Turkey presents a new strategy for EU accession but foreign policy could be the lucky card

Visit of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkish Prime Minister, to the European Commission last January. It seems that both Barroso and Erdogan are pointing to the same direction. The question though is whether Turkey can follow. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey, on the left, and José Manuel Barroso, President of EC (EC Audiovisual Services, 21/02/2014)

Visit of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkish Prime Minister, to the European Commission last January. It seems that both Barroso and Erdogan are pointing to the same direction. The question though is whether Turkey can follow. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey, on the left, and José Manuel Barroso, President of EC (EC Audiovisual Services, 21/02/2014)

Last Thursday, September 18, while the entire continent was looking towards Scotland, Turkey announced a new strategy to join the EU. Despite the tensions that characterized the country’s recent history, which is made by protests, brutal actions by the police, attempts by the government to shut down social platforms such as Twitter and You Tube, Turkey has openly declared that is determined to pursue the EU accession. Or maybe it’s exactly because of those troubled months and infamous episodes that Turkey wants to show a new, much more tolerant face.

The Turkish EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Volkan Bozkir said on Thursday that knots like the Islamic State-related question and other major crises in the Middle East made closer co-operation between Ankara and the European Union “essential”, right before opening the way to the announcement of the new program to revive Turkey’s stalled drive for EU membership.

Mr Bozkir said the new strategy has three legs: “Determination in the political reform process, continuity in socioeconomic transformation in the accession process and effectiveness in communication”. No doubt that the third leg has catalyzed most of the efforts, with Mr. Bozkir having met dozens of European diplomats, journalists and politicians during his four-day visit, including EU enlargement chief Stefan Fule. Indeed the Chief Negotiator stated that “for the past four years, no other EU minister has met with so many officials over the course of four days” by his own admission.

A whole 12-pages document was released by the Turkish EU Affairs Ministry to describe Ankara’s new vision. The document shows a radical change in tone on the part of the Turkish authorities and a total commitment to the cause. The very first lines, where the Turkey’s EU process is called “the most important modernisation project after the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey”, say it all. “Turkish Government, with a strong commitment to the EU process and to the transformation taking place in Turkey, will continue its determined and consistent policy for the EU membership as recently emphasized in the Programme of the 62nd Government”, the document states.

Turkey will also play most of its cards on the foreign policy’s field. EU’s enlargement chief Stefan Fule said in a statement that “Turkey is a key partner for the EU”, and Ankara knows that this is definitely the role that could open the door to EU accession like no other. Current and future crises in Middle East like the ones I cited above may represent the biggest opportunity for Turkey to show that it is already a mature partner in crucial negotiation processes. The “Turkey EU Strategy” document confirms this point: “The successful philosophy of the European Union is the adoption of an integrative approach to overcome the common challenges and the mobilisation of fact-based action mechanisms”… “this philosophy remains as our guide while projecting the future and implementing the EU Strategy with a refreshed motivation. Turkey will be better contributing to a stronger Union which is aware of its interests”.

The new European Union strategy released last week aims to “boost the reform process and establishment of new communication channels between Turkey and the EU”, but the process could be quite long. The program is due to come into effectiveness in November and will focus on a better implementation of the Turkish laws and a change of the constitution, as part of a bigger “action plan” by the government, due to last until 2019. Mr. Bozkir has repeatedly declared that his country will try to accelerate the process where possible, but it’s common idea that a ten year time span for Turkish accession remained “a very optimistic target”, as also argued by a EU diplomat to Reuters.

After a period of criticism and growing sense of distrust towards Erdogan’s policy in Europe, now Turkey is trying to make its bigger move towards EU accession. Most of the critics that Ankara received are focused on some inestimable values for Europe, including the separation of powers and freedom of speech, which I strongly believe is one of the Union’s pillars. And if it’s true that the EU was built on such values, for sure no country that wants to be part of the Union could be exempt from that scrupulous selection process.

