Economic Instruments of the EU’s Policy for Turkey in a Comparative Perspective with the CEECs
Perspective with the CEECs Introduction Experiences of Turkish Association have fallen short of expectations and have not provided a framework for a developing a strategy with a view to preparing Turkey for accessions. Thus, the EU has proposed to enhance the EU-Turkey Association, centered around building relations on the customs union with intensifying financial cooperation and strengthening political dialogue. However, this policy of containment on the part the EU has failed to produce a working relationship with Turkey and thus became unattainable. As a result, the EU revised its containment policy, in an attempt to reassure its longest standing associate of its European vocation. While the EU has been actively engaging in preparing the CEECs for accession, it developed a European Strategy for Turkey. Arguably, although it was designed to prepare Turkey for EU membership, it did not add any substantial new instrument to the existing framework of the customs union, but extended it to intensify the relations in the agricultural and the services sector, as well as strengthening of cooperation in several other areas (European Commission, 1998a). Consequently, Turkey remained outside the accession process on the political grounds. Finally, at the Helsinki Summit in 1999, the EU recognized Turkey as a candidate country and offered an Accession Partnership for her. Building on the existing customs union, the offered Accession Partnership contained enhanced political dialogue and financial assistance to Turkey in the framework of preaccession strategy with political conditions that Turkey needs to fulfil. All this development implies that the instruments of the pre-accession strategy for Turkey, including the Accession Partnership, have been centered on the customs union. By implication, the instruments of the customs union have become the key features of the EU’s pre-accession strategy for Turkey in relations to her preparation for the EU’s single market in the long run.