Within the framework of the 1st EU International Quality Summit, "EU 2009 Quality Awards" were presented to the winners in the Ciragan Palace, with the participation of Egemen Bagis, Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator.
Speaking at the ceremony, Bagis stated that accession negotiations were continuing since 2005 and there was no country which had started negotiations and could not come to an end.
Bagis said that Turkey would ultimately complete the negotiations. Bagis added: "In the EU process Turkey broke a new ground. Today the only country which is a member of the Customs Union before the accession to EU is Turkey. Thanks to the Customs Union, more than 50% of our foreign trade is made with the EU countries."
Bagis declared that thanks to the Customs Union, the only country in the EU manufacturing laptops is Turkey. He added:
"When you enter into a house in Europe, even a house in our neighbour Greece, the possibility that the washing machine, refrigerator or the white goods are manufactured in Turkey is 50%. Today, Turkey is no more isolated from the world. We are the 6th biggest economy of Europe. Since 1959, Europe directed Turkey only to the objective of membership. There are no terms like privileged or qualified membership. These do not have legal or official basis. Turkey is a part of the solution for the problems that the EU is facing. We will complete the negotiations whether they wish or not."
Bagis declared that the Turkish firms reached the European standards and they began to prove the world their success in Europe. Bagis added: "More than 50% of our foreign trade is made with the EU countries. 6 million of our citizens became voters, consumers, citizens, producers, academicians and businessmen in the EU countries. These mean that we have reached European Union standards. However, we will achieve more. Together we will achieve the aim Ataturk pointed to us."
"EU Quality Awards" given to exemplary trademarks in the fields of innovation and quality, which are determined by the Consumers Academy, were presented to the winners by Egemen Bagis, Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator and by the other guests.