Turkey will on Tuesday receive the European Commission’s most critical report since it launched its bid to join the European Union over a decade ago, with Brussels warning that years of progress towards membership were being lost, officials said on Saturday, Reuters reported.
With the exception of cooperation on Syrian refugees, Turkey and the European Union are drifting apart on human rights, press and judicial freedoms and the rule of law, the Commission, the EU executive, will say, according to two officials who declined to be named.
The Commission on Tuesday publishes its annual report in Strasbourg to assess how far Turkey and other countries aspiring to EU membership have progressed in bringing their rules into line with EU standards and values.
Excerpts of the EU report, first published by Germany’s Welt am Sonntag and confirmed to Reuters by EU officials, showed the Commission concluded there was no basis for opening negotiations on new aspects of EU membership, meaning the process remained frozen.
“There is massive backsliding away from the European Union,” one EU official involved in the report told Reuters.