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Turkey’s Putsch and Purge: Why and how the EU should re-engage with Ankara. CEPS Commentary 2 September 2016

Blockmans, Steven. (2016) Turkey’s Putsch and Purge: Why and how the EU should re-engage with Ankara. CEPS Commentary 2 September 2016. [Policy Paper]

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    From its affirmation of Turkey’s candidate country status in 1999, to the peak of the refugee crisis in 2015, the EU has used both the symbolism and framework of its enlargement policy to try and instil change in the country. Reforms have followed, especially in those areas where accession negotiations have been opened since 2005. In last year’s regular report, the European Commission hailed Turkey’s advanced level of preparation in the fields of company law, financial services, science, research, free movement of goods, intellectual property law, enterprise and industrial policy, among others. But in other domains an alarming regression has been lamented, in particular the government’s squeeze on the judiciary, its rollback on freedom of expression, and surprising choices in foreign and security policy. Sadly, these fields overlap with the very chapters in which accession talks had either been frozen or blocked by member states because of the Cyprus issue. As a result, the EU has had limited leverage over what one commentator, back in 2009, termed “Turkey’s slide towards civil authoritarianism”.1 It is only a slight exaggeration to say that the most important political tool used by the EU to nudge Ankara towards the rule of law rather than the ‘law of the ruler’ was the annual country report. Arguably, this is not the most effective instrument in the Union’s toolbox.

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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 > Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels) > CEPS Commentaries
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2016 14:23
    Number of Pages: 3
    Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 14:23

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