just after, she said the EU executive does not define accession dates in advance as they depend on a country's "progress in reform on the ground."

In Turkey, Tuesday's announcement was overshadowed by tensions over a potential presidential bid by the country's prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has until 25 April to decide whether to register his candidacy.

Several hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated in Ankara over the weekend against him running for the top chair due to fears that as a candidate of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) he would endanger the secular character of the Turkish republic.

Opinion

EU's Kosovo meddling risks Balkans chaos

The EU and the US are is unfairly pressuring Kosovo to ratify a border deal with Montenegro against the will of the opposition. It could bring trouble to the Western Balkans region.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary plans to reinforce border fence against migrants
  2. France's highest court suspends burkini ban
  3. Greeks paid €1bn more in taxes in June
  4. Greek minister denounces EU letter on former statistics chief
  5. Turks seeking asylum in Greece may cause diplomatic row
  6. Merkel becomes digital resident of Estonia
  7. Report: VW will compensate US dealers with €1bln
  8. EU mulls making Google pay news media for content

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. GoogleBrussels - home of beer, fries, chocolate and Google’s Public Policy Team - follow @GoogleBrussels
  2. HuaweiSeeds for the Future Programme to Bring Students from 50 countries to China for Much-Needed ICT Training
  3. EFASpain is not a democratic state. EFA expresses its solidarity to Arnaldo Otegi and EH Bildu
  4. UNICEFBoko Haram Violence in Lake Chad Region Leaves Children Displaced and Trapped
  5. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  6. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  7. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Confirms the Application of Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  8. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  9. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  10. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER
  11. EURidNominate Your Favourite .eu or .ею Website for the .EU Web Awards 2016 Today!
  12. Dialogue PlatformAn Interview on Gulen Movement & Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey