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Posted on: June 23rd, 2012 by Alima Naji No Comments

EU-Turkey: intensifying work on positive agenda

Stefan Fule - source EU

photo: EU

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Following the Association Council with Turkey, EU Commissioner Stefan Fule in a press conference expressed his satisfaction for the exchange of views covering the whole range of EU-Turkey relations.

“I have underlined that political reforms remain at the core of the accession process and that the work launched on implementing the 2010 Constitutional reform package as well as the new process to reform the constitution are steps in the right direction,” Fule said. “Clearly, this process should be as inclusive and transparent as possible,” he added.

Fule noted that, together with the Danish Presidency he underlined the quintessential importance of the issue of freedom of expression for democracy and for the EU. “The voices of dissent and opposing points of view must be heard and respected if democracy is to function,” he said.

“I have also highlighted the very positive steps related to visa and readmission. It is a big achievement that Council conclusions were adopted yesterday, clearly mentioning – for the first time – the perspective of visa liberalisation for Turkey. This, demonstrates clear commitment of the European Union to move forward on an issue which I know is so important to Turkey and its citizens. On the same day, the EU-Turkey readmission agreement has been initialed,” Fule argued.

“I know that my colleague Cecilia Malmström has been very committed to work together with both Turkey and the Member States on this first positive step. I hope what we will now be able to take the following steps as swiftly as possible, starting with the signature of the readmission agreement, adoption of the relevant action plan and ending of course with the ultimate objective of visa liberalisation for Turkish citizens.”

“As regards the accession negotiations, I can but stress that it is in everybody’s interest to give the negotiations new momentum. Therefore, the launch of the positive agenda, covering a broad range of areas of common interest with Turkey, and the work that has been undertaken in this context has been an important step forward and appreciated by everybody… Finally, I have also underlined that by respecting its contractual obligations towards the EU the implementation of the Additional Protocol would inject new life into the accession process. Several chapters could be opened and some even closed relatively quickly,” Fule added.


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