Turkey cannot become a member of EU; However, another form of cooperation is possible

EP Plenary session - State of the European Union 2023

Negotiations with Turkey on EU accession cannot be resumed for the time being. Instead, other forms of cooperation with Ankara should be sought. This is what MEPs say in their annual report on the relationship between the EU and Turkey. The negotiation process with Turkey has been at a standstill for several years.

Until the Turkish government drastically changes course, Turkey's EU accession process cannot be resumed. Ankara is expected to respect democratic values, the rule of law and human rights. That is not yet the case. 

Instead of talks about accession, the EU and Turkey would be better off developing a closer partnership. The EU delegation recommends finding "an alternative and realistic framework" for relations. They also call on the European Commission to investigate possible new formulas. 

Turkey nevertheless remains a candidate member of the EU. MEPs also praise the Turks for their support against Russia in the Ukraine war. Ankara has also been praised for hosting refugees from war zones in the region, such as Syria. This concerns approximately four million migrants.

MEPs are happy that EU continues to donate money to refugees and host communities in Turkey. Ankara is also an important partner to work with in the areas of trade, migration and security.

Dutch MEP Malik Azmani (Renew) wants to update the EU-Turkish Association Agreement, which dates from 1963. 'I am convinced that the EU would also benefit from this. We shouldn't wait any longer. The EU and Turkey must find a new format for cooperation.”