Turkey tops agenda of Finnish EU presidency

The European Union’s relations with Turkey will be one of the issues topping the agenda of Finland, which has taken over the EU’s six-month presidency, one of its top diplomats told Kathimerini yesterday. «I think Turkey is a country that is changing and nearing the values and principles of the EU,» Jari Vilen, chairman of the Finnish Parliament’s Grand Committee, said during a brief visit to Athens. «It still has ground to cover. They know it and we know it. But it is important that the prospect of EU membership remains.» Vilen added it was vital to solve the Cyprus problem before Turkey can join the EU. «At the same time, I have to say that the possibility of Turkey joining the EU offers the prospect of improved safety and the guarantee of prosperity and economic development for EU citizens,» he added.