State of the EU: Von der Leyen warns Turkey of ‘attempts to intimidate its neighbors’

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gave her long-awaited annual speech on the ‘State of the European Union’. Speaking at the European Parliament, von der Leyen warned Turkey about “attempts to intimidate its neighbors” regarding the drilling works in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Von der Leyen said, “Turkey is an important neighbor country and it will always be like this. We are geographically close, but the distance between us is growing.”

Von der Leyen said, “Yes, Turkey is in a region that has some problems. It is hosting millions of immigrants, for which we provide substantial economic assistance. But nothing can justify attempts to intimidate its neighbors.”

Reiterating his support for Cyprus and Greece once again, von der Leyen said: “Decreased tensions in the region will meet the interests of both sides. All we have to do is avoid unilateral decisions so that negotiations can resume. This is the only way to permanent solutions and stability.”

EU to announce new migration pact

Ursula von der Leyen called on all member states to increase efforts on migration. The President of the European Commission said, “The images in Moria camp in Greece show the importance of the European Union to act in unity and solidarity. We want the member states to make more efforts. The migration crisis is a problem that the European Union must overcome. Everyone should take responsibility.”

Von der Leyen, who stated that the European Union has been facing immigration since the past, said that this situation enriches the society culturally and this will always be the case. Von der Leyen, who stated that the migration crisis in 2015 caused differences of opinion among the member countries, stated that some ‘wounds’ were opened on this issue.

Von der Leyen announced that the European Commission will announce a new migration pact in the coming weeks as part of solidarity.

Action plan against racism

Ursula von der Leyen also stated that they will announce a new action plan against racism regarding hate crimes related to race, religion and sexual orientation. The President of the Commission said, “The time has come to establish a truly non-racist European Union. Racist acts must both be condemned and acted upon.”

The President of the European Commission also emphasized the importance of strengthening LGBTQI rights across Europe. It was stated that some studies were carried out in this regard.

‘Brexit deal cannot be changed unilaterally’

Speaking about the high blood pressure between the European Union and the UK, von der Leyen said, “It is not possible to change the Brexit agreement (as the UK aims) unilaterally. It is a matter of law and trust.”

The traditional speech ‘Status of the European Union’ addresses the priorities of the European Commission for the coming year.

In the UK, the “Domestic Markets Bill”, which will unilaterally change the Brexit Agreement of the government led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, received its first approval from the parliament.

“We will establish the European Health Agency”

While the search for a vaccine for the Covid-19 epidemic continues around the world, Ursula von der Leyen emphasized the importance of countries not acting alone in this regard.

“While there is a crisis around the world, some are closing in on themselves. It will not be enough to find a vaccine. European citizens and all other citizens must have access to the vaccine. If we are not all safe, no one will be safe,” he said.

Ursula von der Leyen said, “As in the USA, we will establish our own agency in the medical sector at the European Union level.”

‘We will focus on the green economy’

Von der Leyen announced that the previously agreed 750 billion euro plan to stimulate the economy will be used within the scope of sustainable energy at a rate of 30 percent.

The European Union plans to reduce carbon emissions by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990.

The European Union is facing historical problems in terms of Brexit, Covid-19, problems with its neighbors and economically. While the Covid-19 outbreak causes a major crisis in the continent, there is a risk of growing health and economic crisis in winter months.

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