The European Union has criticized Turkey for a series of flaws in its respect for human rights and democratic standards.

In an annual report to prepare for possible Turkish membership, the EU said that on political issues "the pace of reforms slowed down," adding that some key legislation "ran against European standards."

The full report, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, also said that "major shortcomings remain" when it comes to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The release of the report had been delayed so as not to influence elections last week.

The EU needs Turkey to deal with the migrant crisis since is it a key nation on the way between Syria and the European heartland where migrants have sought shelter.