Today was held the 50th meeting in the EU/Turkey Association Council, where the Danish Minister for European Affairs Nicolai Wammen participated on behalf of the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy. The Turkish Minister for European Affairs Egemen Bağış participated on the Turkish side. Present was also Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle. The meeting in the Association Council was the opportunity to discuss the different issues falling under the EU/Turkey Association Agreement from 1963. It was also the opportunity to have a broader discussion of the relationship between the EU and Turkey.
Minister for European Affairs Nicolai Wammen declares:
“I am very pleased that we could have this 50th meeting in the Association Council during Danish Presidency. It was an opportunity to underline that Turkey is more than a candidate country. With a thriving Turkish economy these last years, and Turkey’s important foreign policy role, both the EU and Turkey have a great mutual interest in strengthening our relationship and broaden the fields in which we cooperate. I am satisfied, that it has been possible to set a more positive context for the relationship with Turkey during Danish presidency.
But as friends do, we are also able to speak openly to each other about the questions where we do not look at things the same way. Therefore, the meeting today was also an opportunity to send messages to Turkey on the importance that the EU attaches to fundamental rights issues, freedom of expression and freedom of the press as well as minority rights. The meeting was also an opportunity to voice that as long as the Cyprus conflict is not solved and Turkey does not recognise Cyprus, there will continue to be obstacles along the way before the enlargement negotiations can get the momentum they deserve.”
Marie Bender Foltmann, Tel: +45 41 73 38 93, e-mail: email@example.com