EU–Turkey Relations: Steering In Stormy Seas

August 01, 2018
Photo Credit: Zerbor / Shutterstock

Photo Credit: Zerbor / Shutterstock

Turkey’s EU accession process has come to a standstill and the emerging consensus is that Turkey’s EU membership was probably never meant to be. This policy paper cautions against shelving Turkey’s EU prospects for good and endorsing a purely transactional approach that confuses realism with short-termism and narrowly defined interests. The brief argues for revived Turkey–EU engagement, starting with serious pragmatic efforts toward upgrading the 1995 Customs Union. Put in historical perspective, most recent tensions between Turkey and the West do not and should not justify a strategic divorce of sorts. Turkey’s anchoring to the EU remains important from the perspectives of both Turkey, the EU, and the United States. 

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