European Parliament to Speak Up on Turkey
The European Parliament should not stay silent on the Turkey issue but should deliver its opinion before the end of the year so as to engage in the process, said Parliament's new President Josep Borrell in Strasbourg.
In formal terms the parliament has no role to play on whether to start negotiations with Turkey. But it would be "inconceivable to remain silent", stressed Parliament's new President Josep Borrell while setting out his priorities for the next two and a half years to the House.
The main thing at stake is "our relations with the Islamic world", whatever the decision on Turkey, Borrell said. Promises made over 40 years ago must be reliable. The prospect of EU membership has led to more reform in the last few years in Turkey than had been achieved in 40 years of discussion, said Martin Schulz, speaking on behalf of the Socialist Group. Borrell will deliver parliament's opinion to EU leaders in December. Before this, on Sept. 23, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will hold talks with the leaders of the Parliamentary groups. The Commission will then publish its opinion on Turkey's readiness to join the EU on Oct. 6.