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Debates
Thursday, 6 July 2017 - Strasbourg Revised edition

12.1. 2016 Report on Turkey (A8-0234/2017 - Kati Piri)
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  Daniel Hannan (ECR ). – Mr President, in retrospect, the European Union’s approach to Turkey has not worked out terribly well. We could, at the outset, have said ‘Membership is not on the agenda: let’s find a different way of working together’, or we could have embraced them, but what we did instead was to hold out a promise of membership which we had absolutely no intention of fulfilling. Understandably, a sense of rejection contributed to some political breakdown in that country.

Of course, I am not saying it was all the fault of the European Union. That would be absurd. It is mainly about internal dynamics within Turkey. But I wonder whether we might not be wiser now to try to find a more sustainable and permanent deal, whereby we recognise Turkey as a strategic partner and ally, and recognise the value of a free market with Turkey, but drop the idea of political integration. And if we could set up such a status successfully for a state as important and as large as Turkey, perhaps it could become the model for relations with other nearby neighbouring countries.

 
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