The European Union is preparing for expansion, but without Türkiye – 08/11/2023 at 10:52

Some European countries, such as Austria, are calling for an official halt to negotiations with Turkey.

Moldova? Ukraine? However, not Türkiye. The European Union is preparing for expansion and the arrival of new members in the fairly near future. But for Turkey, an official candidate since 1999, this step seems too high, with accession negotiations frozen since 2018.

The European Commission presents its annual report today, Wednesday, on the expansion of the European Union to include several candidate countries

All eyes will be on Ukraine or Moldova.

But Türkiye, an official candidate for membership since 1999, will barely be mentioned. The opening of Turkey’s accession negotiations to the European Union dates back to 2005. This is an event that Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, considered historic. But very quickly, European leaders faced difficulties related to the Turkish presence in northern Cyprus, which was a harbinger of the many problems that would face the negotiations.

For many member states, accession negotiations, frozen since June 2018, have been at a standstill for a long time. in September,

Austria, which has long opposed Turkey’s accession, has demanded that the process be formally halted.

Many European officials, who requested anonymity, believe this would be more honest, but no one wants to take the first step.

Relations between the European Union and Ankara today are mainly based on the principle of “give and take.” Thus, Turkey receives European funds in exchange for its help in controlling migration flows towards Europe. After elections in Turkey in May, European leaders raised new hopes, asking the European Commission and the EU’s chief diplomat to prepare a report aimed at improving relations. This report is expected to be released in December, before the 27th summit, but experts remain cautious about the progress it could contain.

The European Union is “fed up” with Türkiye’s lack of will

“I do not expect a major revitalization of relations because there are a limited number of areas in which progress can be achieved,” said Sinem Aydin Dozgit, a professor of international relations at Sabanci University in Istanbul.

There is

“Frustration” towards Türkiye in Europe

The rapporteur of the Turkish file in the European Parliament, Nacho Sanchez Amor, admitted. “We are tired of keeping the accession process alive while there seems to be no real political will on the other side to move forward on the democratic path,” the Spanish MEP said. The European Union accuses Turkey of retreating from the path of establishing democracy, especially since the failed coup in 2016 against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In this context, the report on Turkey should limit itself to recommending improving the customs union between the two parties. But again, experts are skeptical. Sinem Aydin Dozgit said: “If negotiations on a customs union can start with the current (Turkish) government, I don’t think it will go far.”

“Türkiye no longer expects anything from the European Union”

If Brussels sometimes sends contradictory messages, Recep Tayyip Erdogan will not be left out. “Turkey no longer expects anything from the European Union that has made us wait at its door for 60 years,” he said at the beginning of October, two months after linking the possible green light to Sweden’s joining NATO to renew Sweden’s membership. Negotiations with the European Union.

The Turkish Ambassador to the European Union, Faruk Kaymakci, said that he still supports his country’s accession to the European Union.

“What we expect is to receive the same treatment as other candidate countries.”

he argued.

In Brussels, as in Ankara, many believe that clarification is necessary. As early as 2009, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel clearly expressed their opposition to Turkey’s entry into Europe. Since then, Brexit has caused Turkey to lose its main ally in the EU, Great Britain.

However, the United States continues to press to keep the negotiation process alive, trying to keep Turkey, a NATO member, as far away from Russia as possible, especially since the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian military.

But the prospect of Ukraine joining the European Union, which could advance on Wednesday if a positive opinion is issued by the European Commission to launch Kiev’s accession process, threatens to push Turkey away from European shores.

“Ukraine’s accession will change the European Union and it will be impossible to accept a new member like Turkey.”

This was ruled by a European official who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.

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