EU cuts financial assistance to Turkey by 40 percent

The European Union has cut pre-accession financial assistance to Turkey by 40 percent and Ankara is expected to receive 759 million euros ($886 million) less than originally planned for the period between 2018 and 2020, Frankfurter Allgemeine said on Thursday.

The EU has earmarked 4.45 billion euros ($5 billion) as pre-accession assistance to Turkey for the period between 2014 and 2020, but so far only a few hundred millions have been paid, Frankfurter Allgemeine said. 

The EU’s Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) covers all accession countries and aims to provide financial support for harmonisation with EU accession criteria. 

Turkey’s drift away from democratic values and the deterioration of human rights in the country are the reasons behind the EU’s decision to curb financial assistance to Turkey, Frankfurter Allgemeine said. 

The EU is also planning to change its policy on pre-accession financial assistance for the next multi-annual programming period between 2020 and 2027, Frankfurter Allgemeine said. In the new programme, there will be no fixed financial commitments and allocations will be made according to a candidate country’s performance.