Report: Turkish government plans to close down EU Affairs Ministry

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is planning to close down seven current ministries in an effort to introduce a small but efficient government, which includes transferring all the duties and operations of the European Union Affairs Ministry to the Foreign Ministry with a new administrative system to be installed after the June 24 polls, according to a report by the Hürriyet Daily News.

The AKP’s plans can only be realized if Erdoğan is re-elected as president and therefore, be tasked with forming the government as the sole executive power. The new administrative system grants the elected president excessive executive powers that include the right to issue decree laws over matters that concern functions of the state apparatus.

In a recent statement Erdoğan hinted that the number of ministries will be reduced to 14 or 15 from the current 25 in an attempt to increase the efficiency of the government and therefore to lessen bureaucratic bulk.

According to information obtained by the Hürriyet daily, seven ministries will be closed down as their duties and responsibilities will be handed over to other government bodies. The EU Affairs Ministry, Economy Ministry, Youth and Sports Ministry, Customs and Trade Ministry, Development Ministry and the Culture and Tourism Ministry as well as the Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry will be closed down.

With the change, the tasks of the EU Affairs Ministry will be fully transferred to the Foreign Ministry and the former will preserve its organizational chart but without a minister. The EU Affairs Ministry was founded in 2011 in a bid to give impetus to Turkey’s accession process with the EU by introducing a more coordinated structure within the Turkish administrative system.

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