Renewal of the Customs Union – another spring? News. Last Minute EUROPE, ECONOMY, CURRENT, TURKEY headlines and events
The view is being discussed that “the atmosphere of spring 2021 has been missed” due to the fact that during 2022 no progress can be made on the renewal of the Customs Union in Turkey’s relations with the European Union (EU).
On the Ankara-Brussels line, while the negotiation process on membership was postponed, the actualization of the Customs Union, in force since January 1, 1996, came to the fore in economic relations.
What is on the agenda, however, is that no concrete steps have been taken in the past two years in the renewal negotiations that the EU has given the green light to, especially in the spring of 2021.
Thus, there is an opinion that “while the window of opportunity for the EU countries to vote for the “acceptance” of the renewal of the Customs Union is closing, the door for negotiations is open.”
It was noted that, despite the authority of the Commission of the European Union to negotiate the renewal of the Customs Union with Turkey, which it received from the EU member states in 2021, no concrete progress has been made.
In the spring of 2021, it became known about the calendar delay in the negotiations on the Customs Union in the transition period to the period of Mehmet Mus in the Ministry of Commerce instead of Rukhsar Pekcan. Subsequently, it became known that it was not possible to make concrete decisions on changes covering the service sectors to facilitate agriculture and digital trade between Ankara and Brussels, and no new steps were taken in 2022 due to the Black Sea war.
“Europe prefers to wait for elections”
Responding to questions from VOA regarding the process of renewing the Customs Union, Dr. Mithat Jan Baidarol believes that although membership talks in Ankara and Brussels relations have been suspended, at least no positive economic development has been achieved.
Noting that they are closely following the position of Brussels in the body of the European Union and the Global Studies Association (ABKAD), Baydarol said: “This is not the position of Turkey, but the position of Brussels to wait for the results of the next elections, which was effective in case of closing the window of opportunity in 2021 in renewal of the Customs Union.
Stating that the EU is prioritizing the energy issue due to the war in the Black Sea, Baidarol said: “In fact, it turned out that Turkey needs the Grain Corridor, as well as energy. The renewal of the Customs Union, in which Brussels opened the doors to negotiations in 2021 as part of a positive agenda, is actually a phenomenon in favor of Europe, not Turkey, when lined up. However, the main issue is the renewal of the Customs Union during this period, which is perceived as a concession from the EU to the government of President and Chairman of the AKP Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Europe prefers to wait for the elections,” he said.
Baidarol also stated that there are criticisms of Turkey in the renewal of the Customs Union in the EU: “There are technical problems in the implementation of the existing Customs Union, there are allegations that non-tariff taxes are being levied that should not be levied, and there is criticism that Turkey has violated the common trade policy to be applied to third countries. They see Turkey’s shortcomings in all this,” he said.
Recalling that there are topics such as energy cooperation, regulation of carbon taxes, updating legislation for foreign investors in terms of a positive agenda in Turkey-EU relations, Baydarol said that a solution should be provided for Schengen visas, especially for trucks and trucks. drivers in terms of logistics.
“The buyer of the energy base of Thrace will be only after the war”
“Natural gas” is not included in the list of sanctions imposed by Europe against Russia due to the occupation of Ukraine on February 24 last year.
Although it has been said that gas imports could be carried out by EU countries if Moscow’s one-sided stance ends, Ankara’s announcement of turning Thrace into an energy base does not seem to have found many buyers so far.
The biggest obstacle to statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Erdogan that “Turkey will be an energy center” is the war in the Black Sea.
When we asked about Europe’s attitude towards energy, dr. Baidarol recalled that there are projects in the field of energy, such as the transportation of natural resources of Turkmenistan to Europe through the Caspian Sea and Azerbaijan through Turkey, as well as the transportation of resources from the Middle East to European countries, again through Turkey.
Baydarol said: “The investments that will be made in Thrace with Russian natural gas will find buyers, maybe not now, but after the end of the war. If we look at it geographically in terms of energy, Europe will not be able to abandon Turkey. I think that after the elections, both the EU and Turkey will take a very serious step to change their positions,” he said.
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