The chances of Turkey joining the European Union are diminishing. According to “Welt”, this emerges from the EU Commission’s new annual progress report on the accession talks, which is to be presented in the EU Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.
Ankara had “made no progress in the fight against corruption in the reporting period”, there was still no effective separation of powers in the country and there were “still serious concerns about the functioning of the economy,” the newspaper quotes from the report. And further: “Turkey is still moving further and further away from the European Union and is recording serious setbacks in terms of democracy, the rule of law, fundamental rights and the independence of the judiciary.”
Still help in prospect
Turkey has been a candidate for accession to the EU since 2005. However, the negotiations are de facto on hold due to the human rights situation in the country. Last week, the heads of state and government at their special summit in Brussels kept up their threats of sanctions against Ankara in the gas dispute.
Nevertheless, the EU announced to Ankara an expansion of the customs union, trade facilitation and further billions in aid for the care of refugees from countries like Syria. With this, the EU states reacted to the fact that the conflict between Turkey and Greece had eased recently, but not the dispute between Turkey and Cyprus.
Collision with “EU priorities”
According to the “Welt”, the progress report says that Turkish foreign policy is “increasingly clashing with the EU priorities of a common foreign and security policy (CFSP)”. Specifically, the EU Commission accuses Ankara of “illegal actions and provocative statements” against Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean.
With regard to fundamental rights, the Commission notes: “In Turkey the violations of human rights continued unabated and those who campaigned for human rights were arrested frequently.” , would have continued. “Political pressure and the transfer of large numbers of judges and prosecutors against their will continued, undermining the independence of the Turkish judiciary.”
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