I wish to reassert here that the European Economic and Social Committee is still on the same position as regards the accession of Turkey to the EU, as it has consistently been in the past. We are in favour of the accession of Turkey to the EU. And we ask for the same rules to be applied in the accession process of Turkey as for all the other candidate countries.
My message is: yes the accession negotiations are in a stalemate at the moment. But if both sides are making the right efforts, there are signs already now that the process can move back on tracks in 2013.
Of course, the challenge ahead will still be huge for Turkey to join the EU. And we all know that the EU is not the only direction that the political leaders in Turkey are taking. That's why in my view the perspective of accession must be credible, and the process must be kept alive by the EU institutions and the EU Member States. This is the only way to see the EU agenda move forward in Turkey.