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EU-Turkey commitments to not just 'stay on paper'

ANKARA (AVRUPA TIMES) Agreements reached at the recently held EU-Turkey summit will be implemented, and not just "stay on paper," Turkey's EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Volkan Bozkir has said.


"Measures will be taken so that the summit agreements do not stay on paper," Bozkir told reporters in Ankara on Wednesday ahead of a working lunch with EU ambassadors in Brussels.  


Bozkir said that he was going to Brussels later Wednesday evening to meet with various EU commissioners to discuss the outcome of the summit; the new policy area, or "chapter" on economic and monetary policies in Turkey's EU accession process, which is expected to open after the following week; preparations for the opening of other chapters in the accession negotiation; and visa liberalization and readmission agreements.


"Next week, the government will announce its plans for the first six months [of 2016], as well as which laws will be passed when," Bozkir said, adding that this would also include the adoption of a secondary legislation in regards to visa liberalization.


Economic issues such as updating the Customs Union agreement, and Turkey's participation in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will also be discussed, he added.


EU and Turkey agreed Sunday to speed up the country’s EU accession process if Ankara takes steps to stem the flow of refugees coming into Europe.


According to a draft agreement, the EU aims to implement visa-free travel for Turks as soon as October 2016 if Ankara meets certain criteria specified in an agreed roadmap. 


The EU will also give €3 billion in funding to meet the needs of more than two million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

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