Turkey-EU relations: Which countries are for or against Turkish accession? | News | DW |
The bilateral trade volume between Turkey and Spain stood at 12 billion million USD in , which corresponds to an increase of percent compared . Abstarct. The political relations between the Ottoman and the Spanish empires around the . after the capture of Koron by the Spanish, Turkish corsair Barbaros. Relations between Europe and Turkey are at a historic low. Turkey's . Spain has traditionally spearheaded the notion of a European Turkey.
President Erdogan's anti-European rhetoric during the campaign and threat to impose the death penalty have not helped. Meanwhile, in Turkey, Europe is regarded with deep suspicion. Can this relationship — characterised by mutual mistrust and lack of sympathy — be salvaged?
- Relations between Turkey and Spain
- Spain–Turkey relations
- Commercial and Economic Relations between Turkey and Spain
There is broad recognition among EU member states that Turkey's accession process is going nowhere after the referendum. But, at the same time, there is little support among member states to terminate or formally suspend the accession process.
Spain–Turkey relations - Wikipedia
Instead, the EU is adopting a wait-and-see approach towards Ankara and how it implements the constitutional amendments. Upgrading the existing customs union would be a step in this direction. But there may not even be enough support among member states for this to move forward. And it is not clear that Europe is ready for — or would benefit from — a purely transactional relationship with Turkey. When Presidents Tusk and Juncker meet with President Erdogan on 25 May in Brussels, they will ask him what his intentions are with regards to EU accession in light of the anti-European line that he has taken.
This meeting could set the scene for the next phase in EU-Turkey relations. This is what key capitals think. View from Athens by George N. Tzogopoulos For approximately two decades, Greece has grounded its foreign policy on the potential entrance of Turkey to the EU.
From a Greek perspective, for Turkey to approach the EU, it would be necessary not only to fulfil the criteria set by the European Council but also to respect international law in relation to the Cyprus Question and accept a solution under the UN umbrella. Although the Cyprus Question was not solved, Cyprus entered the EU in without the part occupied by the Turkish army in And even though longstanding Greek-Turkish relations were not settled, Athens and Ankara have found a modus vivendi without risking a military clash.
Views from the capitals: What to do about Turkey?
The last time the two sides came close to a regional war was in Also, all Greek prime ministers since the Helsinki summit on enlargement enjoyed good working relationships with Tayyip Erdogan. Indications are not positive.
More importantly, Turkey has frequently warned Athens and Brussels that he could cancel the refugee deal, which could generate a new flow of refugees from the Turkish coast to the Greek islands.
Under these circumstances, Greece is carefully monitoring the new tactics of the Turkish president. His unpredictability is perhaps the most important obstacle as far as Greek-Turkish relations are concerned. The more Turkey is cooperating with international organisations — such as the EU — the better it is for the Greek national interest. Of course, Greece cannot turn a blind eye to recent developments.
Greece should not insist on wishful thinking but prepare itself for the worst scenario. Greece will only be able to efficiently manage an alleged threat coming from Turkey in cooperation with its European allies. The federal government, however, is clearly concerned by the severe deterioration in Turkish-German and Turkish-EU relations.
In a policy statement in the German Bundestag in the aftermath of the constitutional referendum, Chancellor Merkel emphasised that neither Turkey turning its back on Europe, nor Europe turning its back on Turkey, were in German interests.
Berlin has, however, made it clear on a number of occasions that the government would consider the adoption of the death penalty a red line and the end of the accession process. This process is envisaged to include bilateral talks between Berlin and Ankara as well as wider dialogue with the EU institutions. German-Turkish relations are traditionally dense in both economic and political terms, but are also complicated because of their strong domestic dimension in Germany.
