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Procedure : 2010/2996(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0156/2011

Texts tabled :

B7-0156/2011

Debates :

PV 08/03/2011 - 14
CRE 08/03/2011 - 14

Votes :

PV 09/03/2011 - 10.1
CRE 09/03/2011 - 10.1
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2011)0090

Texts adopted
PDF 153kWORD 80k
Wednesday, 9 March 2011 - Strasbourg Final edition
2010 progress report on Turkey
P7_TA(2011)0090B7-0156/2011

European Parliament resolution of 9 March 2011 on Turkey's 2010 progress report

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard to the Commission's Turkey 2010 Progress Report (SEC(2010)1327),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions of 27 September 2006 on Turkey's progress towards accession(1) , of 24 October 2007 on EU-Turkey relations(2) , of 21 May 2008 on Turkey's 2007 progress report(3) , of 12 March 2009 on Turkey's 2008 progress report(4) , and of 10 February 2010 on Turkey's 2009 progress report(5) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 21 September 2010 on trade and economic relations with Turkey(6) ,

–  having regard to the Negotiating Framework for Turkey of 3 October 2005,

–  having regard to Council Decision 2008/157/EC of 18 February 2008 on the principles, priorities and conditions contained in the Accession Partnership with the Republic of Turkey(7) (‘the Accession Partnership’) and to the previous Council decisions on the Accession Partnership of 2001, 2003 and 2006,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 14 December 2010,

–  having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas accession negotiations with Turkey were opened on 3 October 2005 after the Council had approved the Negotiating Framework, and whereas the opening of those negotiations was the starting point for a long-lasting and open-ended process,

B.  whereas Turkey has committed itself to reforms, good neighbourly relations and progressive alignment with the EU, and whereas these efforts should be viewed as an opportunity for Turkey itself to modernise,

C.  whereas full compliance with all the Copenhagen criteria, as well as EU integration capacity in accordance with the conclusions of the December 2006 European Council meeting, remain the basis for accession to the EU, which is a community based on shared values,

D.  whereas the Commission concluded that in 2010 Turkey had continued its political reform process, but that lack of dialogue and of a spirit of compromise between the main political parties has a negative impact on relations between key political institutions and slows down work on political reforms,

E.  whereas Turkey has still not implemented, for the fifth consecutive year, the provisions stemming from the EC-Turkey Association Agreement and the Additional Protocol thereto,

1.  Commends Turkish citizens and civil society for supporting Turkey's further democratisation and for their commitment to an open and pluralistic society, and calls on the EU institutions and Member States to make full use of all EU enlargement policy instruments for candidate countries in this respect;

2.  Notes Turkey's slow progress with regard to reforms and recalls that the Turkish Government has committed itself to undertaking comprehensive reforms both with a view to fulfilling the Copenhagen criteria and for the sake of Turkey's own modernisation; calls on the Government to increase its efforts in that respect;

3.  Is concerned about the ongoing confrontation between the political parties and the lack of readiness on the part of Government and opposition to work towards consensus on key reforms; urges all political actors, the Government and the opposition to work together to enhance political plurality in state institutions and promote the modernisation and democratisation of the state and society; calls upon all opposition forces to engage constructively in the reform process;

4.  Points to the crucial role of a system of checks and balances in the governance of a modern democratic state, which must be based on the principle of separation of powers with balance between the executive, legislative and judicial functions, on respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms – in particular freedom of expression and freedom of the press – and on a participatory political culture truly reflecting the plurality of a democratic society;

5.  Underlines the role of the Turkish Grand National Assembly as the institution which ought to make a crucial contribution to strengthening a system of checks and balances, and to support the modernisation reforms actively and constructively, on the basis of cross-party commitment, whilst ensuring that the Government's policies are subject to democratic scrutiny;

6.  Welcomes the adoption of constitutional amendments as a step in the right direction, and urges their proper implementation with full observance of the standards of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights; underlines at the same time, however, the pressing need for overall constitutional reform transforming Turkey into a fully fledged pluralistic democracy with the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms at its core; welcomes the Government's declared readiness, and that of the opposition, to undertake such reform, and calls on the Government to ensure that all political parties, as well as civil society, are closely involved in the whole constitutional process; calls for the implementation of the constitutional amendment package; recommends that the Venice Commission also be invited to participate;

