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The EU in the International Arena and the Role of Turkey

relationship that Turkey has build with the Assad regime. The final outcome of the uprising in Syria will be directly related to the Syria-Turkey relationship in the future. Two more serious setbacks to the “zero problems” foreign policy in Turkey are Turkey’s change of mind to proceed with the agreement to normalize of relations with Armenia, and of course Cyprus. It is not my intention to enumerate here the win-win situation for Turkeyfor both communities in Cyprus and in the EU there should be a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus Problem - but I will speak about the state of negotiations of the process of Turkish accession to European Union. This process is currently stalled as the only available chapters to open which will sustain the process, like the Competition Chapter, are not opening because Turkey considers them as costly, and would be opened only if Turkey had guarantees that the end result would be the final full membership. The steadfast Turkish refusal to extend the Ankara Protocol to include Cyprus has resulted in the unanimous freezing of eight Chapters in 2006 and since this refusal continues, in 2009 Cyprus blocked in another six Chapters because there was no conformity with the unanimous counter-declaration of the Council of September 2005. In the meantime Turkey has vetoed the convening of political dialogue between NATO and the EU because on the EU side the RoC will be sitting at the table. Consequently, Cyprus is blocking any participation of Turkey on the European Defence Agency. Both actions are very detrimental to the proper functioning of relations between NATO and the EU as there are important decisions that need to be made at the political level, and also for the proper functioning of ESDP. Efforts to resolve the dispute, based on ideas for the new strategic idea of NATO, failed during the latest summit in Lisbon because Turkey refused to accept such an arrangement. Despite the fact that Turkey’s orientation, vocation, and the majority of its trade and economic relations are oriented towards the EU, relations are becoming difficult as each side sees matters in a different way.

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IOANNIS KASOULIDES

Turkey on the European Doorstep  

A Publication based on the International Conference organised at the European Parliament/Brussels by Dr. ELENI THEOCHAROUS, Member of the Eu...

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