In the end, more than 60 per cent of Turkish voters in Germany voted in favour of the constitutional reforms, a result that led to serious soul-searching in Germany about the failures of integration: How could it be that Turks living in a liberal democracy would wish for their fellow countrymen to live in an autocracy? The latest round is taking place at the time of writing and has prompted the government in Berlin to announce that it would consider moving outside of Turkey if Ankara did not give up its blockade — certainly not a good starting point for talks with Turkey at the upcoming NATO summit.
Though there is concern with the deterioration of relations between Europe and Turkey, as well as with the authoritarian drift of Erdogan, Spanish officials are insisting on the need to build bridges instead of cutting all ties with Ankara. As such, the current minority government of PM Mariano Rajoy PP, conservative is opposed to freezing accession negotiations with Ankara.
On the contrary, officials stress the need to maintain open channels to keep Turkey strategically anchored to the West and to Europe. Nonetheless, there is a widespread sense that Western and EU influence with Turkey has clearly ebbed and that Erdogan is set to proceed with his post-coup crackdown regardless of criticism. Spanish opposition parties PSOE, liberal Ciudadanos and leftist Podemos also take a tougher position on Erdogan than the current government.
The prospect of its accession to the EU has often been a political hot potato, sometimes spectacularly so — such as when former president Nicolas Sarkozy vetoed the opening of certain chapters in the accession negotiations and revised the French constitution to force a referendum on any future EU enlargement. Even in the recent presidential election, the discussions on Turkey have been rather marginal, in spite of the many issues that could have triggered vivid debates.
Even those who want to keep the door open for Turkey, such as newly-elected president Emmanuel Macron, have made it clear that the conditions for accession are clearly not met — even less so after the recent developments in the country. Turkey applied to join the European Economic Community 30 years ago. Inthe bloc declared it eligible to join the EU and in accession talks began.
But now, years of painstaking negotiations could collapse altogether. Although openness toward Turkey as an EU member state varies by country, no nation in the bloc favors unconditional accession for Ankara.
The proposal follows the arrest of a number of German citizens in Turkey, as well as a call by President Erdogan for German-Turks to vote against Merkel in the upcoming general elections.
In the past, Germany's conservative parties have advocated for a privileged partnership, rather than full membership. Diplomatic relations are rocky between the two countries, but the partnership remains a vital one both for security and political interests: Roughly 3 million residents in Germany are from Turkey or have Turkish roots. Austria Inthe Austrian government led calls for the EU to end talks with Turkey and maintains this stance today.
Citing mass arrests in the wake of Turkey's failed coupAustrian Chancellor Christian Kern said democratic standards in Ankara were "clearly not sufficient to justify accession. Pointing to Erdogan's departure from European valuesMichel stressed that diplomatic relations were deteriorating swiftly under the autocratic president. Some countries remain on the fence France Paris's attitude toward Ankara has shifted in recent years, with President Nicolas Sarkozy staunchly opposed to Turkey's accession to the EU.
France's newest president, Emmanuel Macron, has yet to reveal what his government's official position is. The issue of expanding the EU to include the Muslim country has not received much attention in public debate, perhaps due to the unlikelihood of its taking place any time soon.
Luxembourg and Denmark The tiny EU member state of Luxembourg supports maintaining dialogue with Turkey, but has been neither strongly supportive of nor opposed to its inclusion into the bloc. Like many of its neighbors, Luxembourg has voiced concerns about Turkey drifting away from the values and principles that unite EU member states.
Denmark has maintained a pragmatic approach toward Ankara without strongly supporting or opposing negotiations. Fears of Muslim immigration - in part from a possible EU membership for Turkey - helped fuel support for Brexit United Kingdom With its own days as an EU member state marked, the UK's diplomatic relations are currently in flux. The British government has historically been open to Turkey joining the EU. However, euroskeptic party UKIP exploited immigration fears by arguing, among other things, that a Turkish EU member state would open the doors to Muslim immigrants.
Member states that favor Turkish accession Ireland Ireland supports Turkish accession in theory, but has stressed that Turkey must show its commitment to EU values.