The European Union (EU) has announced that talks regarding visa liberalization with Turkey will be held in the autumn. A senior EU official noted that it’s difficult to predict the outcome of the discussions, but emphasized that Turkey continues to be a candidate country and a key partner in various areas of shared interest.
Short-term Steps in Turkey’s EU Membership Process
EU officials have spoken about the steps to be taken in the short term in Turkey’s EU membership process. A senior EU official stated that shortly after the elections in June, the European Council invited the High Representative and the Commission to submit a report based on tools and options identified by the European Council, to strategically and proactively progress EU-Turkey relations. The report will be debated in the autumn.
Foreign Ministers’ July Meeting on Rebuilding Relations with Turkey
In July, foreign ministers exchanged views on the need to rebuild relations with Turkey, focusing on shared interests and bridging current differences. The conversation aimed to create a framework to foster renewed ties between the EU and Turkey.
Turkey’s Commitment to Human Rights and Fundamental Values
The official underscored Turkey’s commitment to many shared interest areas, emphasizing the importance of adhering to fundamental freedoms and values outlined in the European Convention on Human Rights. This commitment is seen as essential for regaining momentum in the negotiations.
Status of Turkey’s Full Membership Negotiations
The article also touches on the status of Turkey’s full membership negotiations. The senior official explained that before the ongoing pause since 2018, 16 of the 35 negotiation chapters were opened, and only the science and research chapter was temporarily closed. In 2006, the Council decided that 8 chapters related to restrictions on Cyprus would not be opened, and other chapters wouldn’t be closed temporarily until Turkey fulfilled its commitments regarding the Additional Protocol of the EU-Turkey Association Agreement.
EU High Representative Josep Borrel’s Statements
In Brussels, EU High Representative Josep Borrel responded to journalists’ questions ahead of the EU Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. He confirmed that the meeting would address relations with China, continued support for Ukraine, and EU-Turkey relations. Borrel also noted that they would reconvene after the summer months and that Turkey would be one of the main agenda items, along with Ukraine, Russia, Lincoln, and China.
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