EU-Turkey relations were always complex and difficult.
Differences regarding violations of the rule of law and Ankara’s extreme, inflammatory rhetoric are an open wound and remain on the negotiating table.
In light of the disaster that has been unfolding over the last days in Turkey, however, no complexity or difficulty is of importance.
That is understood by the 27 EU leaders who participated in a summit in Brussels yesterday.
They sent a condolence letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which they lauded the efforts of European rescue teams to find those trapped in the rubble alive.
The EU’s response, however, cannot be exhausted with symbolism and condolences.
That does not suffice today, because everyone knows that the real humanitarian crisis will begin when the dust settles and the time comes to count losses and damages.
EU solidarity must also be palpable in the reconstruction phase.
It appears that this will happen, as the EU’s leaders in cooperation with its Swedish presidency have undertaken an initiative to organise a donors’ conference that will be held in March in Brussels, to mobilise and collect funds from the international community to support Turkey and Syria economically.
Greece has a duty to be in the frontline in this and future EU initiatives, offering ideas and proposals to support the two countries.