High Representative Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn, set the framework of amendments to the Constitution of Turkey assessment at a joint statement.
The statement comes after a difficult weekend, due to the recent events between Turkey and certain European countries, especially after the Dutch ban to Turkish government officials to enter the country anf campaign for the Turkish referendum.
According to the statement released after a troubling weekend for EU-Turkey relations, the Commission at the moment “has taken good note of the Venice Commission`s Opinion on the amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey adopted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 21 January 2017.”
According to this opinion, “Turkey has the sovereign right to decide over its system of governance. We acknowledge the fact that the country is going through challenging times and stand by it in its fight against the scourge of terrorism. We will continue to support the country`s hospitality to refugees from war-torn areas in its close vicinity.”
As for Council of Europe’s recommendations, the European Commission appreciates that Turkey has announced actions to address the Council of Europe’s recommendations on the State of Emergency. Turkey has also announced that the above measures will be aligned with EU standards.
“We encourage Turkey to pursue and further deepen its close cooperation with the Council of Europe and its bodies, and to address their concerns and recommendations”, add the EU executives.
Commission on Erdogans excessive powers: “Constitutional amendments raise serious concerns at the excessive concentration of powers in one office”
“However, the Venice Commission comments on the proposed Constitutional amendments raise serious concerns at the excessive concentration of powers in one office, with serious effect on the necessary checks and balances and on the independence of the judiciary. It is also of concern that this process of constitutional change is taking place under the state of emergency”, add Mogherini and Hahn.
“The proposed amendments, if approved at the referendum of 16 April, and especially their practical implementation, will be assessed in light of Turkey`s obligations as an EU candidate country and as a member of the Council of Europe”.