Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Brussels for the first time in three years, following the opening of a new chapter in Turkey's EU accession negotiations, the EU minister said March 28 during an interview with private broadcaster CNNTürk. Egemen Bagısh said he had previously requested Erdogan take an official visit to Brussels "slowly." Hurriyetdailynews reported
The presidents of the European Council, EU Commission and EU Parliament as well as Belgian Prime Minister Elio di Rupo all invited Erdogan for an official visit, Bagış said. "We will inaugurate a 12-story mission building, so Erdogan's schedule will be very busy when he visits Brussels," he said, adding that he expected Chapter 22 of negotiations would be opened in a few months.
Bagısh also said during the interview that the EU accession process played an important role in Turkey's democratization. "The European process is a process much more important than its end. Looking back, we can see that we have reached a much better place while moving accession forward," he said.
Bagısh also added that the EU provided a very important roadmap but that Turkey's goal was to go beyond its standards. "If we can reach the food standards of France, the education standards of Britain or the fashion standards of Italy, then becoming a member or not is a secondary issue," he said.