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Speech: Füle on Turkey accession

12/06/2013
Štefan Füle, EU commissioner for enlargement © EU

Summary

Štefan Füle, the EU commissioner for enlargement, is optimistic on progress in Turkey accession negotiations despite current difficulties.

Speaking at the European Parliament following his visit to Istanbul the previous week, Füle said that it is a crucial moment in European Union-Turkey relations.

Negotiations on Turkey’s EU entry have stalled in recent years, said Füle, but now is the time to inject renewed energy into the process.

“I believe [negotiations] still have the potential to develop in a more constructive spirit than before,” he said. “After three long years we are in a position to open a new negotiating chapter, and discussion among the member states is on-going.”

He expressed concern over the recent civil unrest in Istanbul and said that the problems underlined the need for further progress and political reforms.

“Dynamism in the accession negotiations and progress in democracy and human rights are two sides of the same coin,” he added. “One cannot work without the other.”

Füle’s earlier speech in Turkey had outlined some goals for the coming years:

  • A deeper European Union, “multi-layered and more enlargement friendly”
  • a stronger and more democratic EU reaching out to neighbours
  • Turkey as a democratic and prosperous country with coexistence between lifestyles, beliefs and cultures
  • Turkey’s relations with Europe even closer than now with the accession process well

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In brief

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