EU-Turkey: supporting a fresh agenda / 29-03-2012
Turkey is a key coun¬try for the security and prosperity of the EU. The EU has invested positively in the strong Turkish economy with important returns and valuable prospects for the EU's economy, but Turkey and the EU can also both profit from enhancing their cooperation in fields like foreign policy, energy-security and the fight against terrorism. However, this interdependence between the EU and Turkey can only produce positive results if it is framed in a context of mutual commitment. This is one of the key elements of the Resolution on Turkey's Progress Report by Rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten MEP which was adopted today by a large majority in the European Parliament.
Mrs Oomen-Ruijten said: "This means efforts on both sides. For Turkey, this means concrete results in the reform process and improvement in the bilateral relations with its neighbours. From the EU and its Member States I expect renewed efforts to create the conditions for the opening of chapters. In this respect, I fully support Com¬missioner Füle's proposal to develop a fresh agenda for EU-Turkey relations."
She continued: "But I am worried about the judicial procedural norms in Turkey, specifically those concerning the length of pre-trial detention, which is becoming de facto punishment without a trial for the numerous journalists, writers and politicians facing charges. Also, no progress has been made towards the normalisation of bilateral relations with the Republic of Cyprus. This deeply affects the process of negotiations in a negative way. I call on the Turkish Government to take steps in this direction."
Mrs Oomen-Ruijten also noted positive developments in Turkey: "The elections for the Grand National Assembly were democratic and shaped by a vibrant civil society. I fully support the Assembly in its effort to shape a new Turkish Constitution with checks and balances that will turn Turkey into a modern and prosperous society."
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