Written statement by the Government Spokesman Mr N. Christodoulides on public remarks in relation to the four basic freedoms

With regard to public remarks made because of the Turkish demand to grant the four basic freedoms of the European Union (free movement of goods, capital, persons and services) to citizens of Turkey in the framework of a solution to the Cyprus problem, the following should be clarified:

1. There is no legal substructure for the said Turkish claim and the argument that Turkish citizens already enjoy the four freedoms is without merit.

2. The existing legal framework of the EU-Turkey relations (see Association Agreement, Customs Union, etc) provides few and very specific rights to Turkey and to Turkish citizens, such as the movement of processed industrial products and limited rights to Turkish workers, who are legally employed in member states on the basis of national legislation.

3. With regard to the movement of services and capital for Turkey, the relevant provisions of the Treaties of the EU, which apply for all other third countries, are applicable for Turkey as well.

4. The four basic freedoms of the EU cannot be dissociated from the status of a member state, of the notion of citizenship of the Union and the constitutional structure of the EU, as provided by the Treaties of the EU. They are granted to citizens of member states, which have already harmonized, meet the Copenhagen criteria and have specific obligations toward the EU.

5. The four basic freedoms carry along other rights as well and create derivative rights, which affect all the member states.

6. The discussion or granting of the four basic freedoms of the EU to Turkish citizens as part of a special arrangement, which will apply only in a reunited Cyprus is out of question.

7. The Turkish citizens will be able to enjoy the four basic freedoms provided that Turkey has harmonized fully with the European acquis, has implemented all its obligations, as they derive from its accession course, toward the EU and all the member states, and has become a full member of the EU.

Source: Press and Information Office