Non-Compliant: Turkey Drifts Away From Its EU Future

Written by | Friday, May 31st, 2019

The European Commission warned Turkey, in its annual report on enlargement, that the country moves away from the requirements set by the European Union, mainly in the areas of the rule of law and fundamental rights. While the Enlargement Package 2019 considers cooperation and dialogue between both countries in various areas to be effective, especially when it comes to migration and support to refugees, in other areas Turkey seriously backslides. The Commission stressed the need to improve the protection of human rights, reform of the judiciary system and strengthening the checks and balances. “We also emphasize the importance of good neighbourly relations and avoiding tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean,” said Federica Mogherini, EU foreign affairs chief.
Specifically, the report criticised the new presidential system, agreed in 2017 through a constitutional referendum, for its removal of checks and balances coming with further politicisation of the public administration and the judiciary. Furthermore, it commented on the re-run of Istanbul mayoral elections: “They go against the very core of a democratic electoral process – that is to ensure that the will of the people prevails.” The Commission also reported its concerns over Turkey’s ignorance of Cyprus’ right to exploit hydrocarbon resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone.
On the contrary, the report positively evaluates the cooperation between the EU and Turkey on the subject of migration, as irregular crossings from Turkey to the EU declined since the EU-Turkey Statement came into effect. “Turkey sustained its outstanding efforts to provide massive humanitarian aid and support to more than 3.6 million refugees from Syria and around 370 000 refugees from other countries,” stated the enlargement report.

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