Rehn: Turkey's bid to test EU's aspiration to become global power

Rehn said whether or not the European Union will become a global player will be tested by its treatment style of Turkey.

Rehn: Turkey's bid to test EU's aspiration to become global power

EU Commissioner for enlargement Olli Rehn said Monday whether or not the European Union (EU) will become a global player will be tested by its treatment style of Turkey.

Speaking in a press conference after an intergovernmental conference in which the chapter heading of environment was opened as part of Turkey's EU accession negotiations on Monday, Rehn said that since 1999, when Turkey was given the stature of candidate country, Turkey's EU process lived through "ups" and, since 2004-2005, the process experienced "downs".

The years of "downs" ended in the recent past and stability has been reached. Turkey's EU process began again an "ups" trend with the establishment of a strong base, Rehn stressed.

It was known that the process would have ups and downs. What is crucial is to preserve strategic approach and for Turkey to continue reforms to strengthen basic freedoms, rule of law and other EU values and standards, Rehn said.

The way the EU treats Turkey would be a test for the EU to find out if it will be a global player or not, Rehn noted.

The opening of the chapter on environment to negotiations show that Turkey's EU train is moving forward, Rehn also said.

"Democratic move"

EU term president Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, in his part, said that Turkey's accession negotiations reached a more "demanding" level.

We need more comprehensive and well-qualified reforms (in Turkey), Bildt said.

Pointing out the importance of the "democratic move" in Turkey, Bildt said that the closure of the Democratic Society Party (DTP) by the Turkish Constitutional Court did cause some concern but he believed that Turkey would continue to make reforms on the way to the EU.

As the debate on Turkey continues in the EU public opinion, the strategic importance of Turkey's accession process is understood better, Bildt said.

As the EU became a more assertive union, membership to the union became tougher when compared to 10-20 years ago. Further democratization and continuation of reforms are "crucial" for Turkey's (membership) process, Bildt said.

Rehn and Bildt wore pins displaying the flags of Turkey and the EU side by side during the press conference in Brussels.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis and Minister of Environment and Forestry Veysel Eroglu later departed from Brussels following the intergovernmental conference in which the chapter heading of environment was opened as part of Turkey's EU accession negotiations and the press conference.

With the chapter on environment, 12 chapters out of 33 have been opened for Turkey's EU accession negotiations.



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Last Mod: 22 Aralık 2009, 11:44
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