EU has not been the most reliable partner for Turkey: Finnish head of Parliament
Eero Heinäluoma is paying an official visit to Turkey in order to meet parliamentary speaker Cemil Çiçek to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the beginning of the official relations between Turkey and Finland.The European Union has not been the most reliable negotiating partner for Turkey in the negotiation process, head of the Finnish Parliament Eero Heinäluoma told daily Hurriyet in an interview during his visit to Turkey yesterday.
“We know there have been problems both concerning the attitude of the European Union and some of the member states. Some member states put obstacles on the way. The attitude has gone back and forth on the European side,” Heinäluoma said.
Heinäluoma is paying an official visit to Turkey in order to meet parliamentary speaker Cemil Çiçek to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the beginning of the official relations between Turkey and Finland.
“Finland is a very keen supporter of Turkey’s EU membership. We hope to see Turkey as a member state of the EU,” Heinäluoma said.
Heinäluoma said, however, it has not been an easy process for either side. “The EU has not been the most reliable negotiation partner because of the attitude on the European side. They have changed. However, the overall way of thinking from Finland has always been that when you promise to do something, it is important you do it and you keep your promise,” he added.
Heinäluoma said that ought to be done both on the side of the EU and on the side of Turkey.
“Tomorrow, when Turkey has done its job and when it has fulfilled its criteria, it ought to be accepted as a member state,” he said.
Heinäluoma stressed at the same time the most important thing was the strong commitment on Turkey’s side to be a member state. “It is crucial for Turkey that these negotiations go on. I hope the problems that we have seen on the EU side, they will not be any obstacle for the Turkish side to go on and try to do their work”, he added.
Heinäluoma also drew attention to the importance of press freedom and human rights issues.
“International standards and EU standards are very important to us. We take these commitments very seriously, especially concerning human rights issues, rule of law, press freedom and civil liberties. There ought to be free press that can be critical to those who have power. People ought to have the right to know the opinions of the government, opposition and the opinions of civil rights movements. We take these commitments very seriously and we hope every other state does the same too,” he said.
‘Ready to export green mining to Turkey’
Heinäluoma, who worked as the Director of the Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) between 1996 and 2002, said the whole mining sector, both in Turkey and in the World, had to take some lessons from the Soma disaster that took place in Turkey two weeks ago.
“Finland is also a great mining society. We have had a lot of mining activities in Finland and nowadays we are also opening new mines. We put a lot of stress and importance into the safety of the miners. In our eyes, the only possibility in the mining sector to survive is to fulfill all of the safety and the environmental regulations,” he said.
Heinäluoma drew attention to Finland ratifying the ILO’s Convention 176 on work safety many years ago. “In this convention, there are very concrete steps on what you should do to provide safe mining circumstances so that you can prevent these kind of monstrous catastrophes,” he added.
Heinäluoma said that in recent years, they have been developing a new mining technology in Finland called “green mining,” which is safe for miners and at the same time environmentally friendly.