President Juncker participates in EU-Turkey Leaders’ Meeting in Varna, Bulgaria
Today the Leaders’ Meeting on EU-Turkey relations is taking place in Varna (Bulgaria). Hosted by Prime Minister Borissov, representing the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU, President Juncker, President Tusk and President Erdoğan will meet for a working dinner to discuss all aspects of current and future EU-Turkey relations.
The main points of discussion will be cooperation in energy, security, the fight against terrorism and migration management and the EU’s assistance for refugees in Turkey as the EU-Turkey Statement continues to deliver results. Earlier this month, two years on from the launch of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey, the Commission proposed to mobilise the second €3 billion tranche after the first part of the Facility was fully committed and contracted by the end of 2017. The visa liberalisation process and the inextricably linked domestic political situation and security matters in Turkey will also feature high on the agenda. The meeting takes place after European Leaders condemned Turkey’s continued illegal actions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea during the European Council last week as undermining regional stability and security. Energy cooperation will also be prominent in the leaders’ discussion where EU leaders will once again stress that good neighbourly relations with all EU Member States are key for an enhanced energy security. Finally, counterterrorism actions and cooperation will also be part of this evening’s dialogue. Ahead of the summit, following the European Council meeting last week where Turkey featured high on the agenda, President Juncker said: “The differences in views between the EU and Turkey are many. It will be a frank and open debate where we will not hide our differences but where we will seek to improve our cooperation”. A press conference will follow this evening, timing to be confirmed. Watch live on EbS here.