“It is time for the EU, which has moved away from its founding principles and been under the influence of the short-term policies of member countries in recent years, to write a story for itself with the war in Ukraine,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday.
Erdogan noted that Europe Day is celebrated in Turkiye on May 9 ever since the approval of the country’s candidacy status in 1999.
He further praised the success of the EU project that started with the announcement of the Schuman Declaration on May 9, 1950.
“The ideas behind the Schuman Declaration enabled the countries in Europe to leave aside their differences as well as animosities, and come together for peace, security, development, and prosperity following a war ruining the whole world,” he said.
The declaration proposed a common market for coal and steel across Europe setting the foundation for the EU as we know it.
Referring to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, Erdogan highlighted that it is a warning for the bloc which requires solidarity, cooperation, and a visionary and bold stance.
Against this background, he drew attention to the historical and multi-faceted ties between Turkiye and Europe and the country’s importance to the EU.
“The repercussions of the war in Ukraine that have reached a global level have reaffirmed how Turkiye is of strategic importance for the EU in many areas, security, migration, supply chains, and energy in particular,” Erdogan said.
He also stressed that Turkiye and the bloc should focus on our common denominators instead of differences to improve the relations and overcome common challenges.
“The full-membership process to the EU, which Turkiye has been maintaining patiently and determinedly despite all kinds of obstacles, should be promoted with a constructive approach,” Erdogan concluded.