Published : 2020-01-30

Austrian Veto against European Union Membership Negotiations with Turkey

Ewa Kaczan-Winiarska

Section: Articles


The Austrian government is extremely sceptical about the accession negotiations which are conducted by the European Commission on behalf of the European Union with Turkey and calls for the negotiation process to end. Serious reservations of Vienna have been raised by the current political situation in Turkey under the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as by the standards of democracy in Turkey, which differ greatly from European standards. Serious deficiencies in rule of law, freedom of speech and independence of the judiciary, confirmed in the latest European Commission report on Turkey, do not justify, from Vienna’s point of view, the continuation of talks with Ankara on EU membership. In fact, Austria’s scepticism about the European perspective for Turkey has a longer tradition. This was marked previously in 2005 when the accession negotiations began. Until now, Austria’s position has not had enough clout within the European arena. Pragmatic cooperation with Turkey as a strategic partner of the EU, both in the context of the migration crisis and security policy, proved to be a key factor. The question is whether Austria, which took over the EU presidency from 1.7.2018, will be able to more strongly accentuate its reservations about Turkey and even build an alliance of Member States strong enough to block Turkey’s accession process.


Austria ; enlargement of the European Union ; accession process ; Turkey


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