The central aim of this research is to examine and understand European and Turkish decision-makers’ perceptions of the three dimensions of EU-Turkey cooperation in the Syrian crisis: the EU-Turkey Statement, Turkish politics vis-à-vis Syrian refugees in Turkey, and EU-Turkey cooperation as regards the future of Syria.
In the last couple of years, developments in Syria have added an extra layer to the already complicated relationship between the EU and Turkey. Cooperation and discord have mainly been on two key issues: the refugee crisis and the threat of terrorism, which is associated with the phenomenon of European foreign fighters. This project aims at identifying opportunities and constraints for EU-Turkey cooperation in Syria.
The current state of play in EU-Turkey relations reflects the state of the international order. While the de jure framework for relations between the EU and Turkey is the Accession Process whereby Turkey has been a candidate for accession to the European Union since 2005 (although its candidature remains frozen), the transactional state of the world order over the last few years, as well as economic, social and political crises within a number of European states, have led to a significant crisis in trust between Turkey, the EU and its member states.
This research project aims at identifying the underlying biases shaping France’s foreign policy towards Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the way it may impact the EU’s external positions. The definition of French interests seems to be directly at odds with what is perceived as Turkey’s exaggerated adventurism in the region, to the point of triggering military escalation.
Turkey-European Union relations have been fluctuating in recent years, leading to a relationship which seems to be driven more by crisis management than representing an equal partnership. Nonetheless, both blocs remain key partners on various dimensions such as trade, migration cooperation and security. As such, it would be a timely endeavour to investigate possible areas of economic, political and social cooperation between Turkey and the European Union. In that light, Africa offers an underexplored area of research to examine the possibilities of such cooperation as well as identify the points of contention.
This research will explore the potential for cooperation on environmental peacemaking and environmental geopolitics between the regional powers of the Eastern Mediterranean – namely Turkey, Egypt and Israel – to decrease the tensions of potential conflicts and environmental degradation in the region.