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EU-Turkey talks kick off again

brussels bureau

EU-Turkey talks kick off again


After being blocked for three years over the disputed island of Cyprus, the EU opened a fresh chapter of accession negotiations with Turkey on Monday.

The latest stage focuses on the reform of regional government in Turkey.

Turkish EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis said: “We’ve put in place several reforms, but one swallow does not make a summer. This chapter is opening late but it’s a good start. We expect many more political obstacles before we can open the others.”

But as one analyst points out, the most important topics are yet to be discussed between Brussels and Ankara.

Amanda Paul of the European Policy Centre said talks on fundamental rights and justice need to start soon.

“The EU is asking Turkey to go down the road, while at the same time keeping the traffic light red. They need to unblock this chapter, They need to give Turkey the appropriate benchmarks as soon as possible,” she told euronews.

Turkey started accession talks in 2005 – the same year as Croatia – but its bid has been blocked by opposition from France and Germany, as well as EU member Cyprus.

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brussels bureau