Turkey between Europe and the Middle East

Report
TURKEY – EU
RELATIONS
Turkey – EU Relations

Application of Turkey for an association agreement with
the EEC in July 1959

Ankara Agreement signed in Sept 1963

Turkey’s association with the EEC was “determined to
establish ever closer bonds between the Turkish people
and the peoples brought together in the European
Economic Community”

Stage by stage integration process concluding eventually
with full membership of the Customs Union following the
successful completion of the preparatory and the
transitional stages, and a movement towards free mobility
of labor between Turkey and the EEC at some future date.
Why Turkey applied for the EEC

Identity issue: closer relations with the emerging
European Community seemed consistent with the
fundamental goals of building and maintaining a
secular, democratic and Western-oriented state;

Turkey – Greece relations: to prevent Greece from
taking unfair advantage in its subsequent bilateral
relations with Turkey;

Long-term benefits: generated through closer
interaction with a powerful economic union;
Comparison of Turkey and Greece
in 1960s and early 1970s


Application of Greece to the EEC: June ’59 (Turkey in July ’59)
Athens Associaton Agreement: Nov ’62 (Ankara Agreement in Sept
’63)

The positions were almost similar; both NATO countries and critical
for western security interests in the Cold War context

The nature of the association agreements signed with the two
countries were also broadly similar (although the agreement with
Turkey was less generous)

While Greece was isolated from international diplomacy and the
Athens Agreement was suspended because of the military regime
between 1967 and 74, Turkey was still on its way to the EEC.

Additional Agreement Protocol
between Turkey and the EEC
signed in November 1970 in
Brussels

Additional Protocol opened
way to further financial
support, determined the
conditions of the full
membership and arranged the
formation of a Customs Union
between Turkey and the EU
22 years after the Protocol
(approved in 1973)
Turning point: 1974

USA and the EEC disapproved
the military intervention.

Downfall of the junta regime in
Greece and the formation of a
democratic government.

Greece applied for membership
in 1975 and became a member
in 1981
Why did Turkey fail to apply for full membership of
the EC at the same time as Greece?

Turkish policy makers underestimated the difficulties
that Greece’s inclusion in the EC would pose for the
subsequent course of Turkey-EC relations;

Turkish policy makers failed to anticipate the speed
of the full membership after the Greek application;

Turkish political elites were reluctant to accelerate
the pace of integration and to expose Turkish
industry to unnecessary and premature competition
Late 1970s and 1980
In late 70s, with the possibility of an early accession of
Greece and the start of negotiations with Portugal
(1978) and Spain (1979), the idea of applying for fullmembership gained increasing support in Turkey.
However, growing domestic political and economic
instability and the opposition of the Islamist element in
the coalition government to the EC delayed the
application
Finally, the military coup d’etat in 12
September 1980 put an end to any
chance of possible full-membership in the
foreseeable future
After the military regime

Following the military regime between 1980 and
1983, Turkey gradually returned to democracy

Transformed in the direction of a far more open
and outward-oriented economy in the course of
the 1980s and the 1990s

relations with the EC improved

Official relations between Turkey and the EU
revitalized in September 1986
Application for full membership


Turkey applied for full membership in April 1987
in December 1989, the application was rejected
 Turkey had failed to satisfy both basic
economic and political criteria for fullmembership
 the European Community was in the process
of becoming the even (politically and
economically) tighter European Union
 in any event, another round of enlargement
would not take place at least until 1993
EU-Turkey Customs Union



Came into force on 31 December 1995
Removal of customs restrictions in goods
except for most of the agricultural products.
(Does not include services or public
procurement.)
The Customs Union was regarded as an
important step towards full membership of
Turkey to the EU
1997: Rejection and Disappointment

In EU’s Luxembourg Summit of December 1997
Turkey was excluded from candidate status

Recognition of the candidacy of the postCommunist CEECs, which had broadly similar
economic structures to Turkey and far more
limited experience of democratic government

This decision was seen as a proof that the EU
considered Turkey as an “outsider”.
1999 and After


In 1999 Helsinki Summit, the EU agreed that
“Turkey was a candidate State destined to join
the Union on the basis of the same criteria as
applied to the other candidate States”
Economically, Turkey’s candidacy contributed
towards the creation of a favorable
environment for the implementation of a major
program of stabilization and public sector
restructuring.

In 17 December 2004, the European Council
agreed on opening full-membership
negotiations with Turkey

The accession talks officially opened on 3
October 2005
Chapter Negotiations






To accede to the EU, Turkey must successfully complete negotiations
with the European Commission on each of the 35 chapters of the
acquis communautaire
October 2005: Opening of 6 chapters of the acquis: Right of
Establishment & Freedom To Provide Services, Company Law,
Financial Services, Information Society & Media, Statistics, and
Financial Control.
June 2006: Chapter on Science & Research opened and closed.
December 2006 – Continued dispute over Cyprus prompts the EU to
freeze talks on 8 chapters and state that no chapters would be closed
until a resolution is found.
2007: Chapters on Enterprise & Industrial Policy, Statistics &
Financial Control, Health & Consumer Protection and TransEuropean Networks opened.
2008: Chapters on Company Law, Intellectual Property Law,
Economic & Monetary Policy and Information Society & Media are
opened.
Chapter Negotiations






2009: Chapters on Taxation and Environment are opened.
June 2010 – Chapter on Food Safety, Veterinary & Phytosanitary
Policy is opened.
May 2012 – Launch of the "Positive Agenda" with Turkey.
July 2012 - 31 December 2012 - Turkey froze relations with the
European Union for the duration of Republic of Cyprus' rotating
presidency.
February 2013 - France's foreign minister Laurent Fabius
announces that France will officially remove its veto over Chapter 22
Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments and
assist in the chapter's opening. The veto on Chapter 17 Economic
and Monetary Policy may also be removed in the future.
June 2013 - Chapter on Regional Policy and Coordination of
Structural Instruments is opened
Uncertain Future

No predetermined date for Turkey’s
accession

Opposition from Germany and
France: Privileged partnership offer

Support from UK, Italy, Spain and
Portugal

Positive and critical issues
Positive Issues




Strategic Location:
Stronger EU in the
international area
Aging Europe / Young
and dynamic population
of Turkey
Alliance of Civilizations
Energy security
Critical Issues





Large population
Religion and identity
Cyprus problem
Kurdish problem
Armenian problem

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