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TURKEY : Green light for EU negotiations, to Bonino’s satisfaction

The European Union’s ministers for European affairs have decided to open regional policy negotiations, starting in October. Bonino: “We’ve avoided a stalemate. I’ve spoken to Davutoglu and we’ll see what Ankara does”.

“There is now a chance we can avert the risk of stalemate, and that’s a cause for satisfaction”. This was Foreign Minister Emma Bonino’s comment from Amman, on the EU’s decision to resume negotiations with Turkey – albeit only in October, and after further examination of the situation. “I spoke to Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu this morning and his response to the European proposal was a positive one. We’ll now need to see how the government intends to act”.

Resumption of negotiations with Turkey announced

At the General Affairs Council (GAC) meeting in Luxembourg, the foreign ministers agreed to open “Chapter 22” (regional policy) negotiations with Turkey. The inter-governmental accession conference will take place after publication of the Commission’s annual report on the progress made by Ankara in terms of justice and political rights. The report is scheduled for October 2013. Further discussion by the GAC will also be required.

Negotiations were scheduled to resume tomorrow, 26 June, as announced at the end of May. However, the social tensions seen in Turkey in recent weeks led to a complex debate among the 27 member states, leading in turn to the compromise of postponing the negotiations until October, subject to further examination of the situation.