Meeting of the EU heads of state or government with Turkey


EU-Turkey Statement –Déclaration UE-Turquie

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EU-Turkey Statement

1. Today the Leaders of the European Union met in Brussels with their Turkish counterpart. Turkey has been a candidate since 1999 and negotiating for accession since 2005.

2. Turkey and the EU discussed the importance of overcoming the common challenges ahead. In line with the conclusions of the European Council of 15 October, they agreed that the accession process needs to be re-energized. They are committed to carry further their existing ties and solidarity and adopt result-oriented action to prepare their common future. They are determined to confront and surmount the existing risks and threats in a concerted manner to reinforce the European Project. Recalling the final declaration of the last G20 in Antalya, as well as the 2249 UNSC resolution, Turkey and the EU reaffirm that the fight against terrorism remains a priority.

3. For this purpose it was agreed that a structured and more frequent high-level dialogue is essential to explore the vast potential of Turkey-EU relations, which has not been realised fully yet. In this framework, both sides agreed to have regular Summits twice a year, in an appropriate format. Regular summits will provide a platform to assess the development of Turkey-EU relations and discuss international issues. Regular discussions and cooperation on foreign and security policy should be enhanced including on counter-terrorism against the background of serious security challenges notably the rising threat of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. In this context, the two sides agreed to have comprehensive regular political dialogue meetings at Ministerial/High Representative/Commissioner level. These will be in addition to the regular Association Council meetings. High level dialogues should also be conducted on key thematic issues.

4. Both sides welcomed the announcement to hold the Intergovernmental Conference on 14 December 2015 for opening of chapter 17. Furthermore, they noted the European Commission’s commitment to complete, in the first quarter of 2016, the preparatory work for the opening of a number of chapters without prejudice to the position of Member States. Preparatory work could subsequently begin also on further chapters.

5. The EU welcomed the commitment by Turkey to accelerate the fulfilment of the Visa Roadmap benchmarks vis-à-vis all participating Member States. The European Commission will present the second progress report on the implementation by Turkey of the visa liberalisation roadmap by early March 2016. Both sides agree that the EU-Turkey readmission agreement will become fully applicable from June 2016 in order for the Commission to be able to present its third progress report in autumn 2016 with a view to completing the visa liberalisation process i.e. the lifting of visa requirements for Turkish citizens in the Schengen zone by October 2016 once the requirements of the Roadmap are met.

6. The EU will provide immediate and continuous humanitarian assistance in Turkey. It will also expand significantly its overall financial support. A Refugee Facility for Turkey was established by the Commission to coordinate and streamline actions financed in order to deliver efficient and complementary support to Syrians under temporary protection and host communities in Turkey. The EU is committed to provide an initial 3 billion euro of additional resources. The need for and nature of this funding will be reviewed in the light of the developing situation. As Turkey hosts more than 2.2 million Syrians and as it has spent 8 billion US Dollars, the EU thus underlined the importance of burden-sharing within the framework of Turkey-EU cooperation. In this context, they underlined the contribution by Member State and existing EU resettlement schemes and programmes.

7. Turkey and the EU have decided to activate the Joint Action Plan that had been agreed until now ad referenda on 15 October 2015, to step up their cooperation for support of Syrians under temporary protection and migration management to address the crisis created by the situation in Syria. Results must be achieved in particular in stemming the influx of irregular migrants. The EU and Turkey agreed to implement the Joint Action Plan which will bring order into migratory flows and help to stem irregular migration. As a consequence, both sides will, as agreed and with immediate effect, step up their active cooperation on migrants who are not in need of international protection, preventing travel to Turkey and the EU, ensuring the application of the established bilateral readmission provisions and swiftly returning migrants who are not in need of international protection to their countries of origin. Equally, they welcomed the intention of Turkey to adopt immediately measures to further improve the socio-economic situation of the Syrians under temporary protection. Both sides underlined their shared commitment to take decisive and swift action to enhance the fight against criminal smuggling networks.

