The EU-Turkey Meeting in Varna is far from CertainDiplomacy | February 24, 2018, Saturday // 11:05| views
The Council of the EU will decide, at the last possible moment, whether the key meeting for the Bulgarian presidency with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Varna will take place. This was made clear by the statement of European Council President Donald Tusk, quoted by BTA.
Tusk has announced that the decision on whether the EU will take part in the summit will happen at the next European Council, which will be held on 22-23 March, and the event is scheduled for March 26th. The reason is the tensions in the Mediterranean Sea and the behavior of the Turkish navy, which has prevented gas exploration in the territorial waters of Cyprus. The European Council supported Cyprus and Greece on the issues with Ankara. The EU urges Turkey to respect international law because "its actions contradict good neighborliness".
The European Council calls on Iran and Russia to stop supporting the violence of the Bashar Assad regime in Syria. On EU issues in today's meeting, the participants have united around the need to increase the cost of fighting illegal migration, defense, security, education. On Sunday evening, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker specified that 14-15 countries have expressed their readiness to increase their contributions to the EU budget because of the expected annual shortage of around EUR 10 billion generated by the UK exit.
Juncker said that if the EU keeps its current cohesion and agricultural spending, the remaining budget items should be cut by almost half. "I do not like it, but there must be a reduction in agricultural and cohesion policy," the EC President said. At the same time, Juncker and Tusk expressed completely opposing judgments about the advancement of leading candidates for President of the European Commission. According to Juncker, if this approach is used again, it would be a more democratic solution. According to Tusk, the advance raising of leading candidates does not contribute to democracy. The European Council endorsed the European Parliament's proposal of 2019 that the number of MEPs would be 705 after the leaving of the UK. Until now, they were 751.