The EU-Turkey negotiations have been blocked for too long by “a stalemate that’s been of no use to anyone, either the EU itself or Turkey”. This was Foreign Minister Emma Bonino’s comment at the “Matching Italy–Turkey” conference organised by Network Globale in collaboration with the Ministries for Foreign Affairs and Economic Development and the two countries’ Chambers of Commerce. Minister Bonino reiterated that the Italian EU Presidency will support and seek to impart a stronger impetus to Ankara’s pathway to Europe. Turkey “enriches the European project”, she told conference participants, who included Italian and Turkish entrepreneurs and the President of Turkey, Abdullah Gul, who is on a State Visit to Italy.
Re-open the EU negotiating chapters on rights and justice
“I remain convinced that it is in our mutual interest to re-open chapters 22 and 24, on rights and justice” in the Turkish-EU negotiations. “Because it is in Europe’s and Turkey’s interest to achieve a European family, with the obligations and duties that that entails”.
Destinazione Italia plan includes easier visas
“The ‘Destinazione Italia’ plan includes a simpler procedure for business people, students, researchers and others to obtain visas. We’re doing what we can, within the framework of European law, which we most certainly cannot infringe”, commented Minister Bonino on the problem of visas. The question was raised by the President of the Turkish Confederation of Chambers of Commerce, Riflat Hisarciklioglu. “The visa rules follow a Schengen procedure, as well as a bilateral one. This is not an easy question, but it’s one of the complex issues we need to resolve”.
Italy is Turkey’s 4th trading partner
“Italy is Turkey’s 4th trading partner and bilateral economic relations between Rome and Ankara have the potential to develop even more”, observed the Turkish Head of State. President Gul invited Italian companies to invest in Turkey, given the strength of the Turkish economy. He is accompanied on his visit to Italy by about 100 Turkish entrepreneurs who met Italian businesses during the “Matching” events.