TÜRKİYE-AB İLİŞKİLERİ LÜKSEMBURG’DA ELE ALINDI

İKV, 8 Mart 2017 tarihinde, Lüksemburg’da “Turkey’s European Perspective: Customs Union and Beyond” başlıklı bir seminer düzenledi. Türkiye-Lüksemburg İş Kulübü işbirliğinde, Lüksemburg Ticaret Odası’nın ev sahipliğinde ve Türkiye’nin Lüksemburg Büyükelçiliği’nin destekleri ile gerçekleştirilen seminerde, Türkiye-AB ilişkilerinin güncel durumu ve AB’deki gelişmeler ışığında geleceğine ilişkin öngörüler ele alındı.

Seminerin açış konuşmaları; İKV Başkanı Ayhan Zeytinoğlu, Türkiye-Lüksemburg İş Kulübü Başkanı Zeynep Aslan ve Lüksemburg Ticaret Odası Direktörü Jeannot Erpelding tarafından yapıldı. Açış konuşmalarında Türkiye ile AB arasındaki ticari ve ekonomik ilişkilerin önemi, Türkiye’nin AB entegrasyonundaki rolü, AB’de Brexit süreci ve AB’nin geleceğine etkileri temaları üzerinde duruldu.

Açış konuşmalarını takiben Türkiye’nin Lüksemburg Büyükelçisi M. Haluk Ilıcak ve Lüksemburg Dış ve Avrupa İşleri Bakanlığı AB ve Dış Ekonomik İlişkiler Direktörü Gaston Stronck özel hitap konuşmaları gerçekleştirdi. Büyükelçi Ilıcak, Türkiye’nin AB üyeliği hedefini vurguladı ve Türkiye- AB ilişkilerinde özellikle 15 Temmuz sonrasında yaşanan bazı sorunlara değindi.

Açış konuşmaları ve özel hitapların ardından seminerin panel oturumuna geçildi. Moderatörlüğünü İKV Başkan Yardımcısı Prof. Dr. Halûk Kabaalioğlu’nun gerçekleştirdiği panelde, Ankara Üniversitesi ATAUM Direktörü Prof. Dr. Sanem Baykal, TEPAV G-20 Çalışmaları Direktörü Dr. Sait Akman ve İKV Genel Sekreteri Doç. Dr. Çiğdem Nas konuşmacı olarak yer aldı. Konuşmalarda, Türkiye’nin katlım müzakerelerinde yaşanan tıkanıklık, Gümrük Birliği’nin güncellenme süreci, vize serbestliği ve mülteci konusunda işbirliği konuları ele alındı. Türkiye’nin katılım müzakerelerindeki tıkanıklığın aşılması için Türkiye’de reform sürecinin yeniden canlandırılması gereğinin yanında, müzakerelerde fasılların açılmasını engelleyen siyasi vetoların kaldırılmasına değinildi. Türkiye ve AB arasında Gümrük Birliği’nin güncellenmesine ilişkin müzakerelerin 2017’de başlamasının beklendiği, bu müzakereler sonucunda Gümrük Birliği’nin yapısal sorunlarının giderilmesi ve tarım, hizmetler ve kamu alımları gibi yeni sektörleri kapsayacak şekilde genişletilmesinin söz konusu olacağı vurgulandı. Vize serbestliği sürecine ilişkin olarak, Türkiye’nin vize serbestliği diyaloğu yol haritasında yer alan 72 kriterden 65’ini yerine getirdiği, kalan kriterlerin ise siyasi uyuşmazlık nedeniyle halen görüşmelere konu olduğu belirtildi. 29 Kasım 2015’teki ortak eylem planı ve 18 Mart 2016’da Türkiye ve AB arasında varılan uzlaşı sonucunda mülteci konusunda iki taraf arasında işbirliğinin başladığı vurgulandı.

Seminer soru ve cevap bölümü ile tamamlandı. Seminerin Lüksemburg basınındaki yansımalarına aşağıdaki linklerden ulaşılabilir:

http://www.journal.lu/top-navigation/article/die-tuerkische-perspektive/

http://delano.lu/d/detail/news/whither-turkey-eu-relations/139361

Seminerde İKV Başkanı Ayhan Zeytinoğlu tarafından gerçekleştirilen açış konuşması aşağıda yer almaktadır:

Opening speech by IKV Chairman Ayhan Zeytinoğlu at the seminar titled “Turkey’s European Perspective: Customs Union and Beyond”, 8 March 2017, Luxembourg

Dear Guests, Ambassadors, Members of the Press,

Welcome to our seminar titled “Turkey’s European Perspective: Customs Union and Beyond”. I would like to thank the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce for hosting this event and the Turkey-Luxembourg Business Club for cooperating with IKV in organizing this seminar.

