Trouble on the tracks: Averting the Turkey-EU ‘train wreck’

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details November 2016
Publication Date November 2016
ISBN 978-1-910118-96-2
Content Type ,

With the European Parliament decision in a vote on the 24 November 2016 to 'freeze' accession talks, Turkey’s decades-long engagement with Europe is in crisis.

In 2016 Turkey-EU relations took a step forward, with a historic deal in March 2016 on refugee resettlement, but also a step back, with a sweeping crackdown in the wake of the failed 15 July 2016 coup and global criticism of Turkey’s human rights situation.

Instead of populism and resentment, both Europe and Turkey need to develop 'strategic patience' to anchor Turkey to Europe. Turkey’s history has been an ebb and flow between Westernisation and nativist reaction. It is important for the EU to think long-term about Turkey.

One way to bypass the current impasse might be to offer Ankara an upgraded customs union, with political benchmarks for market access. Despite tensions, Turkey and the European Council should think about their shared interests and high degree of integration to avert a 'train-wreck'.

Difficulties aside, European leaders should visit Turkey soon. But they should also be aware that asylum seekers fleeing the crackdown will become an issue between Turkey and EU countries during 2017.

Source Link
Related Links
ECFR: Policy Brief, November 2016: Trouble on the tracks: Averting the Turkey-EU ‘train wreck’
ESO: Background information: EU-Turkey relations after July 15: Turning the page

Subject Categories
Countries / Regions ,