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10 Mar 2011



Turkey's EU membership progress overshadowed by blocking member states


The European Parliament today adopted its report on Turkey's progress towards EU membership. The Greens believe the whole Turkish accession process is overshadowed by opposition to its membership by certain EU member states. After the vote, Green MEP and chair of the EP's Turkey delegation Hélène Flautre said:

"There is an omnipresent elephant in the room in all the negotiations and debates on Turkey's EU progress and that is the opposition to its membership by a number of EU member states. This blocking minority overshadows and asphyxiates the whole process and is not in the EU's best interest.

"In terms of Turkey's progress, the Greens believe it is important to acknowledge that Turkey is continuing to push forward with reforms. However, it is also important that these reforms are implemented and not just on the statute and MEPs have underlined this today.

"We are concerned about restrictions on the freedom of the press, notably in the context of the debates on the independence of the judiciary and the future constitution, and the arrest of journalists in the context of the Ergenekon inquiry. Clearly the most effective way to exert pressure on Turkey to implement human rights reforms would be to open the negotiating chapter on fundamental rights (chapter 23) as part of the accession talks. It is short-sighted in the extreme that the EU fails to do so.

"The Greens also believe there is a need for the EU to move forward on visa liberalisation and to take steps to end the isolation of northern Cyprus."


Richard More O'Ferrall,

Press and media officer,

Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament

Mobile: +32-477-443842 - Ph. +32-22841669 (Brussels); +33-388174042


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