Turkey’s standstill in membership negotiations with the EU should prompt the bloc to seek a “more realistic’’ relationship with Ankara, the top EU official for enlargement policy said.
Turkey has been an official EU candidate since 1999, but the talks stalled in 2016 amid EU criticism of human rights violations in Turkey and combative rhetoric out of Ankara aimed at some EU member states.
Recently, however, Turkey has been seeking to mend ties with European countries.
“The EU should look for other forms of strategic partnership with Ankara,’’ EU Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn told newsmen.
He backed the call earlier this month by French President Emmanuel Macron’s for the bloc to rethink relations with Turkey.
One area in which Brussels and Ankara have cooperated in recent years is migration, with Turkey helping to prevent migrants in the country from travelling onward to Europe in return for EU funding, among other pledges.
“An initial 3 billion Euros (3.64 billion dollars) promised to support refugees in Turkey have now been fully allocated,’’ Hahn said.
The EU had pledged in the 2016 deal to consider a further 3 billion Euros if needed.
However, countries including Germany, France, Austria and Sweden are now reluctant to foot the bill, calling for any additional money to come out of EU funds.
“This would be impossible and wrong.
“They should please tell me where the money should come from, or rather in which other partner countries I should make cuts,’’ Hahn added.
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Source: New feed