Turkey can show Britain the way on the economy: EU minister
Egemen Bağış(L) and William Wallace(R). AA PhotoTurkey can instruct Britain how to tackle the economic crisis while London can in turn show Ankara how to approach the difficulties of the EU accession process, Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bağış said Feb. 12.
“Turkey could teach Britain how to tackle the economic crisis and in turn Britain could show ways Turkey on how to cope with the obstacles in EU membership process,” Bağış said following a Feb. 12 meeting with William Wallace, spokesperson of the House of Lords on Foreign Affairs.
Bağış also expressed his happiness over the British government’s support for Turkey’s EU membership.
Elsewhere, the EU minister voiced his expectations over talks on removing visas during an interview with the Financial Times. Asked if there had been any progress on the issue, Bağış said: “It takes two to tango. We are on the dance floor waiting for the commission to join us.”
Bağış welcomed a French move to remove blocks on Turkey’s EU negotiations. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has said they will assist Turkey with opening Article 22, entitled “Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments.”
The minister also said he was hopeful the EU would now formally open negotiations on the chapter during Ireland’s EU presidency during the first half of 2013, but he cautioned that further progress could be elusive due to Europe’s own monetary problems.
“At a time when Europe is going through its own monetary problems, getting a consensus among EU states on opening Chapter 17 on monetary policy would be hard, but not impossible,” he said.
Turkey’s ambassador to Britain, Ünal Çeviköz, also attended the meeting with Wallace and Bağış.