S&D Group will only back visa liberalisation for Turkey when it meets all the requirements
The S&D Group will not support visa liberalisation for Turkey until it meets all of the technical benchmarks outlined by the European Commission.
S&D spokesperson for migration issues, Birgit Sippel, said:
"Our position is very clear - we support visa liberalisation for all countries that fulfil the relevant criteria. This is the case for Turkish citizens as it is for citizens of any other country. However, we will not bend these rules just to try and find an easy fix for the migration crisis. Our union can only work if it is based on clear rules and clear principles. We will not have our feet held to the fire by an increasingly authoritarian regime in Ankara.
"We fully support the position of the Parliament president Martin Schulz that until Turkey fulfils all the outstanding conditions then Parliament should not begin working on the relevant legislation. If Turkish citizens want visa liberalisation then it is up to their government to act."