EP President Metsola made a statement at the opening of the February session, followed by a full debate on the emergency humanitarian aid the EU can provide to Türkiye and Syria after the catastrophic earthquake, which cost the lives of more than 30 000 people and destroyed tens of thousands of buildings, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.
Turkey has been candidate for EU membership since 1999. Accession negotiations started in 2005. In recent years the EU is often criticizing the backsliding of the country in certain areas. As a major emerging economy and a member of NATO and G20, Türkiye is recognised as an active regional foreign policy player, with a strategic location, including for the EU's energy security. Turkey is a key strategic partner of the EU on issues such as migration, security, counter-terrorism, and the economy, but according to the EU has been backsliding in the areas of democracy, rule of law and fundamental right.