Turkey: EU Aid

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 26th May 2016.

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Photo of Douglas Carswell Douglas Carswell UKIP, Clacton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to other EU member states at the Council of the EU on cessation of Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance II funding to Turkey in 2014-20.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe

The Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance funding is used to promote political reform and human rights, cut corruption and strengthen the rule of law and to bring Turkey - and other EU accession countries - up to EU standards, economically and politically. It has also been used to help Turkey respond to the migration crisis. It promotes cooperation on issues that matter to the UK, such as the rule of law, organised crime and migration. Improving the business environment in Turkey and other EU accession countries will lead to more commercial opportunities for British goods and investment.

As the Prime Minister has made clear, Turkey’s EU accession is not remotely on the cards for many years to come.

Turkey has to negotiate 35 different chapters. Since EU accession negotiations with Turkey started in 2005, only one chapter has been closed. Decisions to open chapters, to agree that conditions have been met and to close chapters all require the unanimous agreement of EU Member States. Once all chapter negotiations have been completed and closed, there must be another unanimous decision on accession. All 28 Member States then have to ratify an accession treaty, and the European Parliament has to approve the accession. Some EU Member States have already committed to undertake a referendum on Turkey’s accession to the EU. In the case of the UK, under the European Union Act 2011, ratification cannot take place without an Act of Parliament to approve the new accession. We can therefore ensure that our requirements are respected in any future EU enlargement.

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