EU28 Council decides against opening chapters for Turkish EU membership

Austria demands tougher stance

The Council of the EU decided to halt talks on Turkish membership in the EU, following a meeting by the EU28 Council of Foreign Ministers in Bussels. The Slovak Presidency issued a statement underling that although membership talks had not officially been suspended, any new accession chapters would not open. “Under the current circumstances the opening of new chapters is not being considered”, the statement read. The move by the EU is a response to what the EU sees as the escalation of a series of anti-democratic measures imposed by Turkish authorities in the aftermath of the July 15 failed coup in Turkey, which led to wave of persecutions against Erdogan’s political opponents and dissenting voices and the suppression of free press. Austria disagreed with the decision, demanding a tougher stance against Turkey which would include a freezing of the country’s membership talks altogether. Following the decision Turkey’s accession negotiations are not officially suspended, as Austria strongly advocated for, but discussions on the opening of a series of chapters will be put off. Talks of Turkey’s EU membership started in 2005 with the opening of specific chapters but have moved forward at a very slow pace.