News > SOLIDAR Weekly Round Up 24-11-2016

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Foreign Affairs, Participative democracy and civil dialogue, Post 2015 Agenda

SOLIDAR Weekly Round Up 24-11-2016

MORE THAN A SIGNAL?

The European Parliament today voted for a resolution to freeze the accession talks with Turkey. MEPs strongly condemned the disproportionately repressive measures taken in Turkey since the failed military coup in July and this is being seen as a “strong signal”. The question is: just whom is it addressed to? Erdogan does not seem to care, as he still has strong tools in his hands: the famous Turkey deal on migration and absolute power in his own country. He has used the military putsch to seize all power and to eliminate any form of opposition. Tens of thousands are in jail, newspaper and media freedom is suspended, together with other fundamental rights. Until now the EU and its Member States have simply commented on and criticised the process. Parliamentary delegations like that of the PES, which went to Turkey to meet HDP Parliamentarians in prison, have been prevented from meeting the prisoners.

What are the real strong signals to be sent that would change the mind of an authoritarian regime? In the past it has almost always come down to economic pressure and public opinion.

Kirkegaard told us that life can only be understood backwards, but has to be lived forwards. Well, looking back, we can see that more than 20 years of the political accession game has contributed to this situation. Governments in Europe have often, for internal political reasons, postponed the negotiations, thereby undermining the process. In doing so they have failed to bring Turkey within the framework of European democratic and economic progress. Blaming the past does not help. What can be done today?

Civil society organisations have to campaign using every possible means for the recovery of democratic freedoms and support the democratic and progressive resistance inside and outside of Turkey. The trade-off between turning a blind eye to the reduction in democratic and civic space and preventing migrants from reaching Europe needs to be ended, by the setting up of organised and structured legal migration channels. Tackling the Syrian war is another agenda item needing a stronger European response. And finally there must be some incentives to return to the negotiating table and to restore democracy as a precondition. Unfortunately it might take a long time, as autocrats are not always willing to change their minds quickly and there is now a big question mark over the American position, given the newly elected President. This maybe the chance for Europe – if Europe remains united!

We call for an immediate end to the repression of political opponents and for a return to the rule of democratic law! Thank you to the MEPS for taking a clear position!


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UPCOMING EVENTS

Popular against populism
Organised by SOLIDAR during the PES Council
02 December 2016 | Prague, Czech Republic
More information

European pillar of social rights – Achieving upward social convergence with a rights-based approach?
Organised by SOLIDAR
06 December 2016 | Brussels, Belgium
Registration

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Organised by SOLIDAR, the German Trade Union Federation (DGB), the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB), Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour (AK Europa), Diakonie Deutschland and with the support of the European Social Observatory.
06 December 2016 | Representation of NRW Brussels, Belgium
Registration (before 30th November)

Perspectives for decent future of today’s youth – Final conference of world of work for youth project
Organised by SOLIDAR and FIC
07 December 2016 | Brussels, Belgium
Registration

2030 agenda for sustainable development: A paradigm shift within a reach?
Organised by SOLIDAR, Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D Group)
08 December 2016 | European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium
Registration

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