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Why the EU must reengage with Turkey. EPC Commentary, 29 September 2014

Paul, Amanda (2014) Why the EU must reengage with Turkey. EPC Commentary, 29 September 2014. [Policy Paper]

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    Democratic values and basic rights in Turkey are hanging by a thread. Over the past eighteen months the rule of law, civil liberties and freedoms have been eroded which has left many Turks anxious over the direction in which their country is heading. With Turkey’s accession negotiations de facto frozen, the EU finds itself with little leverage over Ankara. Calls of concern have fallen on deaf ears as Turkey’s leadership has become increasingly belligerent, with its EU related narrative overflowing with resentment. Because Turkey’s accession negotiations are irreversibly intertwined with Turkey-EU cooperation in other areas, this has had a negative impact on the broader relationship between both sides. Recent examples include the issue of foreign fighters traveling from Europe to Syria via Turkey. Each side has accused the other of not doing enough to stem the flow. Likewise, following the decision of Russian President, Vladimir Putin, to ban the import of agricultural goods from countries that have placed sanctions on Moscow, the EU asked Turkey to demonstrate solidarity, as a “candidate country”, and not to increase exports of agricultural products to Russia. Turkey rejected this request and is reportedly working on strengthening trade ties with Moscow. Turkey remains an important partner in a number of key areas including trade, energy, foreign and security policy and migration. At a time when the EU faces crises in both its Eastern and Southern neighbourhoods, a reliable and predictable Turkey, with which it can cooperate in the Black Sea and Middle East neighbourhoods is crucial. Hence the vision and plans of the EU’s new leadership, in particular new Foreign Policy Chief, Federica Mogherini, and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, how to shape relations with Ankara is particularly significant. The Union’s current policy is counterproductive and is further eroding trust and cooperation rather than enhancing it. It needs to be turned around.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Turkey
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > European Policy Centre > Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2014 14:44
    Number of Pages: 2
    Last Modified: 22 Oct 2014 14:44

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