Bulgarian Deputy Gets EP to Back Closer EU-Turkey Trade Ties

Bulgaria in EU | September 21, 2010, Tuesday // 21:03|  views

ALDE MEP Metin Kazak's report on EU-Turkey trade has been adopted by the EP. Photo by BGNES

The European Parliament has adopted a report of the Bulgarian MEP Metin Kazak calling for the removal of existing trade barriers between the EU and Turkey.

At the proposal of Kazak, who is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament and of the Bulgarian ethnic Turkish party DPS (Movement for Rights and Freedoms), the EP has welcomed the results from Turkey's last week's constitutional referendum.

The report states that the improvement of the trade between the Union and Turkey necessitates the recognition of trade certificates and double testing, and that Turkey must meet all of its obligations under its customs union with the EU including with respect to Cyprus.

The MEPs have expressed regret over the fact that Turkey has not applied the additional protocol to its Association Agreement to allow access to all Turkish ports and airports to Cyprus, and said that the problems between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus (i.e. the Greek part of the island, which is an EU member) might complicate the Turkish accession negotiations.

The European Parliament called upon Turkey to abolish problematic import procedures, and discriminatory practices such as the 15% advantage of Turkish companies participating in public procurement tenders in Turkey. It said the European Commission and the Council must reconsider the EU visa policy for Turkish businessmen and truck drivers.

Turkish goods imitating those of EU brands are said to be a serious issue in the bilateral trade especially with respect to pharmaceuticals and cosmetic products.

The MEPs have stressed the fact that Turkey and the EU are facing common challenges and that the natural gas transit pipeline Nabucco is of great importance for both; they called upon Turkey to take the initiative in order to apply quickly the intergovernmental agreement on the pipe.

With respect to the customs union on industrial and processed agricultural products between the EU and Turkey, which entered into force in 1997, the MEPs believe that it should be extended to include all agricultural products as well as services and public procurement deals.

Turkey is the seventh largest trading partner of the EU 27, while the EU is Turkey's largest.

In 2009, Turkey exported EUR 33.6 B worth of goods and services to the EU, while its EU imports amounted to EUR 40.4 B. 88% of all foreign direct investments in Turkey come from the EU.

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Tags: MEPs, EP, European parliament, turkey, Metin Kazak, ALDE, DPS, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, ethnic Turkish, EU-Turkey customs union, Cyprus, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, EU-Turkey trade


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