Turkey: Commission calls for mandate to launch customs union modernisation
Following the Commission’s call for a mandate to re-launch negotiations in December 2016, the Council authorised the modernisation of the EU-Turkey customs union. On 25 January, a round table discussion was held in European Parliament, co-organized by the European Neighbourhood Council, Independent Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (MUSIAD) and MEP Kati Piri, the EP’s rapporteur for Turkey. Civil society groups highlighted the deep economic relationship between the EU and Turkey, going as far as saying that the modernisation of the customs union will be the most important realistic trade deal of the upcoming years. The reformed customs union will expand into agriculture, services and public procurement, increasing the prospect of doubling the trade volume between the two trading partners in the next decade. The modernised customs union would also make Turkey a member of all free trade agreements signed between the EU and third countries, providing increased market access opportunities.