Brussels, October 16 2014
Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met the Turkish Minister of European Affairs and Chief Negotiator Volkan Bozkır in Brussels today. Commissioner Füle welcomed Minister Bozkir’s ongoing commitment to the accession process and assured him of the Commission’s support. He expressed his conviction that under the Minister’s determined guidance, future reforms will bring Turkey closer to the EU.
The meeting took place shortly after the publication of the 2014 Progress Report on Turkey. Both parties exchanged views on the Progress Report and the Commission’s assessment of the past twelve months.
Minister Bozkir presented a Communication Strategy for Turkey’s accession process. This strategy refers to the preparation of an effective communication policy, targeting public opinion in both Turkey and the EU. Commissioner Füle appreciated this document and encouraged the Minister to proceed with the steps set out in the EU Strategy presented few weeks ago, notably by adopting the Action Plan which will provide an updated roadmap for EU harmonisation work and will help to establish priorities for Turkey in its accession process. He also advised to take the recommendations of the Progress Report into account when preparing this Action Plan.
Commissioner Füle expressed regret about the loss of lives during the recent deadly unrest in the South-East of Turkey and expressed the Commission’s deep concern for the security and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobane. He also stressed that the Commission was ready to provide further financial assistance to Turkey to support their response to the Syrian and Iraqi refugee crisis. Touching also on the Cyprus issue, Commissioner Füle expressed hope that all relevant stakeholders would contribute to creating a positive climate conducive to a comprehensive Cyprus settlement to the benefit of all.
Concluding the meeting, the two parties agreed that in the interest of both EU and Turkish citizens, cooperation needed to grow in areas of mutual benefit, such as in the modernisation of the Customs Union and visa liberalisation.