Under the title "Turkey and the European Union" EDAM pursues studies on several aspects of the relations with the EU and seeks to share its findings with the decision-making bodies in EU countries. Our research is divided into two main topics, Turkey's EU Accession and Reform Process, and Turkey-EU Relations.
Edited by Pelin Ayan Musil and Juraj Mahfoud, January 2013
This report brings together the findings of a research, which investigates the approach of each Visegrad country—Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia—toward Turkey’s accession to the EU. The main research questions that are asked in this report are: How is Turkey publicly portrayed in each country? How does the public portrayal of Turkey correspond to the political and public opinion on its accession to the EU? What are the reasons for supporting or opposing Turkey’s membership in each country?
Sinan Ulgen, European Voice, 08 September 2011
In this piece, EDAM Chairman Sinan Ulgen articulates on the consequences of the UN panel of inquiry's report into Israel's raid on the Gaza ‘peace flotilla' and argues that the long term effects of the report will be negative for all parties involved.
Sinan Ulgen, European Voice, 15 June 2011
The EU dimension was conspicuously absent from Turkish electoral debates. Party leaders spoke about the challenges in Turkey's neighbourhood, but rarely about the EU. This clearly indicates the widespread loss of interest in the EU accession process. The EU issue has become so remote that it was not even found worthy of politicking. Turkey-EU relations have indeed lost their momentum, and accession negotiations stalled during the AK's last term. The Turkish electorate, however, has clearly not penalised the ruling party for this failure.
Sinan Ulgen, La Croix, 20 April 2011
Sinan Ulgen, GMF, 5 April 2011
The EU and Turkey need a new, more effective way of talking about strategy that is not beholden to the current problems in the accession process. The format for the strategic dialogue would be “27+1,” with all the EU member states participating. The agenda should not be EU-Turkey relations, as these issues should continue to be discussed in the context of the accession process. Rather, the 27+1 should talk about strategic issues of mutual concern. This dialogue would constitute of four meetings a year, at the summit and ministerial levels. It would be complemented by a regular interaction at the working level. In the midst of the debate of whether Turkey can be a model for the emerging democracies of the Southern Mediterranean, a Turkey-EU collaboration to facilitate the democratic transition of these countries appears increasingly indispensable. The establishment of a strong and effective foreign policy dialogue between Ankara and Brussels and the incorporation of Turkey as an influential partner in the European Neighborhood Policy will also provide the ultimate test for Turkey’s EU accession. It will determine whether there is the political resolve to jointly address issues of common concern.
Heather Grabbe & Sinan Ulgen, Carnegie Europe, 20 January 2011
Many tensions have bedevilled NATO's military operations in Libya – tensions between France and NATO, between Germany and its allies, and between active and less active partners in the coalition. But it is the clash between Turkey and France that should most worry the EU. This is more serious than their difference of approach on military intervention to Muslim countries. A strategic rivalry is emerging that is compromising the ability of the West to respond cohesively and effectively to emerging threats. And this rivalry is damaging the EU's relationship with Turkey at a moment when both have much to gain by working together in the southern Mediterranean.
Sinan Ulgen, International Economic Bulletin, 27 January 2011
For decades, the European Union (EU) has focused its policy in North Africa1 on economic and political development, driven by immigration and security concerns. However, the Jasmine Revolution—the series of protests in Tunisia sparked by economic concerns that brought down the country's president—make clear that many fundamental challenges remain unaddressed in the Arab world, even in a country previously considered by many to be the region’s most advanced. Tunisia’s uprising—as well as the possibility that such unrest will spread to other countries, such as Egypt—has focused international attention on the issues of social inclusion and economic development in the region. Much of the work required must be done by the North African countries themselves, but the EU can make a difference by developing North Africa’s private sector and accelerating the dismantling of its own agricultural protectionism.
Sinan Ulgen & Heather Grabbe, European Voice, 6 January 2011
The political atmosphere is turning sour. To improve it, the EU and Turkey should establish a strategic dialogue to complement the accession process. There is already a good basis: Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, and Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, already talk in an atmosphere of trust about sensitive issues in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, the Middle East, and the Balkans. This dialogue should now be widened to include the EU foreign ministers and deepened through regular exchanges. In practice, this means informal but regular talks. The dialogue should be informal so that the discussions can focus on issues of substance in the region, avoiding the risk of getting hijacked by bilateral disputes and recriminations; but it should also be institutionalised to ensure that talking continues even when the going gets tough.
Sinan Ulgen, Carnegie Europe Papers, December 2012
In this Carnegie paper, EDAM chairman and Carnegie Europe visiting scholar Sinan Ulgen argues for Turkey's virtual EU membership. He notes that "Turkey's prospects of becoming a member of the European Union (EU) are now more uncertain than ever. Having been forced to spend their residual political capital on passing unpopular austerity packages to combat the eurozone crisis, European leaders have little enthusiasm for championing an equally unpopular proposition like EU enlargement.. But the longer the negotiations process remains stalled, the more acrimony is being injected into the Turkey-EU relationship, poisoning relations in many domains ". He therefore proposes a virtual membership framework for Turkey as a complement to the accession process. The virtual membership would cover such domains as trade, climate change, mobility, foreign and security policy.
Sinan Ulgen, Carnegie Europe Papers, June 2011
In this week’s legislative elections, a few hundred thousand votes will determine whether or not Turkey’s ruling party can move forward unimpeded with the most radical change in the country’s constitutional order since the transition to multi-party democracy in 1946. Turkey combines a proportional electoral system with one of the world’s highest national thresholds. Parties must obtain at least 10 percent of the national vote in order to win the right to send representatives to parliament. As a result, only well established political parties have the ability to form parliamentary groups.
Sinan Ulgen, June 2011
Turks will be going to the polls this Sunday to choose their next government. There is little uncertainty about the outcome. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its charismatic leader, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, are set to gain the backing of the Turkish population for a third consecutive term in power. The real uncertainty lies in the margin of victory the AKP will obtain. It is this that will ultimately shape the near term political climate of the country.