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EU policy towards Turkey incoherent

The European Commission today presented its enlargement strategy and progress reports on the EU candidate countries. Commenting on the progress report on Turkey, Green MEP and chair of the European Parliament's Turkey delegation Hélène Flautre said:

"It is deceptive to describe this report as a progress report on Turkey's EU accession process when there is no progress. It is a major source of regret that no new negotiating chapter has been opened with Turkey for over two years.

"The report itself addresses some of the key issues in Turkey, as regards freedom of expression and the media, judicial reform, the revision of the anti-terror law and the drafting of a new constitution. However, it is hard to understand the purpose of the exercise given the stalled nature of the accession process. With Turkey in the process of discussing a new constitution, the EU could hardly have picked a worse time to abdicate its influence on reforms in the country.

"At the same time as the Commission is calling for closer cooperation in areas like energy or foreign policy, EU member states are blocking negotiations on these chapters of the accession negotiations. Against the background of the situation in the neighbouring region - with Syria, Iran and the Arab Spring - the EU's policy towards Turkey is incoherent and ineffective."

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