Message By The Minister Of Foreign Affairs H.e. Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu On The Occasion Of The Europe Day, May 9th , 08.05.2014
Europe Day, May 9th, which we have been
celebrating along with all the other peoples of Europe since 1999 when Turkey’s
candidate status for the European Union was recognised, is the symbol of the
European integration on the basis of common interests and values.
Europe Day also offers an occasion to
assess the current situation of European integration and to discuss plans for
Significant success has been achieved in
the 64-year long European integration process. This process, which started with
six countries, now includes 28 member states. European integration has
contributed to the establishment of a general environment of peace as well as
to increasing economic prosperity.
The EU is the world’s largest economy with
its population of more than 500 million and a gross domestic product in excess
of 17 trillion US Dollars. It has a comparatively advanced level of economic
welfare and equality in income distribution.
Our hope, as a close economic and
commercial partner of the Union, is that the EU can sustain this economic
performance and that it will overcome the uncertainties emerging after the
economic and financial crisis by means of structural reforms and measures.
On the other hand, xenophobic and racist
tendencies across Europe triggered by the economic and financial crisis have
recently reached notable dimensions. Cultural diversity is one of the most
important factors strengthening and enriching the EU. It is also important that
the EU covers a broader geography hosting different cultures in order to
overcome the crisis and maintain its competitiveness vis-à-vis rising
economies. For these reasons, necessary steps should be taken to prevent such
trends that might compromise the Union remaining a center of attraction.
The EU should also look into Turkey’s
accession process from this broader perspective, and consider the contributions
that Turkey would make to the Union in the present global transformation
Turkey’s membership to the EU will be a
development that is consistent with the flow of history. Turkey has been
influenced by the events in Europe throughout history, and it has in turn
influenced the events on the continent. It endured great sacrifices for the
safety of Europe in the past, and assumed a role in the establishment of peace
and stability in our continent each time the European security architecture was
redesigned. Today, with its active foreign policy, Turkey leads the list of
countries that may contribute to Europe’s political stability and its emergence
as a powerful global actor.
Furthermore, Turkey is today at a different
stage in economic and political terms than it was in 1963, the year when the
Association Agreement was signed with the EU. It undertook significant
political and economic reforms in parallel with regional and global
developments, particularly during the last decade. Thanks to these reforms,
Turkey has complied with the European standards in many areas and the
harmonization process is being resolutely pursued.
Our main expectation is that the accession
negotiations are conducted and concluded as a technical process without being
subjected to political obstacles.
Should the visa liberalisation dialogue
initiated between Turkey and the EU last December successfully finalized the
people of Turkey and those of EU member states will be better acquainted with
each other and get closer and also mutual interaction in areas such as trade,
tourism, culture, science and art will increase. Our Government’s efforts in
this area will continue.
Turkey has always been a part of Europe
historically, geographically, politically, economically and in the social and
cultural sense. It will continue to contribute to the contemporary Europe in
every area and to help to take forward the European project.
With these considerations, I extend my
congratulations to our citizens and all Europeans for Europe Day.