Over more than six decades, the relationship between Türkiye and the EU has undergone a profound transformation. Just 20 years ago, Türkiye had real aspirations to join the EU. Today, that prospect is a distant memory, and political relations between the two parties are at an all-time low.

Despite the prevailing challenges and areas of divergent interests, Türkiye-EU relations continue to exert a significant influence on domestic and foreign policies across much of Europe, particularly with regard to trade, border management, and migration. While the United States may view ties with Türkiye as discretionary at times, for both Türkiye and the EU, engagement remains unavoidable.

Furthermore, against a backdrop of geopolitical turmoil and regional instability, the imperative for robust dialogue and collaboration between the EU and Türkiye has never been more pressing. With Türkiye‘s accession process stalled and geopolitical tensions on the rise, the need to reinvigorate and strengthen diplomatic ties has become increasingly evident. From the enduring conflicts in Syria and Iraq to the evolving dynamics surrounding Russia‘s aggression towards Ukraine, the prevailing geopolitical context necessitates a coordinated approach between the two parties.

This political report examines the potential for collaboration between Türkiye and the EU, defining the essential preconditions for such cooperation and elucidating its mutual benefits. It also assesses the obstacles that stand in the way of such cooperation and proposes a framework for foreign policy dialogue between Türkiye and the EU, incorporating the views of Türkiye, the EU, and the United States.

Dr. Kadri Taştan, Nonresident Senior Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States