With the European Parliament recently proposing to decrease the bloc's pre-accession funds, known officially as the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), provided to Turkey, a high-level EU official stressed that the EU Commission is not supporting the idea.
"The commission is in favor of keeping the budget provided to Turkey," the official told Daily Sabah before today's voting in a European Parliament budget session.
The parliament earlier this month voted in favor of the draft proposition to cut 70 million euro in funds to Turkey. The funds would be given to Turkey on the condition of improving human rights, democratization, and rule of law. It was claimed in the April report of European Commission that there had not been progress in these fields and therefore it was aimed to facilitate for the measures for the migration from Mediterranean to Europe and policies for Syria.
In relation to the decision, Ankara has voiced criticism that these steps would have no beneficial results for anyone. Ömer Çelik, the spokesperson of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) highlighted on Oct. 2 that while the EU has been criticizing Turkey for the state of democracy and rule of law in the country, it is at the same time cutting funds that would be used in projects that would lead improvement in these fields.
"It is a highly contradictory decision," Çelik underscored.
Recently there have been positive signals indicating that Turkey and the EU are ready to keep up dialogue and work together on the reforms that were promised by Turkey.
With an aim of turning a new page in the process, Turkey decided in the Reform Action Group (RAG) meeting in September to implement new reforms.
According to the RAG meeting, Turkey will prioritize reforms linked to its European Union accession process in the coming period and expects to see results from its efforts, including on the issue of visa liberalization. Ankara has promised to work on accelerating political reforms, focusing on the judiciary, freedoms and fundamental rights.
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