HC Deb 04 November 2002 vol 392 c77W
Keith Vaz

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his estimate is for a date for Turkey to join the EU. [78867]

Mr. MacShane

The British Government looks forward to Turkey's membership of the European Union as soon as possible. Turkey has not started accession negotiations because it does not yet meet the Copenhagen political criteria, which include rule of law, democracy and respect for human rights and minorities.

We welcome the significant EU-related reforms that the Turkish Parliament has passed this year. As the Brussels European Council agreed, this has brought forward the opening of accession negotiations with Turkey. Brussels also encouraged Turkey to pursue its reform process and take further concrete steps in the direction of implementation.