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Ankara – EU-Turkey relations, via Italy

European ambassadors and the heads of some of Turkey’s most representative economic organisations have met to examine the state of relations between the European Union and Turkey and key elements of the country’s EU accession pathway.


The event was organised by Italy as part of the initiatives promoted in Turkey to mark the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Participants included the Italian Ambassador in Ankara, Gianpaolo Scarante, and other European ambassadors; the presidents of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, and of the Economic Development Foundation (IKV), Ömer Cihad Vardan. Also attending were analysts and researchers from the TEPAV Foundation and numerous representatives of sectorial economic bodies.


Enlargement process as an instrument to promote peace and security in Europe


In his opening address, Ambassador Scarante underscored the importance of the enlargement process as an instrument to promote peace and security in Europe. He reiterated Italy’s commitment to support Turkey’s bid for EU membership, a fundamental goal both for Ankara and Brussels.


More immediate objectives, as Scarante explained, include the extension of the customs union and visa liberalisation for Turkish citizens. Ambassador Scarante expressed the hope that at least one negotiating chapter would be opened by the end of Italy’s EU Presidency. During the debate, participants underscored the excellent state of Turkish-EU economic relations, which see intensive trade and growing investment, both of which have benefited from the customs union.

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