Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis delivered a speech at the "EU and NATO: The Transformation of Southeastern Europe" session of the conference themed "Croatia 2009 Summit: European Strategic Obligation: Energy, Investment and Development" which was held in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Expressing his regrets that the Balkans were remembered with chaos, ethnic problems and great civil wars, Bagis said that the region seemed to have understood the importance of stability and cooperation among the countries today. Bagis said that the NATO and EU perspectives had very important role in the region and that they were an inspiring power in its transformation.
Noting that EU was the "dietician" of Turkey, Bagis said: "In order to lead a healthy life, we should all pay attention to what we eat and we should exercise regularly, but it is hard to realize these on our own. To achieve this goal, we see a dietician, get a prescription for it, implement it and thus we remain healthy. All 27 member states of the EU underwent the implementation process of this prescription and they became more democratic, more prosperous and stronger."
Pointing out that NATO had realized many important achievements and adding that it had prevented the Cold War from transforming into a an armed conflict, Bagis said: "For this reason, we should ensure the institutions we have established continue to be the source of inspiration of peace and stability.
Bagis emphasized that within the EU, which he described as the greatest peace project of the human history, it shouldn't be allowed that some countries make use of the Union for their bilateral problems.
Noting that the enlargement had lost its reliability and that reviving it was their common responsibility, Bagis said that without ensuring the stability in that region, it was impossible to refer to EU as a global actor.
Bagis said: "If EU can not even function properly in its own region, then how can we expect it to be the global actor? Today, millions of people in China are expecting EU to help them. If EU can not even be effective in its own region, how can we think it as a global power."
Stating that, in the region, peace and stability based on bilateral confidence and cooperation had not been guaranteed exactly yet, and that corruption and organized crime were still widespread, that Kosovo was still continuing to lead a critical atmosphere, Bagis expressed that a set of problems in the region that hadn't been figured out yet could be used by some in order to constitute a threat against the bilateral confidence in Europe.
Noting that the Balkan region were the centre of Europe's security, Bagis said: "We have no choice other than help strengthen the stability and prosperity in the region."
Bagis also stated that the latest NATO operations had indicated that the region had been an important contributor to security.
Stating that another element of cooperation and solidarity was connected with energy, Bagis said that he would host an intergovernmental conference on Monday in Ankara and he expressed his contents about the signing of the Nabucco Agreement. Bagis said: "This is not only a pipe line project, but also a very important peace and stability project."
Touching upon the contributions to the prosperity of the region of the realization of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Project, Bagis said that Nabucco was a much bigger project and it included much more countries.
Bagis said: "If there exists a will then there also exists a way. Turkey is very much pleased to be the part of solution towards the energy crisis which is one of the problems of Europe."
Stating also it was important for Turkey, as a country which is an ally of NATO for more than 50 years and which have been negotiating with the EU, to be given a clear perspective of the EU, Bagis said: "Today, not only 70 million Turkish people and 1,5 billion Muslims but also people isolated from the Western perspective are watching closely what have been going on in the EU."