Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

EU ambassadors convened at TOBB

25.11.2014 / Ankara

The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the European Union membership process is a political one, “For the EU process to be successful, we need the leadership, supervision and guidance of courageous politicians.”​

Hisarcıklıoğlu, in his speech during the business breakfast he attended with the ambassadors of EU member states, stated that as the business world, they view a united Europe as the most trustworthy method of ensuring peace and security in the continent.


Stating that a united Europe is the best way to deal with the pressure of globalization, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “The problems of the 21st century are too great for any one country to face alone. Turkey, similar to 28 EU members, wants to be a part of the EU in order to better address the pressures presented by globalization.”


Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that Turkey does have various conditions to fulfill before becoming a member of the EU, “The issues of Turkey’s EU membership can’t be solved by any technicians.


Quite the contrary, the matter is wholly political. For the EU process to be successful, we need the leadership, supervision and guidance of courageous politicians. Diplomats of impeccable capability are necessary in addition to people who believe in the idea of Europe.”


Hisarcıklıoğlu expressed his appreciation of the efforts to deepen Turkey-EU relations during Italy’s term presidency and went on to stress that they expect the same approach from the 2015 Latvia and Luxembourg term.


Hisarcıklıoğlu went on to outline the various difficulties which the Euro zone may face, stating that they view any steps taken back from European integration to be very detrimental.


Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “It is necessary to disengage EU from the image of a solely bureaucratic institution. A decisive European Union, with strong leadership, is more important today than ever.”


Stating that the EU will benefit from planning for the future instead of maintaining status quo, Hisarcıklıoğlu said that a clear will for expansion by the EU would provide significant motivation for the reform process in Turkey.


Drawing attention to the shortcomings of the Customs Union, Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that they, as TOBB, want a modernized or expanded revision of the Customs Union.


Touching on the scope of the TTIP, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “As TOBB we are always on the side of free trade, however, the results of such mega-agreements as the TTIP and the TPP are cause for concern. Turkey, in a customs union with the EU, should not be left out of such agreements.


Our European partners can appreciate the unfair treatment the exclusion of Turkey from such a formation would cause. Turkey needs to be included in the TTIP in order to address these issues.”


- İKV and DEİK President Vardan


Financial Development Foundation (İKV) and Foreign Economic Relations Council (DEİK) President Ömer Vardan stated that considering Turkey as not a part of Europe is the rejection of a shared history.


Stating that Turkey is a close observer and partner of European integration, Vardan pointed to the various programs and joint projects the two have actualized during Turkey’s membership process such as the customs union, Erasmus Plus, Horizon 2020, framework programs.


Vardan stated that the EU continues to be a driving force for further reforms to strengthen democracy, rule of law and welfare society. “Without a doubt,” Vardan said, “the EU’s next greatest challenge is the expansion process including the Western Balkans and Turkey. Regarding the new European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s statement that there will be no new members in the next five years, this does not preclude the process from moving forward with membership slated for 2019 and beyond.”


Pointing out that there have been 17 progress reports for Turkey by the EC, reaching a page count equal to 6.5 times that of the Lisbon Agreement, Vardan said, “At this point, parties need to ask themselves just how many more reports are necessary.”


- Italian Ambassador Scarante


Italy’s Ambassador to Ankara Gianpaolo Scarante stated that the addition of Turkey to the EU is a strategic goal. Pointing out that Europe is undergoing a great structural reform, Scarante said, “EU and Turkey must look for opportunity while redefining their roles.”


Scarante touched on the difficulties of the membership process and stated that Italy’s support for Turkey’s bid is still strong, expressing support for the announcement of new chapters by the time their term presidency is over.


Also reporting that they are working to facilitate the lifting of visas, Scarante stated that these efforts would contribute to Turkey’s membership process as well. Stressing the need to note Turkey’s expectations of the TTIP, Scarante stated that they are still at the beginning of the partnership.

Name Surname
Your Email
Your Friend's Email
Your Note
Your message has been sent
Thank you