EU-Turkey Association Council

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