Turkey-EU Relations: Why is Austria Blocking Turkish Accession to EU?

What is the reason behind souring Turkey-EU Relations? Ankara will continue to struggle against the “unfair and disrespectful” attitude of the European Union (EU) towards Turkey. Turkey-EU Relations were established in 1959 and the institutional framework, officially formed since 1963 Ankara Agreement. Turkey is one of the EU’s main partners and both are members of the EU–Turkey Customs Union. Turkey-EU shares common land border via Bulgaria and Greece.

“Turkey will not stop fighting in Syria and Iraq, Turkey will not stop fighting the unjust and disrespectful attitude of the European Union directed against it,” said President Erdogan.  “The European Parliament cut off € 100 million in financial assistance to Turkey, which will not affect our Turkey.

Turkey-EU Relations: Analysis

In mid-March 2016, the EU and Turkey concluded an agreement to resolve the migration crisis in Europe, according to which all illegal migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey must be returned back. At the same time, Brussels promised Ankara €6 billion in to support his initiative and promised visa-free entry to Turkish citizens.

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The reason Turkey-EU Relations are little low because the European Union has not fulfilled its promises, including granting the right of visa-free entry to Turkish citizens. As one of the conditions for visa liberalization, the EU requires Ankara to revise the strict anti-terrorist legislation in force in this country. Turkey refuses to comply with this requirement and at the same time insists that the EU fulfill its obligation on visa-free status, threatening to terminate the agreement on migrants which will severely affect the Turkey-EU Relations.

Why is Austria Opposing Turkish Entry to the EU?

Another reason for disturbing Turkey-EU Relations is because Austria does not want Turkey’s accession to the European Union (EU) and is motivating allies to end the talks on European membership of Ankara. This was confirmed on Wednesday by Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache during the address of the new government of the Conservatives and rightists to the National Council of Austria.

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“We are Europeans, we recognize ourselves as part of the EU,” Strache said. “We do not want Turkish entry into EU and we will prompt our allies to stop these negotiations.”

The government of the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ANP) and the right Austrian Freedom Party (APS) came to power in Austria following the early elections to the National Council (lower house of parliament). The victory was won by ANP, while APS took the third place with the best result for the last 15 years. The Social Democratic Party of Austria came second and went into the opposition.

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“We see significant violations of fundamental human rights in Turkey,” he said, and “I do not want to agree that the EU is watching this and doing it as if nothing had happened.” “In my opinion, Turkey, especially taking into account the policies of recent years, has no place in the EU,” said Heinz-Christian Strache.