Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations
All Sessions by Asli Aydıntaşbaş
A Strategic Union
Europe’s trade-offs in the Eastern Mediterranean
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
The EU-Turkey relationship has gone from bad to worse in recent years. The EU's realpolitik approach now signals the potential for interest-based cooperation while also threatening more serious restrictive measures. Deep-seated bureaucratic and political forces within Turkey hamper the EU's ability to advance its normative and values-based agenda with Ankara. Moreover, Turkey takes an increasingly assertive stance in its own neighbourhood. The EU therefore needs a new, more strategic and (possibly) less normative approach to the Eastern Mediterranean, which is no longer of primary interest to the US. Differing views prevail among member states when it comes to relations with Turkey, however. Can the need for cooperation and confrontation with Turkey be a fertile ground for a common European foreign policy that strengthens the EU's status as a geopolitical actor in the Eastern Med? This session will chart the contours – and possible trade-offs – of what such an approach could entail.