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.
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.
Warning of huge reverses on so-called fundamental freedoms such as the right to a fair trial and free speech, the report is set to continue the harsher tone the Commission adopted in its 2014 report, when it first raised concerns about the independence of Turkish judges.
Turkey, a member of the NATO Western military alliance, began talks to join the EU in 2005, 18 years after applying.