Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/turkey : Eu Opens Second Chapter for Negotiations with Turkey

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/turkey : Eu Opens Second Chapter for Negotiations with Turkey

Article excerpt

After a long, ten-month break, the EU has decided to open the next chapter for negotiations with Turkey. The decision on opening the enterprise and industrial policies chapter (20) was officially endorsed at the EU-Turkey Intergovernmental Conference on 29 March in Brussels.

Nearly two years of accession talks between Turkey and the EU have seen plenty of setbacks. Since October 2005, only two out of 35 chapters, including the enterprise and industrial policies chapter, have been opened for talks. The negotiations are being slowed down by Cyprus, which is punishing Turkey for not complying with the Ankara Protocol requesting it to open its airports and harbours for planes and vessels bearing the Cypriot flag. Ankara's refusal to resume trade with Cyprus led to a partial suspension of accession talks between Turkey and the EU. Last December, the EU leaders decided to freeze eight negotiation chapters until Turkey fully complied with the Ankara Protocol. They also agreed that sectors not affected by the suspension should go ahead but not be concluded.

Turkey's accession negotiations are not being helped by the French presidential campaign. France, which is one of the most sceptical countries with regard to Turkey's EU credentials and which is fast approaching its presidential elections, is trying to slow down the talks by setting additional requirements for Turkey. This time, the French have been blocking the opening of the enterprise and industrial policies chapter by requesting that an additional closing benchmark obliging Turkey to present an updated strategy on its industrial policy to be added to the EU negotiating position. …

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