EU-Turkey summit: What is on the menu

After summit in November there is another meeting EU-Turkey meeting on Monday. I might be wrong but seems to me the situation is even more complicated though both sides wanna move forward. How do you see this, what you expect from upcoming EU-Turkey summit? Read few comments.

Dimitrios Triantaphyllou, Associate Professor, Chair, Department of International Relations, Director, Center for International and European Studies (CIES), Kadir has University

As usual, because Turkey is on the menu, the summit will be more than just reaching an agreement on how to handle the refugee crisis and the enforcement of the readmission agreement. It will also have on its menu issues pertaining to Turkey’s EU accession process. Why? Because turkey, is trying to re-establish itself as an indispensable regional player and partner for the European Union as its Middle East policy is in shambles and its relations with Russia keep deteriorating. The problem with this approach is that it may not necessarily work as one can doubt that there is enough European unity as to how much to give Turkey in return for its implementation of what it has agreed to do with regard to the readmission agreement. The linkage of a deal on refugee flows to Europe and visa-free travel for Turkish citizens is also on the table given its many conditionalities. As a result, I fear that we will have at the forthcoming EU-Turkey Summit is further fudging so that all sides can show that a deal was reach and Turkey-EU relations are on track rather than agreement on the substance of burden-sharing regarding the refugee crisis and addressing the needs of the refugees.

Dimitris TsarouhasGreek Politics Specialist Group, Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations, Bilkent University

Yes, the situation is now more complicated: the refugee flow has hardly been reduced, let alone stop, and this adds a lot of pressure on Germany. Austria’s actions in recent weeks are an indication of things to come if this Summit leads to unfulfilled promises, as the previous one. What is at stake is the credibility of the Schengen area: nothing more nothing less.

Toni Alaranta, Senior Research Fellow, Finnish Institute of International Affairs

On each round the EU is weaker in this bargaining – which is pretty brutal as we saw from the leaked notes, Tusk even admitting they postponed the progress report so that the AKP could win the elections without facing any criticism. After having already promised visa liberalization and energizing EU membership negotiations, what the EU can now promise. A moon from the sky perhaps. The Erdogan regime is by now becoming a complete dictatorship.

Of course, something needs to be done but it was awful policy to bring the EU chapters to the table. Now money is started to be delivered, and there will be strong message send by the EU for the refugees that they can hope for a future in Turkey with better camps, work permits and education. This is all good stuff, as well as joint action to crack down, already within Turkey, human smuggler networks. Although I am not sure how much this will help, it might have some effect – further, with its PKK what, Turkey has itself started to generate refugees as there are over 300 000 people escaping the violence in the south-east…

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