Media report- EU cuts pre-accession aid to Turkey by 75%

The EU has drastically cut the so-called pre-accession aid for Turkey this year. The reasons are the gas dispute with Turkey in the Mediterranean and Ankara's military offensive in Syria.

According to a report by the Funke media group, the EU wants to cut its aid payments to the country by 75 percent. This is the result of a letter from the EU foreign policy commissioner Josep Borrell to the European Parliament.

The reasons are the gas dispute with Turkey in the Mediterranean and Ankara’s military offensive in Syria. The payments made by the EU to Turkey under the refugee agreement remain unaffected by the cuts.

The report says that the EU has decided to cut aid further, so that by 2020 75 percent of the originally planned allocation will be canceled, according to the letter from Borrells. According to the EU Commission, Turkey will only receive 168 million euros this year from the so-called IPA program for the accession to the Union.

150 million euros of this will go to democracy and the rule of law, and 18 million euros to a rural development program. The EU Commission was initially unable to obtain an opinion on Friday.

With the pre-accession aid, the EU wants to support the reform processes of the candidate countries and improve their competitiveness. The accession negotiations with Turkey have been on hold for years. Borrell justified the new deletion with the EU’s unauthorized gas drilling of Turkey off the coast of the EU member Cyprus and with Turkey’s military operation in northeast Syria, which started in October 2019.