EU-Turkey Accession conference:
Extracts from the press conference by Linas LINKEVICIUS, Štefan FÜLE, Egemen BAGIS and Cevdet YILMAZ
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - Council
End production: 05/11/2013 First transmission: 05/11/2013
Press conference by Linas LINKEVICIUS, Lithuanian Foreign Affairs Minister; Štefan FÜLE, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy; Egemen BAGIS, Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator; and Cevdet YILMAZ, Turkish Minister for Development.
The tenth meeting of the Accession Conference with Turkey at Ministerial level was held today in Brussels. The European Union delegation was headed by Linas Linkevičius, Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs. The European Commission was represented by Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy. The Turkish delegation was led by Egemen Bağış, Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator, and Dr Cevdet Yilmaz, Minister of Development of Turkey.
The Conference opened negotiations on Chapter 22 - Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments. This chapter covers one of the core EU policies, supporting job creation, competitiveness, innovation, economic growth, improved quality of life and sustainable development.
During the Conference, the EU reiterated the importance it attaches to the negotiation process and to the close relations between the EU and Turkey. The EU also underlined that it was in the interest of both parties that the accession negotiations regain momentum so the full potential of EU-Turkey relations can be achieved. In addition, the EU noted that Turkey can accelerate the pace of negotiations by advancing in the fulfillment of benchmarks, by meeting the requirements of the Negotiating Framework and by respecting its contractual obligations towards the EU.
Since the start of the accession negotiations on 3 October 2005, fourteen chapters have been opened, of which one has been provisionally closed.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of the speakers
||SOUNDBITE by Linas Linkevičius, Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs (In ENGLISH) saying that: I'm really happy to announce that today after a pause of more than 3 years we opened one more negotiating chapter with Turkey and registered for the progress in the accession process. Chapter 22, regional policy and coordination of structural instruments covers one of the core EU policies which includes job creation, competitiveness, innovation, economic growth, improved quality of life and sustainable development.
||Cutaway of the speakers
||SOUNDBITE by Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy (In ENGLISH) saying that: Let me underline that Turkey is and remains an important partner of the EU. The developments in Turkey over the past years underline the importance of continuing European Union engagement and of the European Union remaining the benchmark for reform in Turkey. We need more engagements, not less that is why I hope very much that we will not be waiting another long period before another chapter is being opened.
||Cutaway of photographers and a cameraman
||SOUNDBITE by Štefan Füle (In ENGLISH) saying that: I believe that the negotiation process remains the best vehicle for our engagement and I hope that the EU will be soon in position to clearly and explicitly set out the conditions Turkey needs to fulfil to open the 2 key chapters in the accession process: Chapter 23 and 24 dealing with basic EU values like fundamental rights and freedoms.
||General view of the speakers
||SOUNDBITE by Egemen Bağış, Turkish Minister for EU Affairs (In ENGLISH) saying that: This is really a turning point in Turkey-EU relations, we are opening a chapter after a gap of 40 months of waiting; 3 and a half year, it is symbolically very important . But this is only a chain within many different positive development sin the last few months.
||General view of the audience
||SOUNDBITE by Egemen Bağış (In ENGLISH) saying that: On September the 30th, Turkey launched a very courageous and important democratization package which was very much welcomed by the Commission and member states and it had a great impact on the progress report which was published on the 16th of October and I have to admit this was one of the most objective and motivating progress report of the last decade.
||Cutaway of a cameraman
||SOUNDBITE by Egemen Bağış (In ENGLISH) saying that: All regions of Turkey now take advantage of European fund, IPO funds and opportunities that European Union negotiation process has brought. The opening of this chapter will also mean a new jumpstart in terms of Turkey's relations with EU and Turkey's determination for further reforms to increase the living standards of our people.
||General view of the speakers
||SOUNDBITE by Cevdet Yilmaz, Turkish Minister for Development (In ENGLISH) saying that: Even though 14 chapters were opened so far for negotiations we have still other chapters that are under blockage. If the whole blocking on the remaining chapters is removed than the accession negotiations of Turkey with the EU would have taken a significant step towards credibility.
||Cutaway of the audience
||SOUNDBITE by Cevdet Yilmaz (In ENGLISH) saying that: We haven't spent 3 and a half years waiting for the opening of chapter indeed; we have done a lot of technical work in the meantime, of course in close dialogue with the Commission and Turkey indeed developed a new regional policy with a very important help of EU experience and we will continue to deepen this new policy.
||Handshake and photo with the speakers