European Union opens 12th chapter on Turkish assession

img80Since 1999, when Turkey was given the status of candidate country, Turkey’s European Union assession process lived through ups and, since 2004-2005, down, EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn said on December 21.

The country had reached stability in the recent past and the opening of negotiations on the environment chapter meant Turkey was moving forward, Rehn said.

The way the EU would treat Turkey would be a test for the EU to find out whether the bloc would be a global player or not, quoted Rehn as saying.The eighth meeting of the Intergovernmental Conference with Turkey at a ministerial level was held on December 21 2009 in Brussels, following the start of negotiations on October 3 2005.

The aim of the conference was to open negotiations on the environment chapter, an EU media statement said.

Though the EU delegation recognised advances Turkey had made, it underlines a number of areas in which the country had not yet met requirements. Turkey was expected to adopt legislation regarding water quality, industrial pollution control and risk management, to establish a River Basin Protection Action Plan, and to build administrative capacity at all levels, including inspection services, the media statement said.

Swedish foreign affairs minister Carl Bildt said that Turkey’s accession negotiations had reached a more demanding level, reported.

According to Bildt, the closure of the Democratic Society Party (DTP) by the Turkish constitutional court did cause concern, but he continued to believe Turkey would introduce reforms in the way to the EU.
EU assession has become tougher, compared to 10 or 20 years ago as the bloc becomes more assertive. Bildt said. Further democratic reforms were crucial for Turkey’s membership process, he said.

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