The European Parliament recently published the Resolution on Turkey’s 2011 Progress Report regarding Turkey’s bid for EU membership. The draft report, written by the EP’s Turkey rapporteur, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, was discussed at a plenary on the 28-29 March, and a summary of that debate has been released. We reproduce it here for you to read comments from representative from round Europe on the issue:
Summary of the debate in the European Parliament on the “2011 Progress Report on Turkey / EU Enlargement”
(Brussels, 28-29 March 2012)
by Bünyamin Tamris
The Resolution on Turkey’s 2011 Progress Report written by European Parliament’s Turkey rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten has been discussed in the European Parliament where the Commission and the Council were amongst the attendants during the plenary session in Brussels on 28 March.
The 2011 Progress Report on Turkey has been adopted by a large majority of votes in the European Parliament after the debates on outstanding issues such as EU-Turkey relations, Turkey’s progress towards EU membership, civil liberties, judiciary reforms, fundamental rights and freedoms and constitutional reform process.
Most of the MEPs agreed on that the report written by Mrs Oomen-Ruijten was a balanced report and congratulated the rapporteur for her support for the enlargement process. MEPs stressed that EU-Turkey relations need fresh impetus, but will get it only if Turkey makes more progress on reforms. The MEPs welcomed the initial steps taken for drafting a new constitution and said that in drafting the constitution, Turkey should provide for full recognition of all its ethnic and religious communities, acknowledge the inclusive nature of modern citizenship and promote the constitutional protection of mother-tongue language rights. MEPs urges Turkey to find a political solution to the Kurdish issue which also stated in the resolution. The interdependence between EU and Turkey, the strategic cooperation with Turkey in the area of foreign policy; energy and security were underlined and emphasized by the MEPs. They also expressed their support for the Commission’s ” positive agenda” which is not a substitute for the accession process but as a complement and vehicle for creating a new dynamism and for further improving EU-Turkey relations. MEPs noted Turkey’s strategic role in the region and said the EU and Turkey should step up their cooperation on shared foreign and neighbourhood policy priorities and in the area of energy.
The MEPs raised the concern about deterioration of fundamental rights and freedoms, especially freedom of expression and freedom of press. The arrests and cases against politicians, academicians and journalists which is the consequence of wide interpretation of Anti-Terror law and limitation on freedom of expression is criticised strongly and MEPs called upon Turkey to make urgent reforms in its judiciary and to protect fundamental freedoms bringing its relevant legislation in line with EU standards. There has also been criticism on Turkey’s relation with Republic of Cyprus where no progress has been made towards normalisation of the relations between two countries. MEPs, Commissioner and Minister of Council also expressed with regret Turkey’s statements that it will freeze the relations with the EU during the Presidency of Republic of Cyprus if the northern Cyprus issue is not resolved by mid-2012. The MEPs also stated in this case the process of negotiations with Turkey will also be affected in a negative way. Parliament supports the ongoing UN-led reunification negotiations and asks Turkey to begin withdrawing its forces from Cyprus.
Nicolai Wammen (Danish Minister of European Affairs, Danish Presidency of the EU Council)
Nicolai Wammen, on behalf of Danish Presidency, said” Turkey is an essential, strategic ally, playing a key regional role which is also an important growing economy.EU and Turkey have an obvious mutual interest in upholding strong ties with each other. Only in this way can we contribute to change and overcome tensions in our neighbouring regions”
He stated that :” The accession negotiations are not advancing as quickly as we would like. However, if the opportunity arises for progress in negotiations, the Danish Presidency stands ready to succeed. We will do our utmost to facilitate the progress but needless to say this will require additional significant efforts from the Turkish side. “
“We will also act and support Commission’s positive agenda. We must not lose side of Turkish and EU’s mutual interests in deepening our relations in spite of the challenges in the formal access in talks. It is clear that the positive agenda should be a compliment to the negotiations and not a substitute for them. Work on the act on content of this agenda is still at an early stage but we are following and supporting developments with great interest” Wammen said.
He also said:” The constitutional reform and preparing a new constitution is now well under way. The process is an opportunity to address a number of important issues. It has to take place in a broad and inclusive way and in a spirit of constructiveness and compromise. We very much welcome initial steps towards ensuring this. Most of the work in this key reform is of direct relevance for the enlargement negotiations with Turkey. While constitutional reform is important, further progress by Turkey on issues such as fundamental rights and freedoms and in other areas is required.”
