The 36th Meeting of the EU-Turkey Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) was held in Brussels on 18 and 19 July 2017 with the participation of Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Ömer Çelik, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu and IKV and KCI Chairman Ayhan Zeytinoğlu. KCI Chairman also came together with the President of the European Commission Jean Claude-Juncker.
During the meeting bringing together representatives of Turkish and EU Officials as well as civil society, the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement, visa liberalisation dialogue, transport quotas, the state of the economy in Turkey and the EU, social issues and employment in Turkey, women rights in Turkey, developments in the modernisation of the Customs Union, the future of the EU and Turkey-EU relations in general were discussed.
In the session entitled “The State of the Economy in Turkey and EU-Turkey Economic Developments”, KCI Chairman Ayhan Zeytinoğlu made a presentation regarding the obstacles on the functioning of the current Customs Union between Turkey and the EU. On the one hand, KCI Chairman underlined that Turkey and the EU are already linked together through trade. On the other hand, KCI Chairman stated that EU moves to bilateral trade from multilateral trade agreements. In addition,Turkey faces significant trade disadvantages both in the EU and third countries due to the rules of the Customs Union. Deeping the Customs Union, KCI Chairman reconfirmed that the Customs Union should cover additional sectors such as agriculture, service and public procurement. Consequently, he stated that the negotiations regarding the modernisation of the Custions Union will not only offer a fair and productive process for both parties, but also create a momentum in relations. To KCI Chairman, there should be a new mechanism improving Turkey-EU relations.