Barroso: EC Backs Turkey’s EU accession, member states don’t

Turkey’s bid to join the European Union is becoming complicated by a number of factors, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told students at Columbia University in New York.

The European Commission supports the enlargement of the Union but only if all member states meet all criteria. At the same time, there is growing concern and opposition to Turkey’s accession in some of the EU 27 member states.

“There are, it’s true today, in European Union member states … some big questions about the membership of Turkey because of cultural differences and that is something that is extremely serious. We are now discussing this matter with our member states… Turkey recognizes that not all benchmarks have been met – this is the first issue. The European Commission is very much in favor of the enlargement of the European Union but we have to see all the members meet all criteria,” Barroso declared at Columbia University, reported international media as cited by BGNES.

He pointed out that cultural differences as well as the problems with potential Turkish emigration to the rest of the EU are complicating Turkey’s bid. The conflict in Cyprus as well as human and minority rights have been major issues between Turkey and the EU.

Barroso is scheduled to meet with Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul during the 65th session of the UN General Assembly in New York City.

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