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Turkey must choose: respect Europe or fight it (Schinas)

(B2) As tensions with Turkey resurface, the European Commission sends the conservative government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan a stark warning

Margaritis Schinas particularly determined on Turkey (credit: EBS/European Commission/B2)

The Greek member of the European Commission answered a question from B2 and a Greek colleague this Friday (July 24) during the traditional press conference after the meeting of the College of Commissioners as he presented the new strategy of the European Commission. Security Union.

Border Perimeter Security

« Security at the perimeter of our borders is an objective, a role for Europe to assume. It's up to us to do it “, said Margaritis Schinas in a particularly firm way. " We are not going to delegate the security of our continent, the sovereignty of our member states to others. »

It's up to Turkey to define which side of history it is on

The Vice-President of the Commission immediately launched a solemn appeal to Ankara. " It is now up to Turkey to decide, once and for all, on its geopolitical choice in order to know which side of history it wants to be part of.. »

Hagia Sophia, a bad start

« Does it want to make its way alongside the European Union based on European values? " That is the question. Gold " what happens with Hagia Sophia (1) is a bad start ". " As a Greek, I am bitter and angry. It's a difficult day »

Europe wants to reduce tensions

Between now and the informal council of foreign ministers, the gymnich, which should discuss it, there is a “ opportunity " for " work to reduce these tensions and reiterate the importance of Europe as a force of stability, a force of security in this very volatile region ". But Europe's determination remains strong. “ It is up to the others [Editor's note: Turkey] to understand that this determination must be shared with reciprocity. »

The Turkish question haunts the college

Let us point out that the 'Turkey' point was the subject of information during the commissioners' meeting. The High Representative of the Union, Josep Borrell, presented the result of his latest consultations.

Comment: Turkish membership of the EU formally stopped?

This particularly firm position could mean an imminent turning point for the European executive. Until now in favor, despite everything, of continuing the accession process with Turkey - a very theoretical process, the negotiations being frozen in fact - the official breaking of this tenuous thread between Ankara and Brussels could be a major turning point. Europe would have to lose. But so does Turkey, particularly in economic and tourism terms.

The next few days and weeks will be crucial. Athens and Nicosia have already warned, supported by Paris (and partly by Berlin). If the situation continues to worsen, the question of sanctions against Ankara could be addressed in a more frank manner. A European summit could then be held during the summer, or in September at the latest.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

  1. This Christian basilica of Contantinople, which became a mosque between the 1934th century and 10, then converted into a museum until July XNUMX, before the decision of the Turkish president to return it to the path of Muslim worship. The first prayer in this building, which has become a mosque again, took place today in the presence of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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