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Turkey/European Union

Published on January 29, 2014
Press conference given by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic (excerpts)

Ankara, January 27, 2014

You recalled that in 2004 I approved President Chirac’s decision, on behalf of France and on behalf of Europe, to begin the negotiation process. I still take this line. A process is under way: 35 chapters are provided for. For the time being, only 14 chapters have been dealt with since 2004. So the process must be continued with the most difficult – necessarily the most difficult – subjects. How will it end? No date is set; it’ll be at the end of the process, when all the chapters have been dealt with, if they are dealt with. And then, depending on the responses the peoples concerned give you, if a decision on possible accession were taken – and I mean if it “were taken” –, if that’s the case, then it’ll be put to a referendum in France anyway.

So it’s pointless to stir up fears of any kind. The French people will have the last word anyway. But the date isn’t even being mentioned today, and there’s still a long way to go, but what I must say on France’s behalf is that this process must continue. (…) Moreover, during the previous five-year term, 12 chapters were settled.

The chapters I think I can put up for discussion are precisely the ones relating to the subjects at issue in Turkey today: the separation of powers; fundamental freedoms; the rule of law; justice. So the negotiation process may also enable Turkey to change and show what it’s capable of, and that’s the response the Turks will have to make./.

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