European Court of Auditors criticizes EU funding to Turkey – POLITICO


The Turkish national flag flies over the Kasimpasa district of Istanbul on December 4, 2017 | Ozan Kose/AFP via Getty Images

Money flowing to Turkey as part of pre-accession funding has not delivered enough progress, report says.

EU funding to Turkey in the context of its potential accession to the bloc has not yet yielded sufficient results, the European Court of Auditors said in a report published Wednesday.

The aid — which is supposed to support reform efforts in Turkey and ready the country to join the European Union — was not linked to concrete conditions and its effectiveness is therefore “only limited,” the report found.

As part of the scheme, the EU committed to invest over €9 billion in Turkey between 2007 to 2020, out of which €3.8 billion were allocated to so-called priority sectors: the rule of law, governance and human resources (which includes education, employment and social policies).

“From 2018 onwards, the Commission should better target funding for Turkey in areas where reforms are overdue and necessary for credible progress toward EU accession,” Bettina Jakobsen, the ECA official responsible for the report, said.

According to the ECA — which works to improve the European Commission’s management of the EU budget and reports on EU finances — the Commission has not invested heavily enough in projects to strengthen the independence of the judiciary, press freedom and civil society. It also criticized the Commission for not making sufficient use of the tools at its disposal, including corrective measures, to enforce the proper use of the funds.

The Commission should set clear requirements for new projects and introduce corrective measures should Turkey not adhere to them, the report said. The ECA also recommended the Commission improve its monitoring of projects.

Support for Turkey’s EU accession process has significantly declined within the EU in the past months. Turkey has faced tough criticism from the bloc for its crackdown on free press and political opposition following the attempted coup in 2016.

In its response to the report, the Commission noted that progress in the realm of the rule of law was dependent on the cooperation of Turkish authorities, according to Welt.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here