Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday issued a message on the occasion of Europe Day, which “celebrates peace and unity in Europe” on May 9 every year.

“The biggest obstacle for the EU to become a strong global actor is lack of strategic patience and vision,” Erdogan said, adding that the 27-member bloc needs to review its decision-making mechanisms, needs a new institutional structure and a new vision.

Noting that the EU faces many challenges such as refugee crisis, Islamophobia, xenophobia, financial fragility and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Turkish president said overcoming these problems, which threaten the union and its future, depends on solidarity and cooperation.

Turkey is ready to do its part in solving the problems faced by the EU, Erdogan said. “It is obvious that the union [EU] cannot maintain its existence strongly without contribution and support of our country.”

He added that Turkey, despite double standards and obstacles, maintains its decisive attitude and efforts in path toward membership in the EU.

*Writing by Seda Sevencan

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