Languages
Page last updated at 10:19 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 11:19 UK

EU 'breaking promise' to Turkey

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels (19 January 2009)
The commission says there is resentment in Turkey at the slow pace

The European Union is in danger of breaking its promise that Turkey will eventually be granted membership, an influential group has warned.

The Independent Commission on Turkey accuses some European leaders of trying to derail Turkey's membership bid.

Behind the carefully balanced language of diplomacy is a hard hitting report, a BBC correspondent says.

It points the finger most firmly at France, whose President Nicolas Sarkozy is strongly opposed to Turkish entry.

"France has publicly declared that it will not allow five key areas of the negotiations to go forward, specifically because the current French leadership opposes Turkish accession," the report says.

Cyprus impasse

The Independent Commission on Turkey is made up of senior European politicians and academics, and is led by the former Finnish President and Nobel Laureate Martti Ahtisaari.

Its report says negative statements from some leaders, and efforts to substitute full membership for some other kind of privileged partnership or special relationship, are putting the EU's credibility at stake.

FROM BBC WORLD SERVICE

"In 1999... we said that Turkey is a candidate state destined to join the union on the basis of the same criteria as apply to other candidate states. So it's the credibility of the EU [at stake]," Mr Ahtisaari said.

France, Germany and Austria are among the countries that object to Turkey having full membership of the EU, proposing instead a privileged partnership.

The report says a vicious circle has developed.

"Fierce opposition from some European politicians combined with growing public resistance to further EU enlargement in turn has deepened resentment in Turkey and slowed the necessary reforms," the report says.

It acknowledges that some serious obstacles remain to Turkish membership - not least, the impasse over the divided island of Cyprus.

Solving that frozen conflict would boost Turkey's membership bid - but the commission warns that talks are running short of time.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Turkey to 'never give up' EU bid
26 Jun 09 |  Europe
Turkey tries to revive EU drive
19 Jan 09 |  Europe
Which direction for Turkey now?
24 Sep 08 |  Europe
Turkey country profile
22 Mar 12 |  Country profiles

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific