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Minister welcomes progress on EU accession talks with Turkey

European Union, Minister Paschal Donohoe, Press Releases, Europe, 2013

Minister of State for European Affairs, Paschal Donohoe warmly welcomed the agreement at today’s General Affairs Council to progress accession talks with Turkey.

Today, the General Affairs Council confirmed their June agreement to open discussions on the next chapter in accession talks with Turkey. Chapter 22, which covers regional policy and coordination of structural instruments is the first such chapter to open in 3 years.

Speaking at today’s meeting Minister Donohoe said: “Having worked hard during the Irish presidency to secure agreement on the opening of this new Chapter, I am very pleased that we can today give the go ahead for the intergovernmental conference with Turkey.

“I believe strongly that maintaining Turkey’s EU perspective is vitally important in encouraging reforms in that country. Having opened this new chapter, I would hope that we can then build on the momentum developed under the Irish Presidency to make further progress in Turkey’s accession negotiations as well as deepening our overall relations with this strategic partner.”

The decision today follows the commitment given by Ministers of the General Affairs Council in June to open further discussions after the publication of the annual progress report by the European Commission. This report was published earlier this month.  The Chapter will be formally opened at an EU-Turkey Ministerial meeting on 5 November.