The annual report on the accession countries and the progress they have made was presented on Tuesday Commission, with the Commission noting, with regard to Turkey“The European Council has repeatedly stated that the EU has a strategic interest in a stable and secure environment in the Eastern Mediterranean and in developing a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship” with the neighboring country.
He welcomed the de-escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean and stressed that “the EU is ready to co-operate with Turkey in a gradual, proportionate and reversible manner”.
It is pointed out, however, that in case of renewal of unilateral actions or challenges that violate international law, the EU will use all the means and options at its disposal, in order to defend its interests and those of its Member States.
Expects, however, to actively support the negotiations for a fair, comprehensive and sustainable settlement of the Cyprus in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the principles on which the EU is based, while emphasizing that there should be no unilateral action on its part, which could increase tensions on the island and undermine the return to conversations.
Regarding the Varosia, Turkey must immediately take back the unilateral actions announced on 20 July 2021 and all the steps taken for Varosha since October 2020 that run counter to the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
According to the report, cited by RES EIA, there are serious shortcomings in the operation of democratic institutions of Turkey. The EU’s serious concerns about the continuing deterioration of the rule of law, fundamental rights and the independence of the judiciary have not been credibly addressed by Turkey. “Turkey needs to reverse this negative trend as a matter of priority by tackling the weakening of effective controls and balances in the political system,” it said.
On the other hand, about immigrant, reports that Turkey has made some progress: “After the events of March 2020 when Turkey actively encouraged migrants and refugees to follow the land route to Europe via Greece, the situation finally escalated. “Some progress has been made in strengthening the ability to monitor and protect the eastern land borders.”
It is also noted that “the EU-Turkey declaration March 2016 continued to yield results and Turkey continued to play a key role in tackling migration across the Eastern Mediterranean “and” hosting the world’s largest refugee population “. It is also reported that the Commission in June 2021 proposed to allocate 3 billion euros in additional aid for Syrian refugees and host communities in Turkey. In fact, the Commission recalls the importance of the continued implementation of the declaration, including “the return and prevention of irregular migration routes”.
Turkey “to respect the sovereignty of all EU member states in territorial waters and airspace”
The report also notes that since December 2020, “a more positive dynamic has been observed in EU-Turkey relations since the de-escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean through the cessation of illegal hydrocarbon exploration and drilling activities by Turkey in the maritime zones of Cyprus and Greece and the resumption of exploratory contacts between Turkey and Greece in January 2021. These talks should remain a valuable channel of communication between the two to find a common ground for the start of negotiations for the delimitation of the continental shelf “.
“The European Council of March 2021 greeted these developments. In addition, the European Council reaffirmed that the EU will remain committed to defending its interests and those of its Member States, as well as to maintaining regional stability. The Greek Foreign Minister visited Ankara on April 15th, and the Turkish Foreign Minister visited Athens on May 30-31, where the mutual desire to promote a positive agenda was noted. “The Greek Prime Minister and the Turkish President met on June 14”, it is noted.
It also states that “as emphasized by the Council, and stemming from the obligations under the Negotiating Framework, Turkey is expected to make a firm commitment to good neighborly relations, international agreements and the peaceful settlement of disputes through appeal, if necessary, at the International Court».
The report calls on Turkey “to avoid threats and actions that harm good neighborly relations, to normalize its relations with the Republic of Cyprus and to respect the sovereignty of all EU Member States in their territorial waters and airspace as well as all their sovereign rights, including including the right to explore and exploit natural resources under EU law and international law, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)».
“Consequently, Turkey is expected refrain from any hydrocarbon drilling activities in the maritime zones of other States“, It is pointed out.
Finally, in the reference to Turkish-Libyan memorandum It is noted that “the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on the delimitation of maritime jurisdiction between Turkey and the government of the Libyan National Accord, signed in November 2019, still exists despite the fact that it ignored the sovereign rights of Greece in this region, infringes the sovereign rights of third States, does not comply with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and can have no legal effect on third countries. “