Wammen addressed the large number of cases brought against writers and journalists and said:” Although we have witnessed some positive developments such as recent liberation from prison of 4 journalists. “
Wammen talked about the unresolved issue which has a direct bearing on both the negotiations and, more widely, on EU-Turkey relations.
“The Council notes with deep regret that Turkey – despite our repeated calls – has so far failed to fulfil its obligation under the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement. The EU position on this has not changed, and in the absence of progress in the full non-discriminatory implementation of the Protocol, the EU will maintain its measures from 2006, which will continue to affect overall progress in the negotiations.” said Wammen.
Wammen said: “We also continue to expect Turkey to make progress toward normalizing its relations with Republic of Cyprus without further delay. I would like to recall that the Council has regretted the statements by Turkey threatening to freeze the relations with the EU presidency during the second half of this year. The rotating presidency is a fundamental institutional future of the EU provided for in the EU treaty and must be fully respected.”
Nicolai Wammen concluded his speech by saying that:” The aim of the Presidency is to do our utmost to facility progress in the enlargement negotiations, to promote political and economic reform in Turkey and to strengthen the relationship between EU and Turkey. This is a task we can only realize with the support and collaboration of member states, the commission and at least this Parliament.”
Stefan Füle (EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Member of the European Commission)
Stefan Füle described the report as a good and balanced report and thanked to rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten.
He said that the debate and report came at an important time with EU-Turkey relations and talked about the meeting held by the Commission and Turkish Ministers Egemen Bagis and Ahmet Davutoglu. “We had a very positive and open political dialogue. Once gain I realized that we have much more common at strategic level that we have differences. We discussed our ever closer foreign policy dialogue and progress related political criteria and in particular agreed to work concretely and constructively and make the positive agenda a reality.”
He said that the positive agenda as to complement not to replace accession process is there to provide a realistic and feasible way to inject new life into EU-Turkish relations in general and into the accession process in particular.
“The positive agenda means renewed efforts in a number of key areas including the support for political reforms in Turkey such as the alignment with EU acquis, a closer cooperation on visa , immigration and on a closer dialogue on foreign policy. All are underlined in your resolution.” said Füle.
Since the member states endeavours the positive agenda last December, Füle said that:” We have made a very good progress in putting it into practice. The commission and Turkey have agreed to work on 8 chapters including the chapters corporate law, information society and media, judiciary and fundamental rights and justice, freedom and security.”
“We have also agreed on bringing relevant Turkish legislation closer in line with the EU acquis. Working groups will be set up for each chapter in May and June. Work continues also in other areas of the positive agenda as regards energy for instance. Turkey and the Commission have agreed to set up a joint working group which will develop a road map by May to identify concrete actions for intensified cooperation.“said Füle.
Füle has called on Turkey to continue drafting a new constitution that will serve all citizens of Turkey, with the broadest possible consultation and participation through a democratic process welcoming the overall consensus on the need for a new constitution in Turkey which emerged after general elections in the last June.
Füle underlined the conclusions of a research made by a reform monitoring group held in Turkey and said that conclusions list a large number of political reforms already underway or foreseen in the near future by the Turkish Government.
He said that:” I would like to single out the intention to table a forced judiciary reform package which foresees further reforms in the area of freedom of expression and the media. We hope that this package will address the outstanding core concern as regards freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial. “
He reminded that these important issues also underlined in the resolution and said that the cooperation with Turkey on these issues will bring urgently needed improvements in legislation and in practice.
Stefan Füle, in his conclusion raised the concerns regarding the recent developments relating to freedom of expression in Turkey and said that:” Freedom of expression is intimately linked to political debate in a country, and thus to the quality and maturity of a democracy. “
The resolution of the Parliament gives a fair assessment of the important challenges that Turkey is taking on in the area of the judiciary and fundamental rights, said Füle.
