Sunday

24th Oct 2021

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

Become an expert on Europe

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.

MEPs to declare EU an LGBTI 'freedom zone'

The symbolic move is an attempt to buttress against right-wing governments' increased scapegoating of LGBTI people, particularly in Poland and Hungary.

Analysis

Relief in EPP group, as Orbán's party finally leaves

The debate over Fidesz had become an unbearable political burden on EPP - but it also represented a core dilemma for many centre-right, mainstream parties struggling to deal with their populist challengers.

EPP group moves forward to suspend Orban's Fidesz

MEPs are scheduled to vote on Wednesday to change the rules of procedure of the centre-right European People's Party parliamentary group to allow the suspension of a member party.

News in Brief

  1. Russia's anti-vax campaign backfired, EU says
  2. China angered as MEPs call for Taiwan talks
  3. Emissions from La Palma volcano reach Brussels
  4. Body of eighth victim of Belarus border-crisis found in river
  5. Report: Syrian bank fiddling currency to evade EU sanctions
  6. Nato adopts plan to counter new Russian threats
  7. Alleged killer of British MP 'felt affiliated' to IS
  8. Coronavirus: Belgium returns to 'red' zone

EU adds new 'dark red' zone to travel-restrictions map

The European Commission has proposed additional measures to limit non-essential travel within and to the European Union - amid fears over more transmissible mutations triggering a new surge in cases across the bloc.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew report reveals bad environmental habits
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersImproving the integration of young refugees
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals

Latest News

  1. EU states want more Belarus sanctions
  2. Gas price spike exposes rift at EU summit
  3. Poland vows not to give into EU 'blackmail' at summit
  4. EU vows to uphold Paris climate ambition amid scientists' fears
  5. Commissions's new migration pact still seeking 'landing zone'
  6. Europe can't ignore Chinese encroachment in Ukraine
  7. Lithuania - where 'biodiversity funding' is cutting down trees
  8. Dutch lawyers take Frontex to EU court over pushbacks

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us