In a report adopted yesterday by the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, MEPs called on Turkey to credibly prove the sincerity of its commitment to closer relations with the European Union.
The sand provocative statements against the EU and its Member States, as well as its hostile foreign policy, especially towards Greece and Cyprus, have brought EU-Turkey relations to a historic low, the report said.
Despite the fact that Turkey is a candidate country for EU membership, in recent years the Turkish government has moved away from European values and standards, it is noted.
The report calls on Turkey to credibly demonstrate the sincerity of its commitment to closer relations with the EU. If the current negative trend is not reversed urgently and consistently, the Commission should recommend a formal suspension of accession negotiations, MEPs insist.
At the same time, MEPs are concerned about the ongoing mass imprisonment of civilians, including journalists, human rights defenders, and political opponents, while acknowledging the EU’s ongoing diplomatic efforts for a genuine and effective dialogue with Turkey on a stable basis.
The report also states that Turkey has played and continues to play an important role in migration, hosting almost 4 million refugees, of whom about 3.6 million are Syrians, noting that the challenges in dealing with this crisis have increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It welcomes these efforts and encourages the EU to continue to provide the necessary support to Syrian refugees and host communities in Turkey.
The report was approved yesterday Thursday with 49 votes in favor, 4 against, and 14 abstentions.
The report will be submitted to the plenary for a vote by Parliament as a whole. Once adopted in plenary, this text will be Parliament’s official position on the EU’s relations with Turkey.