Rehn: "Turkey and EU share major common interests"
Turkey's integration process into the European Union is continuing, said EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn yesterday, adding that the Union needs Turkey. Stressing that Turkey and the EU share major mid- and long-term strategic interests, Rehn said the EU needs Turkey's help to ensure peace and stability in a number of problematic regions, especially the Caucasus and the Middle East, to ensure energy security, and to fight against terrorism. Rehn also underlined that the EU's enlargement process has boosted its global influence, making it the world's biggest economy, a trade heavyweight, a superpower in global markets, and a leader in the fight against climate change. In related news, the European Commission announced that negotiations for Turkey's participation in the European Energy Community, established in 2006 between the EU and Balkan countries, started in Vienna yesterday. EU Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs called the start of the talks a landmark in energy cooperation between Turkey and the EU, adding that Turkey has made key reforms in its energy infrastructure and market in recent years, and that it would play an important role in the community. The European Energy Community aims to prepare necessary conditions for countries to enter the European energy market by adapting them to EU laws and regulations.