The Foreign Affairs committee of the European Parliament just voted in favour of suspending the EU accession negotiations with Turkey. The call is part of the annual parliamentary report about Turkey. Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake (D66/ALDE) negotiated on behalf of the liberals and welcomes today's results.
'Contrary to the member states and the European Commission, the European Parliament does not shy away from taking a clear stance on the accession negotiations with Turkey. Human rights violations and arrests of journalists occur on an almost daily basis while democracy and the rule of law in the country are undermined further. This, in combination with the constitutional changes has made Turkey's accession to the European Union impossible at this stage. The message of the Parliament today is crystal clear. We attach consequences to Erdogan's authoritarian grip on power.'
Schaake emphasises that the suspension of negotiations does not mean Europe should cut all ties with Turkey.
'Cooperation between the EU and Turkey on such issues as security, trade and migration is key, but needs to always be conditional on respect for human rights and democracy. At the same time, funds that were previously used for the accession process should be rerouted to support civil society organisations, NGO's and exchange programs such as Erasmus+.'
The report will now be voted on by the entire European Parliament in its next plenary session in Strasbourg.