If Turkey Carries out Further Reforms for EU Membership, It can Achieve Progress in Second Half of 2008: EU Official

Azerbaijan, Baku, 24 June / corr. Trend S. Ilhamgizi, G. Ahmadova/ The European Union believes that if Turkey carries out further reforms for EU admission, it can achieve success in the second half of the year. "The Commission trusts that this progress will continue also in the second half of 2008, provided Turkey is carrying out the necessary reforms," Krisztina Nagy, the official representative of the EU Commission on Enlargement said to Trend .

Turkey is trying to join the European Union since 1987. The Committee of the Permanent Representatives of the European Union gave consent to the discussion of article on Rights of Companies and Intellectual Property Rights with Turkey. These articles were discussed on 17 June in the fifth inter-government conference attended by the Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babajan, EU chairman Dmitri Rupel and EU chairman on Expansion Michael Leigh.

The EU chairman stated that the accession process with Turkey is advancing with normal pace. "Accession to the EU is a very demanding reform process. It is a huge challenge to any country that aspires for EU membership. . Two further chapters in the accession negotiations have been opened in June," EU official said by electronic mail.

According to Nagy, during the past years Turkey has carried out reforms to become full right member of EU." " Turkey has carried out many important reforms, such as the abolition of the death penalty, civilian control over the military was increased, and a series of constitutional amendments," Nagy said adding that these moves enhanced democratic freedoms and protection of human rights in Turkey.

According to EU official, progress was made in areas such as women's and children's rights. However, the fight against torture and ill-treatment, with a zero-tolerance policy was implemented

"More recently Turkey has modified its legislation related to freedom of expression, and the Law on Foundations - enhancing the property rights of non-Muslim religious minorities- was adopted," Nagy said.

EU official believes that Turkey still has a lot to do for EU membership. But Turkey still has a lot to do. To become a member state in the EU, the protection of fundamental freedoms and human rights must be further enhanced, in line with standards applied in the European Union. Turkey will also have to develop its economy to be able to cope with the competitive pressure on the EU's internal market.

"Finally Turkey will have to demonstrate that it can carry the obligations of EU membership in all policy fields, be it environment, veterinary standards or food safety. This means the adoption and implementation of some 80 000 pages of EU laws and standards." EU official said.

The European Union was established in 1951 by Belgium, France, Netherlands, Luxemburg and Italy with membership of 27 states at present. The headquarters of the organization is located in Brussels. The sharp enlargement of EU took place in 2004 when the number of EU population increasing from 378 million to 454 million with the official languages totaling from 11 to 20.

EU which aims at protection of peace and securing economic and social development consists of three unions.

The correspondent can be contacted at - [email protected]

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