Friday, 6/12/2019 | 9:13 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

Answer – Ascertainment by the EU of Turkey's progress with respect to the CFSP – E-006428/2015

The High Representative is aware of the issue referred to by the Honourable Member and understands that there are contacts between Greece and Turkey in this regard. The EU continues to support the process of exploratory talks between Greece and Turkey. The Conclusions of the General Affairs Council of 15 December 2015 outline the EU position on good neighbourly relations and the peaceful settlement of disputes.

Turkey is a candidate country and a key partner of the European Union. Turkey is also a key partner in the coalition against ISIL, as recognised in the Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions of 9 February 2015. The country is host to a large refugee population with over 2.5 million people having fled across the borders from Syria but also Iraq and other countries. Turkish authorities estimate that they have spent around USD 8 billion in direct costs in support of refugees.

The EU continues to encourage Turkey to develop its foreign policy as a complement to and in coordination with the EU, and to progressively align with EU policies and positions. Turkey aligned itself, when invited, with 16 out of 40 EU declarations and Council decisions (40% alignment, against 29% during the reference period of the 2014 Progress Report). At the EU-Turkey Summit on 29 November 2015 and at the High Level Political Dialogue on 25 January 2016 we agreed to expand and intensify our political dialogue across all areas including foreign and security policy, migration and counter terrorism.

Turkey is also an important EU partner in the area of Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and has participated in several CSDP missions and operations. It is currently contributing in the EU rule of law mission in Kosovo (EULEX), and in the mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR Althea) where it is the second biggest contributor. It has also offered to contribute to CSDP missions in the Central African Republic, Mali, Libya and Ukraine.