6 October 2004 -- The European Union's executive is set to formally recommend that Turkey begin talks to join the bloc.
The European Commission meets today in Brussels to make the expected announcement, after 40 years of off-and-on talks on Turkey's membership.
The EU will also issue two reports on Turkey. One report outlines progress made by Turkey in meeting EU criteria for membership. It reportedly commends Turkey for its political reforms, but criticizes Ankara for lingering problems with fundamental freedoms and the respect of human rights.
The report also reportedly contains a clause calling for a suspension of talks if Turkey fails to implement promised reforms.
The other report assesses the impact Turkish membership would have on the EU. That report assesses membership as good for both Ankara and the bloc.
The final decision on the start of membership talks will be taken at a European summit to be held in Brussels on 17 December.