RFE/RL: EU Enlargement Chief: No 'Discount' For Turkey On Visa Liberalization
Turkey will not get an easier ride than Ukraine, Georgia, and Kosovo in securing a liberalized visa regime with the 28-member bloc.
PRAGUE -- The European Union's top enlargement official says that Turkey will not get an easier ride than Ukraine, Georgia, and Kosovo in securing a liberalized visa regime with the 28-member bloc.
In an exclusive interview with RFE/RL in Prague, Johannes Hahn, the EU's commissioner for European neighborhood policy and enlargement negotiations, dismissed claims that Turkey would be granted the visa waiver faster than the other three countries as a quid pro quo for Ankara's help in stemming the flow of refugees and migrants into Europe.
"We are, so to say, treating everybody equally," Hahn said. "This means we have applied the same methodology for Ukraine, Georgia, and also for Kosovo. And the same applies for Turkey."
He added, however, that visa liberalization depends on how quickly "our partner countries" will "move forward and comply with our requirements."
"In that respect there is no…discount for Turkey to get something cheaper than the others, because it is about certain standards which have to be met," Hahn said.
His comments come one day before the European Commission is expected to announce that Turkey has lived up to most of the criteria to enjoy a visa-free regime with the EU, despite not having completely met all of the required benchmarks.
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