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Viewing cable 04THEHAGUE3333, TURKEY ACCESSION/EU: THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF THE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
04THEHAGUE3333 2004-12-23 15:03 2011-01-26 17:05 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy The Hague
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 003333 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/22/2014 
TAGS: PREL NL TU CY EUN INRB
SUBJECT: TURKEY ACCESSION/EU: THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF THE 
MISSING DECLARATION 
 
 
Classified By: Political Couns...




24576

2004-12-23

04THEHAGUE3333

Embassy The Hague

CONFIDENTIAL



C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 003333 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/22/2014 
TAGS: PREL NL TU CY EUN INRB
SUBJECT: TURKEY ACCESSION/EU: THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF THE 
MISSING DECLARATION 


Classified By: Political Counselor Andrew Schofer for reasons 1.4 (b) a 
nd (d). 

1. SUMMARY: (C) According to Dutch diplomat Pieter de 
Gooijer, the intense Dutch-led negotiations leading to the EU 
Council's invitation to Turkey for accession talks were one 
for the history books. In a recent conversation with DCM 
and Poloff, he provided the inside story of the last hours 
of the talks in Brussels, which he witnessed first hand. De 
Gooijer claimed three events were especially critical in 
bringing about a positive decision: President Chirac's 
seigniorial push to Cypriot President Papadopoulos; PM Blair 
fetching Turkish PM Erdogan back from his hotel before he 
could hold a fatal fatal press conference; and Dutch 
finessing of the Council Conclusions text that welcomed and 
quoted a Turkish declaration on the Ankara Agreement that 
never really existed. END SUMMARY 

2. (C) Pieter de Gooijer (MFA European Integration director 
and main working negotiator for the Presidency) related the 
inside story of the final Turkey accession negotiations to 
DCM and Poloff on the margins of a reception hosted by the 
DCM on December 20. De Gooijer was at the center of Council 
negotiations with PM Balkenende and FM Bot, starting 
Thursday, December 16. Looking back, de Gooijer said, PM 
Balkenende was still angry on the following Monday about how 
the Turkish delegation treated him last week and how Erdogan 
behaved after the fact back home. De Gooijer, a veteran of 
Turkish postings (as is FM Bot), said Balkenende had missed 
the back slapping and bear hugs that marked the elated 
reactions of Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania. I had to remind 
him, as I had done all during the negotiations themselves, 
that the Turks came to this like a negotiation for a rug in 
the bazaar. If things had run in a straight line, they would 
have suspected they could have gotten a better deal. By the 
same token, he added, bazaar psychology dictated that PM 
Erdogan appear dissatisfied with the result after the fact as 
well. 

3. (C) At the beginning on Thursday, December 16, De 
Gooijer said that the Netherlands Presidency delegation met 
the Turks around 4:30 pm, where the Dutch told them they had 
to do something on Cyprus. There was an immediate and 
negative Turkish reaction to signing anything, he recalled. 
With this in mind and while the heads of state were 
sequestered at dinner, de Gooijer said he proposed that 
Turkey could initial the protocol to the Ankara Agreement. 
Initialing is not as final as signing, he had postulated. 
It was a way for Turkey to acknowledge that this was where 
the Cyprus issue stood, that they could accept the text ad 
ref. Following this plan, the Dutch had circulated an 
Annex to the Council Conclusions paragraph 19 (which 
referred to Turkey's signing the protocol of Ankara 
Agreement) that acknowledged the initialing by the 
Commission and Turkey of the Protocol. (Council document SN 
220/04). Difficult talks between the Balkenende, FM Bot, 
Erdogan and FM Gul ensued, with the Turks eventually 
rejecting initialing as too much like signing. They never 
appreciated the subtle, negotiator's distinction between the 
two, de Gooijer said. 