7.  Welcomes a number of the Government's symbolic and goodwill gestures and certain concrete steps in the areas of freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as protection of minorities and cultural rights; insists, however, that systematic improvements are needed in order fully to recognise the rights of minorities; in particular, encourages the Government to lend fresh impetus to the process of democratic opening, and calls on the opposition constructively to support and engage in that process;

Fulfilling the Copenhagen criteria

8.  Is concerned about the deterioration in freedom of the press, about certain acts of censorship and about growing self-censorship within the Turkish media, including on the internet; calls on the Turkish Government to uphold the principles of press freedom; stresses that an independent press is crucial for a democratic society and points, in this context, to the essential role of the judiciary in protecting and enhancing press freedom, thereby guaranteeing public space for free debate and contributing to the proper functioning of the system of checks and balances; underscores the need for adoption of a new media law addressing, inter alia, the issues of independence, ownership and administrative control; decides to closely follow the cases of Nedim Şener, Ahmet Şık and other journalists facing police or judicial harassment;

9.  Welcomes new radio and TV laws which provide for several positive developments such as an increase in the percentage that foreign entities may lawfully own in Turkish media companies (50%, up from 25%), but expresses concern at the fact that broadcasting may be stopped on grounds of national security without a court order or a ruling by a judge; notes with concern the practice of bringing criminal prosecutions – especially under Article 285 of the Penal Code on ‘breaching the confidentiality of a criminal investigation’ and Article 288 on ‘attempting to influence the judiciary’ – against journalists who communicate evidence of human rights violations or raise other issues in the public interest; considers the criminalisation of opinions as a key obstacle to the protection of human rights in Turkey and deplores disproportionate restriction of the freedoms of expression, association and assembly; urges Turkey to comply rigorously with its international human rights obligations in this respect by amending its relevant legislation and by training its police and judiciary;

10.  Deplores the fact that a number of legal provisions such as Articles 301, 318 and 220(6), in combination with Article 314(2), of the Penal Code, and Article 7(2) of the anti-terror law, Law No 5816 of 25 July 1951 – as well as statements by the Government and activities by public prosecutors – continue to limit freedom of expression; reiterates its call to the Government to finalise the review of the legal framework on freedom of expression and, without delay, to bring it into line with the ECHR and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights; restates, in this context, the need for the Turkish Government to issue clear guidance to prosecutors in relation to laws that are frequently used to limit freedom of expression; deplores the repeated and disproportionate recourse to closure of websites and asks the Government to prepare amendments to the internet law (Law No 5651) in order to make sure that it no longer restricts freedom of expression or the right of citizens to access information;

11.  Urges the Government to uphold the rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of association enshrined in Articles 33 and 34 of the Turkish Constitution; deplores and condemns, in this context, the violent police crackdown on student demonstrations at Ankara University in December 2010;

12.  Recognises that the issue of Roma rights in Turkey is now receiving significant attention and that both Government and opposition parties are engaging with it politically; advises that implementation of the Government housing plan for Roma, especially with regard to the sustainability and methodology of the plan itself, should be carefully monitored and reviewed; encourages the Government to practise active inclusion, and credible consultation with Roma communities, in the context of any Roma-related inclusion process within the country;

13.  Appreciates the progress made in reforming the judiciary and reiterates its view that judicial independence and impartiality are among the keys to the functioning of a pluralistic democratic society; is concerned that Turkish judicial arrangements have not yet been improved sufficiently to ensure the right to a fair and timely trial; asks the Government to implement the constitutional amendments adopted in this area, with full observance of the separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary, and of judicial independence and impartiality, in accordance with European standards;

14.  Is concerned, however, by the Turkish Supreme Court's interpretation of the Code of Criminal Procedure extending the pre-trial detention period to 10 years in clear violation of European standards in this respect; calls on the Turkish Grand National Assembly to amend the relevant law in accordance with the case law of the European Court of Human Rights; also draws attention to Turkey's obligation to comply strictly with its commitment under Article 6 ECHR on a fair trial within reasonable time, notably by creating courts of appeal in its legal system and reinforcing the capacity of its supreme courts;

15.  Welcomes the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Dink v. Turkey on 14 September 2010; calls therefore on the Turkish authorities fully to endorse the consequences of the decision by implementing adequate measures to protect the exercise of freedom of expression; expresses its concern about the Turkish state administration's raising of artificial obstacles to unmasking the real instigators of the murder of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink;

