Kader Sevinc - Smart Democracy & Smart Citizenship

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Monday, November 15, 2010
The opposition party’s Brussels representative dispatches an 18-page report to party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, briefing him about the EU executive’s annual document on the country’s progress in membership negotiations. The CHP report proposes a national reconciliation committee be established like the one in Croatia, where opposition parties are represented to swiftly pass constitutional reforms required for membership

The main opposition party’s Brussels office has proposed that Turkey’s negotiations with the European Union be made transparent and the government should establish a committee for national reconciliation like the one in Croatia to draft a new Constitution.

The Republican People’s Party, or CHP, office in Brussels sent an 18-page report to party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Nov. 9 when the EU Commission released its annual assessment regarding Ankara’s performance to comply with the membership criteria.

The report penned by CHP’s Brussels representative Kader Sevinç briefs the party leader about the key points highlighted in the progress report. The CHP’s assessment report, obtained by the Hürriyet Daily News, revealed that this year’s progress report is “constructive” but adopted a “more critical tone” compared to those published in previous years.

“The EU Commission’s report demonstrates that the government could not well manage the country’s EU process,” Sevinç pointed out in the report. She suggested that Turkish-EU talks should be more transparent and the government should establish a national reconciliation committee similar to the one established by Croatia, another EU candidate whose talks are much faster than Turkey’s and is expected to join the bloc in 2012.

“The chair of the committee in Croatia, which was established with a Constitutional amendment, is always held by an opposition party and all documents pass through this committee,” said Sevinç in her report.

“However, the position papers submitted by our country to the EU are always hidden from the opposition parties,” she said.

EU adopts ‘imbalanced approach’

According to the CHP report, party leader Kılıçdaroğlu’s encounters with EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule both in Istanbul and Brussels helped shape at the highest level the 27-nation bloc’s perception of the negative developments taking place in Turkey in the areas of fundamental rights and freedoms.

“In previous years, we observed that progress reports failed to sufficiently reflect the anti-democratic developments in Turkey and this approach harmed to a great extent the democratization in the country,” argued the CHP report.

Another eye-catching element in the progress report is, according to Sevinç, the imbalanced approach adopted from time to time by the EU Commission in evaluating a big country like Turkey in terms of the protracted negotiating process.

“The lengthening of the process – partly because of domestic problems inside the EU and the government’s failure to show the resolve for reforms – is making a thorough analysis of Turkey’s problems more difficult from the EU’s aspect,” said Sevinç.

She observed a “more fragmented picture” in the democratization section of the EU report while in other parts its analytic capacity was relatively much higher.

‘Serious concerns expressed in the area of freedoms’

The Brussels representative of the party also said the progress report posed serious criticism to the government in the areas of fundamental rights and freedoms, while admitting that the issue of freedoms always brought onto the agenda by the opposition and the progressive policies of the CHP are better understood by the national and international public opinion.

“The report stresses the lack of democratization steps on a range of issues from the reduction of election threshold to the lifting of parliamentary immunities – which we have proposed but weren’t taken onto the agenda by the government,” she said.

© 2009 Hurriyet Daily News
URL: www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=chp-brussels-office-suggests-turkey-establish-national-committee-for-constitutional-reforms-2010-11-15

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