Europe Day Message by President Erdoğan

09.05.2017

Following is the message President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued on Europe Day:

We have been marking May 9, the day the Schuman Declaration, which sowed the seeds of the idea of European integration, was signed in 1950, as “Europe Day” since 1999, when our EU membership was registered.

The adoption of the Schuman Declaration is a critical step manifesting that the history of Europe doesn’t only consist of wars and internal conflicts. Having kicked off as an economic community, the integration process has subsequently been consolidated with new moves and thus displayed major achievements such as Single Market, Euro, Schengen, etc.

However, in the current environment of increasing global uncertainties, incidents that pose a serious challenge to this success story have been taking place both inside and outside of EU borders. This years’ ceremonies to mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome were held in a gloomy atmosphere amid discussions concerning the future of the Union rather than in an atmosphere of celebration.

Without doubt, the most serious threat facing the future of the Union is to let exclusionist discourses be a means of populist policies. Such social diseases as discrimination, cultural racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia are unfortunately becoming widespread across the continent. The far-right parties, which increasingly have been raising their vote rates and obtaining a determining position in politics, are holding the sociopolitical life of Europe captive. We see that many European politicians remain silent in the face of these movements, which threaten the Union’s founding values and Europe’s future, just for the sake of short-term calculations.

This kind of tendencies and policies, which are on the rise in Europe, are poisoning Turkey-EU relations as well. Our country, which has been a part of Europe historically, geographically and culturally for centuries, desires to maintain its EU accession process, which it regards as a strategic goal, in an understanding of mutual respect and equality on a win-win basis. The cooperation we have developed with the EU at a time when the refugee crisis has reached its peak is the clearest and latest illustration of this understanding. Our wish is to elevate our cooperation with the EU to the highest level in such areas as migration, economy, energy, Customs Union and membership negotiations.

With these thoughts, I celebrate my citizens and all Europeans on Europe Day and wish the Union a prosperous future.