6/12/2009

Government to strengthen EU Secretariat to step up reforms

Dunya - As part of its attempt to speed up reform efforts towards the EU membership, the Turkish government plans to greatly strengthen Turkey's Secretariat General for EU Affairs (ABGS) with new staff and full authorization in all EU-related matters. Under the plan, the ABGS will have an overseas organization and six EU counselors will be employed in foreign offices of the Secretariat General. Most of the new personnel to be hired by the ABGS will be appointed as assistant specialists for EU affairs. Meanwhile, four new deputy secretary generals will be employed and the secretary general of the ABGS will be given an ambassadorial role during his term of office. In a move to streamline the negotiation process with the EU, the ABGS will have a centralized role in conducting accession talks with the Union. Egemen Bagis, the Turkish Minister of State and Chief Negotiator for EU Talks, will assume a key role to steer the negotiation process.
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