Turkey's 2015 EU progress report to be more balanced
by Ali Ünal
ANKARAOct 09, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Ali Ünal
Oct 09, 2015 12:00 am
The European Commission's (EC) annual progress report on Turkey's EU membership bid is expected to be more balanced, more analytical and will aim to stimulate negotiation processes unlike last year's process report, sources within the EC stated.
Turkey's progress report was expected to be published on Oct. 14, however, it was postponed to Oct. 21 due to the EU refugee summit which was supposed to take place on Oct. 14. The decision to postpone came as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid an important visit to Brussels and met with the top EU leaders. Regarding the visit, President Erdoğan stated that the refugee crisis and Turkey's membership negotiations topped the agenda and expressed his optimism over the improvement in Turkey's relations with the EU while underlining Turkey's commitment to accelerate the pace of the talks by opening of chapters, especially chapters 15, 17, 23, 24 and 30.
EC sources said even though there are criticisms of certain areas, this year's progress report will be more balanced and the revitalization of the negotiation process will be the main aim of the report. Last year's progress report drew a strong reaction from Turkey due to its reference to the EP's April 15 resolution on the 1915 incidents. Turkey therefore rejected a 2014 progress report. "The EP proved it has no broad vision. It does not help to bring Turkey and the EU closer," former EU Minister Volkan Bozkır stated on June 10.
Turkey previously announced its objections to three issues long contested by Turkey that was included in the proposals for amendments, informing the EP that should the resolution include those issues, Turkey would consider the resolution unacceptable and return it to the EP. These three issues were: A reference to the EP's resolution of April 15 on the 1915 incidents, a call for the removal of the PKK from the EU's terrorist organizations list and any statement that would block the opening of negotiation chapters which would thus block accession negotiations and a call for the suspension of EU financial support.
Turkey is continuing its negotiations with the EU since 2005 and in the last 10 years only 14 of the 33 chapters of the acquis that require negotiations have been opened with only one provisionally closed.