Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/france/turkey : France Will Not Veto Fresh Negotiations with Turkey

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/france/turkey : France Will Not Veto Fresh Negotiations with Turkey

Article excerpt

Despite France's President Nicolas Sarkozy's strong opposition to Turkey's accession to the EU, France does not intend to block the planned opening of new negotiation chapters with Ankara. France said on 29 May that Sarkozy would not try to block the expected opening of new chapters (Statistics, Economic & Monetary Policies, and Financial Control) for negotiations with Turkey at the next Intergovermental Conference scheduled for 26 June.

The information came just a few days ahead of the EU troika meeting with Turkey scheduled for 4 June. It was the first high-level meeting between the EU and Turkey's representatives following Sarkozy's victory in the French presidential elections.

During his presidential campaign, Sarkozy stated his firm opposition to Turkey's EU membership on many occasions and expressed his intention to suspend accession talks with Ankara. On his first visit to Brussels following his presidential victory, Sarkozy said, however, that he would put aside the Turkish question for now, until the EU resolves what to do with the EU Constitutional Treaty. He is apparently trying to ensure that his push for a streamlined EU Constitution is not jeopardised by the disagreement over Turkey's membership bid.

French diplomatic sources say, however, that Sarkozy would come back to this question after the Commission's report on Turkey's progress towards accession is published in November. The report is expected to be quite negative about recent political developments in Turkey, which is in an election year. …

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