Friday

19th Oct 2018

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.

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

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.

News in Brief

  1. Rutte: summit was 'not the moment' for higher climate ambition
  2. Legal text for Brexit relocation EU agencies agreed
  3. Greek foreign minister resigns over Macedonia deal
  4. No Brexit backstop means no approval, says EU parliament
  5. Poland questions supremacy of EU court
  6. Medvedev to meet Juncker and Merkel in Brussels
  7. Italians and Czechs least favourable to remaining in EU
  8. Facebook hack set to be first major test of EU data rules

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. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  8. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  9. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  11. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  12. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All

Latest News

  1. Europe and Asia seek stable relations in troubled times
  2. Asylum reforms derailed, as EU looks to north Africa
  3. EU leaders worried about Italy's budget
  4. Russian activist warning on 'fake news' as EU backs action
  5. Kaczynski: No question of Polish EU exit
  6. EU summit to accept urgency of climate action – but no measures planned
  7. MEPs demand more from EU on human rights in Asia
  8. EU migration solutions are on the table - let's adopt them

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us