16.  Welcomes the fact that the constitutional amendments adopted finally provide a basis for establishing the institution of ombudsman, and urges the Government to prepare, and the Parliament to adopt, legislation providing for a democratic appointment procedure to bring a broadly respected figure into this new office; welcomes the proposed establishment of a national Human Rights Institution and asks the Turkish National Assembly to consult civil society and to give sufficient guarantees of the new body's independence in accordance with the ‘Paris Principles’;

17.  Commends the progress made on civil-military relations, especially the increase in civilian oversight achieved through limitation of the jurisdiction of military courts, the opening of Supreme Military Council decisions to judicial review and the arrangements for high-ranking officers to be tried by civilian courts; notes that this progress should be pursued further to ensure full civilian oversight, and calls on the Turkish Parliament to become active in ensuring parliamentary oversight of the security forces, including full oversight of the defence budget;

18.  Underlines the fact that investigations of alleged coup plans, such as the ‘Ergenekon’ and ‘Sledgehammer’ cases, need to demonstrate the strength and the proper, independent and transparent functioning of Turkish democratic institutions and the judiciary; is concerned about excessively long pre-trial detention periods and stresses the need for effective judicial guarantees for all suspects; is concerned by the lack of progress in these investigations and notes that the recent detention of well-known journalists such as Nedim Şener and Ahmet Şık might lead to a loss of credibility of these trials which should, on the contrary, strengthen democracy;

19.  Considers it regrettable that amendments concerning the closure of political parties, proposed as part of the recent constitutional reform, did not find a majority in the Turkish Grand National Assembly, and urges all political parties to bring the relevant legislation into line with the opinion of the Venice Commission;

20.  Reiterates the call made in its previous resolutions for the electoral system to be reformed by lowering the 10% threshold, thereby strengthening party pluralism and better reflecting the plurality of Turkish society; particularly deplores the fact that no reform was undertaken in this area in 2010; calls for a comprehensive review of the rules on party financing and election spending, with a view to reinforcing internal party democracy and fostering a more open political system; encourages political parties to reinforce their internal democracy and to make elected representatives more accountable to their constituencies;

21.  Considers it regrettable that no progress has been made on limiting the immunities of Members of Parliament in respect of corruption-related offences, and notes, at the same time, the concern about adequate protection for the expression of non-violent opinions in Parliament; calls, therefore, on the Government and Parliament to agree an appropriate reform of the system of parliamentary immunities;

22.  Takes note of Turkey's current chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers and encourages Turkey to reflect its commitment to the values of the Council of Europe by signing and ratifying the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and ratifying all additional protocols to the ECHR;

23.  Welcomes the ratification by the Turkish Grand National Assembly of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture, and calls on Turkey to implement its provisions without delay and in close cooperation with the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;

24.  Supports the Government's ongoing dialogue with religious communities, including the Alevis, as well as the Greek, Armenian, Aramean and other Christian communities; is disappointed, however, that only limited progress has been made on the legal framework for the functioning of these communities, notably as regards their ability to obtain legal personality, to open and operate houses of worship, to train clergy and to resolve property problems not addressed by the Law on Foundations; calls – while noting the prevailing delays and procedural problems – for an effective and continued effort on implementation of the Law on Foundations, which must enable the aforementioned religious communities to function without undue constraints, in line with the ECHR and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights; urges the Government further to increase its support for freedom of conscience and religious plurality in Turkish society;

25.  Calls, therefore, on the Government to address these issues systematically by amending legislation and by ensuring its proper implementation at all levels of government, including the municipalities; points too, in this context, to the recommendations adopted by the Venice Commission in spring 2010 concerning the legal personality of religious communities and the ecclesiastical title ‘Ecumenical’ of the Orthodox Patriarchate; welcomes the recent decision by the ‘Foundations Assembly’ to transfer the Büyükada Greek Orphanage for Boys to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in accordance with the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, and the granting of Turkish citizenship to several Greek Orthodox clergy in order to facilitate the Patriarchate and the Holy Synod; welcomes the religious ceremony in the Sümela Monastery Museum in Trabzon and the ceremony in the church on Akdamar Island in the province of Van; finds the Turkish Supreme Court decision against Mor Gabriel Monastery, concerning a land dispute with villages and the Turkish Treasury, to be regrettable; restates its expectation that the Government's announcements about the reopening of the Halki Greek Orthodox seminary will soon be followed by action and by measures providing for the unhindered training of Christian communities‘ clergy; urges the Government to pay special attention to educational materials in schools, which should reflect the religious plurality of Turkish society, and to the need for unbiaised learning materials;

