Bağış hopeful about Ireland’s presidency

Bağış hopeful about Ireland’s presidency

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Bağış hopeful about Ireland’s presidency

With the beginning of the term presidency of Ireland, Turkey hopes to open and close EU accession chapters, says EU Minister Bağış. AA photo

EU Minister Egemen Bağış said he hoped to make progress in Turkey’s accession process during the rotating presidency of Ireland.

“With the beginning of the term presidency of Ireland, which we know closely and trust, what we expect from the EU is to see again an era where policy chapters are opened and are closed,” Bağış told Anatolia news agency. Ireland assumed the presidency of the European Union Council on Jan. 1 for six months from the Greek Cypriot administration.

Two chapter
Bağış said Turkey and the EU might open two new chapters on “regional policy and coordination of structural instruments,” and “economic and monetary policy.” Turkey began talks in 2005 but only completed one of the 35 policy “chapters” every candidate must conclude to join the EU. All but 13 of those chapters were blocked by France, Greek Cyprus and the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm.

Accession talks have nearly ground to a halt due to an intractable dispute over Greek Cyprus, the southern administration of the divided island, which Turkey does not recognize, and opposition from core EU members France and Germany.

Since June 30, 2010, the last day of the Spanish term presidency, not a single chapter has been opened in Turkey’s accession negotiations.