Tuesday, October 2, 2018
The European Parliament has adopted a proposal to cancel a budget reserve for pre-accession funds for Turkey. This reserve was created last year by the Parliament to pressurize Turkey into improving human rights, rule of law, democracy and press freedom. However, it is obvious now that these improvement did not happen. Therefore, ECPM fully supports the cancellation of the budget reserve.
The reserve (70 million € in commitments and 35 million € in payments) is only a fraction of the hundreds of millions the EU spends every year in Turkey to prepare the country for EU accession. For the period 2014 – 2020, the EU has dedicated 4.5 billion € towards this goal. ECPM believes that EU membership of Turkey is not possible for the foreseeable future. The country's aggressive interference in neighbouring countries, violations of the rights of religious and ethnic minorities, and persecution of journalists, were reasons to start a petition last year, calling for the definitive end to the EU-Turkey accession negotiations.
ECPM members believe that Turkey is and will continue to be an important regional partner for the EU. However, president Erdogan's authoritarian and increasingly Islamist rule is reason for serious concern. ECPM believes that the EU approach towards Turkey must be more consistent with its international commitments concerning their foreign policy to promote to rule of law, religious freedoms and freedom of speech.