Ankara calls on Brussels to cooperate in removing Turkey's EU bid difficulties

Turkish Foreign Minister on Wednesday called on the European Union to help the country in removing difficulties it faces in its bid to join the 28-member bloc. 

“In the process of the EU, we always tell the EU that we should walk together and overcome any difficulties together. We can overcome technical barriers together, but we also need to overcome political barriers together,” state run Anadolu news agency quoted Çavuşoğlu as saying during a meeting for the promotion of European Mobility Week 2019.

Turkey has been an official EU candidate country since 1999 and has maintained a customs union deal with the bloc since January 1996. Accession negotiations formally began in October 2005, however have stalled in the last few years due to what is being called Turkey’s failure to comply with required criteria pertaining to the EU candidacy.

The European Commission (EC), in its latest annual report on Turkey published in May, said Turkey had experienced considerable backsliding in the rule of law and the judiciary, fundamental rights, economic institutions, anti-corruption measures, media freedom and other areas. 

Çavuşoğlu also pointed to the increasing responsibility facing local governments in the face of the developments in the world and the importance of sister-city relations between municipalities.