Jun 27 2018

Turkey customs union modernisation off table – EU

The European Council, one of the principal institutions of the European Union, has said that no further work will be done towards the modernisation of the bilateral customs union with Turkey in its latest report on pre-accession countries.

“The Council notes that Turkey has been moving further away from the European Union,” it said.

“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.”

The council also criticised Turkey for recent tensions with Greece in the Aegean and had particular words for recent rights violations in the country.

“The Council is especially concerned about the continuing and deeply worrying backsliding on the rule of law and on fundamental rights including the freedom of expression,” it said.

“The deterioration of the independence and functioning of the judiciary cannot be condoned, nor can the on-going restrictions, detentions, imprisonments, and other measures targeting journalists, academics, members of political parties including parliamentarians, human rights defenders, social media users and others exercising their fundamental rights and freedoms.”