Turkish, EU officials to meet in spring for ‘Davos-like platform’

Turkish, EU officials to meet in spring for ‘Davos-like platform’

Turkish, EU officials to meet in spring for ‘Davos-like platform’

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Six EU commissioners will visit Turkey in March 2016 for a high-level economic platform meeting, the Turkish EU Minister Volkan Bozkır has said, while also noting that Turkish and EU officials would gather in January within the framework of a high-level energy dialogue mechanism.

Recalling that two summits between Turkey and the EU would take place a year, Bozkır said on Dec. 30 that these summits would be preceded by high-level platform meetings. 

Accordingly, European Commission Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Vice President Jyrki Katainen, EU Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, EU European Neighborhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations Commissioner Johannes Hahn, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, EU Research, Science and Innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas and EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager will visit Turkey in March.

These commissioners will gather at a “Davos-like platform” and deliver their messages to the world from this platform, Bozkır said in an interview on private broadcaster Kanal 24.

In March 2015, Ankara and Brussels launched a high-level energy dialogue and strategic energy cooperation process in a joint statement.

“Turkey is a natural energy bridge and an energy hub between energy sources in the Middle Eastern and Caspian Regions and European Union energy markets. Turkey’s development as an energy hub will be to the benefit of both Turkey and the EU,” said the statement at the time. 

Bozkır said a meeting between Turkey and the EU as part of this energy dialogue will be hosted in Turkey on Jan. 28-29, 2016.

“Turkey and the EU will be able to make a decision about a common problem on this issue, if a problem about energy occurs due to new problems we have been experiencing with Russia,” he said.

Turkey has been exploring new energy alternatives amid an ongoing diplomatic crisis with Russia, although officials continue to view any potential gas blockage by Russia as unlikely.

Earlier this week, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Russia was ready to scale up natural gas supplies to Turkey.

Russia is currently supplying 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of the 50 bcm of natural gas that Turkey needs every year, Novak also said.