The roundtable discussion, entitled "Turkey on Its Way Through the European Union's Needle's Eye", focused on EU-enlargement and the opportunities and challenges for Turkey EU-membership, the perceptions of Turkey in European countries, the economic crisis and prospects for Turkey's economic growth, and Turkey's role as an influential regional player amid changes in the Middle East and the region of Northern Africa. During the roundtable, Mr. Boel said "Turkey can play an utmost important role when it comes to promoting democracy and human rights in this part of the world".
Addressing the Turkish EU-bid and the skeptical stances towards full accession, he argued: "EU is based on diversity, and should be based on diversity". Along these lines, he also argued that the issue of Turkish immigration to Europe should be considered a positive asset because of the young and well-educated population in the country.
Present at the event were think-tank representatives, academics, and high-level journalists.
Media coverage of the event
Denmark divided over Turkey's EU membership
19 March 2013 | Today's Zaman | By Sevgi Akarçeşme
'Çifte standart Türkiye’yi AB’den uzaklaştırıyor'
19 March 2013 | Bursaport| By Zafer Opsar
AB Türkiye'ye çifte standart uyguluyor
22 March 2013 | Akşam |Yiğit Can Kaytmaz