Turkey plans to close down EU Ministry as part of new administrative system
Nuray Babacan - ANKARA
With the new administration system to be formed after June 24 polls, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is planning to close down seven current ministries in a bid to introduce a small but efficient government, which includes transferring all the duties and operations of the EU Ministry to the Foreign Ministry.
The AKP’s plans can only be realized if President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan can be re-elected as the head of the nation and therefore, be assigned to form the government as the sole executive power.
The new administrative system grants the elected president with excessive executive powers that includes the right to issue decree laws over matters that concern the functions of the state apparatus.
In a recent statement, Erdoğan hinted that the number of ministries will be reduced to 14 or 15 from the current 25 in a bid to increase the efficiency of the government and therefore to lessen bureaucratic bulk.
According to the information gathered by the daily Hürriyet, seven ministries will be closed down as their duties and responsibilities will be handed over to other government bodies. The EU Ministry, Economy Ministry, Youth and Sports Ministry, Customs and Trade Ministry, Development Ministry, Culture and Tourism Ministry, as well as the Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry will be closed down.
With the change, the tasks of the EU Ministry will be fully transferred to the Foreign Ministry and the former will preserve its organizational chart but without a minister. The EU Ministry was founded in 2011 in a bid to give an impetus to Turkey’s accession process with the EU by introducing a more coordinated structure within the Turkish administrative system.
Sources also indicated that the elected president can assign one vice president to follow EU-Turkey relations and the accession process if needed.
Economy under single roof
The change within the system will bring about the most important consequences for the management of the economy. The AKP’s plan suggests to merge the finance, economy, and development ministries under a single roof, which will also include the duties of the customs and trade ministries as well as the tourism ministries. However, the final decision on this has not been given yet, sources said.
Four vice presidents planned
According to this new system, Erdoğan is planning to have four vice presidents whose areas of responsibility will be decided in accordance with the shaping of the new government.
The new system will preserve the structures of the Interior Ministry, Defense Ministry, Transportation Ministry, Justice Ministry and Health Ministry. The name of the Education Ministry will be changed to the Education and Culture Ministry, while the Family Ministry will become the Family and Society Ministry.