“The essential dynamics of Turkey’s EU policy are the enhancement of democracy and human rights, institutionalization of free market economy and further establishment of modern living standards in all fields”, the document promises.

No doubt that everybody’s happy to read that, but for Turkey this is the time to demonstrate it’s true.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Parlamentarians to “break up” with reality in the Google antitrust case

EU’s guidelines on net neutrality see the light although grey areas do remain

The US banks drive the developing world to a catastrophe

“Health and environment first of all”, EU says with forced optimism after 7th round of TTIP talks

Germany readies to pay for the Brexit gap in EU finance

China Unlimited Special Report: The trip to China

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: UNFCCC Secretariat Launches Forest Information Hub

Time to be welcome: Youth work and integration of young refugees

EU to negotiate an FTA with Japan

Ukrainian civil war: Is this the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

Turkey to let EU alone struggle with the migrant crisis while enhancing its economic ties with Russia instead?

IQ scores have been falling for decades, new study finds

“As German Chancellor I want to be able to cope with the merger of the real and digital economy”, Angela Merkel from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

EU-Turkey relations: Will Turkey manage to revive the EU accession process talks?

Armenia should take vigorous measures against entrenched corruption

Virtual Doctor: a core part of modern healthcare?

‘Jerusalem is not for sale’ Palestinian President Abbas tells world leaders at UN Assembly

G20 LIVE: G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Antalya Summit, 15-16 November 2015

Eurozone: Inflation plunge to 0.4% in July may trigger cataclysmic developments

World response to AIDS epidemic at a ‘critical juncture’

On International Youth Day the European Youth Forum calls for true youth participation

Time is running out to protect Africa’s forests

EU Commission: Growth first then fiscal consolidation

Plastic Oceans: MEPs back EU ban on polluting throwaway plastics by 2021

Chinese economy to raise speed and help the world grow

Why social working cultures are happier and more productive

Remembering Kofi Annan

Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14

EU to increase spending and improve delivery of education in emergencies and protracted crises

An alternative view of Globalization 4.0, and how to get there

UN says ‘many humanitarian achievements’, one year after ouster of ISIL from Mosul

The movement of anti-vaccers: taking humanity back 200 years

Apple’s tax avoidance scheme remains as creative as their new iPhone

Europe turns out more jobs this summer

Politics still matter in the US but not in Europe

Mali: Presidential elections critical to consolidate democracy, says UN peacekeeping chief

Youth and Participation: are the people rising up in Spain? 


Legal Manager – 2050

How to provide health education and thus create better health systems

Road injuries leading cause of death for the young, despite safety gains: UN report

UN condemns ‘heinous’ suicide attack on education centre in Afghanistan

The shrinking Arctic ice protects us all. It’s time to act

New skills needed for medical students in Industry 4.0

Transition between education and employment: how the internship culture is threatening the foundations of our education

Eurozone: Retail sales and inflation point to recession

Why do medical curricula shouldn’t neglect the Sustainable Development Goals

Why medicine is relevant to the battle against climate change

Fisheries: Commission proposes measures to conserve stocks of deep-sea species in the North-East Atlantic

Syria: Guterres concerned over reported attacks in Idlib, calls for ‘full investigation’

Discovering Europe: Free EU rail pass for 18 year olds

Want a fairer society? This economist says he has the answer

The banks first to benefit from the new euro trillion ECB plans to print

These European countries produce the most plastic waste per person

Storms and snow in Lebanon worsen plight for Syrian refugees

Better protection against non-cash payment fraud

Can big events really go plastic-free? A water capsule made from seaweed may be the answer

‘Collective amnesia’ over causes of global financial crash – human rights expert

Superbugs: MEPs advocate further measures to curb use of antimicrobials

Why are the Balkans’ political leaders meeting in Geneva this week?

UN chief appoints Luis Alfonso de Alba as Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Saved aas a favorite, I really like your blog!

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s