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Turkey and the EU: Looking Beyond the Pessimisms

This paper analyses the reasons for frustration and pessimism about Turkey-EU relations. It focuses on the impact of the crisis in Europe, the 2014 EP elections and selection of Jean-Claude Juncker for the Commission President post on Turkey’s EU accession process. Finally, the paper tries to answer how the current pessimism over Turkey-EU relations can be overcome.

Turkey and the EU Looking Beyond the Pessimisms
Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Volkan Bozkir, appointed as the EU Minister, speaks during a press conference on December 20, 2011 at the Turkish embassy in Paris. AFP / Bertrand Guay
 

Frustration and pessimism dominate the mood in Turkey about the current status of relations with the European Union (EU) and the future of accession negotiations. The negotiations, which started in October 2005, continue at a snail’s pace due to political blockages and the Cyprus issue. So far, 14 (out of 35) chapters have been opened and only one chapter provisionally closed. As a result, not least of the lessons learnt from the 2004 and 2007 enlargements, conditionality continues to evolve and accession becomes more difficult.

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