Today in the European Parliament were discussed EU–Turkey relations where Urmas Paet, a member of the European Parliament, said that considering the complicated security situation in the EU´s immediate neighbourhood more must be done to advance the relations between the EU and Turkey and also new chapters should be opened in their accession negotiations to the EU.
According to Paet it is important to move on with the accession negotiations, otherwise the EU will miss out on many opportunities. „For example we are not negotiating energy chapter whereas at the same time EU wants to strengthen its energy security and is looking for alternative sources,“ he said.
Turkey has to be taken into account also when looking for solutions to the conflicts in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Libya and other countries in the neighbourhood, Paet said. „For decades Turkey has been an important ally in NATO and this has to be taken into account also in the context of further developing the relations between Turkey and EU. EU needs strong allies especially today so it is important for the EU-Turkey accession negotiations to start moving with pace,“ he added.
Paet also said that Turkey is a natural partner for the EU in the context of fighting illegal immigration and helping refugees that have fled the conflict areas.