The foreign affairs ministers of the European Union (EU) member states consider that with its behavior Turkey is “widening its separation from the EU,” the bloc’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said here on Thursday.
“In order to return to a positive agenda, as we wish, we will require a fundamental change of attitude on the Turkish side,” Borrell told a press conference following a video meeting with the ministers.
He said the summit of EU leaders scheduled for Dec. 10-11 will aim to define the 27-member bloc’s approach to its eastern Mediterranean partner.
“Time is running, and we are approaching a watershed moment in our relationship with Turkey,” warned Borrell.
Turkey applied to join what was then the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1987, and a decade later it was declared eligible to join the EU.
The EU considers Turkey a key strategic partner on issues such as migration, security, counter-terrorism and the economy. However, the country, according to the EU, has been seen as backsliding in the areas of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights. In response, the EU General Affairs Council decided in June 2018 to effectively freeze the accession negotiations.
Meanwhile, the tension between Turkey and EU members Cyprus and Greece has escalated in the past year due to their dispute over maritime rights.
“For the time being, there are no positive signals sent from Turkey,” Borrell said.