PROMINENT EUROPEANS ESTABLISH
INDEPENDENT COMMISSION ON TURKEY
March 10, 2004 - A group of distinguished European policy makers
have formed an Independent Commission to examine the challenges and
opportunities presented by Turkey’s possible membership of the
European Union. The Commission is made up of Europeans who have
previously held high positions in public office.
former Heads of State and Government, Foreign Ministers and European
Commissioners. The Commission will meet regularly during the coming
months before presenting a report on its findings in September 2004.
October 6, 2004
- Immediately after the Recommendation of the Euopean
Commmission on Turkey's progress towards accession, five
MEP - Emma Bonino, ALDE; Daniel Cohn-Bendit,
Bronislaw Geremek, ALDE; Joao de Deus Pinheiro, PPE; Michel
Rocard, PSE - proposed a
written declaration (here
available in 19 languages) according
to article 116 of the Euopean Parliament's Rules of
Martti Ahtisaari, former Finnish President and
Chair of the Independent Commission, stated «We hope this Commission
will contribute to a more rational and balanced debate. Our Commission
could play an important role in bridging differences over Turkey’s
possible accession». The forthcoming decision by the European Council
on accession negotiations with Turkey has caused an intensive public
debate in most parts of Europe, raising many and sometimes highly
emotional arguments against Turkish membership of the European Union.
The Independent Commission will address these arguments and explore
the potential benefits and challenges of Turkey’s membership. The
Commission will not cover matters currently under review by the
European Commission as part of its Progress.
CREDIBILITY AT RISK IF TURKEY'S ACCESSION PROCESS STALLS
September 7, 2009 - With a new round of peace talks on Cyprus
resuming this month, a group of distinguished Europeans today issued
a report urging the two sides to arrive at a settlement in order to
remove obstacles to the accession negotiations between Turkey and
the European Union.
towards joining the European Union would get a major boost from
resolving the division of Cyprus,” said Martti Ahtisaari, Chair of
the Independent Commission and the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
“The seductive idea that the status quo can go on forever is a
delusion. The cost of inaction this time around is too high.”
Turkey in Europe: Breaking the Vicious Circle, the second
report of the Independent Commission on Turkey, analyses the key
developments in EU-Turkey relations and puts forward concrete steps
necessary to revive negotiations. The report also argues for deeper
convergence between Turkey and the EU not only to drive further
transformation in Turkey but also to restore European credibility.
Despite a promising
start to negotiations in 2004, the process has become a vicious
cycle: fierce opposition from some European politicians combined
with growing public resistance to further EU enlargement, in turn
has deepened resentment in Turkey and slowed the necessary reforms.
To breathe new life
into the negotiations, the EU must simply follow through on previous
commitments to keep the path to membership open; no new promises are
needed,” said Ahtisaari.
The report’s other
objective of negotiations with Turkey is accession, not any
alternative such as a “privileged partnership”.
Turkey is a key
geo-strategic partner for Europe, particularly because of its
regional role and its central location for energy supplies from
the Caspian Sea, Central Asia and the Middle East.
After a golden
age of reforms between 2000 and 2005, domestic political
disruptions have distracted Turkey from reforms. Two years
without elections now lie ahead, and all sides must act now to
prevent the country's convergence with the EU from stalling.
Comprehensive, consistent and sustained progress towards more
democracy at home is the best way to persuade more Europeans of
Turkey's EU compatibility.
Commission remains convinced of the huge benefits of Turkish
convergence with Europe, and eventual EU membership of a
transformed Turkey, both for the country itself and the European
LAUNCH OF THE INDEPENDENT COMMISSION'S REPORT IN
Brussels - September 6, 2004
Brussels, September 6, 2004 - The Report's presentation has been
held at the European Policy Center.
London, September 9, 2004 - "Report's presentation at the
Foreign Press Association.
Barcelona, September 13, 2004 - Report's presentation at the
European Institute of Mediterranean Affairs.
The official website of the Independent Commission on Turkey: