BRUSSELS – The European Union wants to launch talks with Turkey to update their customs union, which at present only applies to goods.
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The EU's executive Commission said Wednesday it would like to see it include agriculture, services and public procurement.
The Commission predicts that such a move would increase EU exports to Turkey by 27 billion euros ($28 billion) each year and raise imports by 5 billion euros.
It said in a statement that "respect of democracy and fundamental rights will be an essential element of the agreement."
The Commission now requires the unanimous endorsement of the 28 EU member states on a mandate to launch the talks. The agreement could be concluded in about three years.