EU’s ties with Turkey at historic low point, MEP says

Turkey’s relations with the European Union are at an historical low point, Romanian Christian Democrat MEP Vlad Nistor said, EUToday reported on Thursday.

The European People's Party (EPP) Group (Christian Democrats), of which Nistor’s party is a member, has submitted a report to the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee on relations between the EU and Turkey, EUToday said.

Rebuilding ties between Turkey and the bloc “will require restoring trust and reassessing the framework of relations,” said Nistor, who is the negotiator of the report for the group.

Turkey’s EU accession negotiations are in serious danger “as long as Turkey refuses to carry out reforms, undermines the principles of the rule of law and fundamental rights and violates the territorial integrity of Greece and Cyprus, two EU member states,” he said.

“Seeing the lack of political will on the side of the Turkish government, we will not make any headway,” he said with regard to Turkey’s request to update a customs union with the EU.

Turkey has been an official EU candidate country since 1999 and has benefitted from a customs union deal since January 1996.

EU accession negotiations, which formally began in October 2005, have stalled in the last few years due to Turkey’s failure to comply with the required criteria on human rights and the judiciary, as well as concerns in the EU about accepting a large Muslim country as a member.

Political tensions between the two sides intensified in the past year after Turkey came to loggerheads with Greece and Cyprus over maritime boundaries and hydrocarbons resources.

“There is no place in the EU for aggressors,” Nistor said.