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EU Cancels €70 Million Fund for Turkey due to Failure in Human Rights

European Parliament (E.P.), the legislative branch of the European Union (E.U.),will cancel a €70 million fund previously planned to be granted to Turkey as part of support for the country’s bid of accession to the E.U. because of insufficient advancement in human rights and the rule of law, the DW Turkish reported on Tuesday.

The announcement came from the E.P.’s Committee on Budgets, which said the €70 million that was originally designated for Turkey is going to be spent on immigration programs.

The amount in question was initially allocated last November to Turkey “on the condition of measurable and sufficient progress made in the areas of rule of law, democracy, human rights and press freedom”.

The committee stated that the annual E.U. report issued on April 18 concluding that Turkey significantly moved away from the union has played a role in the decision, as it documented that the determined conditions were not met.

The bill stipulating cancellation of the fund was presented by Siegfried Muresan, a Romanian member of the E.P., and was approved with 27 votes against one, while four members abstained from voting.

The bill that passed the committee will now be voted by the E.P. However the voting slated to take place on October 3 is said to be mainly procedural and the bill is highly likely to pass.

DW Turkish also reported that Johannes Hahn, European commissioner for enlargement negotiations and neighborhood policy, defended the decision, saying Turkey is responsible for its own economic problems.

Speaking to Die Welt, Hahn said Turkeys financial problems cannot be solved with Europe’s involvement in terms of funding or loaning money.

Hahn noted that Turkey first needs to implement reforms in order to fix its economy, by setting a powerful monetary policy, making its central bank independent and protecting democratic values, adding that politicians should assume responsibility.

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