LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Serbia could start negotiations on joining the European Union by January next year, EU ministers agreed on Tuesday, rewarding Belgrade for improving relations with its ex-province Kosovo.
Ministers also agreed the EU should launch preparations with Kosovo on a so-called association agreement, a step on the path to eventual EU membership that can carry economic benefits.
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – The European Union rebuked Turkey on Tuesday for its crackdown on anti-government protesters, postponing a new round of membership talks for at least four months, but said the path to the EU remained open.
The EU move, discussed in advance with Turkey, drew a mild response from Ankara and avoided a crisis in their relations.
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – European Union ministers said they were hopeful of reaching an agreement on Tuesday that would delay reviving membership talks with Turkey to signal European concerns over Ankara’s handling of weeks of protests.
Germany, backed by several other states, has blocked an EU proposal to open a new chapter, or policy area, in slow-moving membership talks with Turkey on Wednesday because it believes it would send the wrong signal so soon after the crackdown.
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Germany proposed on Monday postponing a new round of European Union membership talks with Turkey by about four months to signal EU displeasure at Ankara’s handling of anti-government protests.
The EU had planned to revive Turkey’s EU ambitions on Wednesday by opening a new chapter, or policy area, in its EU membership talks – the first opened since 2010.
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – European Union ministers clashed over whether to revive membership talks with Turkey on Monday with several countries joining Germany in arguing it would send the wrong signal to reward Ankara after a crackdown on protests.
The objections of Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and others make it likely that the EU will cancel or postpone talks scheduled for Wednesday, raising new doubts about whether it will ever be admitted to the European club.
ISTANBUL/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Turkey warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday not to play politics with its European Union ambitions as Berlin blocked moves to open a new chapter in Ankara’s EU membership talks next week.
Turkey said failure to open the chapter would be a major setback in Ankara’s relations with the bloc and one senior Turkish official said it would “draw a strong reaction”.
ISTANBUL/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Turkey warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday not to play politics with its European Union ambitions, and said failure to open a new chapter in accession talks next week would be a major setback in Ankara’s relations with the bloc.
Many EU capitals want to take the long-awaited step on Turkey’s path towards the EU next week, arguing Europe should capitalize on Ankara’s rising influence in the Middle East.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A British drive to put Hezbollah’s armed wing on the EU’s terror list again ran into resistance on Wednesday from governments concerned it would fuel instability in the Middle East, diplomats said.
Britain’s request was discussed for a second time by a special European Union group following an inconclusive meeting on June 4, but British diplomats failed to win over a number of skeptical governments.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany is dragging its feet over letting Turkey take the next step in slow-moving membership talks with the European Union amid widespread concern over Ankara’s tough handling of anti-government protests, EU officials said on Friday.
Berlin has criticized Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s heavy handed response to two weeks of protests that began over a redevelopment project in an Istanbul park.
SOFIA/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Bulgaria backed down on Wednesday from charges it made a few months ago that Hezbollah was behind a deadly bus bombing on its territory, complicating a British push for the EU to blacklist the militant Shi’ite Muslim group.
The country’s new Socialist-led government said it only had an “indication” that the Lebanese group might have carried the attack that killed five Israeli tourists and their driver in the Black Sea resort of Burgas last year.