Posted on 14 March 2013
Turkey’s EU candidacy looks like getting back on track as senior EU officials put their weight behind a new push, with support from Ankara. Turkey’s EU accession negotiations were opened in 2005 but soon hit a brick wall. Only 13 out of the 35 negotiation chapters have even been opened, all of which were opened before 2010 and only one chapter has been concluded successfully. The chapters are areas of policy that Turkey and the EU need to agree on in order for Turkey to become a member.
Socialist French President Francois Hollande, who has been far more open to an EU including Turkey than his predecessor said last month he was prepared to open talks on the chapter related to EU support for regions within the bloc.
Opposition has also come from Germany in the past, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel joining France’s previous president in calling for Turkey to accept a “priveleged partnership”. But, it seems Merkel is not so keen to be out on a limb all alone as she has also recently voiced support for fresh talks with Turkey, stopping short of endorsing full membership.
“In recent times, negotiations stalled somewhat and I am in favor of opening a new chapter in order to move forward,” Merkel stated in advance of her recent trip to Turkey.