#Turkey: European Commission fails to ask for a halt in accession talks

| November 9, 2016 | 0 Comments

160829TurksInEU2In its progress report on Turkey the European Commission presents a detailed overview of the serious deterioration of rule of law and democracy in Turkey. However, the Commission failed to draw the appropriate political conclusions: to propose the suspension of negotiations and articulate clear criteria under which these can be resumed again.

MEP Hans van Baalen (VVD, The Netherlands), ALDE AFET co-ordinator, welcomes the critical approach of the European Commission to the enlargement process: “The negotiations with Turkey on EU membership are at a dead end. Turkey is drifting away from democracy, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms, including free speech and media freedom. On the other hand, EU-Turkey cooperation is vital to manage the refugee crisis and stabilize the situation in Northern Syria and Iraq. We should maintain close co-operation with our neighbor Turkey and invest in contacts with the forces of reason and democracy in this country.”

ALDE MEP Alexander Lambsdorff (FDP, Germany) Vice-President of the European Parliament for Human Rights and Democracy, and ALDE shadow rapporteur on Turkey, added: “Today’s progress report on Turkey should be a wake-up call for European leaders. The report draws devastating conclusions on the state of democracy in Turkey. Therefore, we must end the accession negotiations with Turkey and replace them with a new and positive agenda based on mutual respect and co-operation. This step is not only necessary and reasonable, but in the interest of both sides. An authoritarian governed Turkey cannot continue to be a candidate country for membership of the EU. As Liberals we will support democratic forces and civil society in Turkey.”

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Category: A Frontpage, EU, European Commission, European Parliament, Politics, Turkey, World

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