The EU Commission responds to Zovko’s question about EU funds for Turkey
Brussels, 6 March 2020
The latest Turkish military operation in and around the Syrian city Idlib creates tensions on the world’s diplomatic scene and also the European Union follows the security situation closely. As EPP vice-coordinator for foreign affairs, Željana Zovko will have an exchange of views with High Representative Joseph Borrell on the impact of the EU’s position during the plenary session next week.
In November 2019 the European Parliament already decided to reduce the budget allocation of financial support from IPA II to Turkey with 85 million euros as a reaction to the unexpected Turkish military actions in the Northeast of Syria. Back then, as IPA co-rapporteur, Zovko posed a question to the Commission for a clarification where this deducted money will be used instead. Zovko proposed to redirect the money to the other beneficiaries of IPA II, the Western Balkan countries, with the aim to increase the European Union’s visibility in the region and to improve border management.
This week, Zovko received the response of the Commission saying that the reduction of the IPA II commitments have to be seen together with the rest of the budgetary lines related to external affairs. The overall net reduction of the commitments in the annual budget are placed to a margin that can be used to respond to unforeseen events and changing priorities during the course of 2020.
Zovko welcomes the timely response of the Commission and stated that she will continue to carefully follow the security situation in Syia and its impact for the European external borders and the Western Balkans.