Turkish delegation in Brussels stages full-court press to open new chapter
BRUSSELS – Anatolia News Agency
EU Minister Egemen Bağış (C), Labor and Social Security Faruk Çelik (2L) and Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu (R)were in talks in Brussels to open 19th chapter. AA photoA Turkish delegation headed by EU Minister Egemen Bağış has met with European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Füle in Brussels to request the opening of the 19th chapter on social policies as part of the accession negotiations.
“For the first time in the republic’s history, we stood up behind the commission members with businessmen and workers’ representatives together during the accession process. We have had a very positive meeting on the opening of the 19th chapter,” Bağış told reporters.
The business associations and union representatives that joined the delegation included Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu; the head of the Turkish Confederation of Employer Associations (TİSK), Tuğrul Kutadgobilik; and the secretary-general of the Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Türk-İş), Mustafa Kumlu.
In February, Füle announced that the EU Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) had agreed to open Chapter 22 as part of Turkey’s accession negotiations, the first in 2.5 years. If the decision is approved in the EU Council, the number of opened chapter will rise to 14 out of 35. However, Turkey is trying to accelerate the process to open one of the chapters that is not blocked by either France or Cyprus.
Hisarcıklıoğlu said he was very hopeful after the meetings in Brussels that chapter 19 would also been opened. “I have never seen a more positive meeting than today’s meeting,” he said.