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

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

The Banking Union may lead to a Germanic Europe

Youth policy in Europe not delivering for young people

IMF: Sorry Greece it was a mistake of 11% of your GDP

Why lay people don’t expect anything good from G20

Pesticides: MEPs propose blueprint to improve EU approval procedure

The Commission neglects the services sector and favours industry

South Asia can become an innovation hub. Here’s how

These 4 Nordic countries hold the secret to gender equality

China in My Suburbs

Earthquake: Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena

UK must make clear what it wants, MEPs say in Brexit debate

G7 summit: Trump Vs. G6 leaders on trade and climate change

Why a healthy planet and a healthy economy go hand-in-hand

Snowden is the “EU nomination” for this year’s Oscars

The challenge of maintaining interest in Primary Health Care in medical students

Cocaine and opium production worldwide hit ‘absolute record highs’ – major threat to public health says UN study

ECB readies itself for extraordinary monetary measures defying Germany

UK Labour Party leader Corbyn readies to change Brexit political backdrop

2019 EU Budget: Commission proposes a budget focused on continuity and delivery – for growth, solidarity, security

Online government services could change your life. But only if you have access to the internet

UN forum to bring ‘big space data’ benefits to disaster response in Africa

Use “blockchain” model to cut small firms’ costs and empower citizens, urge MEPs

Close to final agreement on the EU Banking Union

UN chief welcomes event reuniting families on the Korean Peninsula

EU-U.S. Trade Talks: European Commission presents draft negotiating mandates

Financial Transaction Tax: More money for future bank bailouts?

China, forever new adventures

MEPs agree on new rules to tax digital companies’ revenues

Ship Recycling is the Commission’s Titanic

Dreaming of China

Drought in Europe: Commission presents additional measures to support farmers

Young? You should work out the entrepreneurial heart before the mind

Quicker freezing and confiscation of criminal assets in the EU

Third Facebook-Cambridge Analytica hearing: data breach prevention and cures

Draghi’s 2018 compromise: enough money printing to revive inflation and check euro ascent

Why do medical students have to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

Poverty data never tells the whole story

Spotlight Initiative – EU and UN fight against domestic violence in the Pacific region

Top UN political official updates Security Council on Iran nuclear deal

Stigmatized, shunned and shamed, International Widows’ Day draws attention to their unique needs

Our present and future tax payments usurped by banks

Commission caps charges on card and Internet payments and enforces competition

Greater support needed for refugees and migrants from Venezuela – UN

China’s cities are rapidly becoming more competitive. Here’s why

Fresh airstrikes kill dozens in conflict-ravaged Syria

EU Commission: The banks are not obliged to finance the real economy

Climate change is speeding up. Our response needs to be even faster

The West – the EU and the US – is writing off Turkey’s Erdogan

The New Year 2016 will not be benevolent to Europe

Everybody against Japan over yen’s devaluation

Syria: UN-backed watchdog says chemical weapon ‘likely used’ in February attack

Presentation of Juncker’s Investment Plan: Can 315 billion euros save the EU?

Brexit: the time has come for the UK to clarify its position

Here are 4 tips for governing by design in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Parliament paves the way for the creation of the European Banking Union

Top envoy to Yemen praises ‘flexibility’ of chief negotiators as new UN mission chief is named

Rising landmine blast toll in Afghanistan highlights long-term care needs of survivors

EU budget: Commission proposes most ambitious Research and Innovation programme yet

Capital Markets Union: Making it easier for insurers to invest in the real economy

Moves to create a Kosovo army have ‘deteriorated relations’ with Serbia: UN peacekeeping chief

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