EU’s Mogherini visits Turkey “to step up engagement” and highlight interests

Visit by Federica Mogherini, Johannes Hahn and Christos Stylianides to Turkey. from let to right: Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, and Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkish Prime Minister. (EC Audiovisual Services, 08/12/2014)

Visit by Federica Mogherini, Johannes Hahn and Christos Stylianides to Turkey. from let to right: Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, and Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkish Prime Minister. (EC Audiovisual Services, 08/12/2014)

As announced last week through an official European Union statement, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini and two other senior EU officials are visiting Turkey this week.

The High Representative of the EU, together with Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement, Negotiations Johannes Hahn, and Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, has held meetings yesterday with the President of the Republic of Turkey, the Prime Minister and other Ministers, as well as with representatives of the business community and civil society. Further visit to Gaziantep and Kilis refugee camps, is expected to take place today.

The two-day meeting has a key strategic importance for the EU-Turkey relations, in many aspects. “The visit to Turkey next week”, said Mogherini on December 5, “is a strong indication of the strategic importance of the EU-Turkey relationship and our desire to step up engagement in view of shared interests and common challenges”.

Mogherini’s visit comes just days after Russia’s President Vladimir Putin visited Ankara with a delegation of ten ministers to promise a substantial increase in trade and closer relations, while trying to even sharp differences over the crises in Syria and Ukraine. During the same visit Mr. Putin announced the cancellation of the South Stream gas pipeline to Europe, which was meant to supply southern Europe with natural gas via Bulgaria, circumventing Ukraine, saying, instead, that Russia would work with Turkey on a gas hub.

Russian leaders like Gazprom’s chief executive Alexei Miller formally cited a European lack of commitment, and some “obstructionism”, as the reason for halting the project, after the EU withdrew permission to build it through Bulgaria. While in Ankara visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyp Erdogan, Mr. Putin has also reportedly promised Erdogan a discount of 6 percent on future gas supplies.

Now it’s completely clear why the European Union wants to cement ties with Turkey, which has a crucial position in the international arena for the EU-Asia relations, following Mr. Putin’s recent “moves”. The fight against Islamic State has surely been a key point of discussion, with the EU is urging Turkey to cooperate more closely.

Indeed the need for closer cooperation in the fight against Islamic State militants and other militant groups and efforts to halt the flow of foreign fighters are a crucial point of discussion in the 08-09 December meetings. Many sources report that nearly 3,000 European nationals have traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight against the IS, and EU member states need Turkish help to stop the flow of foreign fighters across its borders.

The EU visit to Turkey gives a strong signal on how things and relationships between the bloc and Ankara will be managed in the future. The more commitment on foreign policy the EU requires, the more Turkey will expect as reward, and this makes perfect sense. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Mogherini said her visit will accelerate relations between Turkey and the EU. “Our top priority will be Turkey’s EU accession process”, Ms. Mogherini said. “We aim to work with Turkish government officials to give the process a concrete step and move forward”, she added.

Turkey’s talks about joining the EU began in 2005 but have long been effectively stalled, mainly due to Turkey’s dispute with EU member Cyprus and increased skepticism in some European nations about admitting such a populous, largely Muslim country. Moreover, Ankara has been provoked by Brussels’ insistence on human rights protections, especially after the brutal suppression of the demonstration in Taksim Square in May 2013 and the attempt to shut down major social networks like Twitter and YouTube last March.

Turkey is now called to demonstrate a huge work as the enhancement of democracy and human rights is under development, but the role that Turkey can play on matters like the ones discussed above will accelerate the process for sure.

“We are committed to moving forward EU-Turkey relations and keeping the accession negotiations on track”, Commissioner Hahn declared in the statement. “However, further reforms are needed to provide solid ground for progress“, he added. “To achieve this, we need to have an even closer and deeper relationship with Turkey”.

