01 Aug 2004

Turkey as a Bridgehead and Spearhead

Integrating EU and Turkish Foreign Policy

Nathalie Tocci / Michael Emerson

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EU-Turkey Working Paper No. 1, 35 pages

This paper starts with the assumption that the EU will decide to open accession negotiations with Turkey at the end of 2004 and in this context it explores the potential for the integration of EU and Turkish foreign, security and defence policies in the pre-accession period. The evolving nature of both the EU and Turkey as foreign policy actors is considered, with attention drawn to the effective graduations in the nature of the EU’s external borders as it extends its membership and association arrangements deeper into the south-eastern periphery. Turkish capabilities are reviewed, ranging from the subjective arguments about its experience as a democratising, secular state of largely Muslim culture, through to objective assets such as military capabilities and cultural affinities with various neighbouring peoples. With the Turkish neighbourhood thus becoming the EU’s wider neighbourhood, the paper reviews how far the EU and Turkey may be convergent in their interests and complementary in their capabilities in such regions as the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Middle East and Central Asia. The paper concludes with the assessment that Turkey stands to be an unequivocal asset for the EU’s external policies.