4. (C) The Annex was withdrawn on Friday morning, December 
17. The Dutch fell back to a proposal that Turkey could make 
a declaration of intent to sign the Protocol prior to the 
actual start of accession negotiations. The Secretariat 
published this as a revision to Council Decision paragraph 19 
(Council Document SN 208/04). They got Turkish approval of 
the concept in principal and then turned to sell it to 
Cyprus. De Gooijer recalled a small meeting among President 
Chirac, Chancellor Schroeder, PM Blair, Commission President 
Barroso, and PM Balkenende with President Papadopoulos; the 
full Council was meeting in a nearby room. Both PM Blair and 
Chancellor Schroeder had made clear their intent to leave 
Brussels around 1:30 pm, due to pressing business elsewhere 
in Europe. With time slipping away for a deal, Papadopoulos 
balked at a mere declaration. Finally, de Gooijer recalled, 
President Chirac said, Tassos, look. Tony, Gerhard and I 
all think this is a good solution. We have not much time. I 
know you will agree. Chirac reportedly then stood up and 
reached out for Papadopoulos, saying, Now let us go into the 
meeting. And with that, de Gooijer said, Chirac shepherded 
a slightly stunned Papadopoulos back to the Council 
meeting. That is how the EU works in the end, de Gooijer 
said, with the big countries ganging up on a small hold 
out. 

5. (C) The Dutch still needed Turkey's formal acquiescence 
on the Declaration. De Gooijer said the Turks were 
quibbling over words down to individual letters in the 
Conclusions text. Worse, they refused to make the formal 
declaration as foreseen in the text of Paragraph 19, which 
welcomed it and supposedly quoted from it. By this time, 
Erdogan had apparently abandoned the negotiations and was 
heading back to the Conrad Hotel for an already scheduled 2 
p.m. news conference. Balkenende called PM Blair, de Gooijer 
said, and asked him to help. Blair volunteered to get in his 
car and go after Erdogan; some time later, both men returned 
to the Council building for the final round. 

6. (C) At this point, de Gooijer said he proposed that 
Erdogan, Balkenende, and Barroso sign the page from the newly 
issued draft Conclusions on which the revised Paragraph 19 
stood, as a way of acknowledging agreement to its contents 
and intent. I just tore the page from my book and drew 
three lines at the bottom of it, de Gooijer recalled. 
Erdogan refused to sign, as did Gul. De Gooijer said that he 
then pointed out that someone from the political level 
would have to accept Paragraph 19 in such a way that the rest 
of the Council, especially Cyprus, would be satisfied that 
Turkey agreed to sign the Protocol before October 3. 
Finally, Erdogan instructed his State Secretary to sign on 
behalf of Turkey; State Secretary Arzo Nicolai signed for the 
Dutch, and Commissioner Rehn signed for the Commission; this 
paper was then copied and circulated to the Council, de 
Gooijer said. With this, the men returned to the Council, 
where representatives of the other three candidate states 
joined the 25 EU Member States for a final session and the 
traditional family photograph. 

7. (C) As an addendum, a Council staffer who was note-taking 
for the final session told USEU PolOff that things still 
remained tense even after the agreement was reached. In the 
final formal Council session, the EU-25, at the request of 
Greece, had amended para 20 of the Conclusions (referring to 
resolution of border disputes) so that it referred to Member 
States (plural) vice Member State. When the four 
candidates joined the 25 for champagne toasts, after 
Romanian, Bulgarian and Croatian remarks about the historic 
decisions, Erdogan took the floor. He, too, noted the 
historic nature of the day, but then offered two substantive 
comments. First, he said Turkey understood para 20 to still 
be referring to one Member State in particular. And second, 
the GoT underlined that it did not view signing of the 
Protocol to the Ankara Agreement as recognition of Cyprus. 
(NOTE: USEU's source said Council discussion had already made 
clear the EU was not going to include such a point in the 
formal Conclusions, but the Dutch had agreed with the Turks 
that, if the topic came up, Balkenende in the closing press 
conference would note that the EU did not view the Protocol 
signing as being the same as recognition.). Cypriot 
President Papadopoulos responded to Erdogan that the 
Conclusions were already agreed among the EU-25 and could not 
be rewritten post-facto. Balkenende, who USEU's source 
described as growing visibly twitchy, stepped in to say 
that all could agree that today had seen a historic 
decision, and brought the discussion to a welcome close. 

8. (C) As for Turkey's Declaration? It will forever be 
missing; historians will search in vain for a paper since 
there never was one, de Gooijer said with a grin. It was 
the intent that counted. Summing up, de Gooijer said, We 
all know what Turkey has to do, preferably sooner rather than 
later and certainly not as late as October 2 (the day before 
negotiations are supposed to start). And if the Turks come 
in and quibble over the Declaration and their intent as 
reflected in Paragraph 19? The EU would not start 
negotiations, de Gooijer concluded. 

9. (U) This cable was coordinated with USEU. 
SOBEL