12th chapter on Turkey's EU admission opened
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 1 / Trend , E. Ostapenko/
The European Union opened chapter on taxation in connection with Turkey integration with the union, the EU press release said.
"The pace of accession negotiations continues to depend on Turkey´s own preparations. Turkey must actively pursue reforms, and we welcome the government´s renewed commitment in this respect," the statement said.
The Chapter 16 on Taxation is 12th in number. All the negotiating process towards Turkey's EU membership consists of 35 "chapters", under which Ankara must ensure compliance with the EU requirements. Until now, Turkey and the EU completed negotiations on only one "chapter" and that the parties previously opened 11 negotiation chapters.
There are several benchmarks that need to be met before Chapter 16 can be provisionally closed. These include the following:
- Turkey has to fully implement the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement in a non-dicriminatory manner.
- It must make significant progress in alligning its legislation with that of the EU in the fields of VAT and excise duties and fully eliminate the discriminatory taxation of alcoholic beverages, imported tobacco and cigarettes in line with its obligations.
- It also has to demonstrate its administrative capacity to enforce its tax legislation
- and reach sufficient progress in developing all related IT interconnectivity systems.
The Czech EU Presidency has worked hard so that accession negotiations with Turkey advance. We support the incoming Swedish presidency as well as our Turkish partners in their intentions to continue on this track, the statement said.
Sweden, which assumed half-year EU chairmanship from July 1, is optimistic about Turkey's admission.
Negotiations on Turkey's EU accession were launched in 2005. Experts predict Ankara can become a full member of the European Union in 10-15 years.
Several EU countries, including Germany and France, have opposed the admission of Turkey, offering it the status of privileged partner. Ankara said it will not accept option of privileged partner as an alternative to the EU integration.
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