Letter on Ilisu to Enlargement Commissioners

Dear Commissioner Rehn,
Dear Designate Commissioner Füle,
It is with deep concern that we have heard of recent reports about the restart of the construction works at the ‘Ilisu’ dam in Turkey. [:]At the same time, reports say that resettlements are about to begin, too. Export Credit Guarantees from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, for the financing of the Ilisu dam project were withdrawn only several months ago, due to severe concerns regarding the project. Expertise stated that environmental damage, human rights infringement, and the destruction of culturally and historically important sites have not been adequately addressed by the construction consortium. We urge you, as (designate) Commissioner in charge of Enlargement, to properly examine this case, and to put it forward in your ongoing negotiations with the Turkish authorities.

The opening of the Chapter on environment is foreseen for 21 December. The Commission must take this opportunity to insist that Turkey delivers evidence that the water quality in Tigris will be safeguarded, endangered species will be protected and archaeological sites will be preserved. Additionally, the EU should request that Turkey concludes an agreement with Syria and Iraq before any
further steps are taken. On its way towards EU integration, Turkey has to comply with EU standards. Given the size and tremendous impacts the Ilisu dam project will have, it should be thoroughly assessed in accordance with EU environmental standards.
We are looking forward to further co-operation with you on this issue.

With kind regards
Rebecca Harms, Co-President of the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament
Hélène Flautre, Chairwoman of the EU-Turkey Delegation
Heidi Hautala, Chairwoman of the Sub-Committee on Human Rights
Ulrike Lunacek, MEP Greens/EFA