Turkey to Open New EU Chapter with Help of France

Posted on 23 February 2013

According to Turkish EU minister Egemen Bagis Turkey submitted an action plan for opening a new EU accession chapter, having fullfilled the benchmarks neccesary to open said negotiation chapter. The news follows an announcement from the new French administration that it would help Turkey to get Chapter 22, “Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments.” open. France had previously vetoed the openeing of Chapter 22 along with 4 others.

This chapter is highly important in regards to eliminating discrepancies between member states and between different regions within a member country, Bağış said, speaking today at a meeting with Deputy Interior Minister Osman Güneş and governors of 20 provinces that are part of a project called “Building the Capacity of EU Affairs in the Governorates in Turkey.”

“This is a project for which we have already prepared through our development agencies and for which we have fulfilled the opening benchmarks. What we need to do is prepare an action plan.” He said he would review Turkey’s draft action plan with the undersecretary and present it to the EU Commission.

Turkey began its accession process in 2005 but has still only closed one of the 35 negotiation chapters, and has yet to even open most of them.

“Let’s go tomorrow and see the climate there. We will share what kind of message we gave and what kind of result we got after we return,” Bağış said when asked about his message to his French counterparts concerning the remaining four chapters Paris has blocked.

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