The European Commission on Wednesday announced the end of EU membership talks for Turkey citing serious flaws in its legal and judicial culture.
In its report, the Commission recommended accession talks for Albania and North Macedonia, in and put an end to all such talks with Turkey for "serious backsliding in the areas of the rule of law and fundamental rights."
"Albania and North Macedonia have embraced the opportunity and delivered on reforms, in particular in the areas identified as crucial by the Council in June 2018.
In light of the significant progress achieved and the relevant conditions being met, the Commission recommended today that the Council now opens accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia,” said the Commission.
Naming Turkey as "a key partner for the EU and a candidate country," it said that despite the continuing dialogue and cooperation including in migration and support to refugees, the country had failed in its rule of law and human rights record.
"Turkey has continued to move further away from the European Union, with serious backsliding in the areas of the rule of law and fundamental rights. In June 2018 the Council noted unanimously that Turkey's accession negotiations have therefore effectively come to a standstill and no further chapters can be considered for opening or closing. The underlying facts leading to this assessment still hold," it noted.
The recommendations are forwarded to the European Council for consideration and for further steps.