Turkish business association TÜSIAD is pushing for the country joining the EU soon. However, the current stalemate in Turkish EU-membership talks is yet to be overcome.
Turkey should “focus more energetically” on meeting EU requirements and set 2014 as the deadline for joining the EU, according to TÜSIAD. The business association argues that if Turkey continues to reform and keeps up the current pace of economic growth of 7%, it could reach 50% of the EU’s per-capita income by 2014.
“A Turkey which may reach the goal of EU membership will have to be a better democracy, stronger economy and more cohesive society,” TÜSIAD states in a press release.
However, Turkish EU-membership talks have been partially suspended since member states in December 2006 decided to pause the talks on eight out of 35 negotiating areas. The EU argues that Turkey needed to fulfil its obligation to open up trade to Cyprus. So far, talks have only been successfully closed on the issue of science and research.
Turkey wants to open talks on four chapters (economic/monetary policy, statistics, enterprise/industrial policy and financial control) before June, but, according to the December 2006 decision, chapters cannot be closed. Therefore, the Cyprus issue would have to be resolved before talks can pick up pace again.
The Council will take the final decision by the end 2007 as to whether the required progress has been made and if talks can get back on track.