EU-Turkey Relations in the Context of EU Enlargement: Exploring New Options
The conference that took place on 26 November 2019 in Athens, was organised in cooperation with the Konstantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy. Among the 140 people that attended the conference, there were MEPs, former ministers, representatives from EU embassies, Greek diplomats, academics, university students and journalists.
In his opening remarks Mr. Panagiotis Kakolyris, Member of ENoP Steering Committee & Chair of Working Group The Future of Europe, presented ENoP and the work of the Working Group to the audience. He stressed the importance of analysis of the prospects of EU enlargement towards Turkey as well as an exploration of possible viable alternatives. He underlined productive ways to overcome the challenges in the EU-Turkey relations and concluded that target of this discussion is not a theoretical analysis but accurate information of the public about an important issue, concrete conclusions and policy proposals.
Some of the main conclusions of the discussion were:
- The need of a new – effective EU enlargement policy that will address the current challenges internally and externally.
- The importance of return to “realism” regarding the EU – Turkish relations, taking into account that in the foreseeable future Turkish accession is not going to be implemented.
- A new “substitute” to the accession has to be promoted such as an upgrade Customs Union.
- The crucial need to keep open the channels of communication between Brussels and the Ankara.
The event has been widely covered by the media, including the national news agency (ANA), one of the biggest TV channels (ANT1 TV), that also broadcasted interviews from two of the speakers, from Kathimerini newspaper and many news websites.