World Bulletin / News Desk
At a news conference following a European Council meeting, the organization's president, Donald Tusk, told reporters they had to "reflect on whether to cut and re-orient pre-accession funds".
There was no mention of ending or freezing membership talks, a proposal which had generated some support in a number of EU member states this year.
Tusk said Europe wanted to "keep the door open to Ankara" but acknowledged strained ties with Turkey.
"It was also stressed that Turkey needs to respect all member states in its relations with the EU, including when it comes to the implementation of the existing Customs Union agreement," he added.
Ahead of the summit on Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had suggested reducing EU pre-accession funds to Turkey instead of calling for an end to Ankara’s EU membership process.
Despite calls by German social democrats and liberals to immediately halt Ankara’s EU membership talks and freeze €4 billion ($4.68 billion) in pre-accession funds, a majority of EU member states have turned down such proposals, and backed dialogue with Ankara.
Any decision to terminate Turkey’s membership talks would require unanimity among all EU member states. So far only Austria has openly backed freezing Turkey’s EU membership talks.