EU Remains Undecided about Turkey
Tuesday, October 4, 2005 11:50 AM

EU Member-States and Turkey continue to work on the wording of the negotiation framework for Turkey's accession to the EU. Austria has noted a number of concerns. Austria initially wanted the "phrase 'accession' as a 'shared objective' [to] be scrapped," signaling its intent to loosen the partnership with Turkey and avoid Turkey's full membership in the EU. Although this demand was withdrawn by the Austrians, they still want the framework to reference the "absorption capacity" of the EU to add Turkey as a member state.

Another issue that has plagued the talks is the issue of Cyprus. The current text of the framework forbids Turkey from "blocking EU member states from participating in international organizations." This would necessarily force Turkey to recognize Cyprus. Due to the difficulty of the negoations, the UK foreign minister, Jack Straw, indicated that he "could not be certain' that an agreement could be reached."

The meeting to address Croatia's accession was postponed until an agreement on Turkey is reached.

Cited in: EU Continues to be Deadlocked on Turkey, EUobserver, 3 October 2005.