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24 May, 2024
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Turkey’s accession negotiations at standstill, according to General Affairs Council

References to the Cyprus Problem and Varosha


Turkey continues to move further away from the European Union and its accession negotiations “therefore effectively (negotiations) have come to a standstill and no further chapters can be considered for opening or closing”, according to the conclusions on enlargement adopted on Tuesday by the General Affairs Council (GAC) in Brussels.

In the section of the conclusion regarding Turkey, the Council calls on the country to “stop all threats and actions that damage good neighborly relations, normalize its relations with the Republic of Cyprus and respect the sovereignty of all EU Member States over their territorial sea and airspace as well as all their sovereign rights, including, among other things, the right to explore and exploit natural resources, in accordance with EU and international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)”.

The Council also “calls on Turkey to fulfill its obligations under the Negotiating Framework, including the full, non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement towards all Member States” and “reiterates that recognition of all Member States is essential.”

“The EU remains fully committed to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. It recalls that it remains crucial in this regard that Turkey commits and contributes to a peaceful settlement, including its external aspects, within the UN framework, on the basis of a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, in accordance with all relevant UNSC resolutions and in line with the principles on which the EU is founded and the acquis” the conclusions add.

The Council also notes that it “regrets that the informal meeting in April 2021 in Geneva under the auspices of the UN did not pave the way for the resumption of formal negotiations” and “condemns Turkey’s unilateral actions in relation to Varosha that run contrary to the UN Security Council Resolutions and recalls the importance of the status of Varosha.

it remains crucial...that Turkey commits and contributes to a peaceful settlement [in Cyprus]...within the UN framework, on the basis of a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality

In 1987, Turkey applied to join what was then the European Economic Community, and in 1999 it was declared eligible to join the EU.

Turkey's involvement with European integration dates back to 1959 and includes the Ankara Association Agreement (1963) for the progressive establishment of a Customs Union (ultimately set up in 1995).

Accession negotiations started in 2005, but until Turkey agrees to apply the Additional Protocol of the Ankara Association Agreement to Cyprus, eight negotiation chapters will not be opened and no chapter will be provisionally closed.

[With information from CNA and the European Commission]

Cyprus  |  Turkey  |  EU  |  member

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