The European Union has reduced some of the money earmarked in its 2018 budget deal for Turkey to join the 28-member politico-economic bloc in a clear sign of increasingly sour relations between the union and the Ankara government.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and member states agreed on Saturday to slash the “pre-accession funds” by 105 million euros ($123.795 million), and froze an additional 70 million euros ($82.53 million) of previously announced spending.
The decision was made over doubts about Ankara’s commitment to democracy and human rights.
“We consider the deteriorating situation in relation to democracy, rule of law and human rights worrying,” the legislators said in a statement.
The EU had initially pledged 4.45 billion euros ($5.24 billion) in pre-accession spending for Turkey from 2014 to 2020. Only 360 million euros ($424.44 million) has, however, been allocated so far.
European leaders reached an agreement on October 19 to explore cuts in EU funds to …