A resolution on Turkey, urging amongst others for alternatives to EU membership for Turkey, has been unanimously endorsed by all its members during the 12th General Assembly of ECPM on the 11th of June 2016.
The accession negotiations of Turkey and discussions about visa-free travel of Turkish citizens into the EU are worrying ECPM, considering the state of media freedom, the treatment of Christians, migrants and refugees, the questionable role of Turkey in the war in Syria and Iraq and the moves of Turkish President Erdogan consolidating his authoritarian hold on his country.
On the 11th of June 2016 during the ECPM General Assembly in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, MEP Peter van Dalen presented a resolution on behalf of ECPM member ChristenUnie. All ECPM members have unanimously voted in favour of the ECPM Resolution on Turkey. The full text of the resolution is available below this article.
The European Christian Political Movement:
Considering the increased crackdown on Christians and their churches and other properties, illustrated by the Turkish authorities' recent seizure of the six churches of Diyarbakir;
Considering the many worrying reports about Turkish treatment of migrants and refugees, as well as the extremely worrying information that Turkish officials and AK Party officials are threatening Christian refugees and putting them under pressure to convert to Islam;
Considering the worsening situation regarding media freedom in Turkey, as for instance observed by the Committee to Protect Journalists, who wrote to Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu in March 2016 that press freedom in Turkey is 'under siege';
Considering the questionable role of Turkey in the war in Syria and Iraq and its violent crackdown of Kurdish, Syriac and other minorities in Southeast Turkey;
Considering Turkish President Erdogan's moves to consolidate his authoritarian hold on his country, his brazen statements on EU-Turkey cooperation and his refusal to fully fulfil the 72 criteria for visa-free travel into the Schengen Area;
Urges the European Council and Parliament to refrain from granting Turkish citizens visa-free travel into the EU;
Asks the European Commission to freeze accession negotiations and instead present Council and Parliament alternatives to EU membership for Turkey;
Believes that the EU should seek cooperation with Turkey regarding migration issues, but not allow itself to be held hostage;
Encourages the Commission and the Member States to work on a plan B for the managing of migration and refugee flows, which must include the following elements:
- Proper protection of the EU's external borders by the Member States in cooperation with the proposed European Border Guard Agency.
- Proper functioning of hotspots in Greece and Italy.
- A mechanism for relocation of asylum seekers with a fair chance of receiving a status, with possibility for an opt-out in exchange for an indirect financial contribution through EU structural funds;
Asks its secretariat to forward this resolution to the President of the Council, the President of the Commission and the President of the European Parliament.