İstanbul Kültür University

EU-Turkey Relations: Drifting from or to the West?

GPoT Center in collaboration with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNS) in Turkey organized a roundtable meeting in Brussels on the current developments in EU-Turkey relations.

he issues discussed during the meeting ranged from the latest developments in Turkey-Armenia rapprochement process to the implications of the Turkish Cypriot parliamentary elections and to issues related to EU-Turkey Customs Union regulations. The participants of the meeting included members of the European Commission and European Parliament as well as representatives from Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The topics discussed during the meeting revolved especially around the democratization and reform process in Turkey. The speakers also touched upon the Cyprus question as it has become a factor influencing the Turkish public opinion on the European Union. Moreover, the speakers highlighted the fact that with respect to lifting the isolation imposed on the Turkish Cypriots, no progress has been achieved although several promises had been given by the EU in 2004.

Finally, the Customs Union issue has been tackled by the participants and especially the technical problems that the Turkish business community faces have been underlined.

The speakers emphasized the need for EU officials to work with Turkey as the problems encountered by Turkey also stand as challenges for the EU member states.

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