Istanbul Kultur University - Global Political Trends Center (IKU/GPoT) organized a roundtable meeting on January 11th in Istanbul with the participation of Mr. Egemen Bağış, Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator. The meeting was successful in bringing together leading experts, academics, and journalists in order to discuss Turkey’s EU Vision in 2010. Mr. Bağış gave detailed information about the latest developments in Turkey regarding the harmonization process with the EU standards. He also pointed out the internal dynamics within the EU, by underlining the positive shifts in French and German leaders’ discourses regarding “privileged partnership”, as well as the possible impact of the recently-approved Lisbon Reform Treaty.
In his speech, Mr. Bağış emphasized that Turkey’s EU membership would be as important for the EU as it would for Turkey, and made it clear that Turkey does not intend to abandon its European vocation by turning to the other regions of the world. Mr. Bağış declared that in light of the accession process, the Turkish government’s foremost priority is to guarantee its citizens highest standards in all areas, which is the motive behind all political, economic, and social reforms. Mr. Bağış made it clear that the government will continue, with determination, focusing on these reforms so as to provide a more democratic and effectively functioning system, increased protection of human rights, as well as welfare and happiness for all citizens.
Mr. Bağış also explained the main pillars of the new Communication Strategy Document drafted by the General Secretary of European Union, and gave some information about the upcoming initiatives of harmonization to be made by the relevant ministries. He also mentioned that the Reform Monitoring Group will be held more frequently in 2010. The meeting was enriched by the Q&A session with the invitees’ questions and recommendations on EU-Turkey relations.
Egemen Bağış - Summay of the Meeting