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01 Apr 2004

Has Turkey fulfilled the Copenhagen political criteria?

Michael Emerson

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The next few months are the last opportunity for Turkey to take steps that could influence the European Commission’s recommendation in October on whether the Copenhagen political criteria have been met, and therefore whether to open accession negotiations, with the European Council due to take the decision in December. Following a brief summary of the Copenhagen political criteria and illustrations of how they were applied in the current enlargement, this short paper, by CEPS Associate Senior Research Fellow Michael Emerson, draws on a detailed review of Turkey’s progress in relation to the most sensitive areas covered under the Copenhagen criteria (the role of the military, human rights, minority rights and the judiciary). It identifies 20 steps that could conceivably be taken in the next few months by the Turkish government with a view to securing a positive decision.