European Commission: Open new Turkey-EU chapter
BERLIN - Anadolu Agency
European Commission spokeswoman Maja KocijancicThe European Commission has suggested member states to open a new chapter in Turkey's stalled EU membership talks, a senior diplomatic source told Anadolu Agency on June 12.
The EU's executive body submitted a letter to the European Council on June 12, proposing opening the Economic and Monetary Policy chapter in accession talks, the senior diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"We are expecting a decision by the European Council before the summer break," the diplomat claimed.
European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic confirmed the move late June 12.
"Yes, the European Commission has completed its technical preparations on Chapter 17 (Economic and Monetary Policy chapter) and a Draft Common Position on Chapter 17 was indeed transmitted by the Commission to the Council today," Kocijancic told Anadolu Agency.
If EU member states agree to open the chapter during an upcoming European Council meeting later this month, Economic and Monetary Policy will be the first section to be opened in Turkey's EU membership talks since 2013.
European diplomats expect such a move could help revive Turkey's EU ambitions as well as the country's economic and political reform process.
The EU on June 8 welcomed the results of Turkey's general election, calling the close-to-86-percent voter turnout a "clear sign of the strength of Turkish democracy".
"The coming period offers opportunities for further strengthening of the EU-Turkey relationship and to advance in broadening EU-Turkey cooperation in all fields, for the benefit of all our citizens," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said.
As a candidate country since 2005, Turkey has had to successfully conclude negotiations with the EU in 35 policy chapters, which envisage reforms and adoption of European standards before eventual membership.
Certain chapters remain blocked due to the Cyprus impasse and opposition by the governments of Greece and France.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democrats long opposed full EU membership for Turkey but their coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party, is a supporter of Ankara's bid for inclusion.