The IKV is a non-governmental organization specialized on Turkey and EU relations. It was established in 1965 about 2 years after the signing of the Ankara Agreement establishing an Association between Turkey and the EEC. Its trustee organizations are the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, Istanbul Chamber of Industry and other prominent representative organizations of the Turkish business community. IKV conducts research, publishes reports and papers, organizes seminars and related activities with a view to raising awareness about Turkey-EU relations and contribute to Turkey’s integration to the EU.

Since 2009, IKV has been organizing seminars on Turkey and EU relations in the capital of the EU- Brussels and other Member States. We are cooperating with local host organisations in organizing such events with the aim of raising awareness on Turkey’s EU relations and its membership perspective and shedding light on some questions regarding Turkey. We have held such seminars in several EU states before, such as Madrid, Paris, Rome, Budapest, Riga, Copenhagen, Bratislava and Dublin.

Today our distinguished speakers will deliver speeches on the recent developments in Turkey in the economic and political sphere, inform us about the latest situation in Turkey’s accession process and especially focus on the customs union relationship between Turkey and the EU.

Turkey and EU relations are going through quite a problematic period. The rapprochement in the relations owing to the joint response against the refugee crisis in 2016 and the target of visa liberalisation for Turkish citizens gave way to a period of strain and divergence in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey. While the general mood in the EU towards Turkey grew more critical in this period, Turkish government also criticized the EU for not displaying solidarity and support to a candidate country undergoing tremendous difficulties.

Under such circumstances where the EU is faced with the ordeal of the Brexit process and Turkey is engaged in damage control and a struggle to return to normalcy, the modernization of the Turkey-EU customs union emerges as one of the few concrete areas of cooperation and progress in the relations.

As you may know, the Customs Union between Turkey and the EU is based on the Ankara Agreement of 1963 establishing an association between the parties. The Additional Protocol of 1970 laid out the transition process to the Customs Union which was realized at the end of 1995. The Turkey–EU Customs Union which involves trade in industrial goods is at the moment 21 years old and is in need of a significant revision and modernisation. We expect negotiations on this issue to start in the course of 2017. The aim in this process is designated as expanding the Customs Union to include services, agricultural products and public procurement as well as fixing some of the structural problems in its functioning.

One of the most important problems faced by Turkey in the customs union concerns the FTAs signed by the EU with third countries. While EU’s trade partners gain privileged access to the EU market and consequently to the Turkish market due to the customs union, Turkey cannot receive reciprocal advantages in the third market since it is not a party to the FTA. It has to approach the concerned third country to negotiate a separate agreement which takes years to conclude and which sometimes is not accepted by the said country. The upgrading of the customs union is expected to resolve this imbalance by involving Turkey into the negotiation process or by way of parallel negotiations with Turkey and the third country.

Other issues concern the truck quotas implemented by some EU member states which create a non-tariff barrier to free movement of goods and the visa requirement for Turkish citizens which prevents immediate access to the EU territory by people who produce or sell the goods that enjoy free movement in the customs union. 

As supported by impact analysis studies conducted by both sides, we expect the modernization of the customs union to contribute to the GDP and trade growth between Turkey and the EU and facilitate Turkey’s adaptation to the rules and norms of the European Single Market.

The customs union is of course not the only aspect of Turkey-EU relations. Turkey has been negotiating accession to the EU since 2005. However, political issues such as the rise of the extreme right in many Member States of the EU and the resistance shown to Turkey’s membership prospect in some key Member States, as well as the Cyprus problem prevented the successful completion of the negotiations to this day.

We in Turkey believe that the membership perspective is critical for triggering economic and political reforms in Turkey and bringing it closer to European values. Despite many difficulties faced by Turkey in its bid to join the EU, we are of the opinion that Turkey is an integral part of European integration process, has many qualities with the potential to contribute to the EU in such areas as economy, foreign policy and security and need to take its

Today, Turkey is among those countries with a GDP of nearly 800 billion dollars, putting us at number eighteen in the world’s top economies. Turkey ranks in the 7th place in the EU’s top import and 5th place in export markets. Its dynamic population and economy, its location in between continents, cultural richness and historical legacy qualify it to assume its rightful place as a member of the EU. The problems in Turkey’s democracy and stability can be successfully overcome with the help of a strong and credible EU anchor.

I would like to thank all our guests for attending this seminar and express my appreciation to Turkey’s Ambassador to Luxembourg, Haluk Ilıcak and Mr. Gaston Stronck Director for European Affairs and International Economic Relations at the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, for their participation. My special thanks also go to our partner organisations, Turkey-Luxembourg Business Club and the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce.

 

2017

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