Turkey’s European Union Strategy
According to the document of Turkey’s New European Union Strategy published by the Directorate of EU Affairs (formerly Ministry of EU Affairs), ongoing accession negotiations with the EU make Turkey unique in its region. With substantial improvements in terms of democratization and human rights thanks to the EU accession process, Turkey has adopted a “citizen-oriented” approach based on rights and freedoms. Therefore, the EU process is one of the essential dynamics of Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy vision.
Turkey-EU relations are strong and sustainable as they are based on a “win-win” strategy. Turkey and the EU share mutual benefits in many areas, ranging from foreign policy, economic and trade relations, energy supply and security to border management, employment and migration policies. Civil wars and conflicts in our region attest that Turkey is key for EU’s political and economic stability, and that the EU membership is significant to Turkey’s stability. Turkey will, in turn, contribute to the EU in various areas thanks to its socio-economic transformation, dynamic social structure, growing economy and regional power. Consequently, the increasing co-dependency mandates the construction of a common future.
The successful philosophy of the European Union is adopting an integrative approach to overcome the common challenges and mobilising fact-based action mechanisms. This philosophy remains as our guide while projecting the future and implementing the EU Strategy with a refreshed motivation. Turkey will add greater value to a stronger Union that attaches importance to its interests. Having a strong national identity based on its history and geography, an important global position, a power of initiative and, most importantly, a committed stance that prioritizes human dignity, Turkey wishes to see the European Project overcome the challenges of the twenty-first century and extend its influence across all regions. Turkey can make an authentic contribution to this end. Turkey’s European Strategy will be driven by the progress in all areas and the country’s immense potential.
The accession negotiations cannot proceed at the preferred pace due to the political stance of certain EU Member States. However, Turkey is still steadfastly committed to achieving the EU standards. The vision of Turkey depicts a stronger, more prosperous, respected and democratic country, which is used as a role model in the region for its economy, science and technology, politics and social and cultural policies. The EU accession process is undeniably an indispensable part of the goal.
Turkey-EU relations have multiple aspects, such as accession negotiations, a political reform process, Customs Union, Community Programmes, Financial Cooperation, institution building, visa liberalisation and a civil society dialogue. The “EU Strategy” will boost this spectrum of relations and help eliminate the obstacles on Turkey’s path to EU membership. By prioritising Turkey’s interests and benefits to the citizens, both the reform process will gain momentum and new communication channels will be established between Turkey and the EU, thus confronting common challenges.
The “European Union Strategy” will be the first step towards the concrete commitment declared in the Programme of the 62nd Government. The “European Union Strategy” consists of the followings:
I.Political Reform Process
II.Socio-Economic Transformation in the Accession Process
II.EU Communication Strategy
The strategy mainly aims at achieving the EU standards in all areas through an accelerated reform process, determining the priority issues related to the negotiation chapters, and implementing a powerful communication plan that features the significance and potential of the Turkey-EU cooperation in constructing a European architecture in the midst of harsh regional and global challenges. The “European Union Strategy” will become operational upon adoption of the “National Action Plan for the EU Accession” and “European Union Communication Strategy”.
The “National Action Plan for the EU Accession” will be implemented in two phases: the first phase will be completed by 2015 and the second stage will be between 2015 and 2019.
Adopting an accession-oriented approach, the Action Plan focuses on key priorities, including the opening and closing of benchmarks, and aims to strengthen the administrative capacity for implementation. Accordingly, it will be an updated roadmap for EU harmonisation work and will help determine the priorities in various areas. Determining the concrete and priority steps required in each negotiation chapter, the Action Plan consists of three pillars: “Harmonisation of Primary Legislation,” “Harmonisation of Secondary Legislation,” and “Institution Building and Others”.
The EU Communication Strategy will help inform the public on the efforts related to first two pillars. This strategy will be addressing the public both at home and abroad. It will be a followup to the European Union Communication Strategy, which was adopted by the Council of Ministers and has been implemented since 2010. Target groups, methods and instruments will be updated in this new strategy focusing both on Turkish and European public opinion.
To access the full document please visit: https://www.ab.gov.tr/files/pub/turkeys_new_eu_strategy.pdf
Source: Directorate of EU Affairs / link: https://www.ab.gov.tr/files/pub/turkeys_new_eu_strategy.pdf
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