Turkey, EU to modernize customs union agreement (exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.4
By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:
Turkey and the European Union intend to modernize the existing agreement on customs union, the EU office in Brussels told Trend.
The EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom met with Turkey's Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci in May 2015 to agree to modernize the 20-year-old customs union agreement and to enhance EU-Turkey bilateral trade relations, said the EU office.
This will include trade in services and public procurement rules, requiring first some internal preparatory work, the EU official representative said.
"In any case, to start the negotiations, the Commission will first need to ask the Council for a mandate defining the directives for the negotiation," the rep said.
Turkey became a member of the European Union Customs Union in 1995.
Currently, the EU and the US intend to sign an agreement on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which will strip Turkey off billions of dollars.
The negotiations on TTIP began in July 2013. Nine rounds of these negotiations have been held so far. The tenth round is scheduled for July 13-17, 2015. The US and the EU are expected to solve the issue of signing the agreement on TTIP.
It is not ruled out that if the EU does not modernize the Customs Union with Turkey and signs an agreement on TTIP, Turkey will leave the European Union Customs Union, as the country's authorities previously warned.
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