8. As stipulated in the European Council Conclusions on Enlargement of December 2014, Turkey and the EU have been working on the establishment of a High Level Economic Dialogue Mechanism which will contribute to further enhancement of economic relations and create a business platform to bring business circles together. They agreed to launch it in the first quarter of 2016.

9. They welcomed the establishment of a High Level Energy Dialogue and Strategic Energy Cooperation, which had been launched in Ankara on 16 March 2015. A regular exchange of information on energy cooperation at the global and regional level serves to the benefit of both sides. They agreed to hold the second meeting of this kind in the first quarter of 2016.

10. They took note of the launching of preparatory steps for upgrading the Customs Union. After completion of this preparatory work by both sides, formal negotiations could be launched towards the end of 2016.

11. All these elements will have to be taken forward in parallel and monitored closely. Turkey and the EU are determined to advance together the widespread spectrum of their actual agenda to ensure that this fresh impetus yields concrete results.

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Déclaration UE-Turquie

1. Les dirigeants de l’Union européenne se sont réunis ce jour à Bruxelles avec leur homologue turc. La Turquie est un pays candidat depuis 1999 et négocie son adhésion depuis 2005.

2. La Turquie et l’UE ont débattu de l’importance qu’il y a à relever les défis communs qui les attendent. Conformément aux conclusions du Conseil européen du 15 octobre, elles sont convenues que le processus d’adhésion doit être relancé. Elles sont résolues à renforcer les liens et la solidarité qui les unissent et à adopter des mesures axées sur l’obtention de résultats pour préparer leur avenir commun. Elles sont déterminées à faire face aux risques et menaces existants ainsi qu’à les surmonter de manière concertée afin de renforcer le projet européen. Rappelant la déclaration finale du dernier sommet du G20, qui s’est tenu à Antalya, ainsi que la résolution (2015) 2249 du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies, la Turquie et l’UE réaffirment que la lutte contre le terrorisme reste une priorité.

3. À cette fin, il a été décidé qu’un dialogue à haut niveau structuré et plus fréquent est essentiel pour explorer le vaste potentiel des relations Turquie-UE, qui n’a pas encore été pleinement exploité. Dans ce cadre, les deux parties sont convenues de tenir des sommets réguliers deux fois par an, dans une configuration appropriée. Ces sommets réguliers leur permettront de faire le point sur l’évolution de leurs relations et de débattre de questions internationales. Les discussions et la coopération régulières menées sur la politique étrangère et de sécurité devraient être intensifiées, y compris en ce qui concerne la lutte contre le terrorisme, dans le contexte des défis majeurs qui se posent en matière de sécurité, notamment la menace grandissante du terrorisme sous toutes ses formes et dans toutes ses manifestations. Dans ce contexte, les deux parties sont convenues de tenir régulièrement, au niveau des ministres/de la haute représentante/du commissaire, des réunions au titre du dialogue politique consacrées à un large éventail de questions. Ces réunions s’ajouteront aux réunions régulières du Conseil d’association. Des dialogues de haut niveau devraient également avoir lieu sur des questions thématiques fondamentales.

4. Les deux parties ont accueilli avec satisfaction l’annonce de la tenue de la Conférence intergouvernementale le 14 décembre 2015, en vue de l’ouverture du chapitre 17. Par ailleurs, elles ont noté que la Commission européenne s’est engagée à mener à bonne fin, au cours du premier trimestre de 2016, les travaux préparatoires à l’ouverture d’un certain nombre de chapitres, sans qu’il soit préjugé de la position des États membres. Des travaux préparatoires pourraient ensuite également être entrepris sur d’autres chapitres.

5. L’UE s’est félicitée de l’engagement pris par la Turquie d’accélérer les mesures visant à assurer le respect des critères de la feuille de route sur la libéralisation du régime des visas vis-à-vis de tous les États membres participants. La Commission européenne présentera le deuxième rapport d’avancement sur la mise en œuvre par la Turquie de cette feuille de route d’ici le début du mois de mars 2016. Les deux parties conviennent que l’accord de réadmission conclu entre l’UE et la Turquie deviendra pleinement applicable à compter de juin 2016, afin que la Commission puisse présenter son troisième rapport d’avancement à l’automne 2016 en vue de l’achèvement du processus de libéralisation du régime des visas, c’est-à-dire la suppression des obligations en matière de visa pour les citoyens turcs dans l’espace Schengen d’ici octobre 2016, une fois que les conditions prévues dans la feuille de route seront remplies.

