Kategorie-Archiv: Türkei

Fragen zum möglichen Beitritt der Türkei zur Europäischen Union

Der Beitritt der Türkei zur Union wäre sowohl für die EU als auch für die Türkei eine Herausforderung. Gut umgesetzt, böte er beiden Seiten große Chancen. Die notwendigen Vorbereitungen würden bis weit in das nächste Jahrzehnt andauern. Die EU wird sich in diesem Zeitraum weiterentwickeln, die Türkei dürfte sich noch radikaler verändern.

Die Erweiterung der EU um die Türkei würde sich wegen der Größe ihrer Bevölkerung, ihrem wirtschaftlichen Gewicht und ihrer geografischen Stellung in einer von Instabilität, internationalen Spannungen, internen Konflikten, Minderheitenproblemen und divergierenden wirtschafts- und energiepolitischen Interessen geprägten Region von früheren Erweiterungen unterscheiden.

Die Türkei ist ein strategisch wichtiges Land, dessen EU-Mitgliedschaft Auswirkungen auf die Außenpolitik in vielen potenziell instabilen Nachbarregionen wie dem Mittelmeerraum, dem Mittleren Osten, dem Kaukasus und Zentralasien haben würde.

Wenn die Türkei ihre wirtschaftliche Modernisierung, sozioökonomische Entwicklung und regionale Integration fortsetzt, wäre sie in der Lage, in ihrer Nachbarschaft eine wichtige stabilisierende Rolle zu spielen. Als EU-Mitglied würde die Türkei in einer Reihe transnationaler Fragen an Bedeutung gewinnen (Energie, Wasserressourcen, Verkehr, Grenzverwaltung, Terrorismusbekämpfung).

Der Beitritt der Türkei zur Union wäre sowohl für die EU als auch für die Türkei eine Herausforderung. Gut umgesetzt, böte er beiden Seiten große Chancen. Die notwendigen Vorbereitungen würden bis weit in das nächste Jahrzehnt andauern. Die EU wird sich in diesem Zeitraum weiterentwickeln, die Türkei dürfte sich noch radikaler verändern. Der Besitzstand wird sich weiter entwickeln und den Erfordernissen einer EU mit 27 Mitgliedstaaten oder mehr anzupassen sein. Bei seiner Weiterentwicklung kann auch bereits den Problemen und Chancen des Beitritts der Türkei Rechnung getragen werden.

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Municipal Services Project Loan for Turkey

The World Bank approved a Euro 212,900,000 Municipal Services Project Loan for Turkey. The lending instrument for the Municipal Services Project is a Specific Investment Loan with a 17-year maturity, including a 5-year grace period. With this loan, the World Bank has provided more than $1.8 billion in new loans and grants to Turkey over the period July 2004 through June 2005.

The project’s main objective is to support the Government’s sustainable environmental services in selected municipalities. To meet this objective, the project will:

  • support the development of municipal infrastructure to improve the environment and quality of water, wastewater, and solid waste management services. This development will be measured by the following indicators: reduction in water losses, increased volume of wastewater treated, increased number of water and sewerage connections, and use of sanitary landfills;
  • support municipal utilities to strengthen their financial position, improve operational efficiency, and prepare and implement projects. This will be measured by the following indicators: improvement in working ratios, reduction of water that is unaccounted for, and successful completion of projects; and
  • support the institutional strengthening of Iller Bank so that it is able to implement the project in a satisfactory manner.

The Treasury is the Guarantor of the loan and Iller Bank will be in charge of the overall implementation of the project. The project consists of the following components:

  1. Municipal Development to support investments in the water, wastewater, and solid waste sectors;
  2. Municipal Technical Assistance to support the preparation of feasibility studies, urban planning, preparation of bidding documents, and municipal utility operational improvement plans; and
  3. Iller Bank Institutional strengthening to increase the financial and technical capacity, support incremental operating costs, and prepare audits.

„Currently, 70 percent of Turkish citizens live in urban areas. This high urbanization leads to demand for core municipal services that include water, wastewater, solid waste management, and transportation. The World Bank is pleased to help the Government of Turkey in focusing on water, wastewater, and solid waste investments which will bring better water and environment conditions to citizens living in many urban areas,“ said Andrew Vorkink, Country Director for Turkey.

„Given the high rate of urbanization and the need to meet EU environmental directives, Turkey will have to sustain a high level of investments at the local level to develop local infrastructure. This project will contribute towards developing that infrastructure and promoting environmentally and financially sustainable services,“ he said.

World Bank Supports Export Finance in Turkey

The World Bank yesterday approved a US$305 Million equivalent (US$201.05 Million and Euro 80.41 Million) Export Finance Intermediation Loan (EFIL III) for Turkey. This loan is the third of its kind to Turkey.

The project’s main objective is to follow through on the achievement of the predecessor EFIL II project and continue to serve as a catalyst to support export and real sector growth in Turkey during the EFIL III implementation period (2005-2010) and beyond, using the EFIL II and EFIL III reflows. To this end, the project will provide medium and long-term working capital and investment finance to Turkish private exporting enterprises, at a time when the economy is showing strong signs of growth, and export performance is on the rise–thus increasing the demand for longer term credit, while the financial sector is still unable to support these trends with very much needed longer term funds at a reasonable cost.

