Turkey to present action plan to EU for opening of new chapter
EU Minister Egemen Bağış. DHA photoTurkey has fulfilled the benchmarks for the opening of an EU membership negotiation chapter that is planned to be opened shortly and will present a draft action plan concerning this chapter to the EU Commission Feb. 19, EU Minister Egemen Bağış has said.
France announced Feb. 12 that it would assist Turkey in opening one of the five chapters once blocked by Paris for Ankara’s long-stalled EU membership talks, Chapter 22, “Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments.”
This chapter is highly important in regards to eliminating discrepancies between member states and between different regions within a member country, Bağış said, speaking today at a meeting with Deputy Interior Minister Osman Güneş and governors of 20 provinces that are part of a project called “Building the Capacity of EU Affairs in the Governorates in Turkey.”
“This is a project for which we have already prepared through our development agencies and for which we have fulfilled the opening benchmarks. What we need to do is prepare an action plan.” He said he would review Turkey’s draft action plan with the undersecretary and present it to the EU Commission.
Turkey began talks on joining the EU in 2005 but has only completed one of the 35 policy areas, or chapters, every candidate must conclude to be allowed entry. France has vetoed talks with Turkey on five of those chapters.
“Let’s go tomorrow and see the climate there. We will share what kind of message we gave and what kind of result we got after we return,” Bağış said when asked about his message to his French counterparts concerning the remaining four chapters Paris has blocked.