European Parliament Priorities for Turkey Following the Elections of the 12th of June 2012: the Need for “Uzlaşma” RIA OOMEN - RUIJTEN* Introduction “Uzlaşma” is the Turkish word for “consensus and compromise,” and this will be crucial in the coming months. For several years now, the government and the opposition have been in a deadlock on fundamental reforms, and this mutual suspicion blocks the country’s attempts to make changes. Progress is only possible if there is a real dialogue and consensus between all actors in society. Therefore I call on all political parties to collaborate in their efforts so that the reform process will be accelerated. The election campaign for the latest Turkish elections focused on the need for constitutional change and minority rights. Government and opposition gained votes but the AKP government lost seats. Moreover an important group of independent BDP candidates appeared to represent the Kurdish voice. I lauded government and opposition, not only for the results but also for concrete proposals during campaign. Now the time has come to deliver. Copenhagen criteria The Copenhagen criteria remain the cornerstone of EU integration and are therefore of crucial importance for any country that wants to join the EU. In 2004, Turkey made a commitment to fulfil the Copenhagen Criteria and on that basis negotiations with the European Union were opened in 2005. As Rapporteur of the European Parliament on Turkey’s 2010 progress report, I closely follow the progress and developments in fulfilling these criteria on behalf of the European Parliament. Since 2007, the reform process in Turkey has stagnated for various reasons. This is peculiar, as the government (which claims to be promoting
* Member of the European Parliament, Rapporteur on Turkey’s 2010 progress report.
A Publication based on the International Conference organised at the European Parliament/Brussels by Dr. ELENI THEOCHAROUS, Member of the Eu...