The secondary objective of the loan is further improvement in the ability of the Turkish financial sector to provide financial resources to the enterprise sector, through further development of intermediation by private financial institutions, including banks and leasing companies. The project, through inclusion of leasing companies in addition to banks as participating financial
institutions, will enable the Bank to continue a dialogue with the leasing sector in Turkey, provide an opportunity to gain more insight into the sector, and enable the Bank to further support its development.

In view of the record short time that the predecessor EFIL II loan was committed about one year the Government’s request for the EFIL III credit line for exporters is very timely, said Andrew Vorkink, Country Director for Turkey. The project will support the current strong growth in exports, which is good news for both the economy and for job creation.

The EFIL III will have a single component, a credit line for exporters, and will provide the medium and long-term funds to exporters through two distinct channels: (i) US$165 million and EUR65 million through commercial banks in the form of investment or working capital loans, and (ii) US$35 million and EUR15
million through leasing companies in the form of lease finance for acquisition of productive assets (vehicles, machinery and/or equipment). The credit line will be provided to Turkish Industrial Development Bank- Turkiye Sinai ve Kalkinma Bankasi (TSKB), with a government guarantee.

The lending instrument for the EFIL III project is the World Bank’s Fixed Spread Loan (FSL) in two currencies (US Dollar and Euro) with a 16-year maturity, including a 6-year grace period. The instrument will have a fixed spread over the benchmark (6-month US Dollar Libor and Euribor), and is planned as a loan with a long maturity both for the Bank loan to the Borrower (TSKB),
and for the subsidiary loans from the Borrower to participating financial intermediaries.

World Bank Supports Secondary Education In Turkey

The World Bank approved on May, 15, a EUR 80 Million (US$105 million) Secondary Education Project Loan (SEP) for Turkey. The main development objective of the project is to improve the quality and economic relevance of secondary education in Turkey.

In line with the focus of the World Bank’s assistance program in Turkey, which revolves around sound macroeconomics, effective governance, and equitable human development, the project will support:

Curriculum reforms in general and vocational education, including the increasing the use of information communication technology to meet the needs of Turkey’s emerging economy. Strengthening career guidance and counseling programs to help students place themselves effectively in Turkey’s labor market and learn effective skills to cope with life’s challenges. Assessing and benchmarking Turkey’s education programs and institutions to national and international norms to improve the quality and relevance of secondary education in Turkey.

„This important project will help secondary school staff, students and parents improve educational achievement and quality, which are crucial requirements for Turkey heading to join the EU,“ said Andrew Vorkink, Country Director for Turkey. „A key challenge facing Turkey today is preparing graduates to compete in the domestic and international labor markets of tomorrow. This project will help produce such graduates.“

The Secondary Education Project will be one further step forward in the World Bank’s efforts to support education reform in Turkey. The Bank has been supporting Turkey with loans of US$300 million for a Basic Education Project (BEP I) and a further US$300 million for the Second Basic Education Project (BEP II).

World Bank on accession negotiations with Turkey

The World Bank welcomes European Council decision on December 17th, 2004 to start accession negotiations with Turkey in October 2005. „The World Bank applauds the decision and commits itself to helping Turkey implement the economic and social reforms which are central to its quest to become a member of the European Union,“ said Shigeo Katsu, Regional Vice President for Europe and Central Asia. He added, „In developing our strategy to support Turkish membership, we will apply the experience gained in supporting the countries of the Baltics and Central Europe in pursuing essential pre-accession reforms.“

The World Bank commends Turkey on the progress made leading up to the Council’s decision and congratulates the government on the comprehensive and sound Pre-Accession Economic Program (PEP) submitted to the European Commission which sets out the further structural changes that will be required as Turkey pursues its EU agenda.

During the accession process, the World Bank will focus its technical and financial support on public sector reforms, improvements in the business climate and Turkey’s social programs to help create the conditions for sustained growth and better living standards which will pave the way for full integration into the EU. Further support will include advice on use of EU financial assistance during the negotiation process as well as building capacity to meet EU standards.

„The decision of the EU Heads of States and Governments is a historic turning point for Europe, for Turkey and for the Turkish economy. While much work and a number of years lie ahead for Turkey to meet the economic criteria for EU membership, the accession process set to start in October 2005 has the potential in Turkey, as it did in the ten EU members which joined on May 1, to increase investor confidence as harmonization reforms continue and to bring lasting benefits to the citizens of Turkey, as well as to Europe as a whole. The World Bank stands ready to assist Turkey in this important process towards integration with Europe,“ said Andrew Vorkink, Country Director for Turkey.

European Parliament Calls for Talks With Turkey

The European Parliament called on European Union leaders to open membership talks with Turkey as soon as possible even as it urged Ankara to carry out more democratic reforms and move toward recognizing Cyprus, reports The Wall Street Journal Europe.

