As part of Turkey’s EU accession efforts, the European Union Coordination Council (ABEK) was formed to conduct negotiations with the bloc and provide coordination between two parties.
The country’s official news service announced yesterday that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed the circular for the establishment of the council under the chair of vice foreign minister and European Union director. The council will be composed of vice ministers and senior executives of relevant ministries.
The council will also determine prior areas and works for adaptation to the union, direct works of official organizations related to the EU standards and conduct duties of watching and evaluation.
Turkey's journey to become a member of the EU has seen numerous ups and downs in the last 50 years. Turkey has always been open to cooperation, doing its part within the bounds of its capabilities in the negotiations, which started in 1963 with the Ankara Agreement. Yet, Turkey has been waiting for membership for decades with the EU continuously dragging its feet on the process.
In 1963, Turkey first signed the Ankara Agreement that foresaw the abolition of tariffs and quotas on goods as part of integration in the customs union with the European Economic Community (EEC), the predecessor of the EU, acknowledging the final goal of membership.
After a long interim period, Turkey signed the European Constitution in 2004, leading to negotiations for full membership to be launched in 2005, when the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) was enjoying its first term in power.
However, negotiations stalled once again in 2007 due to objections to opening chapters by the Greek Cypriot administration on the divided island of Cyprus.
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