EU-Turkey bound together
Istanbul (7th June 2013) - Speech by Commissioner Štefan Füle at the Conference "Rethinking Global Challenges: Constructing a Common Future for Turkey and the EU" in Istanbul, Turkey. "The duty of all of us, European Union Members as much as those countries that wish to become one, is to aspire to the highest possible democratic standards and practices. These include the freedom to express one's opinion, the freedom to assemble peacefully and freedom of media to report on what is happening as it is happening.
Best practices include close attention to the needs and expectations of society, including that of groups that don't feel represented by the Parliamentary majority. Peaceful demonstrations constitute a legitimate way for these groups to express their views in a democratic society. Excessive use of force by police against these demonstrations has no place in such a democracy.
[…]Energising the EU accession process and strengthening democracy by respecting rights and freedoms are two sides of the same coin. […]we have made good progress since last year. But we now need to enter into a new dimension and create a real sustainable momentum that will carry the process further during the coming years. […]
I call on Turkey “not to give up on its values” of freedom and fundamental rights. And let me assure you that we, on our side, have no intention to “give up on Turkey´s EU accession.”
We are bound together – through opening a new chapter and progress in accession negotiations – to create new, sustainable momentum. We are bound to avoid everything that risks to undermine this. We are bound to succeed together.''
More information: Commissioner's speech