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.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

What Merkel and Macron are to tell Trump in Davos?

Four lessons for a successful switch to value-based healthcare

Free and secure access needed in DR Congo conflict zone to tackle Ebola – WHO

UN agencies welcome green light for Rohingya projects in northern Myanmar; urge ‘more effective access’

Humanitarian visas would reduce refugees’ death toll

‘Informing is not a crime’ UN chief calls for better protection of journalists, press freedom

Measles cases nearly doubled in a year, UN health agency projects

The Mobile World Congress in Shanghai will take place on 27-29 June 2018

What next for Europe? Three (completely) different Davos views

We must stop a devastating ‘battle to the end’ in southwest Syria, declares UN envoy

Christmas spending: Who can afford not to cut?

JADE Spring Meeting Live Coverage: Entrepreneurial skills in the digital markets

UN condemns Syrian ‘war on children’ as up to 30 reportedly killed in clashes

Consumer product quality: MEPs take aim at dual standards

‘Habitual residence’ rules deprive EU workers from social benefits

Low quality healthcare is increasing the burden of illness and health costs globally

Tech must embrace teamwork to transform the world

Draghi strives to control the unruly exploitation of financial markets by banking leviathans

EU budget: Making the EU fit for its role as strong global actor

The costs of corruption: values, economic development under assault, trillions lost, says Guterres

The West and Russia impose a new order on the world

How Europe beat the financial crisis – and the risks it still faces

How bad is the Eurozone economy? The ECB thinks too bad

Eurozone: Retail sales and inflation point to recession

How the powerful science of behaviour change can make us healthier

Charlotte in Ghana

How drones can manage the food supply chain and tell you if what you eat is sustainable

‘Make healthy choices’ urges UN agency, to prevent and manage chronic diabetes

Parliament pushes for cleaner cars on EU roads by 2030

China repels EU allegations of export subsidies

China’s Ambassador to the EU Zhang Ming wishes to Brussels a Happy 2019 Year of the Pig

Fear casts again a cold, ugly shadow over Europe; Turkey sides with Russia

At last a solid base for the European Banking Union

Huawei answers allegations about its selling prices

Without tackling ‘gross inequalities’ major issues will go unsolved, warns UN rights chief Bachelet

Mental health: a medical school’s demand

Canada grants asylum for Saudi teen who fled family: UNHCR

UN must provide redress for minorities placed in toxic Kosovo camps, says rights expert

World Health Organisation and young doctors: is there any place for improvement?

The 28 EU leaders care more about fiscal orthodoxy than effectively fighting youth unemployment

Women’s voices must be heard in the battle to save the ocean

A backbencher Tory MP threatens both EU and UK with a no-deal Brexit

ILO and EIB join forces for more and better quality employment

EU migration deal welcomed by UN agencies

UN chief ‘commends’ leadership of Greece and former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as name dispute draws to final close

Campaign kicks off with High-level Event on #FairInternships

Is Europe ready to cooperate with the rest of the world? Can Germany change its selfish policies?

Human Rights breaches in Saudi Arabia, Chechnya and Zimbabwe

YO!Fest back in Strasbourg for the 2nd edition of the European Youth Event – 20-21 May 2016

Learn from the margin, not the center: digital innovation with social impact as transformative force bridging digital divide

More solidarity and interaction between generations needed to challenge age stereotypes and ingrained ageism

Overseas investment falling, developing countries largely unscathed: UN trade agency

EU Top Jobs summit ended with no agreement: welcome to Europe’s quicksand!

South Eurozone needs some…inflation and liquidity

Parliament sets up plan to fight the 3,600 criminal rings of EU

The Commission unsuccessfully pretends to want curbing of tax evasion

Yemen: UN envoy asks Security Council for more support ‘to move back’ to the negotiating table

First-ever EU defence industry fund to finance joint development of capabilities

Ukraine: Is there a political force able to undo the division?

Half the world’s refugee children not in school, UN agency finds

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