He concluded by saying that:” Only a mature domestic political debate, with full respect for dissenting voices, will ensure that these reforms deliver the democratic standards and practices the citizens of Turkey expect and deserve. “
Ria Oomen-Ruijten (EPP Group, draftswoman of the report, Netherlands)
Ria Oomen-Ruijten (EPP, NL), Parliament’s rapporteur on Turkey, said :” Turkey is a key country for the security and prosperity of EU.Turkey has enormous potentials for economic growth and it has a strategic role as a corridor for EU’s energy supply and complemented by the value of potentials synergies between the EU and Turkey the foreign policy and security policy can do a lot for us both.” She said: ”The interdependence between the EU and Turkey, stressed by our resolution, can only produce positive results if framed in a context of mutual commitment. For Turkey, this means concrete results in the reform process and improvement in the bilateral relations with its neighbours. For the EU, renewed efforts are needed to create conditions for the opening of the chapters.” Oomen-Ruijten supported Commissioner Füle’s proposal to develop a fresh agenda for EU-Turkey relations and continued:” It is true that now we must increase our cooperation. But we must have more coordination in areas like foreign policy and fight against terrorism. Turkey and the EU can also both profit from enhancing their cooperation in those fields.” “The resolution expresses our concern about freedoms; the deterioration of the press freedom and freedom of expression in Turkey. I have just met Mr Ahmet Şık who was released from prison just this week. He came here to visit us in Parliament. In Turkey pre-trial detention lasts too long, legislation on terrorism is too wide-sweeping and these sorts of things do not fit in with a country which should have independent and all-over impartial justice. The long pre-detention happening now is, de facto, a punishment.” said Oomen-Ruijten. She said that the relations with the Republic of Cyprus are continuing to affect the process of negotiations and called on the Turkish Government to do something to come up these positive steps. “There is not only negative elements which we report in this resolution, we also highlight positive developments” said Oomen-Ruijten. She concluded by saying that:” What I would like to stress once again is we fully support the Parliament of Turkey in their obligations and effort to shape a new Turkish Constitution with checks and balances that will turn Turkey into a modern and prosperous society.”
Raimon Obiols (S&D, Socialist Group, Spain)
Raimon OBIOLS spoke out on behalf of S&D Group and said that:” The resolution is clear and balanced. It was also adopted by a broad majority of the committee and this is a good signal. Very good work has been done by Oomen-Ruijten, everything is positive. This can contribute towards improvement of the relations between EU and Turkey. The report brings up some positive elements yet at the same time points out some of the shortcomings that exist in the country. “ “We shouldn’t forget that we have encountered difficulties in terms of making progress in the negotiations between EU and Turkey. Regarding the issue, Commission’s positive agenda not as a replacement for the accession negotiations but as a vehicle for further improving bilateral relations should be something that we support.” said Obiols. He called on EU to open up further chapters in the negotiations and said that” We call for the defence and upholding of the fundamental freedoms and media freedom.” He concluded by saying that:”We speak up against the abuse of the Anti-Terror laws and the imprisonment of politicians, activists, and journalists. On the whole, I believe that this will contribute towards positive changes with regard to EU-Turkey relations.”
Andrew Duff (Liberal Group, UK)
Andrew Duff, spoke out on behalf of ALDE Group, started his speech by saying that “We strongly support the report and I agree it is possible to be positive but it is impossible to be optimistic. Turkey seems to be destructed by the other pressing priorities that it faces. Europe is clearly not ready to progress the accession process. And the central problem is Cyprus because the Cyprus is shortly to be the President of the Council. I think it is appropriate for us to spotlight that problem.” said Duff. He also said:” Nothing could be more intelligent and strategic than for Cypriot Presidency to call the bluff of Turkey and to open chapters 23 and 24 on rights and justice.” He concluded by saying that.” Such a move would not be about power, pride and prejudice but about the people, about Greek and Turks, about Christians and Muslims who could then look forward to a period of reconciliation where they could live together in freedom, security and justice. I strongly insist that Cypriot Presidency of the Council should be made aware of its responsibilities.”
