EU keeps Turkey's membership bid on track


The EU agreed on Tuesday to keep accession talks with Turkey on track, but it did so by approving a compromise formula that underlined the 27-nation bloc's discontent with the way Ankara handled recent anti-government protests. Ireland, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said EU ministers agreed to resume membership talks with Turkey after a three-year break, but that a date to kick off the negotiations would be announced in the autumn. A statement made by Ireland said that the European Affairs ministers meeting in Luxembourg "agree to open Chapter 22," referring to one of 35 sets of EU rules and regulations that candidates to membership of the bloc must satisfy before accession to the EU. "The Council agrees to open Chapter 22 and underscores that the Inter-Governmental Conference (IGC) with Turkey will take place after the presentation of the Commission's annual progress report and following a discussion of the GAC which will confirm the common position of the Council for the opening of Chapter 22 and determine the date for the accession conference," the EU ministers said in their official statement announcing their decision.