Tuesday

26th May 2020

Turkish AKP gets observer status in EU's largest political family

  • Mr Erdogan's AK Party has been accepted for an observer status in the largest political group in the European parliament (Photo: European Commission)

The political parties of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan and of Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko have received observer status within the centre-right European People's Party.

The political bureau of the EPP, the largest political group in the European parliament, hammered out the decision concerning the AK Party and 'Our Ukraine' on Friday (28 January).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

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

... or subscribe as a group

The group's party leaders gave a green light to the AK Party last November - long after the Turkish party informally expressed its desire to participate.

Mr Erdogan's request for his Justice and Development party to join the centre-right's ranks had caused difficulties within the EPP - which has several members opposed to Turkey's full membership of the EU.

Mr Yushchenko's political platform was accepted in view of his commitment to promote Ukraine's future in the EU.

"I am particularly pleased with this development, because it, once again, proves that the EPP attracts strong and reliable leaders from all over Europe," EPP President Martens said in a statement.

Not the same as EU membership

The decision was reportedly an easy one, as "a vast majority of group's members agreed that the AK Party is very similar to most of the Christian democratic parties in Europe and it is important for the group to have a strong partner in Turkey," Robert Fitzhenry, the EPP-ED spokesman told the EUobserver.

"However, the members made it clear that this decision should not pre-judge further discussions concerning Turkey's future in the EU."

French and German conservatives belong to the strongest opponents of the country's European membership.

Both the AK Party and 'Our Ukraine' were approved unanimously, except for two abstentions by Slovak and Czech Christian democrats concerning the Turkish party, according to Beatriz Toribio from EPP.

"The two parties can now send their delegates to all the group's meetings, without a right to vote. Even though I personally think that their leaders will probably sell this as a signal of stronger back-up by the European parliamentarians, their EPP observant status and EU membership are two separate issues," Ms Toribio told the EUobserver.

Jourova: Ease emergency powers - especially Hungary

The EU commission vice-president said that as member states relax lockdwon measures, it is time to roll back the state of emergencies that affect democracy and fundamental rights. Hungary said it might end extra powers in June.

Commission struggles with German court challenge

While the EU commission has suggested there could be EU probes becasue of the German consitutional court's decision, chancellor Angela Merkel argued to her party that a clash is avoidable.

Bucharest and Budapest in 'autonomy' region row

Budapest and Bucharest are engaged in a war of words over the heavily-Hungarian region of Szeklerland, part of Romania's Transylvania. But is a row over autonomy just cover to overshadow the corona virus crisis?

Hungary and Poland in spotlight for lockdown moves

The EU commission is double-checking emergency measures in every member state, as fundamental rights have been temporarily abrogated. But Hungary and Poland are problematic, yet no actions are planned.

News in Brief

  1. Johnson: Shops in UK will reopen on 15 June
  2. German doctors: Summer holidays could cause second wave
  3. EU forced to choose between China and US: Borrell
  4. Spain to lift two-week arrival quarantine from July
  5. Germany gives Lufthansa €9bn bailout for equity stake
  6. Volkswagen ordered to pay in landmark 'dieselgate' case
  7. 40 million health workers urge more G20 investment
  8. Jourova: Budget rule-of-law link 'more needed than ever'

Five new post-Brexit MEPs to watch

Five MEPs to keep an eye on from the 27 new members who are joining the European Parliament this week, following the UK's departure from the EU.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis
  3. UNESDACircularity works, let’s all give it a chance
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers call for post-corona synergies between economic recovery and green transition
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic co-operation on COVID-19
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic research collaboration on pandemics

Latest News

  1. How Kaczyński ruined Poland, judges tell MEPs
  2. EU data protection rules abused to censor media
  3. Draft EU 'green recovery' plan amid clash over natural gas
  4. Clock is ticking: 300,000 vs 3.3m Covid-19 Africa deaths?
  5. Recovery plans unveiled This WEEK
  6. EU and UK stumbling into Irish border crisis
  7. Malta patrol boat 'intimidates' capsized migrants
  8. How coronavirus might hit EU defence spending

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us