Turkey could face permanent “safeguard clause”

A draft from the Dutch Presidency proposes that Turkey be
subject to long transition periods and a permanent safeguard clause
on the free movement of labour.

A draft from the Dutch Presidency on which decision to take
on Turkey at the EU summit 16-17 December, suggests
several restrictions aimed at securing ways of keeping up the
pressure on Turkey during future negotiations.

The draft, seen by EURACTIV, reads: “In the
case of a serious and persistent breach in a candidate state of the
principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms and the rule of law on which the Union is
founded, the Commission will, at its own initiative or on the
request of at least one third of the Member States, recommend the
suspension of negotiations and propose the conditions for eventual

The decison of the Council would be
taken by qualified majority.

The draft also contains further ideas aimed at soothing
sceptical public opinion in some EU member states: “Long
transition periods may be needed and specific arrangements, in
areas such as structural policies and agriculture, as well as
permanent safeguard clauses, notably in the area of the free
movement of persons.”

A spokesman from the Turkish mission to the EU declined to
comment on the draft which he called “only a draft of a
draft”. It will be discussed for the first time in
COREPER on 1 December.  


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