Why has the war in Ukraine not improved relations with the EU? News. Last Minute EUROPE, CURRENT, TURKEY headlines and events


It is assumed that the positive momentum that will open the doors to the revision process cannot be achieved in relations with the European Union (EU) due to the war in Ukraine, and steps can only be taken in the areas of energy, economics and climate. after the next election.

Ankara believes that the EU does not attach due importance to Turkey’s geographic, historical, military and economic role in the crisis of mutual mistrust that it has experienced with the EU, which started negotiations for full membership since October 2005, especially after 2016. According to information received by VOA Turkish; Recalling that the European Political Community (AST) was created at the suggestion of France, based on the opinion that the EU will not be able to accept new members in the near future and therefore will not expand, it was emphasized that Ankara expects steps in specific areas of cooperation, such as Customs alliance from Brussels in terms of mutual interests. However, when this will happen was indicated after the completion of the next presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey (regardless of the change of power).

It was stated that with the outbreak of the war in the Black Sea on February 24, 2022, it was possible to revive the Ankara-Brussels relations and the frozen membership negotiations, but the parties did not take advantage of this important opportunity. Recalling that Turkey has chosen the role of a mediator between Russia and the West instead of fully standing on the side of the West/Europe in the war in the Black Sea, they were reminded: “Does Turkey really want to be a member of the EU?” It was stated that this raised a question. Reasons for Ankara-Brussels’ failure to open the door of opportunity resulting from the war have also been divided as “Turkey’s failure to comply with the Copenhagen criteria” and “the continuation of the European Council’s approach in its December 2019 decisions against Turkey”.

Europe’s relations with Turkey through AST and NATO

In terms of EU enlargement, along with Turkey, Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine and Moldova are candidate countries, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina and finally Georgia are potential candidate countries. The granting of candidate country status by the EU to Ukraine and Moldova on June 24, 2022, after Russia’s attempt to invade Ukraine and the announcement of Georgia as a potential candidate, was interpreted as “an opportunistic and political decision”.

Instead of EU enlargement, Europe will show how it will take regional steps at its first meeting in Prague in October 2022 and at its new decisions in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, on 1 June. At that time, Turkey’s position on the AST is still controversial, because if elections were held on May 14, a new government would be formed.

From a European security perspective, it was stated that no assessment was made of the fact that Ankara was an important part of NATO as a deterrent military force with the Turkish Armed Forces after the war in Ukraine. It was noted that “since NATO is the army of the EU, it is inevitable to talk about Turkey’s membership in the EU”, but this was prevented by the Greek and Greek sides with their membership positions.

The latest situation in the crisis is not updated in the Customs Union

In relations between Turkey and the EU, while there has been discussion in the past of renewing them with the announcement of a positive agenda, it has been highlighted as a source of concern that the EU Member States have not authorized the EU Commission regarding the Customs Union. In the current situation, it was stated that the Customs Union Association Committee met twice, Ankara and Brussels made notifications on allegations of violating the mutual agreement, but no progress was made towards a final decision.

Despite negotiations between the EU Commissioner for Trade and the Minister of Commerce, there has been no concrete development in updating the Customs Union to cover some topics in the agricultural sector and especially in the service sector. However, Turkey is determined to implement the EU acquis so as not to have problems with the EU, with which it has important economic relations in the field of trade, agriculture and communications due to the green transformation.

Noting that it is well pursuing the Green Europe goal, Ankara conveyed the message that it has included investments in wind turbines and hydrogen energy on its agenda.

After the election, the EU is expected to at least authorize the EU Commission on the Customs Union, rather than membership negotiations.

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