German chancellor suggests reducing EU pre-accession funds to Turkey.
Member states of the European Union (EU) are in favour of dialogue with Turkey, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said late Thursday.
Speaking at a key summit of EU leaders in Brussels, Merkel said, “There is no majority that makes a decision on an immediate end to the negotiations [regarding Turkey’s EU accession bid].
Despite her doubt on the current situation, Merkel said she sides with the continuation of negotiations with Turkey.
Asked about her call for an end to Ankara’s EU membership process during election campaign, Merkel said: “We asked the commission to prepare an offer on reducing or redirecting EU pre-accession funds to Turkey. But, the next step must be communication with Turkey.”
Merkel underlined that EU member states should preserve their unity, and take a unified position on Turkey.
Ahead of the summit on Thursday, Merkel suggested reducing EU pre-accession funds to Turkey instead of calling for an end to Ankara’s EU membership process.
Despite calls by German social democrats and liberals to immediately halt Ankara’s EU membership talks and freeze €4 billion ($4.68 billion) in pre-accession funds, a majority of EU member states turned down such proposals, and backed dialogue with Ankara.
Any decision to terminate Turkey’s membership talks would require unanimity among all EU member states. So far only Austria has openly backed freezing Turkey’s EU membership talks.