A Syrian refugee gathers fruit during the banana harvest near the Turkish-Syrian border in the Reyhanli district of the city of Hatay, Turkey.

The Political Feasibility of the Adoption of the UNDP’s "Türkiye Compact" by the EU, the UK and Switzerland


Contemporary Turkish Studies at London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Project Members:

Yaprak Gürsoy, Professor of European Politics and Chair of Contemporary Turkish Studies, European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Kemal Kirişci, Non-resident Senior Fellow, Center on the United States and Europe, Brookings Foreign Policy
Friedrich Püttmann, PhD candidate, European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Project Duration: Dec 2023 - Nov 2024


Yaprak Gürsoy, y.gursoy@lse.ac.uk
Kemal Kirişci, kkirisci@brookings.edu
Friedrich Püttmann, f.puttmann@lse.ac.uk


This CATS Network project is a study of the political feasibility of the UNDP’s Türkiye Compact. Specifically, the aim of the project is to determine the prospects of the EU, the UK and Switzerland adopting and implementing the Compact.

The Compact intends to enhance the self-reliance of refugees in Turkey and the resilience of their host communities. The genesis of the idea lies in the 2018 Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), which was adopted by 181 countries, including all EU member states, except Hungary. The GCR advocates for the achievement of these goals through various policies, one of which involves extending trade facilitation to countries hosting large numbers of refugees. This strategy aims to incentivize the formal employment of refugees. Accordingly, the EU, the UK and Switzerland would extend trade concessions to incentivize businesses in the agricultural and processed food sectors to provide sustainable formal employment for both refugees and Turkish citizens. Such an approach goes significantly beyond the current dominant paradigm, most recently expressed in a report by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), that continues to seek inclusion of refugees through aid-driven programmes rather than self-sustaining economic opportunities. That said, the creation of such new economic opportunities can be coupled with more targeted programmes for greater social cohesion between Syrian refugees and Turkish citizens through joint labour activities – another avenue to be explored by our project.  

The UNDP’s economic feasibility study covered the EU, Canada and the United States. Whereas, for the present study, the focus will be on the EU, the UK and Switzerland. With this in mind, the main research questions of this study are:

  • Who would be the key political actors in the EU (especially Germany), the UK and Switzerland, critical to the adoption and implementation of the UNDP’s policy proposal?
  • What political factors would influence the adoption of such a proposal?
  • What do those political factors depend on?
  • What kinds of challenges would need to be addressed for the Türkiye Compact to be compliant with the EU acquis and the terms of the World Trade Organization?


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