6. L’UE fournira une aide humanitaire immédiate et continue en Turquie. Elle renforcera également de façon importante son aide financière globale. Un mécanisme d’aide aux réfugiés en Turquie a été créé par la Commission pour coordonner et rationaliser les mesures financées afin d’apporter une aide complémentaire efficace aux Syriens bénéficiant d’une protection temporaire et aux communautés d’accueil en Turquie. L’UE est résolue à fournir une première enveloppe de ressources supplémentaires de 3 milliards d’euros. La nécessité et la nature de ce financement seront réexaminées en fonction de l’évolution de la situation. La Turquie accueillant plus de 2,2 millions de Syriens et ayant dépensé 8 milliards de dollars, l’UE a souligné qu’il était important de partager la charge dans le cadre de la coopération Turquie UE. À cet égard, les deux parties ont insisté sur la contribution des mécanismes et programmes de réinstallation des États membres et de ceux de l’UE qui existent déjà.

7. La Turquie et l’UE ont décidé d’activer le plan d’action commun qui avait jusqu’à présent été approuvé ad referendum le 15 octobre 2015, afin d’intensifier leur coopération pour venir en aide aux Syriens bénéficiant d’une protection temporaire et gérer le phénomène migratoire en vue de faire face à la crise engendrée par la situation en Syrie. Il faut obtenir des résultats, en particulier pour ce qui est d’endiguer l’afflux de migrants en situation irrégulière. L’UE et la Turquie sont convenues de mettre en œuvre ce plan d’action commun, qui permettra de mettre de l’ordre dans les flux migratoires et contribuera à endiguer les migrations irrégulières. Par conséquent, comme convenu et avec effet immédiat, les deux parties intensifieront leur coopération active concernant les migrants qui n’ont pas besoin d’une protection internationale, en les empêchant de se rendre en Turquie et dans l’UE, en assurant l’application des dispositions bilatérales qui ont été établies en matière de réadmission et en renvoyant rapidement dans leurs pays d’origine les migrants qui n’ont pas besoin d’une protection internationale. Par ailleurs, elles se sont félicitées de l’intention qu’a la Turquie d’adopter immédiatement des mesures visant à continuer d’améliorer la situation socioéconomique des Syriens bénéficiant d’une protection temporaire. Les deux parties ont souligné leur détermination commune à prendre rapidement des mesures décisives pour renforcer la lutte contre les réseaux criminels de passeurs.

8. Ainsi que le Conseil européen l’avait préconisé dans ses conclusions sur l’élargissement de décembre 2014, la Turquie et l’UE ont travaillé à la création d’un mécanisme de dialogue économique à haut niveau, qui contribuera à renforcer encore les relations économiques et créera une enceinte permettant de réunir les milieux d’affaires. Elles sont convenues de lancer ce mécanisme au premier trimestre de 2016.

9. La Turquie et l’UE se sont félicitées de l’établissement d’un dialogue et d’une coopération stratégique à haut niveau dans le domaine énergétique, qui avaient été lancés à Ankara le 16 mars 2015. Un échange régulier d’informations sur la coopération énergétique au niveau mondial et régional est dans l’intérêt des deux parties. La Turquie et l’UE ont décidé de tenir la deuxième réunion de ce type au premier trimestre de 2016.

10. La Turquie et l’UE ont pris acte du lancement des préparatifs visant à moderniser l’union douanière. Une fois que les deux parties auront achevé ces travaux préparatoires, les négociations formelles pourraient être lancées vers la fin de 2016.

