Referring to his recent official visit to Finland, Sweden and Poland, accompanied by a large delegation of businessmen, PM Erdoğan stated that Finland, Sweden and Poland has been supportive to Turkey’s EU membership ever since: “These three countries have always taken a determined stance and given us their support in the ‘Friends of Turkey Group’. During our meetings, we found the opportunity to comprehensively discuss the blockages and challenges that Turkey has been facing in the accession process."
PM Erdogan stated that, last week Egemen Bağış, Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator and Cevdet Yılmaz, Minister for Development, participated in the intergovernmental conference in Brussels for opening Chapter 22 on Regional Policies and the Coordination of Structural Instruments to negotiations.
PM Erdoğan underlined that this Chapter was one of the five chapters blocked by Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French President. President François Hollande had lifted this blockage and the Turkish Government had achieved the capacity for opening the chapter to negotiations by completing the benchmark. PM Erdoğan pointed out that a total of 14 out of 35 Chapters had been opened to negotiations and asked: “Is this sufficient? Certainly not... This as a delayed but a positive step. We hope that this positive step will be followed by additional positive steps that would contribute to putting Turkey-EU relations on the right track".
PM Erdoğan also mentioned that AK Party had notified the European People’s Party (EPP) that AK Party would end its observer membership. He said that AK Party has become a member of the Alliance of European Conservative and Reformists and one of the four vice presidencies in the Alliance had been assumed by AK Party Vice Chairman Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. PM said he strongly believed that Mr.Çavuşoğlu would fulfil this task successfully with his vast experience.