EU commissioner urges bloc to form 'package' to work with Turkey

Published 27.04.2017 11:05
Updated 27.04.2017 11:08
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European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn Wednesday urged EU members to devise a "more rational strategy" to be able to work with Turkey in areas of interest, following recent tensions between the two over a number of issues, including the recent constitutional reform referendum in Turkey.

Speaking at the Plenary Debate of the European Parliament on the State of play in Turkey, Hahn said that it is important for both the EU to come up with a new way to work with Turkey.

"I therefore want us to keep a cool head and together devise a more rational strategy, a format or "package" if you will that enables us to work with Turkey on the many areas of mutual interests and gives us real leverage to boost democracy, fundamental rights and reforms" Hahn said, adding that it is important to move away from the status quo, which is "furstrating for both sides."

Hahn also highlighted that business as usual is not an option anymore and that they should also avoid artificial debates.

Earlier in the week, Hahn called on EU foreign ministers to consider ending Turkey's accession process when they meet in Malta Friday.

European Parliament's (EP) Turkey rapporteur Kati Piri called on the EU to immediately suspend Turkey's accession negotiations if Ankara does not pledge to refrain from applying the changes stated in the constitutional package approved by the public in the April 16 referendum.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has decided to reopen a political monitoring process against Turkey following the April 16 referendum on constitutional reform.

Ankara strongly condemned the decision, calling it a politically motivated move and the result of an imprudent mindset lacking strategic vision.

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