EurActiv: More EU money for Turkey’s civil society21 October 2017 | 10:43 | FOCUS News Agency
In the end, Council President Donald Tusk said that leaders have “tasked the Commission to reflect on whether to cut and re-orient pre-accession funds”. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was asked twice to elaborate on the issue. He said one-third of the EU pre-accession money for Turkey went to the Turkish civil society, and that this aid was going to increase.
An EU source explained to a small group of journalists after the summit ended that the idea was to “spend more on civil society and less on pathology”, meaning Erdoğan’s regime.
“It’s a signal that when you have part of the administration that is heavy-handed with the journalists, with the judges, they cannot get EU money,” the source said and explained that, while the amounts were not huge, this was “a leadership gesture” to pass an important message. This is “more elegant” than the radical calls to stop everything, he went further.
The Commission is due to come up with its proposal in a matter of few weeks.
The question I asked Juncker, and which he didn’t answer, is how the EU imagines they can rile Erdoğan so much and yet expect him to continue abiding by the EU-Turkey migration deal.
Regarding the ?3+3 billion for the EU-Turkey deal, Juncker explained that ?2.9 were “strongly committed” and ?900.000 were already disbursed, and that the EU would respect its commitments and “Turkey will respect its, of course”. Good luck with that.
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