EU postpones opening talks with Turkey

Representatives from European Union countries failed to reach an agreement on Thursday that would clear the way for the opening of talks on one of the 35 negotiating chapters for Turkey’s eventual accession into the EU.

The EU’s Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) failed to reach a consensus during its meeting because of opposition from Germany and the Netherlands to open the accession talks with Turkey on Chapter 22, which regulates regional policies. Talks on this chapter were expected to be opened before the end of June, when Ireland’s rotating term presidency of the EU ends, and after France, another EU heavyweight which opposes Turkish membership, lifted its veto on talks on Chapter 22 in February.

Turkey began accession talks with the EU on Oct. 3, 2005, but the last time the EU opened talks on a negotiating chapter was three years ago, on June 30, 2010, the last day of the Spanish presidency. Turkey has only been able to open 13 of 35 chapters and has temporarily closed one since the talks started.

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