It seems that the EU is flirting now with Turkey given the Russian warm approach. A situation similar to what happened with the Ukranian flirt initially. Hopefully the results this time will be milder though.

But apart from Napoleonic politics, the EU has a difficult and serious task ahead; to convince the EU citizen about the benefit of having the 80 million powerful muslim country in the bloc.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

MEPs clear another hurdle for the COVID-19 recovery plan

Political consensus critical ahead of Somalia election: UN mission chief

UN chief saddened at news of death of former US President George H.W. Bush

Trump’s blasting win causes uncertainty and turbulence to the global financial markets

Two States ‘side-by-side’ is the ‘peaceful and just solution’ for Israel-Palestine conflict: Guterres

Sustainable development funding is broken. Here’s how to fix it

Why the next 4 months are crucial to the future of the ocean

Hate speech in the digital world a ‘critical obstacle for LGBTI people’: UN’s Bachelet

Europe enters uncharted waters with Kiev-Moscow standoff

The Fight for Women’s Rights

It’s not summer holidays what lead to the bad August of the German economy

EU summit: Are the London Tories planning an exit from the EU?

Track the spread of coronavirus around the world

The Ukrainian crisis to destabilize Europe and the world for a long time

5 world-changing ideas: our top picks for World Creativity and Innovation Day

The psychology of pandemics

Tech can reach the world’s unbanked women – but only if they tell us how it should work

UN health agency team in China to strengthen coronavirus response through partnership

Attempt to defy international law over Golan Heights sovereignty ‘doomed to failure’ Security Council hears

This South Korean city once had the biggest coronavirus outbreak outside of China. Now it’s reported zero new cases

THE COMMITTEES: ‘All roads lead to the Fifth’

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed merger of Cargotec and Konecranes

World Editors Forum President: Credible media vital in the fight against COVID-19 and fake news epidemic

The Council of Europe adopts Recommendation on young people’s access to rights

The US will impose tariffs on Mexico, says President Trump

How the Irish people were robbed by banks, the Commission and their own government

Reforms in a few countries drive a decline in average OECD labour taxes

Medical students as the critical link to address climate change

Human Rights and Democracy: striving for dignity and equality around the world

Questions directors need to ask in the age of stakeholder capitalism

Human traffickers in Libya are posing as UN staff, says Refugee Agency

Amazon on fire: the interference in global health

A few, or rather two, trade and economic alliances may rule our brave new world

Latin America and Caribbean region deadliest for journalists in 2019

4 myths about manufacturing in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Youth Guarantee putting young people in jobs

Can cybersecurity offer value for money?

Africa must become more resilient to climate risk. Here’s how

Ireland: prepare now for rising fiscal pressures, external risks

Why our future relies on more inclusive and transparent innovation

Coronavirus global response: EU allocates additional €50 million in humanitarian aid

Mobile health technology: Advances, Facilitations and Promotion of Autonomy

Except Poland, can climate change also wait until 2021 for the EU Market Stability Reserve to be launched?

Fragile countries risk being ‘stuck in a cycle of conflict and climate disaster,’ Security Council told

COVID-19 Wave III: Were the lessons learned from last year any useful?

Commission welcomes the political agreement on the transitional rules for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

Berlin ‘orders’ the EU Parliament to compromise

How music can help children with autism connect

EU to Telcos: Stop Mergers and Acquisitions but please help me urgently with 5G development

US-China trade war at point of no return: Washington’s demands go beyond tariffs

European markets itchy with short-term disturbances

Ten reasons to be optimistic in 2019

From UN Assembly podium, Central African Republic leader appeals for lifting arms embargo

Parliament elects the von der Leyen Commission

4 reasons cities should embrace Universal Basic Income

UN chief condemns terror attack in Kismayo, Somalia

Facts, not fear, will stop COVID-19 – so how should we talk about it?

To realise the full potential of AI, we must regulate it differently

What is the Coral Triangle?

8 steps towards a sustainable economic recovery

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s