ETUC on EU enlargement

According to media reports the European Commission will today recommend that Albania and Macedonia start EU accession negotiations, and be critical about Turkey’s lack of progress towards EU fundamental human rights, justice and freedom of expression.

The European Trade Union Confederation:
• supports the critical remarks about rights, justice and freedom in Turkey
• welcomes the recommendation on opening accession negotiations with Albania and Macedonia
• calls on member states to support the recommendations on all 3 countries
• demands a more transparent and democratic accession process involving trade unions from the EU and accession countries.

“The ETUC supports the accession of a democratic Turkey which upholds the rights and freedoms of all citizens” said Luca Visentini, ETUC General Secretary. “Sadly, the Government seems to be pushing Turkey further away from EU standards. Whereas the ETUC has always stated that all terrorist attacks or unconstitutional efforts to seize power must be opposed, accession is unthinkable when successive states of emergency following the failed coup have resulted in nearly 160,000 arrests, over 150,000 civil servants dismissed, journalists imprisoned, and media outlets shut down.”

“The destiny of the Western Balkans should be to join the European Union, and as such the opening of negotiations with Albania and Macedonia would be a positive step.”

“On Serbia and Montenegro, the European Commission should insist in the on-going negotiations for faster progress on workers’ and trade union rights, on collective bargaining between trade unions and employers, and in improving social conditions. As frontrunners they should make EU accession a success for the people by strengthening social rights and standards.”

For more on Turkey see here