EP Committee against linking migration cooperation with Turkey's EU membership

BRUSSELS, March 15 (KUNA) — EU-Turkey cooperation on migration should be uncoupled from the EU accession negotiating process, the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee said in a resolution voted on Tuesday.
“EU-Turkey cooperation on migration should not be linked to the calendar, content and conditionality of the negotiation process” it noted.
The resolution praises Turkey for hosting the largest refugee population in the world, and notes that it remains a “key strategic partner for the EU” but nonetheless it calls for progress on rule of law and fundamental values.
“The overall pace of reforms in Turkey has not only slowed down but in some key areas, such as freedom of expression and the independence of the judiciary, there has been a regression, which is particularly worrying” it said.
It calls on Turkey to act against intimidation of journalists in all its forms, condemns “its violent and illegal take-over of several newspapers and highlight its serious backsliding, over the past two years, on freedom of speech, expression and opinion, both on-line and off-line.” The resolution also expresses concern about the escalation of violence in the south east of Turkey, which caused almost 400,000 people to leave their houses. (end) nk.ibi