Peace at home, peace in the world

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Message by H.E. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, on the Occasion of Europe Day, 9 May 2017

Exactly 67 years have passed since the Schuman Declaration, which laid the foundations of the European Union. Following wars affecting the whole continent, European countries which united within a culture of tolerance regardless of differences of language, religion and race progressed in peace and welfare based on fundamental values such as human rights, rule of law, democracy, equality, justice.

Our country, along with Europe of which it is an integral geographic and historic part, also adopted these universal values and contributed to the security, stability and wealth of the continent. Turkey, which is a part of Europe institutionally as well, spared no efforts towards full membership to the EU.

However, in recent years we have unfortunately observed that the EU has been moving away from the ideals and basic values of which it has been a strong defender, in a way that would be contrary to the wishes of its founders. Extremist trends such as discrimination, xenophobia and Islamophobia erode the culture of co-existence and lead to questioning of the EU’s effectiveness and credibility in the international arena. This situation also causes disappointment and concerns in a wider European geography sharing common values with the European Union.

It is possible to avoid this disappointment and these concerns if the EU distances itself from discrimination and populism while returning to a unifying and inclusive approach. Turkey, as a strategic partner and a candidate country, is in favor of a sustainable strong Union and is ready to provide sincere and meaningful cooperation on the basis of an understanding of reciprocity.

Our wish is that the EU overcomes the current challenges while reclaiming the values that it is built upon. Europe is larger than the EU and the atmosphere of unity and solidarity of which the wider European continent is in need should be reestablished. Turkey is ready to contribute in this direction.