BRUSSELS – The Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, has said the EU has ceased financial assistance to Turkey in areas where democratic progress has stopped.
In an interview with German News Agency dpa, Hahn said assistance to Ankara was subject to strict conditions and that progress was being monitored in areas such as rule of law.
Planned financial assistance between 2014-2020 was set as being 4 billion 450 million euros but only 167 million 300 thousand euros had been given to Turkey so far, three years into the plan, the commissioner said.
“Turkey unfortunately is not getting closer to Europe, conversely it is going away from it,” Hahn stated.
According to reports in the German press, Turkey is expected to be given 1,58 billion euros within the framework of ‘EU membership reforms’ until 2020. Another 1,53 million euros is to be given in the spheres of energy, transport and climate.
Despite the continuing escalation of tensions between Ankara and European countries, especially following July’s coup attempt, EU foreign ministers in December decided to keep the EU membership dialogue going Hahn said.
The Austrian politician called discussions on stopping Turkey’s accession talks “artificial” but said that new chapters had not been initiated for a long time meaning, “negotiations have effectively come to a standstill.”
The Turkish government has been heavily criticised for its crackdown on civil society during the state of emergency declared after the coup attempt.