Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission – The Commission's Report and Recommendation on Turkey's Application; Presentation to the European Parliament, October 6, 2004. Excerpt:
As you know, the first task allotted to us by the Copenhagen European Council was to draw up a report on the extent to which Turkey meets the Copenhagen political criteria and to put forward a recommendation. However, I should like to stress that it is, of course, the European Council itself – as it made abundantly clear in its December 2002 decision – to decide whether the criteria are being met and whether to open negotiations with Turkey.
The Commission's task was thus to analyse, as objectively and precisely as possible, Turkey's state of progress with regard to these criteria, and to draw up a recommendation to the Council on the basis of this analysis and any other relevant factors, including the impact study requested by Parliament.
The Commission's response today is YES. That is to say, its response as regards compliance with the criteria is positive, and it recommends opening negotiations.
However, it is a QUALIFIED YES that is accompanied by a large number of recommendations on following up and monitoring the situation in Turkey, and some specific recommendations on the conduct of negotiations.
I want to draw your attention to these two aspects, which are inseparably linked as far as we are concerned. In all sincerity, I appeal to the European public, Parliament, the Council, and to our Turkish partners — the people of Turkey and the Turkish Government — not to separate these two aspects: on the one hand our response, which is positive overall, and on the other the provisos that form the essential key to the success of the whole process of integrating Turkey into the European Union.
Read the report here. Reported in JURIST's Paper Chase here.