The European Parliament expressed serious concern that in recent years, despite being a candidate country, Turkey’s government has pursued a continuous and growing distancing from EU values and standards, according to its report on the accession process.
The report was passed with 480 votes in favor, 64 against and 150 abstentions, out of a total of 694 voters.
The report called upon the Commission to recommend, “in line with the negotiating framework from October 2005, the formal suspension of accession negotiations with Turkey, so that both sides can review in a realistic manner and through a structured and comprehensive high-level dialogue, the appropriateness of the current framework and its ability to function, or, if necessary, to explore possible new models for future relations”.
The EP notes that “unilateral actions in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as strong and at times provocative statements against the EU and its Member States have brought EU-Turkey relations to an historical low point, having deteriorated to such an extent that it requires both parties to profoundly reassess the current state of these relations and their framework, in order to restore dialogue in a context of mutual trust and cooperation and effectively solve the root causes of the current conflicts.”
The EP is deeply concerned that, over the years, the lack of progress in Turkey’s convergence has transformed into a full withdrawal, marked by a stark regression in three main areas: backsliding in relation to the rule of law and fundamental rights, adopting regressive institutional reforms and pursuing a confrontational and hostile foreign policy, including towards the EU and its Member States, especially Greece and Cyprus.
On Cyprus, the report notes that the EP “is deeply concerned by Turkey’s unprecedented illegal behaviour in the Eastern Mediterranean conducted by an EU candidate country against EU Member States, and by the related security and stability risks”
It “strongly condemns Turkey’s illegal activities in Greek and Cypriot waters, as well as its violations of the Greek national airspace, including overflights of inhabited areas, and its territorial sea, which violate both the sovereignty and the sovereign rights of an EU Member State and international law.”
The EP “expresses its full solidarity with Greece and the Republic of Cyprus; reaffirms the right of the Republic of Cyprus to enter into bilateral agreements on its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and explore and exploit its natural resources in full compliance with relevant international law.”