The European Union is committed to enlargement, a strategic investment in peace, democracy, prosperity, security and stability in Europe.
Turkey remains a candidate country for the EU membership and a key partner in many areas of joint interest such as migration, counterterrorism, economy and trade.
Reacting also to the European Commission 2019 country report, the Council of the EU recalled in June 2019 that Turkey continues to move further away from the EU; noting that Turkey's accession negotiations have therefore effectively come to a standstill and no further chapters can be considered for opening or closing and no further work towards the modernisation of the EU-Turkey Customs Union is foreseen.
In addition, in July 2019, the Council of the EU adopted conclusions on the Turkish drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
To become a member of the EU, a candidate country must bring its institutions, management capacity and administrative and judicial systems up to EU standards, both at national and regional level.
The EU uses the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) to support Turkey as it makes its reforms in view of aligning with Community legislation and standards.
The EU has allocated €4.8 billion under the IPA 2014-2020 for Turkey. The priority sectors supported are:
- democracy and governance
- the rule of law and fundamental rights
- environment and climate action
- transport and energy
- competitiveness and innovation
- employment and social policies
- agriculture and rural development and
- regional and territorial cooperation.
The strategic priorities for financial assistance under these sectors are defined in the Indicative Strategy Paper for Turkey.