Current trends and future prospects for EU–Turkey relations: conditions for a cooperative relationship

Reiners, Wulf / Ebru Turhan
External Publications (2021)

in: Wulf Reiners / Ebru Turhan (Hrsg.), EU-Turkey Relations - Theories, Institutions, and Policies, Cham: Pagrave Macmillan, 397-432

Open access

This chapter summarizes the key insights derived from a three-dimensional perspective on EU–Turkey relations that combines the analytical lenses of (1) theories and concepts, (2) institutions, and (3) policies. It furthermore reflects upon the different periodizations of the EU–Turkey relationship. On this basis, we offer a systematic survey of the conditions under which cooperative trends in EU–Turkey relations could be (re)invigorated. The analysis shows that despite the high potential for reciprocity inside and outside the accession framework, the relationship currently rests on unfavorable conditions for cooperation on both sides. Important enablers of cooperative behavior—trust, communication, reputation, fairness, enforcement, and common identity—cannot properly operate in the current setup. The chapter puts forward possible means to allow for these enablers to facilitate cooperative behavior in EU–Turkey relations in the future. It concludes by discussing the future trajectory of the relationship and pinpointing avenues for a future research agenda for EU–Turkey studies.

About the author

Reiners, Wulf

Political Science


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