TURKEY AND THE EUROPEAN UNION: TOWARDS THE POST-CANDIDACY ERA
It is safe to say that in the history of European Union’s enlargement, opening in 1973 with the accession of Britain, Denmark and Ireland, the first spectacular failure is the candidacy of the Republic of Turkey.
Europeans finally took note of the state of Turkey’s accession negotiations in the concluding statement of the European Council of June 26 last year, which declared: “The Council notes that Turkey has been moving further away from the European Union. Turkey’s accession negotiations have therefore effectively come to a standstill and no further chapters can be considered for opening or closing and no further work towards the modernisation of the EU-Turkey Customs Union is foreseen.”
Indeed, there is in Europe a large consensus that Turkey complies with none of the required criteria pertaining to the EU candidacy, even less to the status of a negotiating country. Nevertheless, the EU was so far incapable of formally suspending negotiations. There are several reasons.