Helene Flautre (Green Group, Co-Chair of the JPC EU-Turkey, France)
Helene Flautre stated that the report is an inclusive one and sounds out an appeal and a support for democratic reforms and the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in Turkey. Flautre said that:” We have expressed our great concerns about application of the law against terrorism, which is directly threatening the right to expression, opinions that demonstrate freedom of the press and we are calling on change in the law, in particular Articles 6 and 7. ” “We also tackle the Kurdish issue and we think that education in mother tongue is something that ought to be available. It would be a good way to politically address the Kurdish issue and not just from security point of view.” said Flautre. She also said:” These messages would be further more credible if we get consistency in our approach with that the Council and EU need to be able to referent Turkey’s reforms and also to get them further imputes. We ask that all potential measures to be taken to open the chapters 23 and 24.” She also pointed out the visas issue and said:” The demand is clear; we need a road map for visa liberalization, because a country, which is trying to accede European Union finds itself in a unique situation, is discriminated against as a result.”
Geoffrey Van Orden (ECR Group, UK Conservatives, UK)
Geoffrey Van Orden, on behalf of the ECR Group, said that he has been always supportive of Turkish aspirations towards the European Union and he is particularly appreciative of Turkey’s role as a key ally over the years. He asked that if EU is being helpful enough and sends positive messages to Turkey. “In particular, we see consistent obstruction from certain rather obvious quarters regarding Turkey’s European aspirations and status. This is unrealistic, it is unjust and it prevents progress. We make demands of Turkey but we should reciprocate with movement in Turkey’s direction.” said Van Orden. Regarding Cyprus, Van Orden said that this should not feature in Turkey’s accession but it is known in fact as a factor. There are constant demands for Turkey to make unilateral concessions and in return it gets nothing, Van Orden said and called on the EU to lift economic isolation from Turkish Cyprus and said “The EU is supposed to have ended the isolation of Northern Cyprus. Whatever happened to that? By all means call for reductions in Turkish troop numbers in the north of Cyprus and for agreement to the Additional Protocol, but match this with opening trade through the ports and airports in Northern Cyprus.” He concluded by saying that:” If we send negative signals to Turkey, we should not be surprised if it starts heading off in a rather different direction. We have to be very careful about that.”
Takis Hadjigeorgiou (United Left Group, Cyprus)
Takis Hadjigeorgiou pointed out the situation of Turkish Cypriot that they have been the victims of the occupation by Turkey. He said that:” I myself have waged struggle in support of Turkish Cypriots. The truth that we know is there are thousands of soldiers present in Cyprus and they impose on the will of Turkish Cypriots.” He said in the event that organised by GUE/NGL group in European Parliament, many Turkish Cypriots took place from organisations and trade unions and he said that:” If you would came a long this event, you would have heard the complaints of those Turkish Cypriots protesting the about the presence of 40.000 Turkish soldiers where they live.” We have to defend also interests of Turkish Cypriots said Hadjigeorgiou. Regarding the progress report Hadjigeorgiou said that:” Oomen-Ruijten has made considerable efforts when drafting this progress report. But we feel that progress report reflects certain kind of political balance.” “We cannot stay in wishful thinking about the problems of the Kurdish population of Turkey, that ten million people, are facing. Why not for Turkey to give the rights that Turkish Cypriots and the Kurdish population are looking for?” said Hadjigeorgiou. He also said:“ Turkey is not ready to show this desire and Turkey’s refusal to meet the presiding country to the Council, the Republic of Cyprus, in a few months, not only affects Cyprus but also affects us, our institutions and the European Union itself, its modus operandi”. He concluded by saying that:” We are in favour accession of Turkey and we already have given our support to the initiations of accession negotiations, Cyprus gave green light which was a critical and historical moment. Obviously Turkey has to meet certain requirements.” To a question about his expectations for the presidency of Council and whether he is agree on the duty of presidency of the Council to project the values and principles of the European Union and to complete the process of integration, Hadjigeorgiou answered by saying that:” When Cyprus has the presidency of Council will do everything in accordance with the principles and values of the European Union.” “I would like to remind that when Turkey shows that its willing to open some of the chapters, you will see what Cyprus will do. There is not positive attitude from Turkey that we are expecting.” said Hadjigeorgiou.
