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EU-Turkey: EPP Group Chairman warns Erdogan that EU values are non-negotiable


13 Apr 2016


Europe's East
Justice & Home Affairs
Med & South

"With this last European Council, we are bringing order to the migration crisis. And what we did in the Balkans regarding the management of the migration flows should also be considered for the Mediterranean. We now have to focus on this region", said Manfred Weber, Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, during the debate on the outcome of the EU-Turkey Summit. The Chairman explicitly thanked Council President Donald Tusk for his important contribution in managing the refugee crisis by bridging the gaps of the Member States' different opinions.

"The conclusion is that we have to tackle the problem together with Turkey. Europe needs safe borders but it mustn't become a fortress. The way-through process has stopped in the Balkans. And we can also offer assistance to the refugees. Furthermore, we have new impetus in our relationship with Turkey and we can work together in a climate of confidence", stressed Weber. "In this context, I appeal to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to respect the freedom of the press and the right of minority in his country and this respect should apply to artistic freedom in Europe as well. These are central values of the European Union and are non-negotiable."

Commenting on the second item of the last Council, the growth issue, Manfred Weber underlined the positive example of Cyprus which no longer needs rescue packages thanks to stable budgets and the implementation of reforms. "We can't promise people that we can spend money that we don't have, like Left-wing parties do", said Weber referring to the discussions on Southern Europe. "Reforms and stable budgets are the only ways to achieve growth."