The European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee stresses that unless there is a drastic change of course by the Turkish government, Turkey’s EU accession process, which has been deadlocked since 2018, cannot be restarted under the current circumstances.

The European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee approved today (with 47 votes in favor, no votes against and 10 abstentions) the final draft of the annual report on Turkey’s accession path to the EU, which will be put to a vote in the Plenary of the European Parliament in September.

In the report on Turkey, MEPs on the Foreign Affairs Committee urge the Turkish government, the European Union and its member states to break the current deadlock and move towards a closer partnership. MEPs recommend starting a reflection process to find a “parallel and realistic framework” for EU-Turkey relations. They also call on the Commission to explore possible forms for a “mutually attractive framework”.

In the report, MEPs confirm that Turkey remains a candidate for EU membership, a NATO ally and a key partner in security, trade and economic relations and migration, stressing that Turkey is expected to respect democratic values, the rule of law, human rights and comply with EU laws, principles and obligations.

The report urges Turkey to ratify Sweden’s accession to NATO without further delay and underlines that one country’s NATO accession process cannot under any circumstances be linked to another’s EU accession process. The EU remains based on its own strengths, MEPs emphasize.

In addition, the report welcomes Turkey’s vote to condemn Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine in the UN General Assembly and its commitment to the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, regretting that Turkey does not support the sanctions. outside the UN framework. It is also pointed out that Turkey’s alignment rate with the EU’s common foreign and security policy has fallen to a historic low of 7%, which is the lowest among all Enlargement countries.

On immigration, MEPs praise Turkey’s efforts to continue hosting the world’s largest refugee population of nearly four million people. They welcome the continued provision of EU funding for refugees and host communities in Turkey and express their strong commitment to maintain it in the future.

Expressing their deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the devastating earthquakes of 6 February 2023, MEPs state that the EU must continue to support the people of Turkey in meeting their humanitarian needs and in their reconstruction efforts. They underline that European solidarity could lead to a tangible improvement in relations between the EU and Turkey.

Regarding the adoption of the report on Turkey by the EP Foreign Affairs Committee, the rapporteur of the report, Nacho Sánchez Amor (Socialists, Spain) said: “Recently we have seen a renewed interest from the Turkish government in reviving the EU accession process .This will not happen as a result of geopolitical negotiations, but when the Turkish authorities show a real interest in stopping the continuous backsliding on fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. If the Turkish government is sincere about this, it should show it with concrete reforms and actions.”

EU accession negotiations have been effectively deadlocked since 2018 due to the deterioration of the rule of law and democracy in Turkey.