Franziska Keller (Greens, Germany)
Franziska Keller said that: “Many problems still remain unsolved in Turkey – press freedom, minority rights (especially those of transgender people and homosexuals), the environment and the Kurdish question, to mention just a few – and also in Cyprus, where a sustainable settlement needs to be reached and the isolation of the northern part brought to an end. Solving these issues will be very beneficial for Turkey and its citizens.” “The accession process is an important incentive for change and reform in Turkey, as it is for other enlargement countries as well. However, this will only be an incentive as long as we are clear in our commitment to welcome Turkey as soon as it fulfils the Copenhagen criteria, just as we have done with other countries.” said Keller She stressed that the accession negotiations are most important tools for change and reform in Turkey and said that:” It is incomprehensible why we deprive ourselves of this tool by not opening the chapters on justice and fundamental rights as well as on home affairs, in which a lot of the problems I just mentioned – and a lot of the concerns raised in this House – are included.” She called on EU to open chapters as soon as possible and concluded by saying that:” We should be sincere in our wish to help Turkey solve those problems. Therefore, Chapters 23 and 24 should be opened as soon as possible so that we can welcome Turkey to the EU as soon as the criteria are fulfilled.”
Jürgen Klute (United Left Group, Germany)
Jürgen Klute said that those paragraphs in the report written by Mrs Oomen, that deal with justice and reform of the constitution are very good and congratulated rapporteur on those parts of the report. Klute draw attention to the Kurdish issue especially and said :” However, I note that when it comes to situation of the Kurds in Turkey, perhaps there is not enough about this in the report. We know that there are hundreds of journalists, over thousands of Kurds in the prison, in particular Kurdish politicians, who belong to Kurdish party and even there are MPs amongst those who are kept in jail at the moment.” Klute said that:” I don’t know whether there is any attempt being made seriously to solve the conflict between the Kurds and Turkey. I think we should say much more about this in the report in more serious terms.” Klute said that :” We have also tabled certain amendments and I hope very much that we can have majority behind those amendments.” “I think we have to express this more clearly and I do not think it helps to shut their eyes at this point. There is need for a few words pronounced by the EU regarding this issue!” concluded Klute.
Richard Howitt (Socialist Group, UK)
Richard Howitt said that he was prevented with other international observers this year from observing the KCK trials in Diyarbakır and he continue:” We had been let through the door, we would have seen prosecutions taking place without the defence present and with the use of the Kurdish mother tongue prohibited. So it is right that we keep the pressure up for judicial reforms to show full respect for human rights. “He said that:” The release of jailed journalists, Nedim Şener and Ahmet Şık, shows that our criticisms are effective. Indeed I was honoured recently to meet the daughter of murdered Armenian-origin journalist Hrant Dink, to speak in support of her appeal against the findings that this was not an organised crime, and to hear from Etyen Mahçupyan, the proprietor of his newspaper at the time, that popular revulsion to his murder has eased attitudes in Turkey towards the Armenian question.” He also praised Turkey for its help to the 17 000 Syrian refugees who have crossed its borders. “I join with the Commissioner in welcoming the constitutional debate but ask him to join with me in asking that the submissions be republished on the website from which they were suddenly taken off.” said Howitt.
Emine Bozkurt (Socialist Group, Netherlands)
Emine Bozkurt pointed out Turkey’s increasing importance as becoming a regional and global power and its growing economy and said that:” Europe and Turkey need each other more than ever.” “But ironically the accession negotiations have entered a stalemate. The Commission has no real leverage on important issues, due to the blocked chapters. The positive agenda is important to keep supporting the reforms, but if we want real changes we must support the opening of Chapters 23 and 24” said Bozkurt. She also said that:” The report we will vote on tomorrow is important because it recognises these issues and it gives support to the positive agenda. It supports the reforms but also says that there are still reforms that need to be carried out, especially on freedom of speech and press freedom.” She concluded:” We are concerned about the wide margin of appreciation allowed by the anti-terror law; we are concerned about the arrested journalists and those working under the threat of being arrested.”
Ana Miranda (Greens, Galicia / Spain)
Ana Miranda pointed out the outstanding issues emphasized and criticised during the debate which are the violation of human rights, the lack of separation of powers and the lack of freedom of expression and asked:” What is Turkey doing about the separation of powers? What is Turkey doing to use the constitutional drafting process as a chance for developing a moral and democratic identity, allowing for the full recognition of all ethnic groups including Kurds, Laz, Gypsies, Roma, Alevis, Syriacs, Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Jews and others? What is Turkey doing to consider a process of decentralisation and meaningful local government in order to meet the demands of the diverse segments of its population?”
