From Partners to Rivals? : The Future of EU-Turkey Relations

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Publication Date June 2021
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EU-Turkey relations have been deteriorating for years as a result of the stalling of the accession process, the erosion of Turkish democracy, and Ankara’s actions and rhetoric towards some EU member-states. While tensions have cooled since last summer, there is little chance of a genuine improvement in relations in the near term. Turkey’s recent turn towards moderation is driven by economic necessity rather than a change of heart. Ankara has not changed its stance over Cyprus or the eastern Mediterranean, and pursuing an assertive foreign policy appeals to many of Erdoğan’s supporters. At the same time, his government has not eased domestic repression and has few incentives to strengthen the rule of law. All this means that tensions between Turkey, the EU and US will probably simmer, and could flare up again over issues such as the eastern Mediterranean or Ankara’s ties with Russia.

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ESO Records
CER Insight: March 2021: Containing NATO’s Mediterranean Crisis
European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs. Report on the 2019-2020 Commission Reports on Turkey

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