Thursday

17th Jan 2019

Turkey angered by Sarkozy 'Mediterranean Union' idea

  • Ankara - slipping away from Europe? (Photo: wikipedia)

Turkey has strongly criticised a proposal, floated by France's new president Nicolas Sarkozy, to set up a "Mediterranean Union" as an alternative to the country's bid for full EU membership, urging the French leader to respect the commitments of the past.

"Turkey is a country that has started [accession] negotiations with the European Union. The negotiations started on the basis of a [EU] decision which was taken unanimously, including France," Turkey's foreign minister Abdullah Gul was cited as saying by AFP.

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

According to Mr Gul, who has steered Turkey's EU accession talks, "putting obstacles to the progress of the negotiation process would amount to violating signatures and promises made in the past, which I do not think will happen."

Nicolas Sarkozy - known as a firm opponent of Ankara's EU bid – has already indicated he will push for a definition of the bloc's "stable" borders and a re-orientation of talks with the sizeable and relatively poor Muslim country.

The new French leader has suggested forming a loose grouping of 16 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, with Turkey to be the backbone of the club.

Under Mr Sarkozy's plan, the group – in order to tie southern Europe with Israel and its Arab neighbors – would form an EU-like council with a rotating presidency and deal with topical issues such as energy, security, counter-terrorism, immigration and trade.

But the idea has met with anger in Ankara, with Mr Gul saying "Turkey is one of the Mediterranean countries, but cooperation in the Mediterranean is one thing and cooperation within Europe is something else."

Ankara began negotiations to join the 27-nation bloc in 2005, but talks on most of the key issues are presently frozen because of Turkey's long-standing dispute with EU member Cyprus.

So far, Turkey has completed compliance with EU legislation in only one area - science and research.

German spies to monitor far-right AfD party

Germany's domestic spy agency, the BfV, is to start monitoring the far-right AfD party in a move endorsed by the government, but decried as a witch-hunt by the party's leaders.

Opinion

On Morocco, will the EU ignore its own court?

If the European parliament votes in favour of the new Morocco agreement without knowing that it complies with the European Court of Justice judgement, how can it demand that other countries respect international law and their own courts?

News in Brief

  1. Another referendum 'would take a year', Downing St says
  2. 82-year old Berlusconi to run in EU elections
  3. EU parliament votes to triple funds for democracy promotion
  4. EU parliament backs linking budget payments to rule of law
  5. Verhofstadt voted for Draghi amendment 'by mistake'
  6. 'Plan B' Brexit vote in UK parliament set for 29 January
  7. Verhofstadt wanted Draghi out of G30 group
  8. Putin heads to Serbia amid warnings against West

Centre-right MEPs want transparency vote to be secret

A number of centre-right MEPs are pushing for a secret ballot on a plenary vote that would make EU lawmakers more transparent and accountable to the public - in a move described as "absurd" by Transparency International.

Opinion

On Morocco, will the EU ignore its own court?

If the European parliament votes in favour of the new Morocco agreement without knowing that it complies with the European Court of Justice judgement, how can it demand that other countries respect international law and their own courts?

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. Brexit delay 'reasonable', as May tries cross-party talks
  2. MEPs allow Draghi's membership of secretive bank group
  3. EU parliament backs Morocco deal despite row
  4. Barnier open to 'future relations' talks if UK red lines shift
  5. German spies to monitor far-right AfD party
  6. On Morocco, will the EU ignore its own court?
  7. UK parliament rejects May's Brexit deal in historic defeat
  8. EU suggests majority vote on digital tax by 2025

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us