26.  Strongly condemns the continuing terrorist violence by the PKK, which is on the EU list of terrorist organisations, and by other terrorist groups on Turkish soil; encourages Turkey, the EU and its Member States to intensify their cooperation in the fight against terrorism, in close coordination with the counter-terrorism coordinator and Europol and in strict compliance with international human rights law;

27.  Calls on the Government to revitalise its efforts, as part of the process of democratic opening, to address the Kurdish issue comprehensively with a view to reaching a peaceful solution: notably by ensuring consistent interpretation of laws permitting use of the Kurdish language in political and public life and in education; by amending anti-terror legislation to avoid abuses or extensive interpretation; by guaranteeing the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly; by addressing efficiently the problems of persons displaced from their home regions as a consequence of, inter alia, the long conflict; and by further improving the socio-economic situation in the south-east of the country; expresses its concerns, in this context, about the ongoing trials in Diyarbakir of 151 Kurdish political activists – including eight serving elected local mayors – which constitute interference in legal political activities;

28.  Welcomes the strengthening of the legal framework guaranteeing women's rights and gender equality through the constitutional package; is concerned about the falling rates of labour force participation even among highly educated women; urges the Government, business and civil society to take comprehensive measures – such as fighting female illiteracy, actively supporting girls‘ access to secondary education and providing childcare facilities – to tackle poverty among women and increase women's social inclusion and participation in the labour market; furthermore, encourages the introduction of a system of reserved quotas in order to ensure a meaningful presence of women at all levels in business, the public sector and politics; calls, in particular, on the political parties to use the opportunity of the forthcoming elections to strengthen women's active engagement in politics;

29.  Deeply deplores the persistent high levels of domestic violence, including so-called honour crimes and the phenomenon of forced marriages; welcomes, in that connection, the initiatives by women's movements which give visibility to these problems and urges the Government to step up its preventive efforts at all levels, in particular by enforcing Law No 4320 on the Protection of the Family and by monitoring its implementation by the police and the judiciary, by obliging municipalities of over 50 000 inhabitants to provide sufficient shelters for women and minors in danger, by effectively monitoring full compliance with this obligation, and by putting in place a system of follow-up assistance for women and minors leaving the shelters, in order to provide them with appropriate psychological support, judicial assistance and health care and to assist their reintegration into society; calls on the Government to establish adequate and effective oversight of municipalities‘ compliance with this obligation; urges the judiciary to ensure that violence against women and minors, as well as those fighting so-called honour crimes, is consistently and properly punished;

30.  Urges the Government to ensure that equality, regardless of sex, gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, is guaranteed by the law and effectively enforced; deplores the recent legal action against LGBTT associations but welcomes the fact that the cases in question were dismissed by the courts; notes, however, the need for further action against homophobia and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation as provided for in the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers Recommendation to Member States on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity; calls on the Turkish Government to instruct the Turkish Armed Forces to end its classification of homosexuality as a ‘psychosexual’ illness; asks that the Draft Law on Combating Discrimination and Equality Committee be brought into line with EU standards, including as regards the grounds of sex and sexual orientation; urges national and local authorities to put an end to the ongoing murders of transgender people, including transgender sex workers;

31.  Believes that, in line with its obligations under international law, Turkey should pass legislation introducing, as an alternative to military service, civil or social service that is not punitive in length and is based on free choice; asks the Government to ensure full compliance with the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Ülke v. Turkey , amending legislation to bring to an end the prosecution of conscientious objectors for their refusal to perform military service; asks the Government to investigate allegations of ill-treatment of conscientious objectors in military custody and to take steps to prevent such abuse in the future;

32.  Underlines the importance of providing effective protection for human-rights defenders; expresses concern about continuing court cases against human-rights defenders and their continued prosecution, and draws particular attention to the trial of Pinar Selek, which has lasted 12 years despite three acquittal decisions; calls on the Commission closely to follow her case, as well as all similar cases, and systematically to attend such trials;

33.  Urges the main political parties to reach a solution on the headscarf ban in universities, in order to counter the polarising effects of the issue on Turkish society; urges that this solution be based on respect for women's free choice;

