UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – Turkey continues to distance itself from the European Union, European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and the EU enlargement talks Johannes Khan said on Tuesday.
“The analysis shows that the country continues to deviate significantly from the EU, particularly in such areas as the rule of law and fundamental rights.The European Commission has repeatedly urged Turkey to abandon this negative trend,” Khan told reporters in Strasbourg.
The European Commissioner stressed that Turkey continues to remain a key partner for the EU, and Brussels intends to continue cooperation with Ankara in “areas of mutual interest.” At the same time, the EC does not intend to open new articles at the negotiations on Turkey’s accession to the EU, he said.
Turkey in 1963 signed an association agreement with the EU (at that time – EEC), and in 1987 filed an application for membership in the union. However, accession negotiations began only in 2005, and were repeatedly suspended due to disagreements.
Now 16 of the 35 heads of the negotiation dossier are open. Last March, Brussels intensified negotiations in exchange for Turkey’s consent to help reduce the flow of migrants to Europe.
Relations between the EU and Turkey deteriorated after an armed coup attempt in the country in the summer of 2016 – the European Union criticized the reaction of the Turkish authorities, the mass arrests and other measures of Ankara and suspended preparations for the opening of new chapters of the negotiating dossier on Turkey’s accession to the European Union.