EU should open energy chapter with Turkey: UK minister

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"You cannot talk about energy in Europe without talking about Turkey," said Lidington and added that Turkey has made really good process on meeting EU energy standard

By Selen Tonkus

ANKARA - The UK's minister for Europe says he wants to see Turkey's EU energy chapter open as soon as possible.

Speaking on the sidelines of a two-day energy conference in Ankara on Tuesday David Lidington said energy is an important subject for Turkey and Europe as a whole.

"You cannot talk about energy in Europe without talking about Turkey," said Lidington and added that Turkey has made really good process on meeting EU energy standards.

Referring to the fact that the Greek Cypriot administration blocked Turkey's opening of the 15th energy chapter, Lidington said, "The sooner we get an end to the blocks on chapter discussions, we get the negotiations going better."

"I want to see more chapters open as soon as possible, including Chapter 23 on 'Judiciary and Fundamental Rights' and Chapter 24 on 'Justice, Freedom and Security'," said Lidington.

As a candidate country, Turkey has to successfully conclude negotiations in 35 policy chapters, which foresee reforms and adoption of European standards, in various policy areas for its EU membership. Since 2005, Turkey has started negotiations on 13 chapters.

On November 5, after a deadlock of three years, the EU started negotiations on chapter 22 on 'Regional Policy'.

Previous to this, no new chapters were opened in the past three years, mainly due to the Cyprus issue and the blockage by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who opposed Turkey's EU membership.

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