Turkey expects more talks on new chapters in France's EU term

France will take over the rotating presidency of the union on Tuesday July 1st for a period of six months.

Turkey expects more talks on new chapters in France's EU term
A Turkish minister said on Monday that Turkey expected the French presidency of the European Union (EU) to open negotiations on new chapters.

France will take over the rotating presidency of the union on Tuesday July 1st for a period of six months.

"Turkey expects France to maintain negotiation process within the framework of transparency and pacta sunt servanda principle and lay the groundwork for negotiations on new chapters," Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin told reporters after the cabinet meeting in the Turkish capital of Ankara.

In the intergovernmental conference held in Luxembourg on June 17th, the union decided to open negotiations on two more chapters; i.e. "company law" and "intellectual property law." Thus, the number of chapters opened to negotiation reached eight.

Turkey launched accession talks with the EU on October 3rd, 2005. Turkey temporarily opened and closed chapter heading on "science and research" during the rotating presidency of Austria in the first half of 2006.

Turkey launched negotiations on three chapter headings -- "enterprise and industrial policy, "statistics" and "financial control" in the first half of 2007 during the rotating presidency of Germany.

Portugal, who took over the EU rotating presidency from Germany in the second half of 2007, opened negotiations on two chapter headings, "consumer and health protection" and "trans-European networks".

EU froze talks in 8 of the 35 chapter headings with Turkey in 2006 on charges that Turkey did not meet its obligations stemming from the Additional Protocol.

The union sources expects talks on "free movement of capital" and "taxation" during the rotating presidency of France in the second half of the year.

Negotiations are expected to start on chapters on "free movement of capital", "energy" and "education and culture", officials said on Monday.

A chapter on "social policy and employment" may also be opened to negotiation later on, same sources added.

High-level French officials have recently stated that France would not hinder Turkey's full membership negotiations, although the country is known for its opposition against Turkey's full membership.

France previously vetoed the opening of five chapters including "economic and monetary policy", claiming that such chapters evoked direct membership to EU.

On the other hand, French Senate recently rejected a constitutional amendment envisaging a direct referendum in France to vote on Turkey's EU membership. The amendment, which was previously adopted at the French parliament, stated that "the requirement of referendum should continue for the full membership of countries whose population exceeds 5 percent of the EU's total population".

The discussion on the constitutional amendment package will be concluded at a session next week which will bring together the members of the French parliament and the senate. In order for the amendment to be adopted, three-fifths of the members should vote in favor of it.

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Last Mod: 30 Haziran 2008, 17:11
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