EU makes fresh commitment for 5 chapters whose opening is under Cyprus veto

 Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (L) hugs European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker during a press conference at the end of a summit on relations between the European Union and Turkey and on the migration crisis at the European Council in Brussels on November 29, 2015. AFP photo
How chapters will be opened?

According to EU rules, there is a need for unanimity for the opening and provisional closing of every negotiation chapter, and even one member’s veto can suspend the process. There has been no progress on these five chapters so far because of the Greek Cypriot vote. However, diplomatic sources have highlighted two processes that could eventually effect the removal of the Greek Cypriot veto for these chapters and others.

The first is the fact that many EU countries, particularly Germany, which have traditionally been cold on Turkey joining the union, have had to change their posture because of the growing refugee crisis. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s active stance during this period to stop the flow of refugees could reflect itself in the form of more pressure on Greek Cyprus to remove its block on the chapters in question.

Second, there is progress on reunification talks in Cyprus that could result in a referendum before the two nations, probably in the first half of 2016. The fact that two parties are nearing an agreement could have a positive impact on Greek Cyprus for the acceleration of Turkey’s accession talks with the EU.

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