29th Feb 2024

Chirac points to third way on Turkey

  • Jacques Chirac - "If, on the other hand, Turkey cannot or will not make the necessary effort, then we will stop" (Photo: European Commission)

French President Jacques Chirac has pointed to a third way for Turkey, which would see it have a strong link to the EU but not actual membership.

Speaking on Sunday in Marseilles, Mr Chirac said, "Either it works and Turkey joins with all our values. This will take 10 to 15 years" or on the other hand, he said "... Turkey cannot or will not make the necessary effort, then we will stop".

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"There is a third hypothesis that in three to four years, things have progressed but there are still obstacles that we will not surmount. We will therefore need to find another solution, to create a sufficiently strong link for our ambitions for peace and co-operation but without integration into the EU", said the French President.

If such an option were to be written into the conclusions of the European Council, when EU leaders gather next month in Brussels to decide whether negotiations should be opened with Turkey, it would mean a significant step back for Ankara.

Countries such as Austria and the Netherlands may favour moves in this direction.

Referendum promise

Mr Chirac's words are intended as a reassurance to French citizens - a majority of whom have doubts about Turkey joining the bloc.

The French president has pledged that his country will have referendums on future EU enlargements - which will include Turkey.

There is already concern in Paris that the planned referendum on the European Constitution to be held next year may become entangled to the question of whether Turkey should join the EU.


Almost 20 names in running for EU top jobs

With four months until the European Parliament elections, there are already some 20 names in the hat for the ensuing reshuffle of EU top jobs.


New government in Belfast is much ado about not much

The deal to restore Northern Ireland's government — after nearly two years — is being spun as a major triumph. But not much has changed. This is an exercise in fine-tuning and political window-dressing.


Far-right MEPs least disciplined in following party line

In a fractious parliamentary vote, the level of party discipline often decides the fate of legislation. Party discipline among nationalists and far-right MEPs is the weakest, something potentially significant after the June elections. Data by Novaya Gazeta Europe and EUobserver.

Latest News

  1. Podcast: Hyperlocal meets supranational
  2. Von der Leyen appeals for 'new EU defence mindset'
  3. EU supply chain law fails, with 14 states failing to back it
  4. Joined-up EU defence procurement on the horizon?
  5. Macron on Western boots in Ukraine: What he really meant
  6. Amazon lobbyists banned from EU Parliament
  7. MEPs adopt new transparency rules for political ads
  8. EU nature restoration law approved after massive backlash

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us