On 16 July 2020, French Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Jordan Bardella of the Identity and Democracy Group, filed a written parliamentary question to the European Commission.
MEP Bardella in its question stated that “far from ceasing its provocations, Erdoğan’s Turkey is continuing to pursue its policy of blackmail and hostility towards the European Union and some of its Member States, notably France” and “in light of the latest developments in the situation, after Turkey’s shady dealings in Libya and its extremely hostile action in the Mediterranean against a French frigate, and following the visit to Turkey on 6 July 2020 of Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who acknowledged that there are deep disagreements between the European Union and Turkey”. MEP Bardella asked the Commission “does it not consider it time to end, once and for all, the whole process of Turkey’s accession to the European Union?”
On 9 December, High Representative and Vice-President Josep Borrell formally responded on behalf of the European Commission and reported that “the EU has incessantly continued its efforts to de-escalate the conflict in Libya and bring all regional and international actors back to the so-called ‘spirit of Berlin’, by extensively reaching out to its partners, by playing an active role in the Berlin process and by continuing to support the United Nations (UN) mission to Libya” and “these efforts have contributed to paving the way towards the Ceasefire Agreement reached on 23 October 2020 and the resumption of the political process under the UN auspices”.
High Representative and Vice-President Borrell also stated that “operation Irini is one element of this support, an instrument at the service of the international community to enforce the UN arms embargo” and “the EU will continue to work with all Berlin participants, including Turkey, to bring about a long-lasting negotiated solution that can restore security and prosperity in Libya”.
He further explained that “on the Eastern Mediterranean, in the discussion held at the Gymnich meeting on 28 August 2020, the EU Foreign Ministers called for de-escalation and insisted on the necessity for Turkey to halt its drilling activities without delay, in order to create much-needed space for dialogue and negotiations”.
High Representative / Vice-President Borrell asserted that “ministers also stressed that, in the absence of progress in engaging with Turkey, the EU could develop a list of further restrictive measures in response to Turkish actions in the Eastern Mediterranean” and “this approach was also confirmed by the European Council on 1-2 October 2020”.
In ending, he concluded that “while Turkey remains a candidate country and a key partner in many areas, on 18 June 2019 the Council noted that Turkey continued to move further away from the European Union and accession negotiations have therefore effectively come to a standstill”.
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