34.  Strongly reiterates its call to the Turkish Government – given the lack of progress, so far, following the 1625 PACE Resolution – to pursue policies to preserve the bicultural character of the Turkish islands of Gökçeada (Imbros) and Bozcaada (Tenedos) and, in particular, to address problems encountered by members of the Greek minority with regard to their education and property rights;

Enhancing social cohesion and prosperity

35.  Commends the resilience of the Turkish economy vis-à-vis the global economic crisis; stresses that this economic revival is a unique opportunity to increase labour force participation and employment rates, which are still very low, barely reaching 50%, and to set in motion a process of progressive social inclusion; points to the shared responsibility of the Government and the social partners and encourages them to intensify their cooperation in order more firmly to anchor a socially oriented market economy;

36.  Urges the Turkish Government and the governments of the EU Member States to consider, and present, the integration of EU citizens of Turkish origin into the societies of their new home countries not as a threat, but as an opportunity for the future of our societies;

37.  Notes the interdependence of the EU and Turkish economies and points to its potential for enhancing prosperity in both the EU and Turkey as Turkey's integration into the EU market advances;

38.  Welcomes the improvements introduced by the constitutional amendments in the area of social dialogue and trade union rights; insists, however, that, in addition to these, the legal framework, including pending trade union legislation, must be brought in line with both EU and ILO standards; encourages all parties in the Economic and Social Council to strengthen their commitment and cooperation in order to advance this goal;

39.  Reiterates the need to strengthen cohesion among Turkish regions and between rural and urban areas; highlights, in this context, the particular role of education and the need to tackle persistent and substantial regional disparities in quality of education and enrolment rates;

40.  Calls on the Turkish Government fully to consider the sustainability and environmental consequences of its plans for new water and energy infrastructure under the South-East Anatolia Project (GAP), which threaten to destroy the environment and the unique landscape of many regions, and, in particular, the project's impact on neighbouring Iraq; stresses especially the need to ensure that the draft law on nature protection and biodiversity is amended so as to preserve the cultural and archaeological heritage in full accordance with European standards and to allocate responsibility for nature protection clearly within the executive; calls on the Government to adopt a more ambitious policy framework, underpinned by specific action plans, to combat the growth of carbon emissions;

Building good neighbourly relations

41.  Calls on the Turkish Government and all parties concerned to give their active support to the ongoing negotiations on the Cyprus issue and to contribute in concrete terms to a comprehensive settlement, and calls on the Government to facilitate a suitable climate for negotiations by starting to withdraw its forces from Cyprus immediately; strongly urges the two communities in Cyprus to work intensively, in accordance with the UN Secretary-General's request, to capitalise on the progress already made in the negotiations, in order to reach a sustainable solution – in line with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and promoting, in particular, Resolution 550 (1984), and with the principles on which the EU is founded – for the benefit of Cypriot citizens, the EU and Turkey;

42.  Encourages Turkey to intensify its support for the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus, in particular by facilitating its access to military zones and archives, and to take all other appropriate action, in accordance with the findings of the European Court of Human Rights, on the humanitarian issue of missing persons;

43.  Calls on Turkey and the Turkish-Cypriot authorities to refrain from any new settlements of Turkish citizens on the island, as this would continue to change its demographic balance and reduce the allegiance of its citizens to a future common state based on its common past; calls on Turkey to address the issue of the settlement of Turkish citizens on the island, in accordance with the Geneva Convention and the principles of the International Law;

44.  Urges both parties, Turkey and Armenia, to ratify, without preconditions, the protocols and to open the border, and calls on Turkey to use its regional weight to enhance confidence-building measures;

45.  Takes note of the intensified efforts by Turkey and Greece to improve their bilateral relations; considers it regrettable, however, that the casus belli threat declared by the Turkish Grand National Assembly against Greece has not yet been withdrawn; expects the Turkish Government to end the continued violation of Greek airspace and Turkish military aircraft flights over Greek islands;

46.  Emphasises that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea has been signed by the EU, the 27 Member States and all the other candidate countries and that it is part of the acquis communautaire ; calls, therefore, on the Turkish Government to sign and ratify it without further delay;

47.  Appreciates the deepening of relations between Turkey and Iraq, including its Kurdish regional government, and points, in particular, to Turkey's contribution to the stabilisation of Iraq; urges Turkey to articulate with the Iraqi Government, and other neighbours, measures to counter the negative impact of the hydroelectric dam project announced by the Turkish Government;

