“The announcement of the Schuman Declaration, which laid the foundations of European integration, has been celebrated as “Europe Day” in our country, too, since the approval of Türkiye’s candidacy to the European Union membership in 1999.
The ideas behind the Schuman Declaration had enabled the countries in Europe to leave aside their differences as well as animosities, and come together for peace, security, development and prosperity following a war ruining the whole world. The EU, for its part, has gone way beyond being a peace project through the common policies it has developed from the past to the present.
It is time for the EU, which has moved away from its founding principles and been under the influence of the short-term policies of member countries in recent years, to write a story for itself with the war in Ukraine. Today this tragedy, which has been going on in the middle of Europe in front of the eyes of the whole world, is a warning for the EU. There is now a need for solidarity, cooperation and above all a visionary and bold perspective just like those of during the times when the foundations of the European integration were laid.
Türkiye, not just as a candidate country and NATO ally but also as a partner who has a deep-rooted and strong experience of the EU acquis, has been making concrete contributions to the overcoming of the current challenges. The repercussions of the war in Ukraine that have reached a global level have reaffirmed how Türkiye is of strategic importance for the EU in many areas, security, migration, supply chains and energy in particular.
It is to the benefit of both sides in a world getting more and more complicated to focus on our common denominators rather than differences and the fundamental values we have been supporting rather than conflicts of interest, and enhance the Türkiye-EU relations in all areas. The full-membership process to the EU, which Türkiye has been maintaining patiently and determinedly despite all kinds of obstacles, should be promoted with a constructive approach. It is a must in terms of the EU’s own plans for the future, reputation and reliability as well.
With these thoughts, I wish that the ‘Europe Day’ will lead to peace, wellbeing and solidarity on our common geography, and congratulate the 9 May Europe Day of all the Europeans, foremost my citizens.”