FEUTURE MID-TERM CONFERENCE "EU-TURKEY RELATIONS: GAME (NOT) OVER?" BARCELONA CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (CIDOB)
19 - 20 October 2017
On 19 and 20 October 2017, after 18 months of successful collaboration and joint research, the FEUTURE consortium met with distinguished Turkey experts, stakeholders from Turkey and the EU, the media and a wider interested public at the FEUTURE mid-term conference hosted by the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs(CIDOB) in Barcelona.
The 77 participants enjoyed interesting and lively debates. The conference started with a keynote speech by Director-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiation of the European Commission, Christian Danielsson, taking stock of the state of the EU-Turkey relationship. This provided an excellent reference point for the two following panel discussions. Sinan Ülgen (EDAM), AngelikiDimitriadi (ELIAMEP), Funda Tekin (Project Director, CETEUS / CIFE) and Meltem Müftüler-Bac (Sabanci University) engaged in a lively debate on the question “Drivers and brakes in EU-Turkey relations: ever-changing and ever-challenged?” moderated by Barçın Yinanç (Hürriyet Daily News). The contributions tackled the issues of public opinion in Turkey, migration policy, the relevance of the development of European integration as such and the applicability of the EU’s enlargement policy as we know it. The results of this discussion also fed into the second panel on “What kind of f(e)uture scenario?” moderated by Piotr Zalewski (The Economist). Nathalie Tocci (Scientific Coordinator, IAI), Javier Nino Peres (EEAS), Nilgün Arisan Eralp (TEPAV) and Katharina Hoffmann (University of St. Gallen) discussed different options of how to frame EU-Turkey relations in the future. In spite of the current political debate the general conclusion was that cancelling accession negotiations would not help neither the EU and Turkey nor their relationship. The first day of the conference was concluded by a keynote speech by H.E. Ömer Önhon, Ambassador of Turkey to Spain.
The second day of the conference, 20 October 2017, was dedicated to the project’s internal discussions in which researchers deepened their work within the particular Work Packages (Political Drivers, Economic Drivers, Security Drivers, Energy and Climate Drivers, Migration Drivers, Identity and Culture Drivers) and discuss the progress made so far and the steps still to be taken. FEUTURE’s mid-term conference was closed by a concluding roundtable summarizing the most likely scenarios of the individual Work Packages and preparing the synthesis on the f(e)uture of the relationship that will be further substantiated by mid 2018.