Memet Ergun Turan, in his function as NALAS President, Mayor of Fatih, Türkiye and Vice President of NALAS member MARMARA Municipalities Union, shared a number of recommendations with the participants during his intervention in Day 2 of the Annual Enlargement Days 2023 related to EU Enlargement policy.

Preceded by welcome of the CoR President, Mr. Vasco Alves Cordeiro, CIVEX rapporteur on the Enlargement Package 2023, Ms. Anna Magyar (HU/ECR) and Sweden’s Foreign Minister, Mr. Tobias Billstroem, Mr. Turan pointed out that the EU Enlargement policy represents for NALAS the most important foreign policy instrument. It is the Enlargement policy that invites candidates to be in the driving seat for reforms and improve the standard of living of their citizen as well as the development potential of their respective countries. The NALAS president stressed his conviction that peace, prosperity and security in the EU can only be sustainable in the future integrating the Western Balkan countries and Türkiye.

Asked about what the CoR could do to enhance its activities the straightforward reply was to further raise its visibility and sphere of influence to translate the deliberations of the Enlargement Days in action that can be seen at the local level.

With regard to open issues that were not subject to discussion, Mr. Turan pointed out to different perspectives of enlargement. On the one hand, EU Enlargement represents for candidate countries access to prosperity, whereas on the other hand the EU, to maintain its attraction, needs to be dynamic. Stalemate comes along with a loss of appeal. Enhancing cooperation with local and regional governments adds to the dynamic of the accession process. In this context the NALAS President emphasised that the candidate countries will be an undeniable asset contributing to the EU.