The Foreign Affairs Committee is urging the European Union and Turkey to find a solution, to the deadlock and establish a framework for their relationship. Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee believe that unless there is a change in how the Turkish government approaches things the EU accession process for Turkey cannot continue in its state.
The report from the committee, which received 47 votes in favor with no votes against and 10 abstentions emphasizes the need for action from the government well as the EU and its member states. The goal is to overcome this impasse and work towards building a partnership. Additionally members of parliament recommend initiating a period of reflection to identify a path forward for EU Turkey relations. They also request that the Commission explore options, for establishing a beneficial framework.
In the report, MEPs confirm that Türkiye remains a candidate for EU accession, a NATO ally and a key partner in security, trade and economic relations, and migration, stressing that Türkiye is expected to respect democratic values, rule of law, human rights and abide by EU laws, principles and obligations.
The report urges Turkey to approve Swedens membership, in NATO. Emphasizes that the process of a country joining NATO should not be dependent on another countrys efforts to join the EU. Members of the European Parliament highlight that each countrys progress towards EU membership should be solely based on their achievements.
Alignment with the EUs unified foreign and security policy
The report acknowledges Turkeys vote in the UN General Assembly condemning Russias actions against Ukraine and its commitment to uphold Ukraines sovereignty and territorial integrity. It expresses disappointment over Turkey not supporting sanctions that are not approved by the UN framework. Turkeys alignment with the EUs Common Foreign and Security Policy has reached a low of 7% significantly lower than any other country in the enlargement process.
EU commitment to support refugees and aid earthquake reconstruction efforts
MEPs commend Turkey for its continuous efforts in providing for nearly four million individuals, who comprise the worlds largest refugee population. They recognize assistance from the European Union aimed at supporting both refugees and host communities within Turkey reaffirming their steadfast commitment, to sustaining this aid going forward.
MEPs extend their sympathies to families affected by earthquakes that occurred on February 6 2023.
They argue that the European Union should continue to support the population in addressing their requirements and initiatives, for reconstruction. They highlight that a unified position from Europe has the ability to greatly enhance the relationship, between the EU and Turkey.
The rapporteur Nacho Sánchez Amor (S&D, Spain) said :
“We have recently seen a renewed interest from the Turkish government in reviving the EU accession process. This will not happen as a result of geopolitical bargaining, but when Turkish authorities show real interest in stopping the continuous backsliding in fundamental freedoms and rule of law. If the Turkish government is sincere in this they should show it with concrete reforms and actions.”
EU accession negotiations have effectively been at a standstill since 2018, due to the deterioration of rule of law and democracy in Türkiye.
The report will now be submitted to a vote in the European Parliament as a whole at one of the next plenary sessions.