13 Dec 2012

Who remembers Turkey’s pre-accession?

Philipp Böhler / Jacques Pelkmans / Can Selcuki

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In 2005 the EU and Turkey officially started accession negotiations that were intended to lead to Turkey’s full membership of the EU. Yet today, the Turkish accession process has virtually ground to a halt and lost all credibility. Talk of alternatives to full membership can be heard from various sides and the authors of this CEPS Special Report highlight four instances of what they call ‘parallelism’; namely, the elusive concept of a ‘privileged partnership’, the EU-Turkey customs union, the recently launched ‘Positive Agenda’ and Turkish participation in the Energy Community Treaty. The analysis concludes with a discussion on Turkey’s possible membership of the European Economic Area. The authors argue that both the EU and Turkey would be well advised to remember their pre-accession commitments of 13 years ago – for their mutual benefit.

Jacques Pelkmans is a Senior Research Fellow, Philipp Böhler and Can Selçuki are Research Assistants at the Centre for European Policy Studies.