Press Release

Turkey: suspend EU-Turkey accession talks if constitutional reform is implemented unchanged

, 05.07.2017 - 15:29
Turkey & Europe flags

“The Turkish government has deceived its own citizens. The constitutional changes are incompatible with the Copenhagen Criteria which is the non-negotiable basis for membership of the European Union. We consequently call to formally suspend - which de facto means the end of - accession negotiations if the constitutional reform package is implemented unchanged. The pre-accession funds should also be stopped simultaneously”, said Renate Sommer MEP, the EPP Group’s standing Rapporteur on Turkey ahead of the European Parliament’s vote on the 2016 progress report.

According to Sommer, the constitutional referendum last April which allowed for the shifting of the Turkish regime to an executive presidential system, was the last straw that broke the camel's back. It could, however, have been avoided if the European Parliament had not delayed the adoption of its position.

“I cannot understand why the Rapporteur delayed this year’s report to this date. It would have made much more sense if the European Parliament had already clearly pointed out the effects and consequences of the proposed constitutional amendments before the April referendum. Then, the Turkish voters would have known in time that a ‘yes’ to the presidential system meant a clear denial of the country's EU candidacy”, Sommer said.

She insisted, however, on the strategic importance of a close and privileged relationship between the EU and Turkey, based on the rule of law and on the respect of the fundamental freedoms and democratic values.

“We need to work together in the future and ensure that the report which is submitted to votes calls for the deepening of EU-Turkey relations in key areas of joint interest. The best idea would be to improve the customs union. But that is not a low-hanging fruit either. We are demanding conditionality provisions on the respect for democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights”, she concluded.

Note to Editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 215 Members from 27 Member States

MEP Contacts

STR - Phone: +33 (0)3 88 175383 Fax: +33 (0)3 88 179383

Press Contacts

Meike Bogdan
Press Relations International Trade, Culture and Education, Agriculture and Rural Development, Germany, Luxembourg
Phone: +32 473 850 507
Agata Byczewska
Press Relations Foreign Affairs Working Group, Foreign Affairs, Security and Defence, ACP, Poland; Communications Strategy; Windhoek Dialogue
Phone: +32 473 841 093


Brexit, EU budget, US steel tariffs, digital company taxation
15.03.2018 - 11:45

Brexit, EU budget, US steel tariffs, digital company taxation

During the European Parliament’s March plenary session, MEPs approved a Resolution on future EU-UK relations after Brexit and debated the EU...
Olive oil
15.03.2018 - 09:49

Spanish olives under US attack

In January, the US Department of Commerce imposed an unjustified anti-dumping customs duty on Spanish olives of more than 17.13 %, following a...
14.03.2018 - 16:10

Protection of journalists equals freedom and good governance

Investigative journalists are of crucial value to society as they reveal bad administration, fraud, corruption and other types of mismanagement of...
High voltage post
14.03.2018 - 12:45

Greens jeopardise key infrastructure energy projects

Statement by Krišjānis Kariņš MEP, EPP Group Spokesman in the European Parliament’s Industry Committee, after the vote in Plenary...

Highlights of the week

19.03.2018 - 23.03.2018
Attacks in Paris, France

Protecting the rights of victims of terrorism in the EU

22 March marks the 2-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks in Brussels. The Special Committee on Terrorism will organise two hearings on...
Nord Stream2

Making gas from outside the EU comply with Energy Union goals

The current Gas Directive will be updated to apply not only to the internal gas market in the EU, but also to gas pipelines that arrive in the EU...

Europe-wide rules on how to tax Facebook, Amazon & Co

The European Commission will make a formal law proposal for a digital tax on Wednesday. This comes one week after Parliament, on the initiative of...
Believe in people