Brussels, 10 May 2010
The EU-Turkey Association Council held its 48th meeting on Monday, 10 May 2010. The meeting was chaired by Mr Ahmet DAVUTOGLU, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and Head of the Turkish delegation. The Turkish delegation also included Mr Egemen BAGIS, Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator. Mr Miguel Ángel MORATINOS, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, led the European Union delegation on behalf of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Mr Štefan FÜLE, Commissioner responsible for Enlargement, represented the European Commission.
The Association Council meeting provided a timely opportunity to review EU-Turkey relations. In line with the Council conclusions of 8 December 2009, the EU noted progress made by Turkey in its preparations in the framework of the negotiating process. Overall, at this stage, out of 35 negotiating chapters, twelve have been opened and one provisionally closed. As concerns chapters for which opening benchmarks have been set, the EU invited Turkey to address them accordingly, and to step up its efforts in meeting established conditions.
The EU reaffirmed that the pace of negotiations depends notably on Turkey’s progress in addressing opening and closing benchmarks as well as the requirements of the Negotiating Framework.
In this context, the EU welcomed the adoption of the 2010-2011 Action Plan of the „European Union Strategy for Turkey’s Accession Process“ and looked forward to its implementation. It also invited Turkey to address all priorities enshrined in Accession Partnership. The EU welcomed the positive role of the Ministerial Reform Monitoring Group, and the government’s declared determination to amend relevant legislation, including the constitution, in order to achieve progress in the areas of democracy, rule of law and human rights.
Progress made by Turkey in meeting the Copenhagen political and economic criteria, as well as Turkey’s efforts towards alignment with the acquis communautaire, was also reviewed. In this context, the EU underlined that reforms and substantial efforts are still needed in several areas, such as continued judicial reform and the reform of public administration, fight against corruption, effective protection of citizens‘ rights, fight against torture and ill-treatment, freedom of expression and of religion, respect for property rights, respect for and protection of minorities and strengthening of cultural rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, trade union rights, and anti-discrimination policies.
In line with the Council conclusions of 8 December 2009, the EU recalled Turkey’s obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement and the importance of progress in the normalisation of bilateral relations between Turkey and all Member States, including the Republic of Cyprus.
Furthermore, the Association Council reviewed the state of bilateral relations. The EU recalled that with regards to the Customs Union, there remain a number of unfulfilled commitments by the Turkish side. Finally, the Association Council considered priorities for further work within the framework of the Association Agreement and the Customs Union.
Council of the European Union