Message By Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu On The Occasion Of The 9 May Europe Day , 14.05.2013
MESSAGE BY FOREIGN MINISTER AHMET DAVUTOĞLU
ON THE OCCASION OF THE 9 MAY EUROPE DAY
On 9 May 1950, the then French Minister of Foreign Affairs Robert Schuman, made a declaration that laid the foundations of European integration. This year we celebrate the 63rd anniversary of the Schuman Declaration.
The process of European integration that has formally commenced in 1951 with the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community by six European countries, evolved and reinforced by the 1957 Treaties of Rome, the 1965 Brussels Treaty, the Single European Act of 1986 as well as the Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon Treaties of 1992, 1997, 2001 and 2007 respectively. With the enlargement waves of 1973, 1981, 1986, 1995, 2004 and 2007, the European Union (EU) as an international entity, expanded from 6 to 27 members. It will have 28 members next July with the accession of Croatia. Turkey, Iceland, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, as well as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo are all on their way to become EU members.
The EU project not only established the basis of a long-term peace in Europe after the devastation of the Second World War, but also acted with the aim of spreading peace to its surroundings. As well as being a global source of inspiration and focus of attraction in many areas, this unique project has contributed to the advancement and strengthening of peace, stability and prosperity in Europe on the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Even in the current conditions of economic crisis, the EU represents about a quarter of the world's total GDP and impacts international politics and security.
Turkey today, is not the Turkey which signed the Association Agreement with the EU in 1963. Turkey, as the EU, has changed and developed over time. In parallel with global and regional developments, significant political and economic reforms were undertaken in Turkey, particularly in the last ten years. The reforms that aim at reaching the highest standards of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, will continue in the light of the needs and expectations of our people.
Our perspective for full membership to the EU as established in 1963 remains to be our strategic choice. Despite ups and downs, the prevailing direction in Turkey-EU relations has always been towards progress and further deepening. We share the main concerns with the EU with which we started accession negotiations on 3 October 2005. The EU and Turkey, as part and parcel of the European family, uphold common values.
With these sentiments, I would like to pay tribute to those who contributed to this historical regional peace project for European integration and congratulate the peoples of Europe on the occasion of the Europe Day.