A “slowdown of the reform process” in Turkey, for the third consecutive year, has been noted with concern by the European Parliament. It has made resolutions on the candidate states for accession to the EU and their progress in 2008.The parliament calls on the Turkish government “to prove its political will” – notably towards democratic changes. The non-recognition of Cyprus is blocking talks on eight economic chapters, and Turkey is refusing Cypriot ships and planes access to its ports and airports. Croatia is seen to have made the most headway of the three candidates to join the EU, with Macedonia not even having begun the negotiations. Yet the MEPs regret that Croatia’s accession talks have been blocked because of the border dispute with Slovenia. The European Parliament welcomed both countries’ readiness to accept a mediation offer made by the Commission, and in this context, Parliament looks forward to a rapid advancement. The MEPs asked the European Council to decide on a date this year to begin accession negotiations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Nevertheless, the parliament deplored the condition of the Roma minority in this country. Macedonia was urged to correct this and to conduct its upcoming elections properly.
Sticky status of EU candidate countries