European Commission announces adoption of conclusions on Turkey

EU leaders note start of technical work for authorization to update customs union between bloc and Turkey.

European Commission announces adoption of conclusions on Turkey

The European Commission announced Thursday that it has adopted a number of conclusions on Turkey after the first day of an EU Leaders’ Summit in Brussels, Belgium.

EU heads of state and government began the two-day summit by discussing migration and called for a new migration strategy that opens the way for the EU to sign similar deals with third-party countries like the one struck with Turkey in 2016.

As the EU summit continued, the section of the summit statement on Turkey was shared with the public after the conclusion of the talks on Turkey.

Barend Leyts, spokesperson for European Council President Charles Michel, shared a total of nine conclusions related to Turkey on Twitter.

“The European Council reverted to the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and the European Union’s relations with Turkey and recalled the EU’s strategic interest in a stable and secure environment in the Eastern Mediterranean and in the development of a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship with Turkey.

“It welcomes the de-escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean, which needs to be sustained in line with the statement by the Members of the European Council of 25 March 2021,” said the first conclusion.

Customs Union, high-level dialogue

“The European Council reiterated the EU’s readiness to engage with Turkey in a phased, proportionate and reversible manner to enhance cooperation in a number of areas of common interest, subject to the established conditionalities set out in March and in previous European Council conclusions,” it continued.

“In line with this framework, it takes note of the start of work at [the] technical level towards a mandate for the modernization of the EU-Turkey Customs Union and recalls the need to address current difficulties in the implementation of the Customs Union, ensuring its effective application to all Member States.

“It also takes note of the preparatory work for high-level dialogues with Turkey on issues of mutual interest such as migration, public health, climate, counterterrorism and regional issues,” said the forth conclusion.

Financing Syrians, Cyprus issue

EU leaders have also asked the commission to submit a formal proposal for funding for Syrians in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and other parts of the region without delay, “in the context of the EU’s overall migration policy.”

“The European Council recalls its previous conclusions and remains fully committed to the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions,” it said, referring to the UN Security Council.

The conclusion continued by saying that the council regrets that “the informal meeting held in Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations did not pave the way for the resumption of formal negotiations.”

The leaders underlined that the EU will keep actively participating in supporting the process.

Turkey’s obligations of democracy, bilateral relations

The statement, which argued that developments related to the rule of law and fundamental rights in Turkey are a cause for concern, claimed that political parties, human rights defenders and the media were targeted, which led to a decline in democracy, the rule of law and women's rights.

They noted that dialogue on these matters will continue to be a significant part of bilateral relations.

“In line with the shared interests of the EU and Turkey in regional peace and stability, the European Council expects Turkey and all actors to contribute positively to the resolution of regional crises.

“The European Council will remain seized of the matter,” it concluded.


Hüseyin Demir