European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, in his annual keynote speech to the European Parliament on the state of the bloc, said that he saw no prospect of Turkey joining the EU “in the foreseeable future”, adding that “Turkey has been taking giant strides away from the European Union for some time”. “Accession candidates must give utmost priority to the rule of law, justice and fundamental rights. This rules out EU membership for Turkey for the foreseeable future”, he added. “Journalists belong in newsrooms not in prisons. They belong where freedom of expression reigns”, Juncker said. “Stop insulting our member states by comparing their leaders to fascists and Nazis”. Meanwhile, Juncker put a final stamp on the EU’s recently revived engagement in the Balkans, where Serbia, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Kosovo all want to join the EU one day. With Britain now scheduled to exit the EU in 2019, Juncker said he foresaw no new enlargement of the bloc before 2020.
During a meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Turkish Minister of Customs and Trade Bulent