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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
News article8 July 2024Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations1 min read

Joint Statement by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis and Minister of Trade Bolat at the EU-Türkiye High-Level Dialogue on Trade

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Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis and the Minister of Trade of Türkiye Ömer Bolat met today in Brussels for the first meeting of a High-Level Dialogue on Trade. The EU and Türkiye, a candidate country and major trade partner, have bilateral trade flows that have grown constantly over the years reaching €206 billion in 2023.

Against the background of the EU's Joint Communication to the European Council on EU-Türkiye political, economic and trade relations (29 November 2023) and the European Council conclusions on Türkiye, the High-level Dialogue on Trade gave political steer to the work on addressing the remaining bilateral trade irritants and allowed for a discussion on several areas of cooperation that would strengthen the functioning of the Customs Union.

The High-Level Dialogue was preceded by the EU-Türkiye Business Roundtable where representatives of major Turkish and EU business associations discussed current state of play in implementing our Customs Union and perspectives for enhancing Türkiye-EU trade and economic relations.

On trade barriers, after the resolution by Türkiye of a significant number of trade barriers raised by the EU, further to the work in the dedicated bilateral trade working group co-chaired by Director General for Trade Sabine Weyand and Deputy Trade Minister of Türkiye Mustafa Tuzcu, the two sides discussed ways to resolve additional priority barriers.

The parties also discussed key areas of cooperation that have bearing on the Customs Union, such as the green transition, notably CBAM, digital trade and trade defence. Particularly, in this context, Türkiye and EU discussed business mobility and the road transport quotas applied by EU Member States to Turkish hauliers.

The EU and Türkiye also exchanged their views for collaboration on the prevention of the circumvention of EU sanctions via the Customs Union.

The parties agreed to pursue work through engagement on the issues mutually identified.

The meeting of the High-Level Dialogue on Trade is an important milestone in addressing the current obstacles with regard to the Customs Union and towards its modernisation.