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Brok: refusal of Turkey to meet obligations can not pass without consequences
2006-11-09 10:30:29

Nicosia, Nov 9 - Chairman of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee Elmar Brok has regretted the de-facto shift of responsibility of the Commission's progress report on Turkey to the December summit of the EU heads of state and government.

''The Commission will submit progress reports for all candidate countries. However, it evades a final evaluation of Turkey, in particular with respect to the unresolved Cyprus question. This means not only a lack of credibility towards the European public, but it also continues to weaken the EU negotiation position vis-a-vis Turkey'', Brok said.

He expressed his absolute incomprehension over the ''tactical and evasive behaviour'' of the Commission towards Turkey.

''It is also unfortunate that the Commission was unable to come to a clear position by contrast to the European Parliament. Even though the report will name Turkey's deficits concerning human and civil rights, the protection of minorities or the freedom of religion, it does not draw the necessary conclusions: At the very least, the refusal of Turkey to meet its legal obligations from the Ankara-Protocol towards Cyprus before the end of the year, cannot pass without any consequences, again. Instead the Commission evades this decision and passes it on to the Council now'', Brok said.

He noted that he Commission's justification that it wanted to leave the Council more time for the negotiation of a compromise on the Cyprus question, is therefore not very credible.

''At least from my understanding, the Commission should play an active and constructive role in this process. Instead the Commission hides behind the Council, although the legal situation clearly says that Ankara must open up its airports and ports for Cyprus thereby recognizing the country at least indirectly'', Brok continued.

He finally expressed his concern that the European Union's crisis of credibility could be intensified further by the Commission's unconvincing handling of the enlargement process: ''The Commission meets neither its overall responsibility for the European Union nor does it thus deliver a positive impact for the Constitutional Treaty''.

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