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Friday, December 10, 2010

Bildt, Frattini, Hague, and Stubbs in the NYT

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt in an op-ed on enlargement in today's New York Times, together with his British, Italian, and Finish colleagues:
The crucial question is not whether Turkey is turning its back on Europe, but rather if Europe is turning its back on the fundamental values and principles that have guided European integration over the last 50 years.

Belgian presidency cancels Turkey talks scheduled for Dec 22

According to Toby Vogel at the European Voice, the outgoing Belgian EU presidency will stop short of opening a new chapter in the negotiations over Turkish accession, and has cancelled talks with Turkish officials scheduled for December 22. Vogel points out that the Belgian presidency will be
the first since Turkey began membership talks with the EU in 2005 that fails to open a single negotiating chapter.
The Belgian foreign minister justified the decision not to open the chapter on competition because Turkey's progress on the issue had been "a bit too slow."

Resources on the Turkish EU accession negotiations with commentary

Here (for download as a pdf file) is a helpful recent (November 26, 2010) review and assessment of Turkey-EU relations from the Congressional Research Service.

The report is written by Vincent Morelli, a Section Research Manager at the CRS. His conclusion that
Turkey’s march toward EU membership appears to have slowed considerably
is not surprising to anyone that follows the issue, but the report starts and ends with basic information, so it is very useful to someone who is not yet familiar with the accession negotiation process or Turkey's application.

Here is the latest (2010) Progress Report on Turkey from the European Commission. It was drafted after the September 12 referendum on constitutional reform in Turkey, which approved an ambitious reform package on the 30 year anniversary of Turkey's last military coup (1980). The report's evaluation of the package is lukewarm:
Overall, the constitutional amendments are a step in the right direction. They address a number of priorities of the Accession Partnership in the area of the judiciary, fundamental rights and public administration. However, broad public consultation involving all political
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