Toward a â€śPrivileged Partnershipâ€ť: The EU, Turkey and the Upgrade of the Customs Union
July 20, 2018
Over the past few years, Turkeyâ€™s EU membership prospects have further deteriorated amid intensive political crisis between Brussels and Ankara. The Turkish government and the European Commission have agreed to upgrade the two-decade-old Customs Union between Turkey and the EU, with negotiations likely to begin in 2018. This paper explores the European Commissionâ€™s CU upgrade scenarios in tandem with European proposals to form a â€śPrivileged Partnershipâ€ť between the two parties as an alternative to Turkeyâ€™s membership in the Union. An upgraded agreement would be a significant step toward Privileged Partnership, maximizing Europeansâ€™ political and economic benefits from Turkey and eroding any remaining motives for the EU to welcome Turkey as a full member.