Turkey’s EU Accession: Austria & Denmark Seek “Downright Stop” to Membership Talks

Written by | Friday, August 12th, 2016

Denmark’s governing Liberal Party commented earlier this week that the European Union should end accession talks with Turkey, citing the most recent development in the country including President Edogan’s „undemocratic initiatives“ and his support of capital punishment. “The red line is crossed for what should be a minimum for an EU candidate country,” foreign policy spokesman for the governing Liberal Party, Michael Aastrup Jensen, commented. He added that “it should lead not only to a pause in the negotiations but to a downright stop, and a removal of Turkey from the list of candidate countries”.

On Sunday (7 August), Austrian Foreign Minister threatened to block EU talks with Turkey as well while Turkey’s EU Affairs Minister, Omer Celik, warned on Wednesday (10 August) that the country would stop implementing its deal with the European Union to tame the flow of migrants into the bloc if Brussels does not provide a precise timeframe to grant visa-free travel to Turks. Mr Celik said that asking Ankara to change its terrorism laws, which is a key requirement to finalize the visa-free travel, would mean endangering Europe’s own security. Following the Brexit, the strategy plans of the EU nevertheless suggest a deeper integration between Member States and closer and deeper ties with Turkey signaling Brussels‘ intention to finally approve the visa-free travel. This may also mean that the EU might give compromise to Turkey with respect to the remaining criteria including the anti-terror legislation.

The EU-Turkey agreement on migrants has generally proven to be effective as it helped curb the number of refugees and migrants coming to Europe, which provided European leaders with much needed space for both discussion and policy action after more than 1.3 million people had come last year. Historically, Turkey was one of the first countries, in 1959, to seek close cooperation with the young European Economic Community (EEC).

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