Replies by the Commission and the Council at the end of the debate
Štefan Füle (EU Commissioner)
Štefan Füle expressed importance of the Turkish accession process that has to move forward and continued:” It is urgent now for Turkey to comply with its obligation of full implementation of the additional protocol to the association agreement, and to make progress towards normalisation of bilateral relations with the Republic of Cyprus – the same Cyprus which is soon to become a proud and, I am confident, effective Presidency of the Council to the benefit of the European Union and to the benefit of the interests of the European Union.”
Štefan Füle draw attention to three important points in his closing remarks and he is surprised that no European Parliament members have mentioned the comprehensive talks on Cyprus to reunify the long-divided island and and the road map as put forward by the United Nation’s Secretary-General and implemented by special representative Alexander Downer. He asked if this is a sign that parliament is content with the status quo. He added that:” I hope that the energy which I have sensed in your discussion will be turned towards supporting the two leaders who will be meeting tomorrow, addressing the core issues and allowing Downer to recommend to the Secretary-General to go for the finalisation of the process and not to leave it for a plan B – because I have news for you: there is no plan B.”
Secondly, regarding the reform process while looking at the progress achieved in the past years Füle said that the reform process continues in Turkey, although even if progress is sometimes too slow. He added that many taboos have been removed and can now be freely discussed in public. “Who could have imagined Turkey restoring properties to non-Muslim religious communities, the latest example being the title deeds of the Greek primary school of Galata in Istanbul?” Füle asked.
Füle said that the Parliament should not be split on the issue of clear rules of the game at the end of this process. “What are these rules of the game? “ asked Füle.
“The first is the accession treaty which clearly reflects Turkey’s position in this case, approximating its legislation fully with the European Union acquis, as stipulated by all negotiating chapters. Number two is the consensus of all Member States, and the procedure to ratify this approval. And the third is an impact study showing clearly the impact of, in this case, Turkish membership and also showing clearly to all Member States and all of us that we are going to talk about how the process is to be managed to the benefit of both the European Union and Turkey.” said Füle.
Füle said the best way to help Turkey and strengthen democracy in Turkey is the accession talks and continued:” The accession process is the only way to make the European Union the benchmark of the reforms in Turkey. The accession process is not there to compromise on our values. The accession process is for Turkey to embrace the values the European Union is so firmly based on.”
Füle also criticised the members who claimed to freeze accession negotiations with Turkey and said:” Why should this House be split on this process? Because, interestingly enough in this debate, I have not heard one single idea how to do it better and more efficiently to the benefit of the Turkish people.”
Stefan Füle regarding the paragraph in the resolution on civil/military relations said that the formulation of the sentence on the integrity of the armed forces could be misunderstood and asked to be improved in order to clarify more precisely what is meant and take away any ambiguity that might arise.
He reiterated his concerns about the respect for freedom of expression in general and said ” It is something I will continue to raise with my counterparts and I will not miss any opportunity.”
Stefan Füle concluded by saying that the European Union should continue to encourage the reform process in Turkey.
Nicolai Wammen (EU Council)
Nicolai Wammen in his conclusion remarks stressed the importance of the EU enlargement in which he described as one of Europe’s most successful foreign policy instruments. He said that: “Attractiveness of the EU is actively used to have a number of countries to implement far-reaching social, political and economic reforms. We’ve got a growing community where we share the same values we share and trade with each other crisscrossing in favour of security and prosperity throughout Europe.
He expressed his expectations towards the further constructive and positive cooperation with the European Parliament during the Danish presidency – not only in terms of Turkey’s accession process, but also relative to other candidate countries.
He said that:” We all know that the process is complicated and difficult and that it places great demands on those countries that choose to be a part of it. Although negotiations with Turkey is by no means easy, I think that today’s debate has shown that continuing negotiations are the best way to help Turkey on its path to further political and economic reforms. As highlighted in Parliament’s resolution, it is fundamental both in EU and Turkey’s interest that we continue along this path.”
Wammen said that the Danish Presidency will work with States, the European Parliament and the Commission do what is possible to facilitate this process and stressed that the final decision lies with Turkey. “The accession negotiations can only proceed if there is progress in Turkey’s own reform efforts. It is hard work that should not be underestimated, and that also depends on political will and commitment. From the Danish Presidency, we will continue to follow developments closely and support the process where we can.” said Wammen.