The European Union decided to reduce its financial assistance to Turkey which it provides as part of the EU candidate support program, Deutsche Welle reports.
During the discussion of the budget plan for 2018 on Saturday, November 18, it was decided that the amount of funds allocated to Ankara would be reduced by 105 million euros compared to the first draft of the budget, which was drawn up by the European Commission.
Another 70 million euros are under consideration. They will be paid only if the Brussels sees progress in Ankara's respect for the rule of law.
The budget for the next year, which was agreed upon at a meeting of the EU Council on November 18, includes expenditures of 144.7 billion euros. This is 10 billion more than the year before.
When drafting the budget, the EU countries sought to preserve "maneuvering space" in case of unforeseen needs. The draft budget should be approved within 14 days by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.
Turkey became an official candidate for membership in the European Union in 2004. From 2014 to 2020, the total payments to Ankara through the program of support for candidate countries should amount to about 4.5 billion euros.