Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66) wants the European Commission to put EU funds intended for Turkey on standby. For the coming year, the Commission has budgeted more than 200 million euros to support political reforms in Turkey. Schaake now moves to prevent this money from being used wrongfully.
Schaake: "Financial investments in projects that support democracy and the rule of law in Turkey are essential. Currently however the majority of such well-intended funds now either end up in the hands of the Turkish government or it is the government which decides which NGO's or civil society organisations receive funds. As long as the Commission does not have more clarity on where the money goes, EU funds cannot be sent to Turkey.
On behalf of the ALDE group Schaake will today table an amendment to the EU budget setting strict conditions for the Commission to release funds to Turkey. Schaake: "Only when Erdogan introduces positive reforms with regards to the rule of law, democracy, human rights and press freedom, or when the Commission can guarantee that the money goes to independent civil society organisations or NGO's directly, can money be released".
The Budgetary committee of the European Parliament will vote on Schaake's amendment at the end of September.
For more information
Marietje Schaake: 0031630377921
Anne Ruth Schussler (press officer): 0032484201518