11. Tous ces éléments devront progresser en parallèle et faire l’objet d’un suivi attentif. La Turquie et l’UE sont déterminées à faire avancer ensemble les nombreux dossiers qu’elles ont à traiter à l’heure actuelle afin que cette nouvelle dynamique produise des résultats concrets.

Remarks by President Donald Tusk after the meeting of EU heads of state or government with Turkey

We have now concluded a useful summit between the European Union and Turkey.

This summit was about renewing our relationship based on a clear timetable for action. We discussed a range of important areas such as counter-terrorism, energy, trade, as well as geo-strategic issues of common concern.

But obviously migration was the primary reason why we all met today. Let me state clearly that we do not expect anyone to guard our borders for us. That can and should only be done by Europeans. But we expect a major step towards changing the rules of the game when it comes to stemming the migration flow that is coming to the EU via Turkey. Our agreement sets out a clear plan for the timely re-establishment of order at our shared frontier. We will also step up our assistance to Syrian refugees in Turkey through a new Refugee Facility of €3 billion.

Turkey remains a key strategic partner for Europe, but also a candidate country of the EU. We agreed that the accession process need to be re-energized. We welcomed the announcement to hold the Intergovernmental Conference for opening chapter 17 on economic and monetary policy, while preparatory work on opening other chapters is taking place. Let me stress that we are not re-writing the EU enlargement policy. The negotiating framework and the relevant conclusions continue to apply, including its merit-based nature and the respect for European values, also on human rights.

Finally we all look forward to 2016 as a key year for the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement that was reached today. Thank you.

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Introductory remarks by President Donald Tusk at the meeting of EU heads of state or government with EU, 29 November 2015

Good afternoon. Thank you very much for being here today. Welcome to all and again to our guest Prime Minister Davutoglu. Before getting into the substance, let me just say that we have two new colleagues amongst us today – Prime Minister of Poland Beata Szydło and Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa. Serdecznie witamy ! Seja muito bem-vindo !

Prime minister, colleagues, this is an important moment for the EU and I am sure also for Turkey. If the ambitious agreement that we are about to adopt is fully implemented, the 29th of November 2015 will be a crucial date in EU-Turkish relations.

Handling the migration crisis was the immediate reason for our meeting today. Approximately 1.5 million people have illegally entered the EU in 2015. Most have come through Turkey. Some seek shelter from war and persecution. Others seek a better life. And a few seek to destroy our values.

But this is not about the EU outsourcing its security and migration policy to Turkey. Nor is it about adding a burden on Turkey; a country that has demonstrated its solidarity to more than 2 million refugees and is itself experiencing the strains from dealing with this situation. But it is addressing these challenges together.

We, the European Union, will strengthen our support to refugees in Turkey and the region, stem irregular migration, work on returns, increase our support to visa liberalisation and crack down, together, on the criminal smugglers’ networks. Beyond that, we commit to play our part in intensifying our bilateral relationship.

In return, we expect to see an immediate and substantial reduction of irregular migrants arriving to Europe. And we expect Turkey under the new government to assist us in realising the common objective of coming closer together, through reforms, the upholding of the highest standards of human rights and media freedom, and the implementation of agreed roadmaps and benchmarks.

In the end, this meeting is not only about handling the migration crisis. Out of crises come opportunities. And the opportunity we are embracing today is to get our relationship to a new and higher level that matches our common interests. An opportunity to re-energise our bilateral relations, for the benefit of both Turkey and the European Union. We will agree to meet regularly to intensify our dialogues at all levels. We agree to be more ambitious when it comes to the accession process, and to work together to achieve the goal of visa-free travel, while strengthening cooperation on counter-terrorism, trade, energy, and economic relations.

Finally migration is not the only topic we need to address. Recent developments have underlined that the issue of taking coordinated actions in Syria remains a priority. The tragic attacks in Paris demonstrated that our fight against terrorism has to enter a new phase. This will be a common task for the EU and Turkey. Without a quick and lasting solution to the crisis in Syria, people will still be fleeing the war. Here, let me stress the need to give our full support to the Vienna process.

Prime Minister, once again welcome. We have important work ahead of us.

