Panel debate on the EU-Turkey Agreement and Schengen – College of Europe Development Office 20th Anniversary Brunch


Thursday 26.05.16 09:00


Committee of the Regions
2, Rue Van Maerlant / Van Maerlantstraat 2
1040 Brussels

The College of Europe Development Office is celebrating its 20th anniversary and, to mark this occasion, organized a panel debate event on "The new cooperation agreement on migration issues between the EU and Turkey, and the Schengen Agreement".

The event took place on 26 May 2016 at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. The main topics covered during the panel debate were:

  • EU-Turkey relations before and after the agreement;
  • The legal aspects of the agreement and its implementation.

The Rector of the College of Europe, Prof. Dr. Dr. Jörg MONAR, opened the event mentioning the evolution of the Development Office during the last decades. He welcomed the choice of such a relevant topic and invited the public to contribute actively and rationally to the discussion. H.E. Ambassador Selim YENEL, Permanent Delegate of Turkey to the EU, addressed the audience dynamically and expressed his hopes for EU-Turkey relations to flourish in the context of the new agreement. Ms Kati PIRI, Member of the European Parliament and Rapporteur for Turkey, expressed her concern on the situation – she stated that the EU is facing a humanitarian crisis and that it should not rely on Turkey as a gatekeeper.

Professor Florian TRAUNER, Research Professor at the VUB and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe, invited the audience to look at the wider picture of the situation and expressed his concern on the potential negative consequences for the relationship with the Eastern countries should the EU prioritize visa liberalization with Turkey. Ms Amanda PAUL, Senior Policy Analyst of Turkey’s domestic and foreign policies, developed a dynamic speech on Turkey’s situation mentioning the importance for Turkey to work on the fundamental rights chapters and stressing the key moment that EU-Turkey relations are living, with ERDOGAN “ready to take big strategic political steps”.

This debate, moderated by Ms Laura BATALLA, Secretary General of the Friends of Turkey group in the European Parliament, was of great relevance due to the fact that the European Commission is expected to declare that Turkey has broadly met the criteria for early visa liberalization and will put forward a legislative proposal which the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament will have to approve by the end of June.

Find the complete programme here

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