Wednesday

5th Oct 2022

EU leaders tell Turkey to 'respect' Cyprus

  • Gul: 'This will be a half-presidency leading a miserable union' (Photo: svenwerk)

EU leaders are planning to tell Turkey to "fully respect" Cyprus when it takes over the rotating presidency next year after Turkey threatened to boycott meetings.

"The EU council calls on EU partners to fully respect the role of the rotating presidency of the council, which is a fundamental institutional feature of the Union provided for in the treaty," the 27 countries are planning to say, according to draft summit conclusions circulated in Brussels on Thursay (8 December).

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

An EU diplomatic source confirmed that the line refers to Nicosia and Ankara.

The statement comes after foreign ministers on Monday told Turkey to let Cyprus drill for oil in a part of the Mediterranean Sea also claimed by the largely unrecognised Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). They urged it to avoid "any kind of threat or action directed against a member state" and backed Cyprus' "sovereign right" to "exploit [its] natural resources."

Turkey has said it will not go to any meetings chaired by Cyprus in its role as EU chairman in late 2012 unless the frozen conflict on the island is settled first - a development which has eluded diplomats for 37 years.

"This will be a half-presidency leading a miserable union," Turkish President Abdullah Gul told press last month.

The oil communique already annoyed Ankara, which says Nicosia should share blame for any tensions because it went ahead without consulting the TRNC.

Meanwhile, Turkey's ambassador to the EU, Selim Kuneralp, told this website ahead of the EU summit that Cyprus is playing its own part in spoiling EU-Turkey meetings.

He noted that until Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, Turkish leaders and ministers used to come regularly to EU summits and councils. But when French foreign minister Alain Juppe last week invited Turkey's Ahmet Davutoglu to brief EU ministers on Syria "[EU foreign relations chief] Lady Ashton conducted a number of consultations with member states and the outcome was she did not find a consensus [to let him come]."

He added that Turkey has been asking the EU for the past year and a half to launch a new "structured dialogue" on foreign policy to no avail.

Instead, it gets frequent invitations to align itself with European External Action Service communiques on various topics at too short notice to respond.

"We are asked can you tell us within half an hour or one hour, or if you are lucky, one day, whether you are prepared to align yourself with this text, and it could be any subject under the sun ... It's not very satisfactory," he said.

The ambassador noted that one and a half years after the EEAS was launched, it has still not appointed a director to deal with Turkey, which is currently handled by a two person team - a head of unit and his deputy.

Cyprus-Turkey gas dispute escalates

Turkish vessel the Piri Reis has set sail to drill for gas in waters claimed by EU member Cyprus amid talk of a potential new military confrontation after 35 years of peace.

Cyprus gets set to referee EU budget talks

The incoming Cypriot presidency is getting ready to tackle the biggest and ugliest dossier in the EU - the money - amid problems in its own backyard.

News in Brief

  1. Russia's stand-in EU ambassador reprimanded on Ukraine
  2. France warns over incoming eighth Covid wave
  3. EU adds Anguilla, Bahamas and Turks and Caicos to tax-haven blacklist
  4. Czechs warn joint-nationality citizens in Russia on mobilisation
  5. Greece to unveil proposal for capping EU gas prices
  6. Four dead, 29 missing, after dinghy found off Canary Islands
  7. Orbán: German €200bn shield is start of 'cannibalism in EU'
  8. Lithuania expels top Russian diplomat

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. The European Association for Storage of EnergyRegister for the Energy Storage Global Conference, held in Brussels on 11-13 Oct.
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  3. European Committee of the RegionsThe 20th edition of EURegionsWeek is ready to take off. Save your spot in Brussels.
  4. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries

Latest News

  1. EU debates new pandemic-type loans to deal with crisis
  2. MEPs condemn EU Commission 'leniency' on Hungary
  3. Czech EU presidency wants asylum pledges to be secret
  4. European navies must stay on Suez trade routes, EU diplomats warn
  5. Macron's 'European Political Community' — how could it work?
  6. EU adopts common charger law, forces iPhone redesign
  7. Last-minute legal changes to Bosnian election law stir controversy
  8. EU wants probe into alleged war crimes by Azerbaijan

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us