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29 November 2015 – I have called this Summit to decide in the first place what the EU and Turkey must do together to cope with the migration crisis. Our main goal is to stem the flow of migrants to Europe. After many weeks of hard work and tough talks we have reached an agreement which I hope will be accepted today by all parties concerned.

This Summit however is also about a wider dimension, namely re-energising our relations with Turkey, including the accession process. Turkey is a key partner regarding counterterrorism. We also need better cooperation when it comes to the situation in Syria and of course when it come to the Cyprus issue. Recent days have also shown how important our geopolitical and strategic cooperation is.

Let us not be naïve, though. Turkey is not the only key to solving the migration crisis. The most important one is our responsibility and duty to protect our external borders. We cannot outsource this obligation to any third country. I will repeat this again: without control on our external borders, Schengen will become history. President Donald Tusk + Introductory remarks by Donald TUSK, President of the European Council, at the EU heads of state or government with Turkey, on 29 November

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Videos – 29 Nov.2015 (Declarations & features

§ Background on Meeting

§ EU-Turkey relations

§ Engaging with Turkey

§ Leaders’ comments at EU-Turkey summit

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§ Preliminary remarks by by Donald TUSK, President of the European Council, following the EU heads of state or government with Turkey, on 29 November 2015

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§ Jean-Claude JUNCKER, President of the European Commission, following the EU heads of state or government with Turkey, on 29 November 2015.)

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§ Preliminary remarks by Ahmet DAVUTOĞLU, Prime Minister of Turkey, following the EU heads of state or government

§ Questions and answers during the press conference that followed the EU heads of state or government with Turkey

§ Questions and answers during the press conference that followed the EU heads of state or government with Turkey – 2

§ Cutaways from the press conference that followed the EU heads of state or government with Turkey

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§ National briefing by Angela MERKEL

§ Questions and answers during the national briefing by Angela MERKEL

§ Questions and answers during the national briefing by Angela MERKEL – 2

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§ National briefing by Charles MICHEL, Prime Minister of Belgium

§ Questions and answers during the national briefing by Charles MICHEL

§ Déclaration de François HOLLANDE, Président de la République

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§ National briefing by Werner FAYMANN, Federal Chancellor of Austria

§ Questions and answers during the national briefing by Werner FAYMANN

§ Questions and answers during the national briefing by Werner FAYMANN – 2

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§ National briefing by Mark RUTTE, Prime Minister of the Netherlands

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§ National briefing by Xavier BETTEL, Prime Minister of Luxembourg

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§ National briefing by Stefan LÖFVEN, Prime Minister of Sweden

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§ Introductory remarks: Prime Minister Davutoğlu

§ Ahmet DAVUTOĞLU, Prime Minister of Turkey

§ Alexis TSIPRAS, Prime Minister of Greece

§ Angela MERKEL, Federal Chancellor of Germany

§ Bohuslav SOBOTKA, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic

§ António COSTA, Prime Minister of Portugal

§ Charles MICHEL, Prime Minister of Belgium

§ Dalia GRYBAUSKAITĖ, President of Lithuania

§ David CAMERON, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

§ Enda KENNY, Taoiseach of Ireland

§ François HOLLANDE, Président de la République française

§ Federica MOGHERINI. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

§ Jean-Claude JUNCKER, President of the European Commission

§ Juha SIPILÄ, Prime Minister of Finland

§ Lars Løkke RASMUSSEN, Prime Minister of Denmark

§ Stefan LÖFVEN, Prime Minister of Sweden

§ Mark RUTTE, Prime Minister of the Netherlands

§ Martin SCHULZ, President of the European Parliament

§ Matteo RENZI, Prime Minister of Italy

§ Miro CERAR, Prime Minister of Slovenia

§ Taavi RÕIVAS, Prime Minister of Estonia

§ Wener FAYMANN, Federal Chancellor of Austria

§ Viktor ORBAN, Prime Minister of Hungary

§ Xavier BETTEL, Prime Minister of Luxembourg

§ Declaring a new start

§ Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries: Turkey

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