The European Parliament, meeting in Strasbourg, France, voted 407 to 262, with 29 abstentions, to pass the resolution, which is nonbinding but nevertheless likely to influence leaders on the eve of a historic summit in Brussels on Turkey’s membership application. During a two-day summit Thursday and Friday, the 25 EU leaders are expected to approve opening membership talks with Ankara sometime next year. The 25 leaders likely will agree to open membership talks without setting a deadline on when the negotiations should end. Many say they could last as long as 15 years.

The Associated Press further reports that unlike the addition of 10 mostly eastern European member states in May, the mere consideration that Turkey could join and that a predominantly Asian, overwhelmingly Muslim nation flush with cheap labor could one day become one of the EU’s biggest nation has touched the rawest of political nerves in many EU nations. But Turkey has the most powerful of backers in Germany and Britain while the most problematic nations are expected to be smaller nations like Austria, Slovakia, Denmark and Cyprus. Yet all EU leaders agree Turkey needs to go further down the path of much-needed political and economic reforms. When the European Parliament backed the membership talks, it also urged Ankara to carry out more democratic reforms and move toward recognizing Cyprus. The parliament and EU leaders want Ankara to meet demands for a „zero-tolerance“ approach to torture, which many still say is still being carried out by authorities in Turkey.

The Financial Times explains that France, Denmark and Austria want to include a phrase in the summit communiqué stressing that the talks are not guaranteed to succeed. Jacques Chirac, French president, is working with Gerhard Schroeder, German chancellor, to find a compromise, and last night explained his support for Turkish membership in a televised address to the French people, who largely oppose his stand. „The question we have to ask is whether Europe and, notably, France have an interest in having Turkey join them,“ Chirac said. „My answer is yes, if. Yes, if Turkey meets all conditions that are imposed on all candidates to our union. A senior aide to Schroeder said: „There should be just one goal for these negotiations: membership. This is why you will not find any reference to a privileged partnership as a second option.“

The Irish Times adds diplomats said yesterday that a consensus was forming among the 25 member-states in favor of a decision to start talks in October or November next year but to specify that the negotiations are „open-ended“. Austria’s chancellor, Wolfgang Schüssel, who is skeptical about Turkey’s membership bid, said yesterday he could accept such a compromise. „It has to be in there that the result will come from an open process, and that this result cannot be guaranteed in advance. And this will only be credible if another sentence is added that says if there is no positive result on the membership option, then there will be a firm anchoring of Turkey in European structures,“ he said.

The International Herald Tribune finally notes that EU leaders on Friday will also give final blessing to end accession talks with Bulgaria and Romania and set a date for signing an accession treaty with each. This would pave the way for them to join the EU in 2007 or 2008. The EU is also likely to agree to start accession negotiations with Croatia, probably in April, that are likely to be conditional on Croatia’s cooperation over war crimes investigations.

World Bank approved a US$1 Billion Loan for Turkey

June 17, 2004 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today a US$1 Billion Third Programmatic Financial and Public Sector Adjustment Loan (PFPSAL III) for Turkey.

The main objective of PFPSAL III is to provide support during 2004 to the Government of Turkey’s financial and public sector reform priorities while ensuring that social programs are adequately funded and increasingly better targeted. Key reform priorities in the financial sector include:

(i) strengthening the regulatory framework for banking;
(ii) building institutional capacity at the Bank Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA) and Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (SDIF);
(iii) further restructuring of state banks in preparation for their privatization; and
(iv) improving the corporate insolvency regime.

Key reform priorities in the public sector include:

(i) deepening of structural fiscal policies in support of sustainable fiscal adjustment;
(ii) implementing public expenditure management reforms covering budget planning and execution, financial accountability, and public liability management; and
(iii) strengthening public sector governance and continuation of civil service reform.

Priorities for social spending include:

(i) adequate expenditure for health, education and social protection in the 2004 budget; and
(ii) better targeting of social protection.

The principal benefits of the Loan will be to support the Government’s efforts to create conditions for sustained growth and macroeconomic stability, ensure adequate social expenditure and better targeted social protection, consolidate the current stability of the banking system and positioning it for accession to the European Union (EU); and establish a better foundation for more effective government in line with EU directives and international best practice.

„Approval by the World Bank today of the Loan on the $1 billion PFPSAL III operation represents a major step forward for Turkey on its reform path,“ said Andrew Vorkink, Country Director for Turkey. „The program supported by this loan, many of the components of which have already been put in place, represents significant efforts by the Government over the past year to implement structural reforms in the economy of Turkey which will help lead to sustained growth and economic stability as well as better social protection.

„PFPSAL III is visible evidence of the Government’s commitment to structural reforms and of international support to the Government’s program which will have a lasting and positive impact on economic and social standards in Turkey in the years ahead,“ Vorkink noted. „The Loan also represents the World Bank’s confidence in Turkey, the Government’s reform program and the prospects for growth and stability in Turkey.“

The loan terms to Turkey for the proposed $1 billion PFPSAL III are a maturity of 17 years and 4 years grace with interest at a fixed spread of 50 basis points over LIBOR. The Loan, which consists of two tranches of US$ 500 million each, is expected to be signed on June 18th, 2004. The first tranche is expected to be released within the next two weeks.