Magazine article Europe-East

Energy : Turkey Reopens Negotiations on Joining Energy Community

Magazine article Europe-East

Energy : Turkey Reopens Negotiations on Joining Energy Community

Article excerpt

The European Commission reopened, on 9 September, negotiations with Turkey on accession to the Energy Community. Ankara has been an observer to the Energy Community (EnC) since 1 July 2006, when the EnC Treaty entered into force. Current contracting parties to the EnC Treaty are Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo and the European Community. Moldova has completed negotiations for entry, whilst Ukraine, Turkey, Norway and Georgia have observer status. The official start of negotiations is further evidence of Turkey seeking to move forward in the energy field, notably after the signing, in July 2009, of the intergovernmental agreement on the Nabucco pipeline.

In a prepared statement, the Commission referred to the negotiations as an important "milestone". Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs even expressed the hope that negotiations could be concluded in the "coming" months. "Turkey is carrying out fundamental reforms in order to address its huge energy challenge. Turkey is well prepared and has an important role to play in the Energy Community," said Piebalgs. Despite the commissioner's optimism, this is not the first time that Turkey has expressed interest in the South-East European energy organisation. Ankara had actually fulfilled the necessary conditions for entry and was expected to sign the EnC Treaty in October 2005 alongside the other first contracting parties.

COLD TURKISH FEET

Turkey was very active in negotiations back in 2003-2005. …

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