France's firm "no" for the European Union (EU) Constitution brought the negotiations with Turkey, scheduled for October 3, to the agenda.
While the EU Commission emphasized that negotiations with Turkey will be begin on October 3 as determined, all eyes will be turned to the next the EU summit in Brussels on June 16-17. The Commission insists there is no relation between Turkey's accession negotiations and the French refusal; however, observers emphasize that the EU's attitude to Turkey will be clarified following the summit. Experts also underlined that French President Jacques Chirac's interpretation of the refusal and the French public's reaction to Chirac's interpretation will shape Paris' attitude towards Turkey. Experts also drew attention to the significance of the referendum result in The Netherlands that will take place on Wednesday, June 1, and to the Chirac-Schroeder summit announced for June 10 in terms of relations with Turkey. EU Commission spokesperson Francoise Le Bail responding to a question about the effects of the French refusal on Turkey mentioned that the EU leaders took the decision about Turkey at the EU Council, at the highest level. Emphasizing that the EU Constitution's approval process had no relation with the enlargement process, Le Bail warned not to make immediate interpretations about the referendum in France. The Commission's spokesperson also mentioned that the EU has to fulfill some conditions to begin the negotiations; his emphases on the summit that will be held on June 16-17 to deal with the issue drew much attention.