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Policy Dialogue
Turkey-EU relations – What prospects for the Positive Agenda?

Thursday, 17 June 2021


Gunter Seufert
Head of the Centre for Applied Turkey Studies, SWP
Senem Aydin-Duzgit
Professor of International Relations, Sabancı University; Senior Scholar and Research and Academic Affairs Coordinator, Istanbul Policy Center
Thomas Frellesen
Head of the Turkey Division, European External Action Service


Amanda Paul
Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre


Turkey-EU relations have never been easy. 2020 was a particularly difficult year with the two partners locking horns over elements of Turkish foreign policy, particularly Ankara’s actions in the Eastern Mediterranean, and backsliding on human rights. With the introduction of the EUs Positive Agenda, which is composed of incentives for Turkey to engage in dialogue, such as the modernisation of the Customs Union, relations have improved. Yet, it is highly conditional on Turkey’s actions and, therefore, reversible. While Turkey needs to deliver, the EU also needs to uphold its end of the bargain and not allow delivery on the Agenda to become hostage to the national politics of member states.
Our panel of experts will assess the current state of Turkey-EU relations, prospects for the implementation of the Positive Agenda and key obstacles in the way.  

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