One step closer to the EU for Croatia. But for Turkey, MEPs note the limited progress in the accession negotiations. Also in this edition: the debate on airport security in Europe and the position of the EP on the protection of endangered species. Hello and welcome. Hello, Mr Ambassador Selim Kuneralp. Turkey's ambassador to the EU is here with us. EU will continue to enlarge. Apparently Croatia got off to a good start today. MEPs also reviewed the accession negotiations of the other candidates including Turkey. Arnaud Demolder. Candidate countries are falling over each other at the gates of the EU. For now, Croatia is in the lead. The country could become the 28th Member State in 2011 or 2012. But despite the calming of the conflict with Slovenia and its efforts at modernising its legal system, Croatia still has a lot of ground to cover in order to meet the standards of the EU. I think Croatia has to make an additional effort on issues regarding corruption, good governance and cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal. Croatia should join the EU before Iceland, even though Iceland is much further ahead in the application of EU legislation. Accession negotiations with Reykjavik haven’t begun yet. All depends on the upcoming referendum. At stake is the payback of the 3.5 billion euros lost in the bankruptcy of an Icelandic bank. A ‘no’ vote could disrupt the negotiations with the EU. The question is really: will the citizens pay for the mistakes of their banks? I think that if this vote was held in other countries, if it wasn’t connected to entry into the EU, everyone would probably vote against. After Iceland and Croatia, the next candidates are the countries of the former Yugoslavia. And then Turkey, whose accession date is impossible to fix. MEPs feel that its progress on fundamental rights is still too slow. With me in the studio is the ambassador of Turkey to the EU. Selim Kuneralp, hello. - Hello. Again this year the MEPs pointed at a number of problems especially in the area of human rights. The progress noted by the MEPs is slow, insufficient and sometimes even alarming especially where minorities and religious freedom are concerned. What do make of this criticism? Well, the EP's report is the outcome of a compromise as is always the case with decisions and resolutions adopted by the EP. As it's a compromise, some things in it obviously please us more than others. On the whole, the EP spoke out in favour of continuing the accession negotiations. It goes in the right direction. Only 12 of the 35 negotiating chapters have been opened so far, since 2005, eight others remain blocked, because Turkey still refuses to recognise Cyprus as an EU Member State. Can the situation change in the short term? The two communities of Cyprus are now negotiating in order to find a lasting solution to the problem. What grieves me about this report is that the EP could have taken a more balanced stance on the question. An effort was made today. It led the plenary to adopt an amendment by the Greens which is a step towards creating a certain balance between the two parties in Cyprus, but I wish more had been done. The negotiations proceed, and we hope they're brought to fruition very quickly, that the problem of Cyprus will be settled and that Turkey's accession talks can continue. The MEPs welcomed several improvements, in particular the new dialogue with Armenia. In 2005 there was talk of 10 to 15 years of negotiations to join the Union. Does 2020 seem reasonable to you? We don't have a definitive date, because there's still a long process of preparation. We don't pretend that Turkey fulfils all the necessary standards for membership. So we don't have deadline in mind. The sooner the better, of course, but for that we need the support of the Member States and all the EU institutions including the EP. Mr Ambassador, thank you. On the agenda: the anti-terrorist fight. Before a vote in the EP on the exchange of banking data between the US and EU, the MEPs reopened the debate on air security in European airports. For or against body scanners? Julie Martin evaluates the situation. After the failed Amsterdam-Detroit flight in December 2009, the air security debate is back on the EU agenda. Body scanner tests have the go-ahead, but their use is not yet widespread. Doubts linger as to privacy violations and health risks. While MEPs remain sceptical, certain experts are minimizing the health hazards. We counted with the norms we have here in Belgium that when you pass through a body scanner thousand times a year you get a dose of 1,0 mSv. That's one tenth of the dose that's allowed per year per person. Scanners cost 115,000 euros each, which isn’t a selling point. Governments, airports or passengers - who’s going to pick up the considerable bill for this technology? Small airports will not be able to bear the burden. Profiling, another counter-terrorist measure, also raises suspicions as to its effectiveness and the ethics of its use. The sort profiling we have to do is profiling based on intelligence, based upon a random nature rather than profiling which offends against minorities and so on. That would be unacceptable. Body scanners to detect arms, profiling to spot anxiousness, still yet to be improved is the data exchange system between national authorities in charge of internal security. Before closing this chapter MEPs asked the Commission and Council to have common rules established should body scanners be brought into general use in Europe. These scanners are already in use in the UK and, soon, in France. And now today’s news in brief: Gaëlle Le Fischer. Greece gears up to take measures to reduce its deficit by four points in 2010. The country is undergoing an unprecedented crisis. The EU Summit in Brussels tomorrow will be largely dominated by the situation in the country. Yesterday Joaquín Almunia, ex-Commissioner for Economic Affairs urged the EU states to support Greece under strict conditions. Mummy and daddy with us on Sundays. The concept is visible on the website FreeSunday.eu. The site campaigns to keep Sundays a day off. It's the first European Citizens' Initiative, made possible by the Lisbon Treaty. The creators of the site want to launch a petition, but the EU needs to first fix the rules. This first Citizens' Initiative might speed things up. Looking after the Baltic Sea, one of the planet's most polluted bodies of water. A summit to save it has been opened in Finland. All the coastal states and the EU are there. Close to 90 million people are affected by the issue. Less than a month before the international meeting on the trade of endangered species in Doha, Qatar, MEPs joined in the debate, framed by the future of the bluefin tuna. A very sensitive subject. Hugues Wajnsztok explains. Mediterranean bluefin tuna, soon to be a protected species? MEPs hope to see them on the list of animals banned from international trade. In 50 years, the population of bluefin tuna has gone down by 75%. 80% of the catch in the Mediterranean is exported to Japan. Tuna stocks especially in the Mediterranean are critically low. There is a very real risk that we will witness their extinction. Member States and Commission must do more to combat illegal fishing. and to enforce quotas. To compensate, MEPs want financial aid to be allocated to fishermen whose activities are threatened. We are encouraging more balanced and sustainable fishing activity, fishing for our internal market that generates jobs. Commission aid to allow us to restructure the fishing sector will be indispensable. It remains to be seen if Member States will follow the will of MEPs. The epilogue will be held at the end of March during the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. That’s it for today. Thanks for watching. More information on Europarltv.eu.