Civil society representatives from both the EU and Turkey called on Turkish authorities to undertake major reforms in the fields of rule of law and human rights as a prerequisite to resume accession negotiations with the EU. The JCC members also discussed other important aspects of the relations EU-Turkey relations, such as the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in bilateral trade. Both sides highlighted the need for specific measures to facilitate SMEs activities, particularly the liberalisation of visas for Turkish citizens, as visas constitute one of the main non-tariff barriers to trade.
The European Union has requested dispute consultations with Turkey regarding various requirements imposed by Turkey on the production, import and approval for reimbursement, pricing and licensing of pharmaceutical products. The request was circulated to WTO members on 10 April.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has adopted at its March plenary session an opinion on the Joint Communication “Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks for an EU Strategy”, issued by the European Commission and the EU High Representative in September 2018. The EESC considers it to be a seriously missed opportunity, with many significant strategic gaps, little ambition and no real depth of vision offered as to the development of EU’s relationship and connectivity with Asia.