The European Union Commission unveiled today its progress report on Turkey, highlighting a number of important steps taken by Turkey over the past 12 months in terms of judicial reforms and the peace process.
The report emphasizes the “pressing need to develop a truly participatory democracy [that is] able to reach out to all segments of society.”
It underlined a clear requirement to further amend criminal legislation and reform its interpretation by the courts so as to ensure respect for fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.
The report also noted how crucial it was for the EU to enhance its engagement with Turkey, especially on fundamental rights, so that it remains the benchmark for reforms in the country.
“The accession process remains the most suitable framework for promoting EU-related reforms in Turkey,” it said, adding that the accession negotiations needed to regain momentum.
The report acknowledged that the country’s reform efforts continue, with the adoption of a judiciary reform package, the announcement of a democratization package and the start of peace talks aiming to end terrorism and violence in the southeast of the country.