Advancing EU-Turkey cooperation

48.  Deplores Turkey's non-implementation of the Additional Protocol to the EC-Turkey Association Agreement, which continues to affect the process of negotiations, and calls on the Turkish Government to implement the protocol in full;

49.  Takes note of the progress achieved by Turkey on the energy chapter and once again urges the Council to open negotiations on this chapter without further delay; calls on the Turkish Government to step up its efforts in negotiations on joining the Energy Community Treaty; welcomes the ratification of the Nabucco Intergovernmental Agreement and the signing of the memorandum of understanding for the operation of the Interconnector-Turkey-Greece-Italy (ITGI) natural gas pipeline, both of these projects being important for the energy security of the EU;

50.  Welcomes the ongoing negotiations on the Food Safety, Veterinary and Phytosanitary Policy chapter, which was opened on 30 June 2010; encourages Turkey to complete the necessary steps in order to close certain chapters such as Enterprise and Industrial Policy and Trans-European Networks;

51.  Welcomes the finalisation of the negotiations on the EU-Turkey readmission agreement and calls on the Turkish Government to ensure that, until this agreement enters into force, existing bilateral agreements are fully implemented; underlines the importance of intensifying cooperation between the EU and Turkey on migration management and border controls, inter alia given the large percentage of illegal immigrants entering EU territory via Turkey; welcomes the consultation with civil society on three draft laws in the field of asylum and urges the Government to bring the laws before Parliament without delay; takes the view that, once the readmission agreement enters into force, the Council should mandate the Commission to initiate a visa dialogue, with particular attention to the matter of entry conditions for businesspeople and students travelling to the EU, as a necessary step in relation to mobility;

52.  Takes note of Turkey's increasingly active foreign policy aimed at strengthening its role as regional player; urges the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to take this dimension fully into consideration and engage with Turkey with a view to the coordination of objectives and the proper promotion of EU interests; calls on the Turkish Government to step up its foreign policy coordination with the EU; welcomes, in principle, the recently pronounced ‘zero-problems’ policy in respect of Turkey's neighbours but points out the need to maintain Turkey's unambiguous commitment to our common European values and interests; calls on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to intensify the existing dialogue with Turkey on foreign policy issues of mutual interest; in light of the inspiration Turkey provides to many in the Arab world, as a secular democracy with a majority Muslim population, strongly encourages the pursuit of concerted efforts in support of democratisation and development in the Middle East and Northern Africa;

53.  Stresses the strategic importance to the EU of the Black Sea region; believes that Turkey is an important EU partner in this region and calls on it to support and actively contribute to the implementation of EU policies and measures in the region, including an eventual EU Strategy for the Black Sea;

54.  Urges the Turkish Government fully to support the international community's efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and deplores Turkey's vote against the relevant UN Security Council resolution; takes the view that Turkey could contribute to democratisation and the strengthening of human rights in Iran while coordinating its efforts with the EU;

55.  Believes that Turkey has an important role to play in fostering dialogue in the Middle East Peace process and in contributing to stabilisation in Lebanon, and calls on Turkey to renew its close ties with Israel, resume its constructive mediation and, in particular, contribute to the strengthening of the Palestinian Authority;

56.  Appreciates Turkey's constructive engagement supporting the efforts of the transatlantic partners in Afghanistan and the Balkans; finds it regrettable, however, that NATO-EU strategic cooperation beyond the ‘Berlin Plus’ arrangements is blocked by Turkish objections;

57.  Calls on the Turkish Government to sign and submit for ratification the Statute of the International Criminal Court, thus further increasing Turkey's contribution to, and engagement in, the global multilateral system;

58.  Takes note of the conclusions and improvements proposed by the Commission in the 2009 annual report on implementation of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) with a view to prioritising targets and projects in line with the accession criteria, as proposed in the Court of Auditors‘ Special Report No 16/2009. Underlines the importance of comprehensive monitoring of IPA implementation as more projects get under way;

o
o   o

59.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the President of the European Court of Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Government and Parliament of the Republic of Turkey.

(1) OJ C 306 E, 15.12.2006, p. 284.
(2) OJ C 263 E, 16.10.2008, p. 452.
(3) OJ C 279 E, 19.11.2009, p. 57.
(4) OJ C 87 E, 1.4.2010, p. 139.
(5) OJ C 341 E, 16.12.2010, p. 59.
(6) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0324.
(7) OJ L 51, 26.2.2008, p. 4.

Last updated: 6 June 2012Legal notice