BELGRADE – Turkey is unlikely to join the European Union any time soon, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said Sunday, forecasting that Ankara would not accede to the block before year 3000.
In mid-March, the European Union and Ankara agreed on a deal under which Turkey pledged to take back all undocumented migrants who arrive in the European Union through its territory in exchange for Syrian refugees accommodated in Turkey, on a one-for-one basis. In return, the 28-member bloc pledged to accelerate the Turkish EU accession bid and introduce a visa-free regime between Turkey and the Schengen area.
“It is not remotely on the cards that Turkey is going to join the EU any time soon. They applied in 1987. At the current rate of progress they will probably get round to joining in about the year 3000 according to the latest forecasts,” Cameron said on the local television, as quoted by the Sky News television channel.
Earlier this month, the European Commission recommended that the European Parliament vote on visa-free regime for Turkey once the country meets all 72 required conditions.
Most of the requirements have already been fulfilled by Ankara, though five problematic criteria remain, including the revision of Turkey’s national anti-terrorism laws and freedom of the press.