Turkey has made progress in reforms but further improvements are needed. That, according to the European Economic and Social Committee, was the message to emerge from the 19th meeting of the EU-Turkey Joint Consultative Committee on July 7/8 in Istanbul. The JCC endorsed the European Commission's recent Communication on dialogue between civil society in the EU and Turkey. This, it said, should help counteract fears and attitudes on both sides that stem from a lack of knowledge of one another.
The JCC also produced a number of recommendations for involving civil society organisations in the accession process:
- Capacity-building: Assistance and funding to civil society organisations to help them voice their concerns, i.e. through civil society dialogue schemes;
- Visa procedures in EU member states should be facilitated in order to enhance civil society dialogue, trade union cooperation and business relations;
- Permanent dialogue: permanent mechanisms are needed between the...